The Joint admissions and Matriculation Board was established by an Act of 1978, subsequently amended in 1989 and 1993. By the virtue of the Act, the Board is empowered to be responsible for the:
- general control over the conduct of matriculation examinations into all Universities, Monotechnics, Polytechnics and Colleges of Education;
- appointment of examiners, moderators, invigilators, members of the subject panels and committees and other persons with respect to matriculation examinations;
- placement of suitably qualified candidates in the tertiary institutions in collaboration with those institutions.
In furtherance of these functions, the Board conducts a matriculation examination for candidates seeking admissions to tertiary institutions within the country. This examination is known as the Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination (UTME).