The Problems Of Examination Malpractice In Higher Institutions And How To Solve Them

Project and Seminar Material for Education

The Problems Of Examination Malpractice In Higher Institutions And How To Solve Them


The study investigated the problems of examination malpractice in higher institutions and how to solve them. Three (3) research questions were used for the study with descriptive survey design adopted. Purposive sample technique and sample size of 200 respondents composed of fifty (50)lecturers and hundred and fifty (150) students were used for the study. The responses were analyzed using arithmetic mean (X). The study was reported, among other things, that population explosion, corruption, fear of examination failure, parents’ pressure, laziness on the part of the students, bring about examination fraud. It was further reported that parents’ withdrawal of their children from the affected schools, emergence of bad reputation, employers’ loss of confidence on the educational system, inadequate performance of graduates at work places and cancellation of examinations constitute the effects of examination fraud. It was recommended that adequate funding of schools, adequate re-orientation of all parties to examination fraud, safe keeping of examination question papers and answered scripts, adequate sitting arrangement of students during examinations would help to solve the menace of examination misconduct in our school system.

Chapter One


1.1 Background of the Study

Examination malpractice is common in most of our higher institutions in Nigeria. It was its peak in the “70s” as cited by Nnamani P. Hence we hear expo, (1973) common among the secondary school leavers.

Nowadays, “expo” as it is commonly called is practiced even by children in the kindergarten primary institutions according to a nursery | primary school lecturer. She observed that after writing on the black board certain words, concepts or ideals to be dictated to the children based on their (children’s) cognitive level, some exam cheats would quickly scriple it on their desks or at the back of their papers. Then, during the dictation session, those cheats would copy from it. Therefore a good and careful lecturer is an assent in teaching, learning| Experiences for he or she could easily pick up such fraudulent children.

The importance of an efficient and well integrated teaching services in the development of any nation cannot be over emphasized because exam malpractice in the higher institutions in Nigeria, which is the highest citadel of learning from kindergarten, primary, secondary schools and then tertiary institutions, and it constituted an act of indiscipline.

The academic conception of discipline shows it as a part or branch of studies. That is why on the last convocation of institute of management and Technology, the school management or authority cited that certificate was issued both in character and in learning” ( Njeze C. 1997).

To achieve the above ideal, the lecturers’ roles are invaluable. This assertion was supported by Uka (1995) who declared that “ on the health of the nation”. it should be remembered that these students would become ( in future) the leader of tomorrow (Ibian 1986) also cried out that “in every society, the lecturer is number 1 and in his care lies my children and yours”

Ukeje (1980) asserted that education is now, perhaps the fastest growing industry in the country.

“Yet bedaiked by indiscipline activities like exam malpractices, cultism in schools, sexual promiscuity, prostitution, alcoholism, drug addition to maintain but a few. It should be noted that some states in the federation allocate upward of 30% of their annual budget to education.

In order to ameliorate the incidence of examination misconduct, and in fact, improve the standard of our tertiary school education, it is necessary to unveil the modus operandi and multifarious strategies adopted by the perpetrators of this unwholesome and un-academic act and alert students of the ugly effects, academically and other wise. The awareness will help the authorities to check the current pervasiveness of examination malpractice in institutions of higher learning.

1.2 Statement of the Problem

The problem which this project work is set to investigate as envisaged by the researchers is on the causes and effects of examination malpractices among students in higher institutions, especially in Anambra state. This is important as questions have been raised concerning the issue of examination malpractice. Such questions include:

  1. Are there causes and effects of examination malpractice hindering our education system?
  2. What are those factors and in what ways have they hampered examination?
  3. Are these other factors hindering the educational system?

The aim of the research is to find out the answers to those questions during the research work and make efforts to examine the causes and effects of the menace called examination malpractice.

This is important because according to Umaru (2005), researches showed that more than 60% of university graduate in our society today and many undergraduates perpetrate the acts examination misconduct which has simultaneously ravaged the system and made students handicapped towards reading and ardent study. It is therefore, imperative to checkmate this ugly development in our educational industry before it rubbishes it completely.

1.3 Purpose of the Study

The purpose of this study is to find out the causes and effects of examination malpractice in higher institutions in Anambra state. It also seeks to find out various methods employed by students as well as the roles by lecturers, parents, tertiaryeducation authorities and the society at large. Basically, the study seeks to:

  1. Ascertain the factors that brings about examination malpractice in higher institutions;
  2. Ascertain the effects of examination malpractice on the performance of undergraduates;
  3. Ascertain appropriate control measures towards curbing examination malpractice in higher institutions.

1.4 Research Questions

The following research questions served as guides to the study:

  1. What are the factors that bring about examination malpractices?
  2. What are the effects of examination malpractice on the performance of undergraduates?
  3. What are the control measure towards bringing about a lasting solution to examination malpractices?

1.5 Significance of the Study

The imperativeness of this study cannot be underrated. The study will be of high significance in that it will help the following categories of people in the following ways:

1. The Students:

This study will serve as an eye opener to the students in knowing the negative effects / consequences of involving oneself the act of examination malpractice.

2. The Lecturers:

This research work will serve as information to the lecturers on existing forms of examination malpractice / misconduct practiced by students as well as ways of controlling them. Some lecturers are no longer dedicated to their school time table. Some deliver half baked lessons. They leave their notes for students to copy. Such students copy whatever and hand it back to the lecturer who does not care whether students understand the content of the lesson or not. No students want to fail. They therefore seek for means to succeed. These students therefore engage themselves in various forms of examination malpractice.

3. Education Authorities:

The lecturers, the authorities will benefit immensely from this study as it will help keep them informed on the recent techniques involved in examination malpractice causes and at the same time open their eyes to the need to. School authorities on their own part do not help matters. Inability of the school authority to provide adequate facilities such as seats, electricity etc., hinder learning. A situation whereby six cluster on a seat meant for three students is just unhealthy for smooth examination.

4. The Government:

Our government would not be left out in the list of the beneficiaries of this study. The research work will help the government to see reasons why trained and qualified lecturers should be recruited into our tertiary education, why seminars and workshops should be organized by the government for the lecturers to enable update their knowledge.

5. The Society / Parents:

This study will in no small measure assist parents and the society at large in knowing what their children and wards do in school and thus, see ways of assisting them to learn and concentrate more on their studies and depend less on external studies help during examination. Most parents and guardians do not provide the basic materials needed by their wards. Many students in our secondary schools do not have textbooks, writing materials etc. It is a well known fact that lack of needed necessary educational materials, make learning difficult let alone examination preparation.

It is of great importance to note that at the completion of this research work various secondary schools, communities, towns, states and Nigeria in general will find the result of this research work to be beneficial to great extent. It would play an essential role in the standard of education and in the task of economic growth and development. The significance of this study is to reveal the depth into which examination malpractice has plunged in higher institutions, most especially in Anambra State. It is also to discover the forms, causes, consequences and permanent cure or permanent solution to the problem.

1.6 Scope of the Study

This study is on the causes, effects and solutions of examination malpractice on the academic performance among higher institutions. It was conducted in Anambra State.

1.7 Limitations of the Study

There is no doubt that every project work encounters on problem or the other. The researchers in the course of this work encountered the challenges. These challenges include;

1. Respondents’ Attitudes:

This was the first problem encountered by the researchers. It was not easy to get the respondents to respond to the instrument on the ground that their school may be tagged “examination malpractice centre‟

2. Time Availability:

The researchers found it a little cumbersome meeting together in the course of carrying out this investigation. This could be attributed to their final examination papers which rarely allow them time for sitting and discussing together.

3. Finance:

Finance was another factor that posed a serious challenge to the realization of this project work. Huge some of money was involved in the acquisition of materials needed for this work. Money was also spent on transportation to the place where the investigation was carried out. Photocopying, typing and retyping of the work all involved money.

Chapter Five

Summary of the Study, Conclusion and Recommendation

5.1 Summary of the Study

This study investigated “causes and effects of examination malpractices on the performance of undergraduates in Anambra state. Three (3) research questions were drafted to guide the study. The study was based on two (2) theories: idealistic theory and anomic theory. Descriptive survey research design was adopted while purposive sampling technique and a sample size of two hundred (200) respondents composed of fifty (50) lecturers and one hundred and fifty (150) students were used. In collecting relevant data, a well structured questionnaire, categorized into section A (Questionnaire for students) and section B (questionnaire for lecturers) were used. The questionnaire in each section was based on the three (3) research questions which contained fifteen (15) research items respectively, and the response type was based on four (4) likert scale of strongly agreed (SA), agree (A), Disagreed (D) and Strongly Disagreed (SD)

Arithmetic mean (X) was used to analysed the data so collected, and the decision rule was base on the derived theoretical mean (2.5). Thus items which have calculated mean (X) equal to (=) or greater than (>) the theoretical mean (2.5), were accepted and otherwise rejected. The result revealed the following;

  1. Factors that bring about examination malpractices include: corrupted invigilators / lecturers, parents pressure and desperate desire for the success of the children in examination, poor sitting arrangement and population explosion, fear of examination failure by students, inadequate covering of scheme of work by lecturers and students laziness attitude towards reading;
  2. Effects of examination frauds include; parents withdrawal of their children from the affected school, employer‟ loss of confidence on the school system, cancellation of examination, discouraging good students from studying better, bad reputation on the school found guilty, and destruction of the standard of our educational system.
    It was recommended;

    • Schools should be adequately funded by investors into the educational system
    • Examination question papers and answered scripts should be safely kept and secured
    • All parties to the examination misconduct should embrace self discipline
    • Regular organization of seminars, workshops and conferences for all parties to examination frauds to re-established and remind them of examination ethics.

Promulgation of law that could serve as back-bone in sanctioning candidates and other parties found guilty.

5.2 Conclusion

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 undergraduates. 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 higer institutions is to encourage and motivate students to read and the lecturers 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 lecturers, 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 lecturers 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 tertiary and other levels of education.

5.3 Recommendations

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 higer institutions should also help to offer guidance to the students in their choices of subject according to their individual and natural abilities and interests.
  5. Higer institutions 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 lecturers 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 lecturers 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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