THE PREDICTIVE VALIDITY OF THE NIGERIAN UNIFIED TERTIARY MATRICULATION EXAMINATION
The accuracy [reliability] and correctness [validity] of measurements are integral to all scientific measurements. These are the cornerstones of all scientific studies and inventions. It is therefore imperative that all scientific measuring instruments, especially psychological instruments that are measuring nebulous constructs, be ascertained for reliability and validity. Validity, however, is more important than reliability. This is because a measuring instrument can be reliable without being valid but hardly could a measuring instrument be valid without being reliable. Validity encompasses both concepts. Furthermore, the purpose of measurement also determines the degree of expected validity index. As a rule, when dealing with life promoting events, especially those bordering on issues of life and death, it is pertinent to raise the level of validity indices of such measuring instruments. The Nigeria’s Joint Admission and Matriculation Board [JAMB] screening examination for admission into tertiary institutions fall into this category. A number of students have attempted suicide when they fail to meet JAMB’s cut-off points. Amongst the validities essential for standardizing tests of this nature are content, construct and criterion-related validities. Predictive and Concurrent validities are under Criterion-related validities. Predictive validity shares similarities with concurrent validity in that both are generally measured as correlations between a test and some criterion measure. In a study of concurrent validity the test is administered at the same time as the criterion is collected. In a study of predictive validity, the test scores are collected first; then at some later time the criterion measure is collected and correlated. In this study, the focus is on the Predictive Validity of JAMB’s Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination [UTME]. For a sensitive psychological instrument like the JAMB’s UTME, it is imperative that the predictive validity be constantly ascertained. This is apt to keep the test developers on their toes in terms of quality control while ensuring that the test is measuring what it purports to measure. This quality assurance step is apt to promote individual and national development in the long run. The core objective of this study therefore is to establish the predictive valid of the JAMB’s UTME. It is a quantitative study that employed the case study, correlation and the ex-post facto designs. The population of study were the Senior Secondary School Leavers that were admitted to Nigerian Universities via the JAMB’s UTME. The 200, 300 and 400 level students of Covenant University, a private Christian university located in Ota, Ogun State of Nigeria, constituted the case study sample. The students’ performance score in the JAMB’s UTME and their performance in the Semester Examinations were correlated. The results suggested that the JAMB’s UTME had a positive but low indices of predictive validity, which varies across disciplines. It was recommended that JAMB needs to embark on a more pragmatic review of the content of the UTME to enhance its overall validity, and particularly its predictive validity.