The nature of examination malpractice in a secondary school in Uganda

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Education (MEd)

First Supervisor/Advisor

Dr. Nicholas Wachira

Second Supervisor/Advisor

Abdallah Mohamed


Institute for Educational Development, East Africa


This study investigated the nature of examination malpractice in a secondary school in Uganda. The study used a sequential mixed research design. The study was conducted in phases where a survey in the first phase was administered to 100 students. The sample was picked from classes of three, four and six. In the second phase, interviews and focus group discussions were conducted to collect qualitative data. The study also analyzed documents regarding the rules and regulations against examination malpractice, cases of examination malpractice registered and the form it takes. The selection of participants in the study was purposive in nature basing on age, experience and positions of responsibility. In quantitative, data was analyzed by using SPSS software and qualitative by use of matrix table to get themes, codes which were interpreted for final findings. The findings revealed that 57% of students perceived examination malpractice as a norm and consciously engaged in the malpractice. However, there were few 39% who perceived examination malpractice as an illegal practice and chose not to engage in the vice. The findings revealed that collusion is a common malpractice among students with the examination administrators as 70% of teachers discuss confidential information with students before time for examination. Another finding was that, 66% of students collude with their peers to answer questions in an examination. The major cause of examination malpractice was attributed to poor administration of examination and the high stakes attached to examination. The overall implication of the study is that there is need to re-train all stakeholders in their roles as examination administrators to uplift their professional ethics and not to collude with students in examination malpractice.

This document is available in the relevant AKU library