This research was designed to investigate the reasons students cheat at examinations, the methods they adopt in cheating, the main sources of examination leakages and the effects of examination malpractices in secondary schools in Ovia South-West Local Government Area.

Literature review showed that students cheat in examination because they want to acquire a certificate through examination for which they have not prepared well. These studies show that students cheat because examinations are not well-conducted and supervised by examiners.

The main research instrument used was the questionnaire to which two hundred (200) randomly-selected senior secondary school (SS3) students responded. The research procedure also involved oral interviews to which sixteen principals and randomly-selected teachers responded. Information gathered were used in testing the hypothesis of study among which were (a) there is a relationship between the urge for success and violating examinations norms; (b) students who have not prepared well enough are most likely to cheat t the examination..

It was concluded that (i) candidates cheat at examinations because they want to pass the examinations for which they are ill prepared, which is too much prized by the society. (ii) Most members of the school community particularly, the office personnel and to some extent, the teachers and often guilty of examination malpractices.

The study therefore recommended that examination papers should be set few days to the examinations in order to reduce the chances of teachers discussing such papers with the favoured students before that examinations.





There is evidence that examinations are some of the controversial issues in educational system. Due to its nature it was attracted much criticism. Some of should be laid on examinations while others advocate understanding of subject matter rather than recourse of examinations.

     However, examinations are known to play very important roles in our educational system. As stated by Stephen (1969) “There are numerous examples in all countries of examinations while are reality, and frequently in name also, competitions designed to eliminate the majority of candidates and allocate the remainder to certain known vacancies in, for example, the civil services in secondary schools, in college or university

In essence, examinations are used to determine pass or fail of a student or group of students in the opinion of Stephen ‘’history seems to support the view that setting children against one another in trials and competitions has always been a respectable means of inciting them of deal’’. A student who knows that he might fall on examination which will in turn determine his progress or promotion will strive hard in order to pass. This once more encourage p kind of competition within groups of students who will dim at nigh position in their classes.

Examinations are also used for academic stratification or for assigning grades to students. For decade, the West Africa Examination Council awards results on the basis of some stratification’s and three. The contemporary practice of (N.C.E). Students are stratified into distinction, credit merit and pass, while in the university also, students are stratified into first, second (upper and lower) or third class degrees having gone through an examination.


These grades are a measure of success and prestige.  A child with a division one pass in school certificate examination will be regarded by those around him as academically precocious.

He is also likely to have a place in the institution of higher learning or in job situation within the society easier than a child with a division three pass.

All these conditions have combined to influence a child’s attitude to an examination; attitude which always colonnade in an urge for success in any particular examination whether or not he had prepared for it. These competitions in school have their parallel in the society.  In Nwana’s (1979) view “in the business sector, the more theoretical examinations one passes, the better chances of advancement eve it productivity does not increase.


This is the social context in which candidate and staff operates”. The society is known to consist of specialized functions requiring from its members ability to cope with.

The society also accords some functions higher status than others. Thus we find that two graduates from the same school and in the same field may be given different functions with one being look upon with more respect than the other. There are often more claimants who have gone through an examination.

Examinations are also used for other purpose. They are designed as a basis for licensing. An example according to Stephen’ is the driving text. No one so far, wishes to put a limit to the number of drivers on the road or ton set motorists competing against each other in a series of proficiency text designed to knock out all but a small pre-determined quantity to top grade performance. The authority have every desire to ensure that those who handle cars are capable of doing so with at least a minimum of efficiency” All licensing examinations area mans of screening undesirables, so as to make life safer for many on our roads.

Stephen the educationist also posses the believes that examinations are used as tools for social engineering. “In this respect they have been used as tools for breaking through social class barriers and speeding social mobility” These are the reasons we find that we cannot escape one kind the examination or the other. Emphasis is always on pass because this will again determine who should have a particular job in the absence of it on the spot of examinations such as Oral examinations.


From the background given to this study, it could be seen that examination plays an important role in our educational system as well as the society we live in. but hones examinations are hard to find nowadays. Malpractices in examinations have been reported since 1914 when there was a leakage or question papers in the senior Cambridge local examination. Ever since, there have been cases of irregularities reported on a yearly basis. But, the outstanding years were 1963, 1967, 1970, 1973, 1977, 1979, 1981, 1985, 1987, 1991, 1994, 1995, 1996, 1997, 1998, 1999, 2000, (West African Examination Council, 2004).

Malpractice’s have spread nationwide including Edo State but no one seems to know the extent it has gone in particular areas and why they occur there. This investigation is therefore designed to inquire into the problem of examination malpractice’s in secondary schools in Ovia South West Local Government Area of Edo State.


In order to be able to effectively investigate the main problems as stated above the following sub problems are to be investigated.

a.     What are the examination malpractices in Secondary Schools in Ovia South West Local Government Area?

b.     What is the extent of those involved in the examination malpractice?

c.      Why do they involve in examination malpractices?

d.     How do they cheat in examination?

e.     What are the effects of this malpractice’s on the students, school and the society in general?


On the basis of the problems, the following were formulated:

a.     There is a relation between parents and teacher expectancy rate and students cheating in an examination.

b.     Students who have not being properly taught by the teachers are most likely to violate examination integrity.

c.      Students unserious attitude towards studying hard enough are most likely to cause cheating in an examination.


d.     There is a relationship between students strong desire to succeed and violating examination norms.


Examination malpractice have been on the increase since 1963’s, these malpractice’s indulgent learn new tactics or methods of the crime. The purpose of this study therefore is to investigate into some important expects of examination malpractice’s. This study will help specifically to find out:

a.     Reasons students cheat at examinations.

b.     The method student  use in cheating at examination.

c.      The extent of the involvement of the society, teachers, parents and the pupils on the malpractice’s.

d.     The effect of examination malpractice’s on pupils, school and the society at large. 


Benefits will be derived from this study. Firstly, it will expose the extent to which students, parents and teachers are involved in these malpractice’s secondly it will provide a remedy or a lasting solution to examination malpractice’s.

Thirdly, it will guide educators who can suggest ways of eliminating the sources of examination malpractices





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