By 1974, there were seven (7) Federal Universities in the country. Every one of these existing universities conducted its own concessional examination and admitted its students. However, this system of admission revealed serious limitations and quite often, waste of resources in the process of administering the concessional examination especially on the part of the candidates. The general untidiness in the uncoordinated system of admissions into universities and the attendant problems were sufficient cause for concern to the committee of vice - chancellors.These problems had assumed new dimension when by 1976, the then federal military government, under the leadership of General Olusegun Obasanjo,established six (6) additional universities. Consequently, the government set up a national committee on university entrance under the chairmanship of Mr. M. S. Angulu.
The Committee was specifically requested to consider the possibility of setting up a Joint Matriculation Board.The Committee recommended the setting up of two (2) bodies, the Central Admissions Board and the Joint Matriculation Board. The Federal military government accepted some of the recommendations of the committee and set up the Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board. The legal instrument establishing the Board was however promulgated by the act (no. 2 of 1978) of the Federal Military Government on 13th February, 1978.
By August 1988, the Federal Executive Council amended decree No. 2 of 1978 to empower the Board to conduct matriculation examinations for entry into all polytechnics and colleges of education in the country and to place suitably qualified candidates in the available places in these institutions.
The amendments have since been codified into decree No. 33 of 1989, which took from 7th December, 1989. On assumption of office, the present administration set up a panel headed by Dr. Bala Usman to restructure the Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board. The Panel has since submitted its report and its recommendations are gradually being implemented by the Federal Ministry of Education.