Why Do Students Engage in Examination Malpractice? The University for Development Studies Experience

John Dadzie Thompson, Gilbert Ansoglenang, Suuk Laar


Any form of examination malpractice is unacceptable, fraudulent, and signifies an act of academic dishonesty with significant punitive consequences. This paper investigated the reasons why students engage in examination malpractice during examinations at the University for Development Studies (UDS). The study adopted a cross-sectional survey design for this research and targeted undergraduate students of the Tamale Campus of the UDS. Simple random sampling technique was used to select 278 out of a total student population of 6,729 for the study. They responded mainly to questionnaire and a few open ended questions to provide the needed data for analysis. The findings suggest that (i) smuggling of prepared notes on pieces of papers (foreign material) into the examination hall, (ii) writing of examination answers on palms, thighs and other body parts, and (iii) communication by seeking for answers from colleagues are the three topmost forms/methods students engage to cheat during examinations. The desire to obtain good grades just as the more intelligent students pushes some students to cheat during examinations. The introduction of scanners and e-search software, the spacing of sitting arrangements, installation of Closed Circuit Television (CCTV) cameras in large examination halls may help curb cheating.

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.5296/ire.v7i2.15330


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