Causes And Effects Of Examination Malpractice In Institutions Of Higher Learning In Nigeria (A Case Of Institute Of Management And Technology, (IMT) Enugu)

Final Year Research Project and Seminar Material on Technology Education

Causes And Effects Of Examination Malpractice In Institutions Of Higher Learning In Nigeria (A Case Of Institute Of Management And Technology, (IMT) Enugu)


This issue of course and effects of examination malpractice in institutions of higher leaning in Nigeria in this term paper provides a partial and detail coverage of what malpractice is all about. It gives the student a firm understanding of basic effect of malpractice.

This term paper has been revised to up date the material in accordance.

The purpose or objective of this work is to x-ray and explain course and effects of examination malpractice in institution of higher learning as it relates to institute of management of technology. (I.M.T.) Enugu.

Chapter One


1.1 General Background of the Study

The Hyperdictionary (2009) defined examination as the act of giving students a test (as by questions) to determine what they know or have learned. Similarly, citing Kpangban, Ajaja & Umedhe (2008) defined examination as an assessment intended to measure knowledge, skill, attitude, physical fitness or classification in many other topics such as beliefs. Examination could also be seen as one of the most objective techniques used in the measurement of learning outcomes at all levels of education in Nigeria and the world over. In another vein, examination was defined in the website as the process of an external administrator formally examining various parties, students or candidates. Examination may be administered orally, on paper, on computer or in a confined area that requires an examinee to physically perform a set of skills. However, despite the importance of examination in teaching and learning situations, a number of factors affect the credibility of examination scores. One of such practices that may affect the reliability of examination scores is examination malpractice. Examination malpractice is any illegal act committed by a student single handedly or in collaboration with others; like fellow students, parents, teachers, supervisors, invigilators, printers and anybody or group of people before, during or after examination in order to obtain undeserved marks or grades (Wilayat, 2009). The West African Examinations Council (1992) referred to examination malpractice as any irregular behaviour exhibited by candidates or officials charged with the responsibility of conducting examination, in or outside the examination hall, before, during or after such examination. It involves various methods employed by 13 candidates to cheat during examinations. Similarly, Shonekan (1996) stated that examination malpractice is an act of omission or commission that contravenes those West African Examinations Council’s rules and regulations to the extent of undermining the validity and reliability of the test and ultimately the integrity of the certificate issued by the Council. Examination malpractice does not occur in the examination hall alone, it occurs before, during and even after the examination. Some forms of examination malpractices are copying on sheet of papers, 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. In some schools, especially, those privately owned, the school authorities sometimes bribe invigilators, supervisors and police personnel drafted to the centres so that they could turn a blind eye when malpractices are being perpetrated. Electronic gadgets like calculators, organizers, radio walkman and mobile phones are also used to carry out examination malpractices. Annually, examination bodies give stern warnings to the candidates to desist from bringing mobile phones into the examination halls but each year, the use of mobile phones to commit examination malpractice is recorded (Onyechere, 2007). Other forms of examination malpractices are bringing books or cribs into the hall, insulting or assaulting supervisor or invigilator, replacement of answer script with another one during or after the examination, swapping of scripts in an examination hall, impersonation, smuggling scripts written outside into the examination hall, writing on handkerchief/thigh, stretching of neck like the Giraffe to look at the work of a fellow candidate, hooligans gaining entry into the examination hall by force when examination is in progress, to remove question paper, leakage, relaxation of vigilance by invigilators, talking, dictation of answers to students, e.t.c. Examination malpractices in Nigeria are successfully perpetrated with the active connivance of students, parents, school authorities, government functionaries, invigilators and sometimes officials of such examination bodies as Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board, (JAMB); The West African Examinations Council, (WAEC); National Examinations Council, (NECO); National Business and Technical Examinations Board, (NABTEB); and National Teachers’ Institute, (NTI). Consequently, examination malpractice is perpetrated for different reasons and it affects the credibility of results in the sense that grades are assigned to candidates wrongly thereby misleading the teacher and other users of the school products in decision making.

Denga, (1981) stated that the different factors responsible for examination malpractices could be categorized into three; namely: Psychological, Environment and Intelligence. Psychological factors have to do with all the stress that is often induced by parents, peer pressure groups and students because of an examination. In the same vain, psychological trauma of failure or scoring low grades promotes candidates involvement in examination malpractice. Environmental factors refer to the crowded nature of classrooms and examination halls with few invigilators during examination. Obsolete, obscure and inadequate instructional materials can lure candidates to perpetrate examination malpractice. On the other hand, intelligence quotient IQ vary among individuals; often academically weak candidates try to compare themselves with naturally gifted candidates. When the weak students are not able to meet up with the challenges, they resort to seeking external help to pass their examinations. In view of the fact that examination malpractice continues to occur in different forms and levels, there is the need to determine innovative strategies for curbing the ill practice.

1.2 Statement of the Problem

Examination malpractice is one social problem that is disturbing the Nigerian education sector and it requires a prompt remedy. Examination malpractice occurs in all levels of the Nigerian educational sector but the focus of this study is the secondary education level. Studies have shown that a lot of failures and anomalies happen in the careers of individuals because of the impact of the scourge of examination malpractice at this crucial level of education. The more the government, principals, examination bodies and other well meaning individuals try to find solutions to the problem, the more the perpetrators also device ways to frustrate such efforts. The problem is becoming more scientific by the day; it is metamorphosing from the 20 era of candidates copying from fellow candidates to using sophisticated electronic gadgets such as cell phones and concealed ear pieces. The problem of examination malpractice has reduced certificates issued in Nigeria into a worthless paper, such that a number of candidates with outstanding results cannot defend their certificates. The performances of such candidates are not commensurate to the quality of their certificates. Most disheartening is the situation where candidates who have secured admission to study abroad are subjected to dehumanizing treatment because of suspicion on the authenticity of their certificates.

1.3 Objectives of the Study

This study seeks to assess the pattern of examination malpractice in higher institutions in Nigeria, their causes, effects and also proffer solutions.

Specifically, the objectives are:

  1. To identify the pattern of examination malpractice in higher institutions.
  2. To identify the causes of examination malpractice in higher institutions.
  3. To proffer solutions to the effect of examination malpractice in higher institutions.

1.4 research Questions

The study is guided by the underlisted research questions:

  1. What are the various patterns of examination malpractice in higher institutions?
  2. What are the causes of examination malpractice in higher institutions?
  3. What are the solutions to the effect of malpractice in higher institutions?

1.5 significance of the Study

The findings of the study would be very useful to the following stakeholders: students, teachers, parents, ministries of education, examination bodies and employers of labour. All students/researchers, who are carrying out researches on examination malpractices and other related topics would find findings of the study useful. The study provides useful information for the review of related literature on the causes, types, methods, reasons for examination malpractice, the various available measures put in place for curbing examination malpractice in Nigeria. Findings of the study will aid the students/researchers to have knowledge of the work that has been done by the current researcher on curbing examination malpractice in order for them to conduct further studies in unexplored areas.

1.6 Definition of Terms

The following term are hereby defined as they are used in the content of project work


A formal test of knowledge or ability in a particular subject.


Wrong doing as careless illegally or unacceptable behavior on duty before or during theexamination.


Leakage of examination paper before or during the examination


A strong device used to cause tension and noise in examination hall for easy snatching of question paper from thesupervisor.

Chapter Five

Summary, Conclusion and Recommendation

5.1 Introduction

It is important to reiterate that the objective of this study was to examine causes and effect of examination malpractice in institution of higher learning in Nigeria.

In the preceding chapter, the relevant data collected for this study were presented, critically analyzed and appropriate interpretation given. In this chapter, certain recommendations made which in the opinion of the researcher will be of benefits in examiningcauses and effect of examination malpractice in institution of higher learning in Nigeria.

5.2 Summary

This study was undertaken to examine causes and effect of examination malpractice in institution of higher learning in Nigeria. The study opened with chapter one where the statement of the problem was clearly defined. The study objectives and research hypotheses were defined and formulated respectively. The study reviewed related and relevant literatures. The chapter two gave the conceptual framework, empirical and theoretical studies. The third chapter described the methodology employed by the researcher in collecting both the primary and the secondary data. The research method employed here is the descriptive survey method. The study analyzed and presented the data collected in tables and tested the hypotheses using T-test statistical tool. While the fifth chapter gives the study summary and conclusion.

5.3 Conclusion

From the analysis, the following forms of examination malpractice were identified: collaboration, purchase of question paper before exam, lecturer/teacher aid and smuggling unauthorized materials into the examination hall while the factors that prompt students to engage in exam malpractice include difficult questions, peer influence, parental effect, harsh exam condition, unequal student treatment, excess course load, fear of failing, inadequate preparation and lecturer/teacher inefficiency. the result shows that examination malpractice result in moral decadence in a society resulting in high scale corruption and fraudulent acts which are punishable by law. Authorities are thus encouraged to step up the fight against examination malpractice in our higher institution of learning.

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