Assessing The Students Performance In Chemistry In Senior Secondary School Certificate Examination

Project and Seminar Material for Chemistry Education

Assessing The Students Performance In Chemistry In Senior Secondary School Certificate Examination


The study was designed to assess the students performance in senior secondary school certificate examination in chemistry in Enugu urban, Enugu state science, technology, and Chemistry were defined with their benefits to human life by different Authors, identify students’ performance in science subjects, identify the factors influencing the students performance in chemistry. Data for the study was obtained through documentation in which five (5) secondary schools in Enugu urban were sampled out of twenty-seven (27) secondary school and the population of the students involved were two thousand, three hundred and seventy-seven (2377) and it was only 50% students that performed creditably well.

The data obtained were analyzed using percentage and bar charts. The findings of the study revealed that the over-all performance of Nigerian secondary school students in their senior certificate examination in chemistry over the years has not being encouraging. Consequently, the performances of students of senior secondary school certificate examination in chemistry in Enugu –urban, Enugu state were very poor as it was only in the year 2003 that their results attained the pass mark of 50% while other four (4) years: 2000; 2001; 2002; 2004 could not attain the decision rule taken by the researchers.

Chapter One


1.1 Background Of The Study

In accordance with Oxford Advanced Learners’ Dictionary the 5thEdition 1995, science can be defined as the study of the structure and behaviour of natural world and society especially through observation and experiment. Also Encyclopedia Americana (1982 vol. 24,page 385) defined it as the systematized, positive knowledge, or what has been taken as positive at different ages and in different places. In view of the above, science could be seen as the ascertained knowledge by observation and experiment, critically tested, systematized and brought under general principle.

According to Ugwu and Eze (2005), the term science is derived from Latin world “SCIRE” meaning to find out. It is a systematic study of nature with the aim of understanding better what the world is Baja and Okebukola (1984) Opined that science is a systematic study of nature through hypothesis, experiment, observations, careful reasoning’ making of valid conclusion and inference on the bases of analysis.

This understanding of nature is vital to the technologist who uses this knowledge to solve the human problems.The relevance of science as a requirement for technological advancement of any nation into developed, developing and under developed could only be measured accurately by the numbers of scientists that nation can boast off. In fact, science has profound impart in our daily lives. It covers the broad knowledge that deals with observable facts and the relationship among these facts.

Science has numerous influences in our lives. It provides basis for modern technology as listed below;

  1. It provides basis for modern technological inventions that have transformed human life, such as tools, materials, techniques and service of power that makes our lives and work easier.
  2. It creates meaningful and relevant knowledge in science subjects.
  3. It applies scientifically knowledge to everyday life in matters of personal community health and agriculture.
  4. Modern science and technology have changed our lives in many ways like manufacture of aeroplane, cars, communication satellites, computers, plastics and television invention.
  5. It is also one of the strongest factors that shapes man’s belief, his attitude towards his immediate environment, life and universe. Ogunniyi (1984)

This science consists of pure and social science. Examples of pure science subject are the Biology, Chemistry, and physics and the social science are consists of Economics, Agriculture and Geography.Chemistry as one of the branches of pure science, is most commonly regarded as the “ central science” or the mother of all science” (Ahiakwo 2000). Okeke and Ezekannagba (2000) defined chemistry as a branch of science that deals with composition, structure, properties and uses of matter.


Fertilizers and insecticides have helped to increase food production greatly. Chemical processes are designed especially to preserve and stores food for long periods, so that it can be exported to distant counties and is available to more people. To fight malnutrition, many foods are now enriched by the addition of essential nutrients.


Man- made textile fibres, produced as a result of intensive chemical research, have made available a wide rang of clothing materials, which can be bought cheaply.


Many high rise building are being constructed to overcome the present needs for housing, especially in cities. Such buildings need materials like cement, concrete, steel, bricks and tiles which are produced by chemical industries. The mechanical properties of these materials are as a result of chemical research.

According to Ababio (2001) in his New school chemistry has contributed greatly towards providing our basic needs and improving the quality of our lives as stated below:


The healthy life that many of us enjoy is due to the variety of medicines that are available as a result of chemical research and technology financed by big pharmaceutical firms, research to find out new and better drugs is going on all the time.


Modern transportation is an essential feature of today’s of world. This rapid development from carts pulled by animals to the latest aircraft was made possible from fuels and structural materials like alloys which are light, strong and heat-resistant (Ababio, 2001, p.g 2-4)

As a matter of fact, many jobs opportunities are available for students with knowledge of chemist, such opportunities or careers are teaching services, food processes, petroleum and petrol-chemical industries, manufacturing industries, e.t.c. But all these job opportunities to the chemistry students depend on the student that perfumes creditably well. Thus, the researchers wish that chemistry should be made mandatory to the students from SSI by the Ministry of Education like other science subjects such as Biology.

1.2 Statement Of Problem

This study intends to asses the students’ performance in Chemistry in Senior Secondary School Certificate Examination in WAEC, specifically to ascertain the students’ performance from year 2000 to 2004 in Enugu Urban, Enugu State.

1.3 Purpose Of Study

The purpose of this study is to asses the chemistry students’ performance in senior secondary certificate examination (WAEC).

This research aimed at the following specifically;To:

  1. Ascertain the performance of chemistry students in senior secondary certificate examination (WAEC) in 2000.
  2. Determine the performance of chemistry students in WAEC in 2001.
  3. Asses the performance of chemistry students in WAEC, 2002.
  4. Determine the performance of chemistry student in WAEC 2003.
  5. Assess the student’s performance in chemistry in WAEC in 2004
  6. Carry out a comparative analysis of the data obtained in 2000 and 2004 results.

1.4 Scope Of The Study

This study analyzed the performance of chemistry students in Senior Secondary Certificate Examination WAEC in Enugu Urban, Enugu state from 2000 -2004. An urban area itself is a place or city that is characterized by higher population density and vast human feature in comparison to area surrounding it. It is also an area in which majority of people are directly dependent on natural resources based on occupations (Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia).

1.5 Significance Of The Study

With this study, there was a belief that the result of the assessment will be useful to the following in the following ways:

  1. The government
  2. The teachers, and.
  3. The students

The result is creditably well, the government will have self-reliance on the chemists produced, but if the result gotten is poor, government will be challenged and motivated to find out the causes of such ugly results in order to attain the high standard of living like white man.The teachers also will be appreciated and rewarded by the government when their students’ results are creditably well, for that shows that they are industrious and also applied good method of teaching, but if contrariwise, the will be challenged and upset on having such kind of students.

The researchers also strongly believed that even the students also will be benefited, if their performances are creditably well. As government had made availability of job opportunities to the hardworking chemistry students like petroleum and petrol-chemical industries, manufacturing industries. Etc. (Ababio 2001), New School Chemistry 3rd Edition page 5. This means that, if their performances are poor, the target of government to reward them handsomely will always be appraised, thereby causing delay in their ambition.

1.6 Research Questions

  1. To what extent do students perform creditably well in WAEC chemistry in 2000?
  2. What are the percentages of the students that passed creditably in WAEC chemistry in 2001?
  3. What are the numbers of the students that performed well in WAEC Chemistry in 2002?
  4. To what extent do students perform creditably in WAEC chemistry 2003?
  5. What are the percentages of the students that passed creditably well in senior secondary certificate examination (WAEC) Chemistry in 2004?
  6. What is the comparison between the data obtained from 2000 and 2004 results analysis?

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