As of 2010, students interested in pursuing higher education need to sit for the Unified Tertiary Matriculation Exam (UTME) administered by the Joint Articulation and Matriculation Board (JAMB). The scores on the UTME exam determine whether a student qualifies for university admission (higher score needed) or the polytechnic. In August 2017, JAMB introduced new minimum score requirements:
- 120 marks required for university entry
- 100 marks required for polytechnic entry
The universities have the autonomy to set their minimum requirements higher than those predetermined by JAMB. Some of the most selective universities in the country require 180 or 200 out of 400 marks on the exam.