Factors Responsible For Examination Malpractice In Nigeria: A Case Study Of The Faculty Of Social Sciences, University Of Benin. Benin City

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Factors Responsible For Examination Malpractice In Nigeria: A Case Study Of The Faculty Of Social Sciences, University Of Benin. Benin City

Chapter One


1.1 Background of the Study

One of the greatest threats to the validity of examinations, the authenticity of the certificate issued and the reliability of the products of the Nigerian educational system is the prevalence of examination malpractices. Examination malpractices in Nigeria can be traced to 1914 when the senior Cambridge local examination leaked. This was even before the university of Benin was set up.

It can therefore be argued that examination malpractices do not constitute a new phenomenon in Nigeria.
Examination malpractice constitute two concepts i.e. examination and malpractice. Examination could be defined as to give somebody a test to see how much he/she knows about a subject while “malpractice means careless or wrongs or illegal behavior”.

Therefore, examination malpractices is defined as an illegal act or behavior while sitting for an examination. Examination leakages cheating, impersonation certificate forgery etc, can be classified as examination. Malpractices since any candidate who indulges in any of these does so to have an undue advantage over other candidates.

Examination malpractice is a phenomenon that has almost crept into virtually every faced of our society. Right from the primary school to the university level and it is even more in the university this days.

Examination malpractice is not peculiar to university of Benin alone, it is a national phenomenon which has reduced the quality of a certificate that are obtainable in the Nigerian educational system. It has been a disturbing development over the years, in which the stake holders in the educational system could not provide a clue to the problem of examination malpractice.

It is disheartening to note the wave of malpractices sweeping across the entire educational system. Examination malpractice can be classified as follows:

  • Cheating copying from cribs, textbooks, notebooks, swapping of scripts, collusion, electronic device means of cheating etc.
  • Smuggling of worked scripts into the examination room.
  • Certificate forgery
  • Assault on examination administrators.

Examination leakages occur when some candidates have fore knowledge of the contents of the question paper before the examination. If not detected, this fact can render the examination invalid.

WAEC’s experiences of this came in 1963, 1967, 1977 and 1981, the last three attracting the attention of the federal government and leading to the set up of the Alexander Sogbetun and Ojo tribunals to investigate the extent of the leakages.

The national teacher institute also had a taste of leakage right from its first attempt at conducing the teacher’s grade II examination in 1982. In the article of Odeyemi, an SSS III AFCS Ibadan captioned “How to end examination malpractices in our country”. In the guardian on Sunday 22nd November, 1998 saying exam malpractices come in many different forms U3; illegal purchase of questions papers and answer sheets clandestine sources stealing of proposed examination questions and the use of textbooks or pamphlets during examination periods are all forms of examination malpractices.

In some case, candidates form the habit of sitting together in the seating arrangement that will enable the more intelligent one to whisper answers to the less intelligent ones. At times, candidates smuggle in cribs or paper containing answer codes into the examination halls. Thick denim shirts, jeans trousers, tracksuits and lace-up bots are all used to smuggle answers to examination halls. On some occasions, speech codes, cengh and hand signals are used to exchange answers in the examination hall.

1.2 Statement of the Problem

The most insurmountable problem facing education in Nigeria as the increase in new method of perpetuating examination malpractice in examination conducted for candidates.

In essence, problems facing university examination conduct could be classified into the following:

  • What is the problem associated with examination malpractice in one hand.
  • Is the problems of like of under funding, lack of modern facilities agitation of more salaries by lecturers associated with exam malpractices.
  • What is the level of student commitment to examination malpractice.

This problem has been threatening the existence of universities and such a serious diseases need a serious treatment in orders to prevent total collapse of the university system and the certificates that are awarded to her students.

1.3 Objectives of the Study

  1. The study is to examine, reasons why examination malpractices are increasing with new and sophisticated tactics emerging on regular basis.
  2. The study is to highlight the nature of examination malpractice.
  3. The study would bring out the participant in the examination malpractice.
  4. The study would also focus on types of examination malpractice, and various effects of examination malpractice would be highlighted through the study.
  5. Preventive methods of examination malpractices mentioned in the course of the study so as to reduce the current magnitude of examination malpractice.

1.4 Research Hypotheses

The study has generated some hypothesis. They are:

  1. Inadequate preparation of the students or candidates does not result to examination malpractice.
  2. Inadequate preparation of the student or candidates leads them to exam malpractice.
  3. The belief that cheating is the only means to pass exam does not lead to examination malpractice.

1.5 Significance of the Study

The magnitude of the problem of examination malpractices would mar the degree of acceptability and reliability of certificates awarded by the university. Agony eventually faced by the penalized candidates after 4 years or study period, disappointments received by candidates parents colossal waste of financial resources on such in their future for such candidates in their future academics pursuits made the study significant for study so as to anchor the consequences awaiting the candidates perpetrating such unholy act called examination malpractices during the examinations and to allow possible solution to the problem.

1.6 Scope of the Study

Examination malpractices are generating in nature and practice, well known to everybody in the society. As a result of the popularity, the study would cut across the student of the faculty of social sciences, University of Benin.

1.7 Limitations of The Study

An elaborate study of examination malpractice through the administration of questionnaire to all students of the university of Benin would have been undertaken but for the constraints imposed by time factors and financial implication of such elaborates study.

And non-availability of enough literature texts on examination malpractices is another constraints to the study.
Notwithstanding these limitations, the research results remained valid and important.

In essence, the bottom line constraints are time, money and literature texts.

1.8 Definition of Terms

It becomes necessary for the writer to throw more light on the operation definition of terms which are highlighted below:


This can be seen as a life-long process which emanates from one stage then to the final stage. Also some authors, believe it to the fact that education can at-times be obtained from formal, informal and non-formal etc. in schooling process.


It means careless or wrong behavior exhibited by pupil.


This could be traced to the events that occur during schooling, hours, which then is subjected to take the pupil to another stage in class, sometimes, it is awarded for promotion reasons, screening purposes etc.


It means when one is copying from textbooks, electronic device etc.

Examination leakages:

It occur when some candidates have fore knowledge of the contents of the questions paper before the examination.

Chapter Five

Conclusion and Recommendation

5.1 Conclusion

In Nigeria, examination malpractice has become a hydra-headed problem that touches the entire educational system. It is caused by several agents such as students, staff, parents, examination bodies, internet and other agents by means of different techniques that grow by the day. This results to gradual loss of confidence in Nigerian certificates. Most education stakeholders abhor the presence of examination malpractice and the damages caused by it in our school systems, and are ready to cooperate with relevant authorities to fight the menace to minimize its damaging influence. However, a good number of the stakeholders hold and manifest attitudes, perceptions and practices that really nurture the perpetration of this menace and invariably threaten the success of the fight against it. In this study, several innovative strategies that can be used to curb examination malpractice of any source have been outlined. It then behooves on all of us to apply these strategies in order to minimize the dangers of examination malpractice.

5.2 Educational implications of the study

The findings of this study have implications for all the stakeholders; parents, teachers, ministries of education, examination body personnel amongst others.

Proper implementation of these identified strategies for curbing examination malpractice by the various stakeholders implies that the products of such public examinations will be able to defend the result so obtained. This will on the other hand improve the quality of education in Nigeria.

5.3 Recommendations

Based on the findings of the study, the following recommendations are proffered.

  1. Pending the provision of adequate hall and seats for examinations, adequate number of invigilators should be assigned to examination room (the policy of a chief invigilator and at least one invigilator to every 40 students should be adhered to).
  2. All activities relating to examinations such as question paper production, invigilation, marking and result collation as well as computation should be handled with a high sense of responsibility by those concerned.
  3. Concerted efforts should be made to properly acquaint staff and students with regulations governing examination conduct in the university. Towards this end, workshops and orientation programmes should be carried out periodically to acquaint staff with their duties as examiners and invigilators and students of their expected preparation for, and conduct at examinations.
  4. For the many examination offenders now and the few that would still violate even after self-discipline has been enshrined in the long run, appropriate sanctions should be applied.
  5. All hands must be on deck towards eradicating academic dishonesty, including the menace of examination malpractices in the university.

5.4 Limitations of the study

The following must have in one way of or the other affected the outcome of this study.

  1. Some of the respondents may have faked their responses since the study was purely a survey.
  2. Some of the respondents were not met at the point of the collection of data due to their indisposition.

5.5 Suggestions for further study

  1. A study of this nature should be carried out in which different means of obtaining data other than survey will be used.
  2. Similar study can be conducted but not be limited to a particular state. Two or more states can be studied using a larger population.

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