Examination malpractice: meaning, causes, effects and solutions: Examinations are one of the key tools used in practically every nation in the modern world to evaluate the abilities and knowledge of students learning in schools. Tests like these can be found in Nigeria’s basic schools, secondary schools, and even higher education establishments. In Nigeria, there are three levels of education, hence there are three different types of exams. Nevertheless, examination misconduct is one of the most difficult obstacles to overcome while carrying out these assessments. Because of the extent to which this evil has permeated the Nigerian school system, it can no longer be overlooked.
What exactly is meant by the term “exam malpractice,” and how does it come about? Exam malpractice can take on a variety of forms and can involve a wide variety of parties, including the examinees, instructors, examiners, and other external influences. Exam misconduct is considered academic dishonesty.
Examining the causes, effects, and potential remedies of examination malpractice
This article on exam malpractice in Nigeria will examine the definition of test malpractice as well as its various forms, as well as the causes and repercussions of exam malpractice.
Definition of “Examination Malpractice”
Exam malpractice is defined as action that is unethical or illegal on the part of an examination candidate (examinee) with the purpose of passing the examination.
Different types of cheating on examinations
In order to comprehend the meaning of the term “examination malpractice,” one must first be aware that tests are intended to be carried out in accordance with a specific set of guidelines. When one or more of these principles are violated, it almost always results in some kind of unethical behavior known as malpractice. The following is a list of the numerous guises that exam cheating can take.
Impersonation: Impersonation is one of the most common and well-known types of exam misconduct, and it occurs in a number of countries all over the world, including Nigeria. Impersonation refers to the act of claiming to be another person for the purpose of assisting that individual in cheating and passing the examinations.
External assistance: Aid from the outside is a form of cheating that frequently involves exam officials accepting bribes from candidates in exchange for some kind of assistance either before, during, or after the examinations. Pupils are occasionally subjected to threats from these policemen, which compels them to demand money from the students.
Giraffing: The term “giraffing” comes from the physical characteristics of the giraffe, including its long neck. An example of this unethical conduct occurs when a test taker cranches their neck to see what their neighbor is writing and then copies it. Exam cheating is one of the oldest types of academic dishonesty.
Inscription: Inscription is the process of writing notes on a subject’s body or on objects that are permitted into the examination room. Writing notes on one’s hand, tables, or the walls of the examination hall, as well as on small pieces of paper, are among the most prevalent strategies.
Collusion: Collusion is the vice that leads to exam leaking, which is a term that is often used in the industry. In most cases, a candidate will conspire with an officer of the exam setting body in order to obtain a copy of the questions in advance. This is considered standard practice. They then go back and alter the specific questions.
Assault and intimidation: It is possible for students who are currently taking their tests to assault or intimidate the police who are supervising the testing room. This can take the form of brandishing weapons, as well as any other kind of physical assault. The exam officers are therefore compelled to give in to the candidates’ demands and allow them to cheat in whatever manner they see fit, which is typically another method.
When it comes to their exams, why do students cheat?
The most common reasons for cheating on exams in Nigeria are listed below.
A failure in parenting
The act of parenting is frequently the starting point for a wide range of behaviors, both positive and negative. In most cases, parents in Nigeria play an important part in the cheating that goes on during examinations. There are some parents who take minimal interest, if any interest at all, in the academic life of their children. When it comes time for their children’s exams, some of these parents are frequently in the forefront of supporting cheating for their children so that they can earn good results.
A tainted and unreliable educational system
The educational system in Nigeria is a far cry from what it used to be many decades ago. The magnitude of the decay in the educational system is one of the most significant factors that are to blame. In today’s society, education is seen more and more as a business, and certain individuals who run educational institutions are willing to do whatever to ensure the success of their organizations. In addition, in an effort to cut down on their overall overhead costs, some educational establishments hire teachers who have never had any formal training. Because of this, students’ performance suffers, and as a result, they turn to unorthodox approaches in order to improve their grades.
Attitude problems among the pupils
It should go without saying that students are the ones who carry the lion’s share of blame for the sin because they are the one factor that is present in all instances of academic dishonesty. Some students have a reputation for being lazy and looking for any opportunity to improve their marks that does not require them to put in significant effort or study. There are some of these kids who do not have faith in tried-and-true qualities like devotion and consistency. As a consequence of this negative mindset, the students in question frequently have a tendency to engage in a variety of forms of exam malpractice.
Environmental (societal) factors
Candidates in Nigeria have, on occasion, discovered themselves living in a society in which cheating on examinations is not only tolerated but, on occasion, even praised. Students that are fast to conform to norms are more likely to be influenced by the environment than other students. Cheating has evolved into one of the more socially acceptable vices in today’s culture, which is reflective of the fact that people would go to any extent to achieve their goals.
In schools where there are too many students for the available seats, exam cheating can flourish. Giraffing, for instance, is quite common in overcrowded exam halls but is simple to prevent in settings with enough amounts of space between students and teachers. Sadly, one of the most significant difficulties faced by government-sponsored institutions in Nigeria is the country’s high population density.
Excessive emphasis on academic results
Exam cheating is on the rise in part because our culture places a higher value on academic results than it does on skills and professionalism. This has led to an environment in which students feel pressured to cheat on their exams. As a result, everyone wants to get their hands on that piece of paper by whatever means necessary.
What kinds of consequences does cheating on exams have?
The following is a list of the unfavorable consequences that can be attributed to unethical exam practices:
- Underdevelopment: Lack of skilled individuals in various economic areas is one of the key reasons most impoverished countries find themselves in hazardous positions. This is one of the primary reasons why most underdeveloped countries find themselves in precarious situations. When this occurs, it is because the school system is consistently turning out people who do not have the necessary qualifications and who only passed their tests by cheating.
- Bringing down the standards of professions: Imagine a nation in which all of the professionals in the fields of medicine, law, education, engineering, and accounting are the result of unethical testing practices. In a nation like that, some jobs would only be considered “professional” in name. As a consequence of this, patients are given subpar care by unqualified medical professionals, pupils are provided with a subpar education by unqualified educators, and so on and so forth.
- A rise in the level of corruption: One of the most significant challenges to Nigeria’s economy is that of corruption. When one takes a critical look at the problem, they can see that the corrupt practices that are prevalent in many public offices are a direct result of the generally corrupt societal and educational systems that exist in the country. When students cheat on their tests, they give themselves the false impression that they can get away with any kind of dishonesty in the future.
- Decrease in the nation’s integrity: Everyone is aware that there are a great number of nations whose educational credentials are not accepted anywhere else in the world. When cheating on exams becomes the norm in a country, that country loses its integrity and is no longer worthy of the trust of other nations.
What are the potential remedies for cheating on exams?
Exam cheating can be prevented by taking a number of different approaches, some of which are outlined in the following paragraphs.
- Creation of extra schools and learning facilities: This will go a long way toward ensuring that classrooms in Nigeria are not packed to their capacity. As a consequence of this, test takers will have a more difficult time indulging in behaviors like as giraffing, which are typical in exam halls that are too crowded.
- The government should do more educational pursuits: Some of the world’s more industrialized nations have governments that take an active role in pushing their populations to pursue higher levels of education. This is accomplished through the use of a wide variety of incentives, including grants and loans. Because of this, there is a significant reduction in cheating because the objectives of the students shift to the acquisition of knowledge and skills.
- Putting less of a focus on the importance of academic success: Because people are born with varied abilities, it makes perfect sense to put less of an emphasis on the significance of academic success. Some people find it quite easy to acquire knowledge and abilities, but they are unable to express those gains in an examination setting. Instead than relying solely on written tests to determine someone’s competency, companies should look for ways to evaluate candidates based on their practical skills.
- Providing incentives to those who report unethical behavior: In 2011, the government of Nigeria devised a novel approach to the problem of capturing corrupt officials in government agencies. This was accomplished through the use of an incentive scheme that was designed to reward those who reported instances of corruption. Exam cheating is an example of the same notion being applied in a different context.
- Encouraging good parental upbringing: Cheating on exams is greatly influenced by the quality of the parenting. The government has the ability to develop social initiatives that are intended to alter the perspective that parents have of the responsibilities they play in this modern day and age of technology.
Examination malpractice is very possibly the most significant obstacle confronted by Nigeria’s educational system at the present time. Students, exam administrators, tutors, parents, and other parties have devised ways to benefit from the vice, which has resulted in a wide variety of unintended consequences.
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