The Nigerian education system has been greatly affected by the high rate of examination malpractice in the system. The problem of examination malpractice has remained an indomitable problem to the government and its agencies for decades. It has also successfully destroyed the education standard of schools in Nigeria. Today, about 85% of the examinations conducted in Nigeria can be rightly said to be demoralized. This is apparently because of the deplorable state of our education system.

In today's article, i am going to unequivocally state and explain some of the causes, effects and cogent solutions to the problem of examination malpractice in the Nigerian education system. However, before i will go into today's topic fully, I will like to define the term examination malpractice.

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According to the Advance Oxford Dictionary, malpractice means illegal, corrupt, or careless professional behaviour. From this superb definition, we can therefore define examination malpractice as any misconduct, illegal or corrupt activity done during examination to enable a candidate pass that examination.

This illegality or corrupt activity can be of any form. Example: impersonation, bringing notebooks into examination hall, coping of others people's work, writing on body parts etc.


Below are the causes of examination malpractice in Nigeria:
  1. Corruption.
  2. Poor home training.
  3. Unqualified teachers. 
  4. Poor preparation for examination.
  5. Inactive government agency to fight corruption.

Okay, in other to give a clear picture of the above highlighted causes of examination malpractice in Nigeria, i will discuss them below.

  • Corruption

    You will agree with me that the rate of corruption in Nigerian society is very high. This has inversely result to an increase in the rate of examination malpractice in Nigeria over the pass few years. In many cases where teachers have been caught involving in examination malpractice, the causative factor is always emanating from the corrupt actions of the government. When the system is filled with corruption and teachers are not paid properly, or are not even paid at all, they (teachers) are left with no choice than to engage in examination malpractice in other to get their payment from the students, who must definitely pay before engaging in the act. 

  • Poor home training

    Charity they say, begins at home. By this, i means that any behavior displayed by a student in the public, started right from home. And only the parents of that child, is in the position to modify the chid's behavior at home. The way parents train their children at home, will go a long way in determining the child's behavior in public places, and in school. Research has shown that 67% of persons who engage in examination malpractice are product of a bad home training.

  • Unqualified teachers

    Apparently, this is one of the most prevalent causes of examination malpractice in Nigeria. A large number of students who engage in examination malpractice, do so because they had no qualified teachers who could teach them very well and fortify them to meet international standard. I have seen so many cases where students who by their school result, do absolutely well. But when they are called upon to write external examinations like WACE and others, they fail tremendously or engage in examination malpractice just to get a pass mark. This is nothing but the result of unqualified teachers who gallivant in schools of the country.

  • Poor preparation before examination

    There is absolutely no way an indolent student will pass examination except if he/she engages in examination malpractice. Students are expected to prepare very well before writing examination, but in cases where they do not prepare they are left with no other choice, than to engage in malpractice. This is another great cause of examination malpractice in Nigeria today.

  • Inactive government agency to fight malpractice

    In Nigeria less effort is put to stop examination malpractice in the country. The ineffectiveness of the agencies that are supposed to stop examination malpractice in the country has led to a great increase in the rate of examination malpractice, since less attention is put to the deplorable act. This is one of the core reasons for malpractice in Nigeria, and until this is changed, examination malpractice will continue to be an indomitable problem to Nigeria. Students no longer take examination malpractice as a demoralize act, because there is no body/agency to penalise them.

Having looked at the divergent causes of examination malpractice in Nigeria, we will now look at some of the possible implications for allowing malpractice to penetrate the education system of the country.


Below are the effects of examination malpractice in Nigeria:

  1. Poor education standard.
  2. Increase corruption rate.
  3. High death rate.
  4. Dearth of professionals.
  5. Illiteracy.
Below, is an explanation of the above listed effects of examination malpractice in Nigeria.

  • Poor education standard
The education system of Nigeria compared with other countries like England, American etc, is nothing to write home about. This is because of the high rate of examination malpractice that have penetrated the system. Examination malpractice has made the Nigerian education system a deplorable one. This is why you will never find students from other nations, who intent to study in Nigeria, because of the poor education system in Nigeria.

  • Increase corruption rate
Students are seen as the future of tomorrow because it is what we impact in them today that they will turn out to be tomorrow. When students are allowed to pay their way through in school, they tend to do even worse when they grow. Allowing student to engage in malpractice for money, is synonymous to sending a band of criminals or corrupted person to the world, because they will do exactly what you have thought them to do. Thus, there is increase in the corruption rate of the country. It should also be noted that this is one of seed of the country's biggest problem (corruption).

  • High death rate

  • Examination malpractice can also put peoples live at risk, as those students who wholesomely engaged in malpractice may turn out to be doctors someday. Just last week, I was told the story of a young medical doctor who inversely killed his own father, after prescribing wrong drugs to his father to take. Instead of the drug to rectify the problem, it excavated it, and that eventually led to the death of his innocent father. 

    No one knows how many lives he/she has successfully killed in the past. so you see, malpractice though not directly, has been the reason of about 38% death rate in Nigeria and even in the world.

  • Dearth of professionals
  • In Nigeria today, you seldom find professionals in the different fields of education in Nigeria, because majority of the students who pass through the University are full fledged products of examination malpractice. This is why it is difficult if not impossible, to find students who are intellectually qualified in their field of study in Nigeria today. The few who are qualified leave the country when they get the opportunity to do so. The country is then left with those passed through examination malpractice during their education.

    • Illiteracy:

    Another possible effect of examination malpractice in Nigerian education system is Illiteracy. When students are not given the formal and proper training they are supposed to undergo in school, there will apparently be more illiterates in the society than there should be. It will lead to a situation where students graduate from school, but they will be unable to account for what they have been thought in school. This type of education is what i refer to as pseudo education. This means that it is not really education.


    In other to solve the problem of examination malpractice in Nigeria, we have to first, know the causative factors and from that; try to fight each causative factors of examination malpractice in other to solve it. For instance: if we say one of the cause of examination malpractice in Nigeria is corruption, then it is evident that if we can drastically reduce corruption in Nigeria, the rate of malpractice will also drastically reduced. 

    Thus, the solutions to examination malpractice in Nigeria are as follows:

    1. Reduction in corruption.
    2. Good home training.
    3. Employment of qualified teachers.
    4. Proper preparation before examination.
    5. Active government agency to fight corruption.
    From our discussion so far, i believe you can clearly picture the future of the Nigerian education system if examination malpractice continues to play. Examination malpractice in Nigeria must be given a great fight, except we will all suffer from it effects in years to come.