Education Project Topics

Effect of Examination Malpractice on Students Attitude to Learn in Public Secondary School (in Makurdi Benue State)

Effect of Examination Malpractice on Students Attitude to Learn in Public Secondary School (in Makurdi Benue State)

Effect of Examination Malpractice on Students Attitude to Learn in Public Secondary School (in Makurdi Benue State)

Chapter One

Objective of the Study

The purpose of this study is to find out the causes and effects of examination malpractice in secondary schools, especially in Makurdi of Benue state. It also seeks to find out various methods employed by students as well as the roles by teachers, parents, secondary school authorities and the society at large. Basically, the study seeks to:

  1. Ascertain the factors that brings about examination malpractice in secondary schools;
  2. Ascertain the effects of examination malpractice on the performance of secondary school students;
  3. Ascertain appropriate control measures towards curbing examination malpractice in secondary schools.



This chapter reviews various works by different writers and researchers on examination malpractices. It is organized into conceptual framework, theoretical framework, empirical studies and summary of literature review.

Conceptual Framework

Concept of Examination Malpractices

Meaning and Nature of Examination Malpractices

Examination malpractice has been given different meanings by different scholars with the meanings pointing at one thing. Akpama, Bassey, Idaka and Bassey (2009) viewed examination malpractice as an unlawful behaviour or activity engaged by school children at whatever level of education, to have personal advantage in examination over their mates who are completing in the same examination. Joshua (2008) opined that examination malpractice is any unauthorized or unapproved action, inaction, activity, behaviour or practice that is associated with the preparation, conduct and processing of examination and other forms of assessment and carried out by any person involved in preparing for, giving, taking and processing that examination at any level. In the view of the University of Portharcourt Academic Policies (2009), examination malpractice refers to all forms of cheating which directly or indirectly falsify the ability of the students. The definition above is an “unwholesome behaviour which help the doer to perform better than he / she would ordinary done if not for the act”.

Similarly, Hudson (2006) viewed examination fraud as „the act as to cheat ones way to success in an examination‟. He equated examination malpractice with „Expo‟ which he described as „a form of misconduct in examination halls‟. Also in their contributions, Ibiam (2007) and WAEC (2005) posited that examination malpractice is an abdication of examination ethics as those values which constitute free and fair examination standard. Ibiam opined that cheating in examination is a vice that makes examination lose fairness as “a test of knowledge”.

Daramola and Oluyeba (2007) saw examination malpractice as any irregular behaviour exhibited by candidate or any body charged with the conduct of examination in or outside the examination hall, before during or after such examination. They include the following as examination malpractice, paper leakage, cheating, impersonation, swooping of scripts in the examination hall, collusion, result / certificate forgery, physical / verbal assault on examination administration.

Oluamaro (2009) wrote „dubbling, giraffing, talkie, use of computers, body writing, string pull method, local syndicate, stamped method false pockets, under lockers are all included as forms of examination malpractices‟. Onanuga (2008) also said that examination malpractices are categorized as either internally aided or externally aided. The internally aided in the student „giraffing‟, while the externally aided include peripheral answer scripts and supervisors accepting already prepared answer books when packing other candidates answer scripts.

In an article written by Onunuaga (2009), he believes that the perpetration of examination malpractice is an embarrassing act involving parents, students and teachers even the authorities. He went further to say that the society is corrupt. The always search for the best for their children, they are the main culprits of examination malpractices, they spend what they have to get what they need. The corrupt parents and their wares, he explained that the aim of any body establishing a private school or tutorial centre is to male profit. They aid examination malpractice in order to have more students and more money.

However examination malpractice act 33 of 1999 revised the above decree but now stipulated punishment ranging from a fine of N50,000.00 to N100,000.00 and imprisonment for a term of 3-4 years with or without option of fine. This new development is due to the inability of the appropriate authorities to enforce the old Decree 20 of 1985. Despite all these laws, examination malpractice has been on the increase and thus may be due to non- implementation of the laws. Reasons for it being the low moral standard in schools, candidates‟ fear of failure, lack of confidence in themselves, inadequate preparation, laziness and „419‟ syndrome that have eaten deep into the life of the society.

Types of Examination Malpractice

According to Ezekiel-Hart (2011), there are three major types of examination malpractice:

Type I: Cheating before the examination: This type of cheating occurs when students are  given already prepared examination questions prior to the examination. This gives them the opportunity to read only for particular questions or even take already prepared answers into the examination hall. This type of cheating often occurs with the collaboration of the subject teacher, the typists or anybody to whom the examination question are exposed before the  actual examination date.

Type 2: Cheating during the examination: This is the most common type of malpractice. It occurs within the examination time and venue where students cheat by copying from one another, or from notebooks and textbook brought into the venue. Some students pay others to write for them, branding them mercenaries. Others copy from their body or stuff their pockets, brassieres, pants with copied materials. The use of impersonators has made examination a meaningless tool for assessment.




In this chapter, attention was paid on the methods employed by researchers in obtaining information geared towards ascertaining the causes and effects of examination malpractice on performance of secondary school students.

Design of the Study

The researcher adopted a descriptive survey research method in ascertaining. The causes and effects of examination malpractice among secondary school students, using selected schools in Makurdi. A descriptive survey research method according to Iwuji (2000) „is primarily intended to describe the nature and degree of conditions which exist‟. Osegbo and Enemou (2009) posited: „descriptive survey are concerned with the description of events as they are‟.

Population of the Study

The population for this study was made up of one hundred and fifty (150) students and fifty (50) teachers from five (5) \selected schools in Makurdi in Benue State, as shown in the table below:



This chapter dealt with the presentation, analysis and interpretation of data. It is organized and presented according to research questions which were structured into two (2) categories, namely Section A and Section B. Section A dealt with responses from students while section B dealt with responses from teachers.

Section A (students’ responses)



This chapter dealt with the discussion of findings, educational implication of the study, limitations of the study, suggestions for further study, recommendations, summary of the study and conclusion. Meanwhile, discussion of the findings will be presented in the categories of sections A and B, but in accordance with the research questions in each category.

Discussion of the Findings

Session A (students Responses)

Research question 1: What are the factors that bring about examination malpractices?

In table III, which presented the results of responses, it was found that examination malpractices are brought about by:

Academic laziness of students, lack of qualified and dedicated teachers, the quest and rush for a good result and certificate, congested sitting arrangement during examinations, as well as, fear of failure in examination by the student concerned‟

The finding is in consonant with Nweze (2008) who identified some of the causes of examination malpractices by secondary school student to include: students do not work hard, students cheat in order to pass, as well, the lack of examination techniques‟. Moreover, this lack of examination techniques may embrace poor sitting arrangement and insured examination questions and scripts.

Research question 2: What are the effects of examination malpractices on the performance of students?

Table IV presented the result of the findings based on the above research question and revealed that impairment of the objectives of secondary education, discouragement of good student from studying hard, cancellation of examination / confiscation of results, poor performance of secondary school students at work places, as well as, de-recognition of secondary school students, constitutes the effects of examination fraud on the performance of secondary school students.

In line with the findings, Falade (2012), observed that West African Examination Council (WAEC) has decided to cancel in its entirely some of the withheld results of November/December 2011 West African Senior School Certificate Examination (WASSCE) based on the decision of the Nigerian Examination Committee‟s (NEC) recommended sanctions. In the same way Jimoh (2009), lamented that examination frauds lead to loss of ones integrity, bread unproductive and non-functional graduates. The findings of the research questions are in line with these previous researchers.

Research Question 3: What are the control measures in bringing about an end to examination fraud?

In table v which showed the results of the above question, it was discovered that adequate funding of secondary education, employment of qualified and dedicated teachers, student desire to acquire knowledge, adequate check of entry requirements and qualifications, as well as adequate sitting arrangements during examination constitute part of how the examination frauds could be remedied.

The findings are in consonants with Shonekan (2011) who partly proffers „provision of adequate facilities in terms of textbooks, well-equipped laboratories, classroom, conducive teaching and learning atmosphere and covering of syllabuses by the teachers‟ as probable solution to examination malpractices.

Section B (Teachers responses)

Researcher question 1: What are the factors that bring about examination malpractices?

In table VI, where the findings of the above research question was presented, it is discovered that teachers accepted „corrupt invigilators, parents‟ desperate quest for examination success of their children, teachers‟ inability to teach well and cover the scheme of work, emphasis on paper qualification, as well as population explosion and sitting congestion during examination to be part of the major determinants of examination frauds.

The findings are in line with Jimoh (2009) who further identified the causes of examination malpractice to include:

The students‟ non-challant over studying, parental indiscipline and abuse of wealth, teachers‟ lack of using adequate instructional materials and poor covering of the syllabus supervisors and invigilators‟ gratification of all sort, such as cash, snacks, drinks and variety of others compulsive demands, lack of conducive teaching and learning environment, lack of teachers motivation and emphasis on certification.

Research question 2: What are the effects of examination malpractices on the performance of students?

Table Vii presented the summary and findings for the above question, and revealed the followings are the effects of examination malpractice on the performance of students: emergence of bad reputation to the school found guilty, fasten the destruction of the standard of education, parents withdrawal of their children from the affected school, employers loss of confidence in the educational system, as well as the inability of students/graduates to prove the worth of the certificate. According to Edikpa (2006), examination malpractices have continued to threaten the relevance and quality of education. This also suggests that confidence in our educational system is now eluded, as employers have devised a new way of testing graduates seeking for job, in as much as, the candidates may possess first-class honour.

Research question 3: What are the control measures in bringing about solutions for examination malpractices?

In table Viii, the findings of the above question were revealed. These include the control measures are as follows:

safe keeping of examination questions and answered scripts, adequate spacing of students during examination, re-orientation of invigilators/supervisors and teachers on examination ethics, adequate funding of school in all ramification, self discipline on the part of both teachers and invigilators.

In the words of Shonekan (2011), adequate and large examination halls, employment of school guidance counselors to counsel students, as well as the increment of supervisors and invigilators in the examination hall, constitute part of the ways that examination frauds could be arrested.


Based on the findings of this study, it has been seen by other learned people that this examination malpractices could be traced as far back as 1914, so many years age before WAEC was established. In other words, examination is not a thing of today. This paper has taken a cursory look at the concept of examination malpractice among secondary school students. it identified its causes, forms and effects. The paper also highlighted the solutions that can help to bring lasting solutions to the deadly cankerworm.

Every problem has a solution. What it takes to eradicate examination malpractice in secondary schools is to encourage and motivate students to read and the teachers to discipline themselves and maintain discipline in all ramifications. Both people should imbibe good moral values. The parents at home should try and inculcate good moral to their wards. This is because the teachers, students and parents are in a better position to eradicate it since every effort at committing examination malpractice is to get excellent results and amiable certificates to be employable and make money. The teachers and students have roles to play in order to eradicate examination malpractice.

Again, if the saying that the youths of today are the leaders of tomorrow is valid, then everybody must make „an to nip‟ this horrifying situation in the bud for a better standard in our secondary and other levels of education.


Based on the findings made so far, the researchers wish to recommend the following;

  1. There should be re-orientation towards moral values. Moral instructions that can adequately provide the understanding of the ills in examination malpractice should constitute part of their curricular.
  2. Logistic value should be applied. There should be proper control of the supply, distribution and custodian of examination materials should be made in order to avoid leakage.
  3. There should be a serious re-orientation of the Nigerian society on discipline monetary or material achievement such as certificates.
  4. The guidance and counseling services in secondary schools should also help to offer guidance to the students in their choices of subject according to their individual and natural abilities and interests.
  5. Secondary schools that are found in such ugly acts should be banned for a period of time, and the names of such schools and their officials involved should be announced and finally publicized so as to serve as a deterant in intending schools.
  6. The government should encourage and motivate the school administrators by ensuring that they are all well paid and ensure that their conditions of service are secured. There is need for adequate provision of educational materials and facilities that will be conducive and motivate both the students and teachers for proper and effective teaching and learning. The teeming popularity of students should also be considered in the course of all these, to minimize examination malpractice.
  7. Charity they say begins at home. Parents should extol hard work, dignity of labour and discouraged dubious and fraudulent behaviour such as providing their wards with money to obtain marks or question papers. They should make out time to check the performance of their children and start on time to help them in difficult areas or even pay private teachers to aid them at home instead of buying marks for them. This will help curb the ugly malaise of examination malpractice.


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