General and Departmental Cut-off Marks

Updated - October 30, 2023

In this article we will explain the difference between an institute’s/JAMB general cut-off mark and an institute’s departmental cut-off mark.

General cut-off mark

This is the required cut-off mark you need to be considered for admission by a school. If you score below the general cut-off mark of a school you will not be qualified to take their Post-UTME, which means you are not qualified for admission into that institute. e.g. If the general cut-off mark of a school is 200, even if you score 199, you won’t be qualified for admission into that institute.

Institutes are at liberty to set their own cut-off mark as long as it is not lower than JAMB’s minimum cut-off mark.

As of 2023 JAMB has set its minimum cut-off marks as follows:

Colleges of Education100
Polytechnics & Monotechnics100

Departmental cut-off mark

The departmental cut-off mark is the score you need to be admitted into a course/department in an institute. For instance, an institute may have a general cut-off mark of 200 but their cut-off mark for courses like Pharmacy, Law, Medicine may be 230. Usually, the more competitive a course is the higher its cut-off mark.

Every institute has a specific cut-off mark for all courses which they set yearly. Some institutes make their departmental cut-off marks known to the public while some other schools don’t.

What happens when a candidate meets the General Cut-off Mark but not the Departmental Cut-off Mark?

In some institutes, if you meet the general cut-off mark but fail to meet the departmental cut-off mark for the course you chose, you will be moved to another course that your score meets its cut-off mark. The course that you are moved to is usually related to the one you first applied for.

For instance, if you apply for Medicine in a school and do not meet the required cut-off mark, you may be considered for admission into Microbiology provided you meet the cut-off mark for the course.

However, many schools have different departmental cut-off marks for admission by MERIT, admission by Catchment area, and admission by Educationally less developed States. The departmental cut-off marks for MERIT admission is usually higher than the rest.

So in conclusion, the general cutoff mark of a school is the minimum score you are required to have before seeking admission into that school while the departmental cut-off mark of a school is the minimum score you need to be considered for admission into a course of study.

Need contact details for JAMB Offices in Nigeria? List of JAMB Offices in Nigeria

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