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Niger Postgrad Med J. 2011 Sep;18(3):191-6.

Examination malpractice in our medical schools: prevalence and import on tomorrow's doctors.

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  • 1Dept. of Surgery, Ladoke Akintola University of Technology, College of Health Sciences, PMB 4000, Ogbomoso, Oyo State. Nigeria. atilola27@yahoo.com


AIMS AND OBJECTIVES. The objective of this paper is to estimate the prevalence of examination malpractice among medical students; its import on medical education and future doctors.


Structured questionnaires were administered to consenting medical students of participating four medical colleges in Nigeria. Data was collated and analysed using SPSS version 11.


Three hundred and eighty two students responded. There were 210 males and 172 females (M: F-1.2:1); age range 19-45 years, mean 24.86 ± SD. Majority 304(79.6%) were in the 5th and final years. At secondary and tertiary levels, 67(18.1%) and 79(22.2%) were respectively involved in cheating. Mode of cheating included seeking examination materials, 10(2.6%); copying answers between examination rooms, 18(4.8%); copying assignments, 290(77.7%) and copying laboratory results 206(56.6%). Clinical examinations not performed were described as "normal" by 206(56.6%). Motivation for cheating included previous failures and escape punishment in 6(3.3%) and 31(10.4%) respectively. While 46(12.8%) tried to induce lecturers to change grades, 97(25.8%) would not inform the authority if they suspected that examination leaked.


Examination malpractice in High schools and Tertiary institutions also includes the medical students. Educating pupils from the elementary schools on effects of cheating, inclusion of this practice in the medical curriculum as part of Medical Ethics and Institutional culture of Integrity among doctors are recommended. Stiffer punishment for offenders would reduce the practice among the students.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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