Millicent Adhiambo Ojwan’g


This study attempted to unveil students’ perspectives on examination cheating in terms of its causes, methods, consequences, and innovative approaches of combating this symptom of moral decay in Basic education in Kenya. The target population was 838 university freshmen joining in first semester of 2018/2019 academic year in a selected faith-based University in Kenya. The sample was 272students who were registered for Introduction to Sociology and Introduction to Psychology courses, either of which is mandatory to all except Education students. This study was guided by Kohlberg’s theory of moral development and Ajzen’s theory of planned behavior. Descriptive survey research design was used. Questionnaires comprising both closed and open-ended questions were administered. Data was analyzed by the use of descriptive statistics. Findings revealed lack of preparedness (43.4%) and an excessive emphasis on grades (25.4%) as the main causes of cheating; collusion between examination officials, school administration and police officers (50.4%), leakage of examination questions for profit (18.8%), and copying from another’s exam script (11.7%) as the most common ways of cheating; while cancellation of exam results, fines, imprisonment, and interdiction (61.8%) were considered the worst consequences of cheating. Strategies for combating examination cheating were: students should be better prepared for examinations; more effective invigilation and supervision; and the installation of CCTV cameras in examination halls.


Article visualizations:

Hit counter



examination cheating, students’ perspectives, basic education, Kenya

Full Text:



Adow, I. M., Alio, A. A., & Thinguri, R. (2015). An assessment of the management of KCSE examination and its influence on irregularities among students: A case of secondary schools in Mandera County, Kenya. Journal of Education and Practice, 2 (28). Retrieved from

Ajzen, I. (1991). The theory of planned behavior. Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes 50, 179-211 Retrieved from

Ali, A. (2016, July 22). Exam cheating: A third of students admit to doing so this year alone, as survey reveals the most unusual methods used. Independent. Retrieved from

Anderman, E. M. (2018, February 15). Why students at prestigious high schools still cheat on exams. The Conversation. Retrieved from

Barasa, P. W. & Sifuna, A. (2013). Value based education and positive discipline in schools. Limuru, Kenya: Franciscan Kolbe Press.

Bwana, J. (2016, Dec 30). CS Exams agency boss sneer at past top grades. The Standard pp. 3.

Desalegn, A. A. & Berhan, A. (2014). Cheating on examinations and its predictors among undergraduate students at Hawassa University College of medicine and health science, Hawassa, Ethiopia. Journal BMC Medical Education 14 (89). Retrieved from

Folson, D. & Awuah, F. K. (2014). Combating examination malpractices in the basic education certificate examination (BECE) in Ghana. International Journal of Computer Applications, 100(7), 12-23. Retrieved from

Ghana Web (2018, February 20). Exam malpractices: Students using smart watches to cheat- WAEC. Retrieved from

Kohlberg, L. (1958). Theory of moral development. Retrieved from

Maheka, G. (2015). Nature and causes of examination malpractices in selected secondary schools in Kitwe district, Zambia. (Unpublished master’s dissertation). The University of Zambia. Retrieved from Document.pdf?

Muchai, J. (2014). An investigation into factors that contribute to cheating in examinations in technical institutions in Central Province, Kenya (Unpublished master’s thesis). University of South Africa. Retrieved from

Ndalichako, J. (2009, March). Evaluation of the conduct of primary school leaving examination (PSLE) in Tanzania mainland. The National Examination Council of Tanzania (NECTA).

Neuman, L. (2011). Social research methods: Qualitative and quantitative approaches. Pearson Retrieved from

Ngungu, J. K. (2011). Factors influencing examination malpractices by students in Kenya certificate of secondary school examinations in Kitui west district, Kenya (Unpublished master’s thesis). University of Nairobi. Retrieved from

Nyamwange, C., Ondima, P. & Onderi, P. O. (2013). Factors influencing examination cheating among secondary school students: A case of Masaba south district in Kisii County, Kenya. Elixir Psychology 56 (2013) 13519-13524. Retrieved from

Okaron, P. (2016, June 21). Causes of and dealing with exam cheating: Education in Kenya. Eneza Media. Retrieved from

Owenga, J. T. O., Aloka, P. J. O., & Raburu, P. A. (2018). Relationship between selected personal determinants and examination cheating among Kenyan secondary school students. Academic Journal of Interdisciplinary Studies, 7 (1), 73-82. Retrieved from

Quintos, M. A. M. (2017). A study on the prevalence and correlates of academic dishonesty in four undergraduate degree programs. Asia Pacific Journal of Multidisciplinary Research 5(1), 135-154. Retrieved from

Ruto, D. K., Kipkoech, L. C., & Rambaei, D. K. (2011). Student factors influencing cheating in undergraduate examinations in universities in Kenya. Problems in Management in the 21st century, 2, 1-9. Retrieved from

Shon, P. C. H. (2006). How college students cheat on in-class examinations: Creativity, strain, and techniques of innovation. Retrieved From https:///quod.lib,

Taylor, S. M. (2014, February-March). Term papers for hire: How to deter academic dishonesty. The Journal of Adventist Education.

White, E. G. (1903). Education. Mountain View, CA: Pacific Press Publishing Association.



  • There are currently no refbacks.

Copyright (c) 2019 Millicent Adhiambo Ojwan’g

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

Copyright © 2015-2018. European Journal of Education Studies (ISSN 2501 - 1111) is a registered trademark of Open Access Publishing Group. All rights reserved.

This journal is a serial publication uniquely identified by an International Standard Serial Number (ISSN) serial number certificate issued by Romanian National Library (Biblioteca Nationala a Romaniei). All the research works are uniquely identified by a CrossRef DOI digital object identifier supplied by indexing and repository platforms. All authors who send their manuscripts to this journal and whose articles are published on this journal retain full copyright of their articles. All the research works published on this journal are meeting the Open Access Publishing requirements and can be freely accessed, shared, modified, distributed and used in educational, commercial and non-commercial purposes under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (CC BY 4.0).