Education Quarterly Reviews

ISSN 2621-5799

Published: 16 October 2019

How Authentic are our Examination Results? Investigating Causality in Cheating Behaviours and Moral Reasoning among Ghanaian Senior High School Students

Alexander Kyei Edwards

University of Education, Ghana

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Pages: 715-731

Keywords: Authentic Results, Cheating Behaviour, Ghana, Moral Reasoning, SHS Students


This was a causal comparative study to investigate the causality of ‘ex post-facto’ variables: moral reasoning (MR) and cheating behaviour (CB) and their associational effect on the authenticity of examination results among Senior High School (SHS) students (N=2,520). Two different data sets were derived from (i) a survey questionnaire with one MR scenario, and (ii) archival WASSCE results of four schools were used to answer four research questions and three null hypotheses raised. Multiple statistical tests of differences including cross tabulations, Chi square, independent sample t-test, and ANOVA were used for analyses focusing on gender and school categories. Differences in MR showed statistical significances among gender [t(2510)=4.83, p=0.00)] and school categories [F(3, 2510)=21.88, p=0.00]. Both positive and negative correlations were rather very low, (ranging between R=0.02 and -0.02). Two of the null hypotheses were rejected at alpha (p=0.05). Four recommendations were put forward for the Ghana’s education system and WAEC the examination authority. Also, practical and policy implications are discussed. Thus, CB was found to have a cause-effect on the authenticity of examination results. But MR levels of SHS students are not solely responsible for CB; rather the schools’ culture of offering ‘helping hands’ creates opportunities for students to cheat at examinations.


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