ABSTRACT: The study investigated influence of students’ personal factors and their involvement in examination misconduct in Nsit Atai Local Government Area. The study adopted ex-post-factor design. The population of the study consisted of all the JSS3 students in public secondary schools in Nsit Atai Local Government Area which number was 5,857. A sample of 880 Junior Secondary three students was used for the study, in which 30% per school was selected from ten (10) schools. Three research questions and three hypotheses were formulated to guide the study. The researcher constructed an instrument called “personal factors and tendency towards involvement in examination misconduct”. Questionnaire containing 50 items was used for data collection. Data collected were analyzed using Pearson Product Moment Correlation (PPMC) and were tested at .05 alpha level of significance. The three null hypotheses formulated were rejected. Findings revealed significant relationship between students’ studying habits, students’ self concepts, students’ poor academic performance and their tendency towards involvement in examination misconduct. Based on these findings, it was recommended among others, that teachers and counselors should give serious attention to educational counselling services whereby students are counseled on effective study techniques. 



1.1   Background of the Study

        Education serves as a prime instrument in the development of Nigeria but the issue of examination misconduct has led to the problem of this system. The main purpose of examination is for certification achievement, selection for educational and employment opportunities, quality control of the curriculum and its delivery, monitoring of educational standards and the assessment of school effectiveness.

         However, examination still remain the best tool for an objective assessment and evaluation of what learners have achieved after a period of studying. According to Fayombo, (2004), any action that undermines examination posses a great threat to the validity and reliability of examination results and certification.

The first publicity reported case of examination misconduct in Nigeria occurred in 1914 when there was leakage of question papers in senior Cambridge local examination. Since then there has been several cases reported but within the recent times occurred in 2009. If we consider also the cases of examination misconduct which occurred over the years within our school system as well as examinations conducted by bodies such as JAMB, NABTEB, NAEC, WAEC, NECO, NTI, and other professional bodies, it could be concluded that examination misconduct is a common daily experience.

         According to Nwokocha (2005), the process of examination in Nigerian secondary schools has  become a “contemporary shame”. This is due to the way students cheat in examinations, and this has become endemic in our educational system. Examination misconduct has graduated from mere stretching of the neck to see what another person is writing during exam, or carrying pieces of paper into exam hall, to such sophisticated methods as use of mobile phones, walkie talkies amongst others.

However examination misconduct can be broadly categorized into two parts:

  • Examination Leakage
  • Other Related Offences

Moreover, self concept has also been one of the reasons why students get involved in an examination misconduct. Those students with positive self concept think that they know more than their teachers and because of this mentality that they have, they tend to disobey instructions and when this happens they fail their examinations. Again, some of the positive self concept students prefer extra-curricular activities to curricular activities. They want to act drama, dance, sing etc. so that they will be noticed. At the end of the day they will want to involve in malpractice so that they will not fail.

Whereas those students with the negative self concept will be shy in the class, even when they do not even understand what the teacher has finished explaining they can’t ask questions because they think their fellow students will laugh at them when they do. They don’t even participate in any extra-curricular activity because of how they deem themselves too low. All these affect their reasonings, and when the examination time come they begin to think of ways that will help them pass their examinations.

The effect of examination misconduct produces half-baked graduates from academic institution, retarded educational growth and development, false sense of value and impression of students capability as well as loss of confidences in candidates.    

1.2   Statement of the Problem

         It has been observed by the researcher that some personal factors such as studying habits, self concept, students academic performance, etc, lead the students to the involvement of examination misconduct. Most of the secondary school students cannot obtain the required grade that could help them to further their education.

         Most of the secondary school students lack apparent interest in their studies. The researcher has observed that some students with low self-esteem thinks they cannot write and pass their examination as expected by their parents while those with high self-esteem stay away from classes, doges some of the assignments get involve in extracurricular activities thinking that they are gifted that anyhow they will write and pass their examination but at the end of the day they could not.

         The researcher has also observed that some students no matter how they read, get involved in all the classroom activities, yet still fails the examination based on the mental defect he/she is suffering from. The problem of this study is therefore to examine students’ personal factors and involvement in examination misconduct.

This research study was aimed at investigating the relationship between personal factors and involvement in examination misconduct of secondary school students, specifically, the objectives were to:

  1. Determine the relationship between students studying habits and their involvement in examination misconduct,
  2. Determine the relationship between students self concept and their involvement in examination misconduct, and
  3. Determine the relationship between students academic performance and their involvement in examination misconduct.

1.4   Research Questions

        The following research questions guided the study:

  1. To what extend does students studying habits influence their involvement in examination misconduct in secondary schools?
  2. How does students’ self concept influence their involvement in examination malpractice in secondary schools?
  3. How does students academic performance influence their involvement in examination  malpractice in secondary schools?

1.5   Research Hypotheses

  1. Students’ studying habit does not significantly influence their involvement in examination misconduct.
  2. Students’ self concept does not significantly influence their involvement in examination misconduct.
  3. Students’ academic performance does not significantly influence their involvement in examination misconduct.

1.6   Significance of the Study

        This study will help draw attention to the school principals who are much more concerned with the students’ undue passing of examination rather than being concerned with the curriculum.

It will also educate parents, the school, the government/educational administrators on the need for guidance and counselling services in our secondary schools.

         It would enable the students to know that getting involve in an examination misconduct do not pay, but rather lead to certain unforeseen consequences such as rustification, imprisonment for life, disgrace to one’s family, village, country an inability to function academically in institutions of higher learning.

         It would enable the teachers, who are the executors of the curriculum to avoid certain practices in the educational system which would in the end, lead to students’ involvement in examination misconduct. 

1.7   Limitations of the Study

         This will be determine at the end of the conduct of research.

  1. Delimitation of the Study

This work is delimited to the investigation of influence of students’ personal factors and their involvement in examination misconduct in secondary schools and focused on students’ study habits, self concept, academic performance and involvement in examination malpractice

1.9   Definition of Operational Terms

Examination: This refers to an important written of practical test at school that needs to undergo in order to get a promotion or qualification.

Students: These refer to individuals studying at a particular schools or college.

Examination Misconduct: This refers to irregular or illegal behaviour deliberate or inadvertent conduct of a candidate before, during and after any examination.

Studying Habits: This refers to strategies adopted by learner to acquire knowledge, skills, idea and competence.

Self Concept: This refers to a collection of beliefs about oneself. Generally, self-concept embodies the answer to “who am I?”

Academic Performance: This refers to the level of schooling you have successfully completed and the ability to attain success in your studies.

Personal Factor: These refer to the individual factors to the consumers that strongly influences their buying behaviours.