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The Influence of Examination Malpractice on Academic Performance of Students in Secondary School

 Format: MS-WORD   Chapters: 1-5

 Pages: 80   Attributes: COMPREHENSIVE RESEARCH

 Amount: 3,000

 Oct 25, 2019 |  08:16 am |  2214



1.1 Background to the study

Examination is a means of assessment to test the knowledge, skills and abilities of students. In schools, examination is a means of evaluating the quantity of knowledge, skills and abilities acquired within a specified period of  time(Adegbenjo and Adebayo,2017).Nnam and Inah (2015) saw examination as a yardstick against which candidates’ competencies and progresses are formally measured and appraised in the education sector. Teaching and learning become more efficient and effective when students are subjected to examination processes in order to determine the rate of assimilation of contents of the instruction given(Kenobi,2015 & Ghavifekr, 2015). The teachers also use examinations to assess the level of their performances. Examination may be administered in form of verbal or non-verbal; that is, in written form, gesture or sign (in a confined area that requires an examinee to physically perform a set of skills) and it can also be administered on computer ( Rukundo & Magambo, 2010). Today, many higher institutions in Nigeria conduct examinations with the aid of computers; that is, Computer-Based Tests (CBT). However, despite the importance of examination in teaching and learning processes, a number of factors may likely affect the credibility of examination scores. One of such practices that may affect the reliability of examination scores is examination malpractice (Onyibe,Uma, & Ibina ,2015)

Examination malpractice can be described as misconduct or improper practice in any examination with a view to obtaining good result through fraudulent means”. Some of the examination malpractices include: Cheating, giraffing, taking prepared answers to the examination hall, impersonation, writing on pieces of paper and hiding same under the private part, writing on the palms, thighs and using a certain finger to indicate the correct option in the objective test items such as thumb for ‘A’ and the smallest finger for ‘B’ or ‘C’ option. Some unscrupulous invigilators do indulge in dictating the correct answers to students, they also extend the time allocated to the examination paper (Onyibe,Uma, & Ibina ,2015).

 Some teachers show examination papers to their favoured students due to gratification either in cash or in kind. All these are examination malpractices.  Examination malpractice is any act that contrave the laid down rules of conducting a fare examination which make students with other  external people to have a collaboration  or bond in order  to aid cheating  by obtaining underserved marks or grades (Onuka and Durowoju, 2013). Examination malpractice does not occur in the examination hall alone, it occurs before, during and even after the examination. The incidences of examination malpractice are common everywhere and every examination season witnesses the new and ingenious ways of cheating. (Adegbenjo and Adebayo,2017)

Scholars found that examination malpractice is always in form of copying on sheets of

paper, handkerchiefs, desk/chairs; swapping of answer booklets and collusion with other candidates or external agents. Others include leakage of examination questions before the actual examination day, use of electronic gadgets like calculators, organizers, radio walkman and mobile phones(Adegbenjo and Adebayo,2017). There are different ways examination malpractice occur; sneeking of illegal or forbidden materials into examination, harrasment of examination official, copying of others’  books, exchange of answer script either during or after examination, turning of neck in different degree, voicing of answers to other students while examination is going on. (Adeyemi, 2010; Akanni and Odofin, 2015; Onyibe, Uma and Ibina, 2015).

Examination malpractice occurs at all levels of the Nigerian educational sector with starting from primary school to secondary school  to tertiary level. It is sad that teachers, parents, management of institutions or school authorities, office clerks, invigilators or supervisors, officials of various examination bodies, police officers and bank officials; that is, custodians of examination materials are in most cases the perpetrators of examination malpractices (Adegbenjo and Adebayo,2017).. Ojerinde in Emaikwu (2012) asserted that examination malpractice is already becoming a culture in Nigerian educational scene because it is being condoned by most parents, students, teachers and lecturers.

It is disheartening that examinations are not achieving their primary objectives; examination malpractice had become a nauseating phenomenon in the Nigerian education system which is posing a great threat to the standard of examinations in Nigeria and the acceptability of the worth of the certificates resulting from the examinations(Adegbenjo and Adebayo,2017).. The problem of examination malpractice has reduced certificates issued in Nigeria into worthless papers, such that a number of candidates with outstanding results cannot defend their certificates. (Adegbenjo and Adebayo,2017).

Until there is a strigent rule by the government with uncompromising punishment which will serve as  detrimentsto the victim of examination,  many students will  not desist from the acts.

Malpractice Act No 33 of 1999 which stipulated a minimum punishment of fifty thousand naira (equivalent of 450USD) and a maximum of five years imprisonment, without option of fine for the violators of the offences stipulated. The offences include: cheating at examination, stealing of question papers, buying/selling of question papers, impersonation, disturbance at examination, obstruction of supervision, forging of result slip, breach of duty, conspiracy and aiding among others, (Nwankwo, 2012).


Though there are concerted efforts by government, examination bodies, institutions, school authorities, civil societies, well-meaning individuals and other stakeholders to eradicate examination malpractices but all efforts seem not to have yielded positive results; instead, the problem seems spreading across Nigeria with all forms of sophistication (Adegbenjo and Adebayo,2017). Corroborating this, Omemu (2015) stated that the irony of it all is that despite the several attempts made by school authorities, government agencies, parents and church leaders in trying to educate the Nigerian students on the evils of examination malpractices, this abnormalities are still on the increase in various schools.
Some messengers abuse their offices by selling photocopied question papers to their students, parents connive with teachers and students to purchase examination question papers and so on. The examination malpractices in this country have got to an alarming peak, whereby all concerned citizens are taken aback, thinking whether we have gone beyond redemption point (Olayinka, 1998).   Liman (1997) said that we read daily in nearly all the Nigerian Newspapers reports of fraud here and there. The impression at present is that our governments are touched, institutions of learning are flagrantly defamed, parents are cast down and the West African Examination Council (WAEC) formally untiring, seems to be throwing in the towel by being unable to conduct a hundred percent fraud-free examination any longer.  
The practice of examination fraud initiates the manners of a syndicate operation and in keeping with the glorious tradition, its said that whoever that refuses to co-operate is assaulted.   There are the disturbing trend surely and they have serious implications for the educational system whose foundation is threatened.   With teachers and parents so actively involved in this unwanted fraud, the nation faces the prospect of breeding a generation of dishonest youths, half baked college products and invariably, an unreliable labour force for the future.    
1.2      Statement Of The Problem
The fast widespread of examination malpractice all over the nation is a concerntor all and sundry especially for those that value the dignity in studying hard in order to achieve academic success to the extent that it has been made to be register to the mind of an average secondary school students that the only alternative to passing their WAEC examination is to engage in examination malpractice. The inflock of candidates patronising “special centre”  to assist them in passing external examination is quite alarming that one will begin to wonder  how come we have missed it educationally in our nation.  

Examination malpractices, which began as isolated cases of examination leakage and other malpractices in all institutions across the country, have turned out into an avalanche, thus calling to question, the credibility of admissions and assessments based on examinations held within the country (Obe, 1992).  
The problems of examination fraud to the growth and development of our educational sector are enormous. The three of examination malpractices over the years, grown gigantic satanic roots spreading its tentacles to even the most revealed of Nigeria institutions and examination bodies.   The problem is not just associated with the lower examination bodies like (WAEC, JAMB or NECO) it is not strange to the higher institutions such as the medical examinations, the law school examinations and so on.

 Apart from the laws of offenders, if all those that concerned with examination starting from examination body  officials, invigilators, supervisors and the school will tight every possible corners that could result in examination malpractice, its curbing effect would not have been tedious as we are presently facing in our educational system. It’s on this problem that this research work is centred on to investigate the influenced of examination malpractice on the academic achievement of secondary school students

1.3       Objectives Of the Study  
The  general purpose of this study is to investigate the influence of examination malpractice on academic performance of  students  in secondary school and specifically this study tend to look into:

  1. The various types of examination malpractice  that are common among  secondary school students in Abuja Municipal Council
  2. The causes of examination malpractice in secondary school in Abuja Municipal Council
  3. The effects of examination malpractice in secondary school in Abuja Municipal Council
  4. The ways of minimizing examination malpractices in secondary school in Abuja Municipal Council

1.4  Research Questions
The following research questions were posed to guide the conduct of this study.

What are the causes of examination malpractice in secondary schools in Abuja Municipal Council?

a)    What are causes of examination malpractice in secondary school in Abuja Municipal Council?

b)    What are  the effect of examination malpractice in secondary school in Abuja Municipal Council?

c)     What are the  ways of minimizing examination malpractices in secondary school in Abuja Municipal Council?

d)    What are the influence of examination malpractice on students’ acdemic achievement in Abuja Municipal Council?

1.5  Research  Hypothesis  

a.    There is no significant difference on the view of teachers and students on the causes of examination malpractice in Abuja Municipal Council

b.    There is no significant differences on the view of teachers and students on the effect of examination malpractice on Abuja Municipal Council

c.    There is no significant differences on the view of teachers and students on the ways to minimize examination malpractice  among in Abuja Municipal Council

d.    There is no significance among students that participate in examination malpractice and their academic achievement                     
1.6     Significance Of The Study
This research work is going to assist in many ways in proffering solution to the problem of examination malpractice in Abuja Municipal Council in particular for example. The solutions provided by this study will go a long way in helping the government and the Ministry of Education to tackle the problem of examination malpractice. This investigation will enable students to understand the effect of examination malpractice n their academic performance. Also the society will benefit from the investigation as well as the solution proffered in this study. This work will help parents, teachers and examination officers to know the dangers involved in aiding or abetting their children or students to cheat in examinations.

1.7       Scope Of the Study
This study will cover the causes, effects and solution to the examination malpractice in the educational sector and how its influence in students’ academic achievement

1.8     Limitation of the Study

This study is limited to  Abuja Municipal Council  local government area in Abuja Municipal Council. This study has been limited  to Abuja Municipal Council local government  area in order to have an in depth study of students behaviours towards examination malpractice on their academic performance as the issue of examination malpractice is national phenomenon that cut across all the sectors of our educational sector in Nigeria.

The study is limited by time as the questionaires are meant to cover more almost all schools in Abuja Municipal Council but due to time constraint, the sampled schools have been were limited.Another  factor of limitation is associated with attitudes of the respondents, difficulty in reaching respondents and the originality or objectivity of the responses from the subject.


To make this study understandable, all ambiguous words and terms are operationally defined thus:

Academic: It is the concerned with studying from books as opposed by a practical work.

Examination: This is the platform where students are evaluated. Students are evaluated in via three domain of learning which are cognitive, pychomotor and affective
Examination malpractice: This is misconduct or improper practice in any examination with a view to obtaining good result through fraudulent names.
Fraudulent: The advanced learners dictionary defines fraudulent as something got or done by deceiving or through deceit.

School: This is the environment where learning take place

Students: These are the beneficiaries  of teaching through the  platform of learning provided by teachers.

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