Who are Responsible for Examinations Success/Failure?

Mass failure is no more news to our ears, we hear of it almost every day. Who are Responsible for Examinations Success/Failure? When examination results are being released, massive failure follows. The question now is ‘what are the responsible factors for the massive failure in examination?’ Students, parents, government, the school and other people are responsible for the high rate of failure in an examination. Thus, all the bodies responsible for the educational sector need to be reviewed.

There is need for students to change their attitude towards their studies and all other factors affecting their success need to be dealt with.

Who are Responsible for Examinations Success/Failure?

No stone should be left unturned when curbing the massive failure rate among students. Three major sets of people; students, parents and the examiners are responsible for success or failure of examination.

Students: Students particularly, are the subjects that are mostly concerned with mass failure. There are some factors that limit their success.

These factors range from psychological instability, financial incapability, lackadaisical/nonchalant attitudes and distractions. Psychological problems can sometimes be overwhelming and interfere with student’s academic performance, thereby limiting the rate at which they study or assimilate what is taught. This makes student perform poorly in both internal and external examinations. For example, a student who loses a loved one will be affected in his studies, especially when examination is fast approaching.

Also, when a student is not capable of providing for his financial needs or when there is no money to buy text books and other reading materials, failure might set in. Students find it difficult to concentrate in classes when they are hungry.

Some spend most of the periods in school to engage in part-time jobs so as to cater for their needs. All these put them through lots of stress and inability to focus more on their studies. They have less time to study, read and prepare for their examination.

Another factor that causes mass failure among students nowadays is their lackadaisical and nonchalant attitude. Most of them forget the main reason they are in school or college. They neglect their books and engage in non-beneficial and unproductive activities. They sometimes keep bad friends and are being lured to commit crimes and perpetrate evil in the school and community.

Distractionin form of technology is another factor that is affecting the academic performance of youths. Social media and other forms of social networks and chat platforms with friends and family members are the major forms of distractions to many students. Most of them stay glued to their phones and laptops chatting, browsing or watching movies all day long.

Self -denial and discipline is essential for success. A student   has to limit his or her extra curricula activities and shun all forms of distractions while studying. The serious ones make use of these social networks to their advantage by browsing, making researches to gain more knowledge when preparing for examinations.


Another subject to consider is the parents of these students. Parental support on success is needed for academic excellence. Brilliancy is not the only requirement needed to excel. Coupled is the provision of resources to do exploit.  When the resources needed for a student to pass an examination are made readily available, the morale of such student to study will be boosted, knowing well that there is no excuse if he or she fails. It is a pity that some parents no longer care about their wards’ education; they do not inquire the welfare of their students.

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Parents no longer supervise their children’s assignments because they are too busy with work and other business engagements. They wake up very early in the morning and return very late in the night when their children are fast asleep. There is no daily supervision, no time to visit schools, check and evaluate their children’s academic performance. This kind of situation is not helping matters but only aggravating the rate at which children perform in their examinations.

Parenting style is another way parents affect their children’s success. Some parents pamper and spoil their children, thus contributing to academic failure. According to an adage that says, ‘spare the rod and spoil the child’, children should be scolded and not be pampered, especially when it comes to their studies. Parents are therefore encouraged to help the future of their wards by instilling in them the attributes of being successful and exposing the disgrace attached to failure which will help them buckle up for their examinations and pass exceedingly well.


Examiners also play important roles in the grading of students. Some examiners are friendly and strictly follow the marking scheme/guide, thereby giving appropriate marks as stipulated, but some are not like that. They are sentimental and award marks based on predilection, affection or hatred for a particular student.  For example, in colleges or higher institutions, lecturers throw advances at some students, particularly the female ones, and sometimes when they do not give in to those advances, they are being intimidated by the lecturer who sometimes is the same as the examiner.  Some examiners and teachers are lazy and do not put in their best in teaching. Most of them found in government schools are not dedicated, they come to classes anytime they want, hardly teach the students and do not cover the curriculum. This makes the students lag behind and they find it difficult to perform well in external exams like WAEC, NECO, NABTEB and JAMB. Some examiners, in their bid to cover their lapses and to make ends meet encourage exam Mal-practices, of which the answers are not always right, thus leading to failure.

If a student fails or gets less mark in any exams, he is weak in one or more of the factors to be mentioned. Sometimes, a student studies a lot but gets less mark in exam because he may not be aware of test-taking strategies which tell him how to express his learning outcome in the best way to convince the examiner, teacher or checker to give him more marks. Examination-taking tactics play a vital role in examination success. You should know how to give a good presentation on answer sheets with the help of headings, sub-headings, diagrams, charts, bullets and tables.

Numerous reasons occur which makes students to fail in examination, but this book will be dealing on a few of them which are believed to be the main reasons students fail in examinations in school:

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  • The Mindset of the Student

The mindset of a student going to take an examination plays a vital role in him or her coming out to be the best or the worst (success or failure). How is your mind-set when you are preparing to sit for an exam? I want you to be the judge because you know yourself more than anyone, have you decided before or presently want to involve in malpractice? (i.e. taking some materials you will use to cheat in the examination hall). Perhaps you have the assurance that your best friend will assist you in the examination hall. If you have decided to do any of these before taking an examination, you are most likely to fail because you may be caught cheating or the supervisor may be too vigilant that you may not be able to cheat, thereby making you to fail the paper; but a student who studies very well will move confidently to face the examination and come out successfully. When you have confidence in yourself you will not be distracted.

After studying a few analyses, I discovered that most students, who have wrong mind-set for their examination, do not bother to study because they have confidence in their friends and their cheat book (microchips/expo) which they use in writing the examination.

It is obvious that a student is intelligent or dull. ‘Every student is brilliant or no student is dull’ if he knows the factors for success in examination and improves upon them.

Image result for exam Success/Failure?

Other reasons for examination failure include:

  • Poor academic foundation;
  • Poor study skills;
  • Avoiding making useful notes in/during classes;
  • Poor concentration;
  • Poor retentive memory before and during examination;
  • Having no interest in the study career;
  • Failure to form study/discussion group;
  • No perseverance in study;
  • No determination on where and when to study;
  • Inadequate preparation for exams and having no clear focus;
  • Waiting for the announcement of test or examination (late preparation)

Suggested Recovery Skills

  • Proposing test-taking strategies;
  • Question-wise preparation;
  • Making plan-study schedule (Personal Time Table);
  • Relieving exam anxiety through long-term preparation;
  • Time management during the examination;
  • Following time table schedules;
  • No procrastination on study time;
  • Concentration during each class/teaching or lecture hour.
  • Inability to Pay Attention to Keywords.

The key words in a question may be easily identified in that they may be written in capital letters, bold, italicized font or they may be underlined as the case may be.

The key words are important in that they tell the student of what exact answer is required for the question. If they are ignored, chances are high that the student will not answer the question as required, hence may end up failing in that question.

  •  Having Negative Attitude towards the Subject and/or Teacher.

If you hate the teacher, you will definitely hate the subject, and vice versa. Having negative attitude is one of the main reasons students fail in a particular subject. Having a negative attitude will mean that you will not pay attention to the teacher and the subject taught. In turn, this means that you will not understand the contents of the subject well and you know very well what this will do when exams of those subjects are due.

  • Developing Fear for the Examination (Exams anxiety).

This is another factor which can result to failure in an examination. Developing fear for upcoming examination will affect your mind and may make you forget a lot of what you previously read. This also causes exams fever and irregular shivering and shaking of hands in the examination hall.

  • No Reviewing Analysis
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Some students never go through their answers after attempting the question. They just do the answering and after that they go ahead to submit without reviewing. This is not the way to go as a slight mistake may have been made while answering the question, which would have been corrected if you would just have gone through your paper again. By reviewing, you may discover some errors made while answering the question. Sometimes, one may complain of lack of time. But I tell you that proper planning of the given time will accord you the time for review.

  • Being Too Slow or Too Fast in Answering Questions.

In answering questions, you must ensure that you understand the question thoroughly, and that you are not too slow or too fast in assimilating the meaning. You should ensure that you are moderate. Being too fast may cause you to make mistakes in answering the questions while being too slow may result in time wastage while attempting to answer the question.

  • Inability to follow Instructions

Instructions should be followed to the later as they tell the student what he/she is supposed to do. If they are not following, then the chances of getting the possible marks that you were targeting may be reduced to a minimum.

I had an experience while in school. It was in Auditing & Investigation which has a lot to do with reasoning. Four questions were given in the question paper. The lecturer had it on the question paper that ‘you MUST NOT write anything on your answer sheet’.

After distributing the question paper to all the students, everyone was busy answering the questions so as to meet up with time. The lecturer was very strict as he spaced us to be sure that no one cheated or talked to the other in the exams hall. Everyone was concentrated on answering his/her questions. Being that I always pay attention and obey the last command did not bother writing anything on my answer sheet. He verbally instructed that no one should submit his or her paper… He’ll be collecting all at the same time. After the stipulated time for the exams (45mins), we were instructed to leave our answer sheets on our desks as he went round to pick them.

I stood up in full confidence, leaving the papers as instructed. Guess what the outcome of the exams was? It was only twenty-three out of fifty-eight students who paid attention to instruction that submitted the paper. More than half of the entire class failed to adhere to the instruction, that led to failure of that particular course for the semester. You can imagine how this could hinder a student from passing his/her exams, irrespective of the fact that they were all brilliant students.

  • Studying or Reading New Materials on/or before the Examination Day

The day before the examination or on the actual examination day, care should be taken not to read any new material as this will lead to cramming and may also make one forget some of the previously read topics. It is better to read in advance so that you can only do revision when the time for examination approaches. Spend adequate time to improve your brain cells by practicing reading as a habit not only for examination purpose.

  • Having Confidence in your Friend

In preparing for any exam, do not put your confidence in your friend because something can happen that your friend is kept at distance from you or it may happen that you are not allowed to sit close to any of your friends whom you consider intelligent to assist you. I would in this case advise you to be yourself, and not to put your trust or confidence in your friend.

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