Sociological Perspective of Examination Malpractices in Nigerian Universities

Document Type : Research Paper


Department of Sociology and Anthropology, Faculty of Social Sciences, University of Benin, Benin City, Edo state, Nigeria.


Examination malpractice is any act carried out by anybody that defies the rules that guides a student whose knowledge or ability is being tested in a particular knowledge or skill with the aim of distorting the student’s true knowledge or ability. This article employs three classical major sociological perspectives in analyzing examination malpractice in Nigerian Universities. The structural-functional theory points out the contribution of examination malpractice in maintaining a stable social system and its negative consequences for the social system. Conflict theory reveals how examination malpractice generates various types of conflict in the social system and its role in perpetuating inequality. While the theory of symbolic-interactionism points out how examination malpractice takes place through interaction. This article explored various forms of examination malpractice including coming into the examination hall with extraneous materials, the use of mobile phones with internet connectivity, as well as plagiarism. Recommendations were suggested as it affects the role of stakeholders – students, lecturers, parents, the press, the government – in tackling/curbing examination malpractice in Nigerian Universities.