Assessment Of Factors Affecting Chemistry Students Performance In External Examination

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Assessment Of Factors Affecting Chemistry Students Performance In External Examination

Chapter One


1.1 Background to the Study

Education helps individuals to adopt to a new environment. In Nigeria, education is seen as the only means of getting to the top hierarchy in any endeavor. In reality, when children achieve academic success, it provides parents and pupils a sense of fulfillment and delight (Fehintola, 2009). On the other hand, low academic achievement frequently causes grief and dissatisfaction in the student concerned, as well as his or her parents and other family members.). However, students’ poor academic performance in internal and external tests reflects the issues and challenges confronting Nigeria’s educational system today (Fehintola, 2009).

Examination, according to Ndifon & Ndifon (2012), is a procedure in which students are assessed or tested to determine the quality of information they have gained in a given period of time. Internal or external examinations are possible. It might be verbal, written, or a combination of the two. An internal examination is one in which a school evaluates a student’s ongoing assessment tests, terminal, semester, yearly, or promotional examinations. On the contrary, WAEC, NECO, GCE, JAMB, and other agencies authorized by legislation to conduct entrance tests are examples of external examinations. External examinations are those that are open and available to anybody who is competent to appear for them since they have all completed the same curriculum in preparation for the examination.

Science is taught in secondary schools in two ways: basic science at the elementary level and specific science topics like chemistry, physics, and biology at the secondary level. However, it is concerning to note that research investigations and conclusions have revealed that secondary school scientific achievement is low (Onwuakpa and Nweke, 2000). Howbeit the significance placed by students and their parents on academic achievement or performance in chemistry, as well as the difficulty these students face in external examinations, have resulted in widespread failures, low grades, examination malpractices, cheating, and so on. This is the situation with student sitting the West African Examination Council (WAEC) and National Examination Council (NECO) Senior Secondary Certificate Examination (SSCE) (Ojukwu, 1994). Every year when WAEC or NECO reveals their yearly results, there has been a widespread outcry as a consequence of pupils’ low performance, particularly in science disciplines (Salami, Mohammed, & Ogunlade; 2012).

Bizarrely, candidates’ performance in WAEC and NECO’s Senior School Certificate Examinations (SSCE) has remained dismal throughout the years, with Chemistry having one of the weakest and worst scores (Ibe & Madusnum, 2001). For example, a review of the five-year SSCE Chemistry results from 2010 to 2014 reveals that only 26,680 of the 105,453 students who sat for Chemistry in all of Abia State’s secondary schools credited Chemistry in 2010. As a result, chemistry is one of the most significant science courses in the school curriculum; its value in general education is recognized all over the world. It’s worth noting that chemistry, science, and technology are all intertwined with the economic core of every highly developed, industrialized, and technologically sophisticated civilization (Burmeister 2012). The importance of excellent Chemistry education in Nigeria looks to be critical, and it so requires special attention. Chemical technologists and technical professionals, for example, are required in all of the chemistry-related disciplines listed above. Chemical engineering specialists are required to meet the increased workforce demand. Chemistry is a pre-requisite for many areas, thus they can’t be studied well without it. This means that chemistry is a crucial scientific subject for practically all science-related professions, including medicine, pharmacy, agriculture, engineering, food, and nutrition. As a result of these features of Chemistry’s relevance, schools, governments, students, and parents are concerned about students’ low performance in Chemistry in senior high school diploma examinations.

1.2 Statement of the Problem

Given the wide-ranging implications of low academic performance on students, parents, society, and the nation, it is reasonable and should be a positive development to investigate what students view as determinants or explanations for their bad performance on WAEC and NECO external tests. This will allow for the provision of solutions to improve student performance. Given the foregoing, and the fact that the factors suspected to be some of the reasons for students’ poor performance in Chemistry continued to decline, the primary goal of this study was to find out what the students thought were the causes of their poor performance in Chemistry during both the May/June and November/December examinations. So far, research has concentrated on teacher-related issues in the teaching of science topics. Motivational orientation, self-esteem/self-efficacy, emotional difficulties, study habits, and bad interpersonal interactions are among the additional characteristics linked to low academic achievement. Nnaka and Anaekwe looked at the impact of teaching materials, methodologies, and practicals on academic achievement (2004). Although there have been significant efforts to examine some of the variables in other scientific topics, none has focused on what the students themselves see as reasons that drive poor chemistry performance. Therefore is upon this premise that this study seeks to asses factors affecting chemistry students performance in external examination.

1.3 Objectives of the Study

The main objectives of this study is to assess the factors affecting student’s chemistry performance in WAEC, specifically the study intends to:

  1. Ascertain whether poor teaching methods/strategies contributes to students’ poor academic performance in Chemistry
  2. Investigate if the teachers utilization of instructional materials have any effect on the academic performance of the students in chemistry
  3. Determine if gender differences of instructor has impact on students’ learning achievement in in chemistry.
  4. Establish strategies on how student performance in chemistry can be improved in secondary schools.

1.4 Research Questions

The research is guided by the following question constructed in line with the research objectives:

  1. Does poor teaching methods/strategies contributes to students’ poor academic performance in Chemistry?
  2. Does teachers utilization of instructional materials have any effect on the academic performance of the students in chemistry?
  3. Does gender differences of instructor has any impact on students’ learning achievement in in chemistry?
  4. What strategies can be adopted to improve secondary schools student performance in chemistry in secondary schools.

1.5 Significance of the Study

The findings of this study would significantly form basis to explain some basic truth to the: State‘s government and officials of Ministry of Education on taking the right decision on the provision of infrastructural facilities to aid teaching and learning process which will help improve the academic performance of day and boarding senior secondary school students in Nigeria. It will help the respective school authorities in the state to take corrective measures within their jurisdiction through adequate planning of resources to meet the demands and guide their actions on future projects on the education of day and boarding staff and students for successful teaching and learning process in the schools. It will stimulate administrators to investigate and formulate constructive strategies with a view to reducing or eliminating student’s poor performance through student’s welfare support services in the Senior Secondary Schools, Nigeria. Parents would give much attention and supervision to the student‘s work and hence result in improvement of student’s performance. The study will also serve as a resource and reference material to future scholars who wishes to conduct further studies in related field.

1.6 Scope of the Study

This research work on analysis of factors affecting student’s chemistry performance in external examination with reference to West African Examination Certificate (WAEC). It will further discuss variable such as teaching methodologies, teacher’s utilization of instructional materials, laboratory availability and gender difference of the instructor and learner affect student academic achievement in chemistry. The scope of the study is restricted to the schools within the urban areas in Ibadan, Oyo State considering WAEC performance of student in chemistry covering the period of ten years.

1.7 Limitations of the Study

Like in every human endeavour, the researchers encountered slight constraints while carrying out the study. The significant constraint was the scanty literature on the subject owing that it is a new discourse thus the researcher incurred more financial expenses and much time was required in sourcing for the relevant materials, literature, or information and in the process of data collection, which is why the researcher resorted to a limited choice of sample size covering only WAEC performance of student in chemistry in Ibadan, Oyo State . Thus findings of this study cannot be used for generalization for other student performance in other states within Nigeria. Additionally, the researcher will simultaneously engage in this study with other academic work will impede maximum devotion to the research. Howbeit, despite the constraint encountered during the research, all factors were downplayed in other to give the best and make the research successful.

1.8 Definition of Terms


The extent to which a student, teacher or institution has achieved their short or long-term educational goals.


West African Examinations Council is an examination board that conducts the West African Senior School Certificate Examination, for University and Jamb entry examination in West African countries.

Assessment Of Factors Affecting Chemistry Students Performance In External Examination

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Assessment Of Factors Affecting Chemistry Students Performance In External Examination


This research material “Assessment Of Factors Affecting Chemistry Students Performance In External Examination” is for research purposes and should be used as a guide in developing your research project / seminar work. For no reason should you copy word for word (verbatim) as will not be liable for any who copied the material.

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Frequently Asked Questions

What are the factors that affect student performance in examination system?

Examination system has many factors, which affect directly or indirectly on student s’ performance in examination. So in order to make the present examination system meaningful, it is necessary to control these factors. There factors can be classified into following categories. 1. Extrinsic factors 2. Intrinsic factors 3. Personal factors 4.

What are the factors that influence student achievement in chemistry?

The study concluded that, out of the 15 factors included in the study, nine had positive correlation yet only prior achievement in Science, home educational resources, Science laboratory resources, computer use and prevalence of bullying could significantly determine the achievement of learners in Chemistry.

What are the factors that influence assessment?

Factors That Influence Assessment. Anne-Marie Kimbell, PhD, MSEd, and Chris Huzinec. Factors that impact or influence performance in a testing situation include client/patient/student factors, clinician factors, environmental factors, and those involving the actual testing process itself.

What factors influence students’ performance in science subjects?

Students’ attitude was identified as highly influencing factor for their performance in the science subjects particularly in chemistry (Hassan et al., 2015). Among the components studied, the highest mean value was obtained for the trait from the grade motivation component.  

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