JAMB Candidates have often asked the difference between a school’s general cut-off mark and a school’s departmental cut-off marks. The two are actually different. We have decided to dedicate this post to answer the questions.
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 in that school. If the general cut-off mark of a school is 200, even if you score 199, you won’t be qualified for admission in that school.
Schools are at liberty to set their own cut-off mark. but whatever cut-off mark they set, should not be below the JAMB minimum cut-off mark.
DEPARTMENTAL CUT OFF MARK
The departmental cut-off mark is the cut-off mark you need to be admitted into a course/department in a school. For instance, a school may have a general cut-off mark of 200 but their cut-off mark for courses like Pharmacy, Law, Medicine maybe 230. Usually, the more competitive a course is the higher its cut-off mark. Every school has a specific cut-off mark for all courses every year. Some school makes 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 schools, if you need 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 you will be 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 in 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.
I believe with the above explanation, you have clearly understood the difference between the general cut-off mark and the departmental cut-off mark.