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JOURNAL OF RESEARCH IN NATIONAL DEVELOPMENT VOLUME 7 NO 2, DECEMBER, 2009

CORRELATING CONTINUOUS ASSESSMENT SCORES TO JUNIOR SECONDARY SCHOOL CERTIFICATE EXAMINATION FINAL SCORES IN IMO STATE

J.I. Nwaogazie
Department of Mathematics (Pre-degree Unit), Imo State University, Owerri
E-mail: nwaogaziekaegochidiebere@yahoo.com

 

Abstract
This study investigated the relationship between continuous assessment scores and junior secondary school certificate examination(JSCE) final scores in Imo State. A sample of four hundred students were purposively selected from thirty eight thousand students who took the 1997 JSCE in Imo State. The data used were collected from the cumulative records of students’ scores in continuous assessment and JSCE grades and analyzed using Pearson product moment formula for research questions while all the hypothesis were tested using z-ratio at 0.05 level of significance. Three out of the four null hypothesis tested were rejected, while one was accepted. Finally, recommendations and suggestions were made for further research.

Keywords: Correlation; continuous assessment; examination; performance

Introduction
Education is a means of helping children to develop their personality through learning experiences provided by teachers, parents and significant others. The rate and progress of this development is ascertained in classroom learning exercises.The purpose of evaluation is to provide a means of determining whether or not classroom learning experiences are resulting in the desired development in students, it helps to make data-based judgments about programmes which provide the learning experiences designed to help students attain a certain level of development in education.

Bloom (1971) states that evaluation is the
Systematic collection of evidence to determine whether infact certain changes are taking place in the learners as well as determine the amount or degree of change in individual students

Evaluation in Nigeria before 1982 was by one comprehensive end of year or end of course examination. This system obtained in primary, secondary and even in some higher institutions throughout the country. Though many schools administered regular tests and gave assignments in the class, students performance in these tests never formed part of the assessment to determine growth and progress for promotion exercises. This system of one-short comprehensive end of term or course examination disposed the students to a habit of delaying learning until towards examination period. This delayed learning habit made any students to be taken unaware or not quite prepared for the comprehensive examination because the time at their disposal was not enough to cover the volume of work required for the examination.

As performance in the comprehensive examination decides who gets promoted into the next class or who got to ensure private certificate, students stopped at nothing to ensure that they made it. Examination malpractices of one form or another became a way out of the predicament. As Yoleye (1980) states: One reason for such a high incidence of examination malpractices is the fact that a single final examination is too crucial in the temptation to ensure success by all means (fair of foul) is high.

Nigeria is changing socially, economically and politically. The former system of education was no longer meeting the needs of the individual as well as the aspirations of the present day society to meet these changes, the Federal Government deemed it necessary to adopt a new system of education which will encourage self-reliance in the individual and the development of the society, culturally, economically, politically, scientifically and technologically. Because of these factors, in 1972,  the Federal Government summoned a conference of distinguished

educational experts under the chairmanship of Chief S.O. Adebo, to look into the report of the curriculum conference of 1969 and formulate a New National Policy on Education. In 1977, an implementation task force was set up to study the New National Policy on Education and prepare a blue-print for its implementation. In 1979, the National Policy on Education for Nigeria was approved by the Federal Government.

One of the distinction features of New National Policy an education is its emphasis on continuous assessment. “Education Assessment and Evaluation will be liberalized by basing them in whole or in part on continuous assessment of the progress of the individual” (National Policy on Education 1977, Page7 (7). Continuous assessment is the systematic collection of marks or grades over a period of time and their aggregation into a final grade. It is a method of using the recorded performance of each individual to help him improve on his academic achievement, a means of providing adequate information about a student to parents, guardians or educational authorities. Continuous assessment, as defined by the Federal Ministry of Education (1985), is a mechanism whereby a final grading of a student in the cognitive, affective and psychomotor domains of behaviour systematically takes account of all his performances during a given period of school…..
                       
Continuous assessment is systematic in that it requires an operational plan which shows what measurements are to be made on students’ performance, at what time during the school years the measurements are to be made, its nature and the tools to be used. Students are aware that assessment is an everyday occurrence; whether they are at play or in the classroom. Its import is guidance oriented, because test scores are used to provide help the students especially in the areas of carver and academic guidance.  Another feature of continuous assessment is its comprehensiveness. The assessment is based on the totally of the individual performance and not on his cognitive ability. To achieve this, many instruments are used: tests, projects, assignments, observations, questionnaires and interviews. It is said to be cumulative because information about a student includes his performance from his first day at school until the last day.


The rationale for continuous assessment is that the former system which assesses the learner through an external examination imposes external control on the curriculum and leads teachers to give up sound long range instruction in order to “teach to the test”. A system of examination which considers the learners performance throughout the school period is more likely to be valid and more indicative of the learner’s overall ability than a single comprehensive examination. Continuous assessment is the answer to this noble idea. It also removes the fear and high anxiety inherent in the old system of evaluation. Continuous assessment affords the teacher the opportunity to introduce innovation into his teaching. It also facilitates the work of the guidance counselor in directing the students towards achieving the aims of the new educational system which emphasize the independence and self reliance of the individual. 

The purpose of the study was to investigate the relationship between continuous assessment scores and JSCE scores, and specifically, to

  1. Investigate the relationship between continuous assessment scores in English studies and JSCE scores in English studies.
  2. Investigate the relationship between continuous assessment scores in mathematics and JSCE scores in mathematics.
  3. Determine the relationship between continuous assessment scores in integrated science and JSCE scores in integrated science.
  4. Investigate the relationship between continuous assessment scores in social studies and JSCE score in social studies.

The understated research questions guided the conduct of the study.

  1. What is the relationship between the continuous assessment scores in English studies and JSCE scores in English studies?
  2. What is the degree of relationship between the continuous assessment scores in mathematics and JSCE scores in mathematics

  1. What is the relationship between continuous assessment scores in integrated science and JSCE scores in integrated science?  
  2. What is the relationship between continuous assessment scores in social studies and JSCE scores in social studies?

The study tested four hypothesis at (P<0.0.5).

Method
The study used the correlation survey research design. The population consisted of thirty-eight thousand students who took the 1977 JSCE in Imo State. Four hundred students were purposively sample for the study. The sample size determined was arrived at by using the Yaro Yamen’s formula as shown in the following formula.

                                                n          =                N/  1  + N (e)2

Where n = sample size sought;
e = level of significance and N = population size.


Collection of data for the study was done using cumulative records of student’s scores in continuous assessment and JSCE grades obtained from the selected schools.

Results

Research question one:

What is the relationship between the continuous assessment scores in English studies and JSCE scores in English studies?


Table 1:  The relationship between the continuous assessment scores in English studies and JSCE across in English studies.

Variables

N

åx, åy

åx2, åy2

åxy

r

CA                                                   
(x)                       
JSCE
(Y)

 

400

5782  

94163

                                                    213124      

 

-0.13

 

14860  

 

569018


The table shows that the calculated correlation coefficient (r) between the two variables (x) and (y) is –0.13. The result is that the relationship between continuous assessment scores in English studies and JSCE scores in English studies is negative.

Research question two
What is the degree of relationship between the continuous assessment scores in Mathematics and JSCE scores in Mathematics?


Table 2. The relationship between the continuous assessment scores in Mathematics and JSCE scores in Mathematics.

Variables

N

åx, åy

åx2, åy2

åxy

r

CA                                                   
(x)                       
JSCE
(Y)

 

400

5633

84009

                                                    169707   

 

-0.60

 

13769 

 

482909

Table 2 shows that the correlation coefficient calculated (r) between variables (x) and (y) is –0.60. The result is that the degree of relationship between continuous assessment scores in mathematics and JSCE scores is –0.60, which means a negative relationship.

Research question three

What is the relationship between continuous assessment scores in Integrated Science and JSCE scores in Integrated Science?

Table 3. The relationship between the continuous assessment scores in Integrated Science and JSCE scores in Integrated Science.

Variables

N

å x, åy

å x2 , åy2

å xy

r

CA                                                  
(x)                       
JSCE
(Y)

 

400

5766

94798

                                                    191715  

 

-0.01

 

13319 

 

486758

Table 3. shows that the calculated correlation coefficient (r) between variables (x) and (y) is –0.01. The result is that the relationship between the continuous assessment scores in integrated science and JSCE scores in integrated science is negative. 

Research question four

What is the relationship between continuous assessment scores in social studies and JSCE scores in social studies?
 
Table 4 The relationship between the continuous assessment scores in social studies and JSCE scores in social studies.

Variables

N

åx, åy

åx2, åy2

åxy

r

CA                                                  
(x)                       
JSCE
(Y)

 

400

5903

104530

                                                    203843   

 

-0.15

 

14024 

 

517146

Table 4 shows that the correlation coefficient (r) between variables (x) and (y) is –0.15. The result is that there is a negative relationship between continuous assessment in social studies JSCE scores in social studies.

Testing of hypothesis one

H01: There is no significant relationship between the students’ continuous assessment scores in English studies and JSCE scores in English studies.

 
Table 5. The relationship between the continuous assessment scores in English studies and JSCE scores  in English studies.

Variables
CA                                                  
(x)                       
JSCE
(Y)

N

åx, åy

åx2, åy2

åxy

r

jkljk

zr

df

Al

 

400

5782

94163

                                                    213124   

 

-0.13

 

-0.05

 

-2.6

 

398

0.05
(1.96)

 

14860 

 

569018

It can be discerned from table 5 that 400 students have a sum (åx) of 5702, sum of squares (åx2) of 9414 in English studies continuous  assessment. Their 1997 JSCE scores sum (åy) was 14860 and sum of squares (åy2 ) is 569018. The sum of product (åxy) of their CA and JSCE scores is 212124. The table has also shown that the calculated correlation coefficient (r) between the two variables is –0.3, the unbiased error of the obtained correlation (Qr) is 0.05 and the Zr is –2.6.
Since the magnitude of the obtained or calculated Z- ratio of the correlation (-2.6) is greater than the critical value of Z (1.96) at 0.05 level significance under 39 degrees of freedom for a non-directional test, the first null hypothesis is rejected. That is, there is a statistically significant relationship between students continuous assessment scores and JSCE. The inverse correlation (.13) implies that students, who made high CA scores, got low scores in the JSCE.

Testing of hypothesis two
H02: There is no significant relationship between the students’ continuous assessment scores in Mathematics and JSCE scores in Mathematics.
Table 6. The relationship between the continuous assessment scores in Mathematics and JSCE scores in Mathematics.


Variables
CA                                                  
kjljkjl(x)                       
JSCE
(Y)

N

åx, åy

åx2, åy2

åxy

y

y

y

y

y

 

400

5782

94163

                                                    213124   

 

-0.13

 

-0.05

 

-2.6

 

398

0.05
(1.96)

 

14860 

 

569018

It is clearly seen from table 6 that 400 students and a sum (åX) of 5633 sum of squares (åx2) of 84009 in Mathematics continuous assessment their 1997 JSCE scores sum (åY)13769and sum of squares (åy2 ) is 462909.

The sum of product (∑XY) of their continuous assessment scores and JSCE scores is 189707. The table also showed the calculated, correlation coefficient between the two variables is -0.60, the unbiased standard error of the obtained correlation (Qr) is 0.05 and the Zr is -12. Since the magnitude of calculated value of Z(1.96) at 0.05 alpha level under 398 degrees of freedom for a non-directional test, the second null hypothesis is rejected. That is, there is a statistically significant relationship between students C.A. scores and JSCE scores in Mathematics. The inverse correlation (-0.60)


implies that students who made high C.A. scores got low scores in the JSCE.

Testing of hypothesis three
Ho3:  There is no significant relationship between students’ continuous assessment scores in Integrated Science and JSCE scores in Integrated Science.
 
Table 7: The relationship between students continuous assessment scores in Integrated Science and JECE scores in Integrated Science.


Variables

N

∑X, ∑Y

∑X2  ∑Y2

∑XY

R

Qr

Zr

df

AL

CA
(X)

 

400

5766

94798

 

191715

 

-0.01

 

0.05

 

-0.2

 

398

 

0.05
(1.96)

JSCE
(Y)

13319

486758


Table 7 show that 400 students had a sum (∑X) of 5766, sum of squares (∑X2) of 94798 in Integrated Science continuous assessment. Their 1997 JSCE scores sum (∑Y) 13319 and sum of square  (∑Y2) is 486758. the table has also shown that the calculated correlation coefficient (r) between the two variables is -0.01; the unbiased standard error of the obtained correlation (Qr) is 0.05 and the zr is -0.2. Since the magnitude of the calculated Z-ratio of the correlation (0.2) is less than the critical value of Z(1.96) at 0.05 level of significance under 398 degrees of freedom for  non-directional test, the third null hypothesis is accepted. That is there is no statistically significant relationship between students continuous assessment scores and JSCE scores.


Testing Of Hypothesis Four
H04:     There is no significant relationship between students continuous assessment scores in Social Studies achiever JSCE scores in Social Studies.
 
Table 8: The relationship between student’s continuous assessment scores in Social Studies and JSCE scores in Social Studies. 


Variables

N

∑X, ∑Y

∑X2  ∑Y2

∑XY

R

Qr

Zr

df

AL

CA
(X)

 

400

5903

104530

 

203843

-0.15

 

0.05

-3

 

398

 

0.05
(1.96)

JSCE
(Y)

 

 


Table 8 shows that 400 students who took he 1997 JSCE has a sum (X) of 5903, sum of squares (X2) of 104530 in Social Studies continuous assessment. Their 1997 JSCE scores sum (Y) is 14024 and sum of squares (Y2) is 517148 while the sum of product (XY) of their CA and JSCE scores is 203843. The table was also shown that the calculated correlation (r) between the two variables is -0.5; the unbiased standard error of the obtained correlation (Qr) is 0.05 and the Zr is -3. Since the magnitude of the calculated Z-ratio of correlation (3) is greater than the critical value of Z (1.96) at 0.05 level of significance under 390 degrees of freedom for a non-directional test, the fourth null hypothesis is rejected. That is, there is a statically significant relationship between students’ continuous assessment scores in Social Studies and their JSCE scores in Social Studies.

Discussion
i.          Research question one: What is the relationship between the continuous assessment scores in English studies and JSCE scores in English studies?
ii.         Hypothesis one There is no significant relationship between the continuous assessment scores, in English studies and JSCE scores in Studies.

The result shows that the coefficient of correlation between the continuous assessment

scores in English studies and JSCE scores in English Studies in Imo State is -0.13 as shown in table 4.1 which implies a negative relationship. The magnitude of the calculated  Z-ratio of correlation (2.6) is greater than the critical value of Z(1.96) at ).05 alpha level under 390 degrees of freedom. Hence, the fires null hypothesis is rejected based on the calculated value of Z and critical value of Z.  This indicates that these is a significant relationship between students continuous assessment scores in English studies and their 1597 JSCE scores in English Studies in Imo State. This means that the higher a student ‘s C.A. score in English studies, the lower his/her JSCE score in English Studies. Results of hypothesis one upholds Nwana’s view (1982) that students who performed well in internal examinations free from any form of malpractice are bound to correspondingly do some in external examination.

Other factors that would have led to the significant relationship between the C.A. scores and examination scores in English Language include:
(1)        Strict supervision in all examination
(2)        Presence of greater ratio of adequately qualified professional teachers in the schools to the less qualified professional teacher.
According to Iwundu (1983) a sound foundation in lower classes based on quality of staff and effective use of instructional materials has been shown to give students a head start, and then cumulative effects of such foundations may influence subsequent performance either in internal or external examinations. This result agrees with Becker and Engloman’s views (1976) that students with low or high academic achievements in school and up with corresponding grades, if there is conducive environment good quality of staff, and uniformity in standard of examination and assessment tools.

  • Research question two: What is the degree of relationship between the continuous assessment scores in Mathematics and JSCE scores in Mathematics?   
      Hypothesis two There is no significant relationship between the continuous assessment scores in Mathematics.  

Table 2 shows that the correlation coefficient between the C.A. scores in Mathematics and JSCE scores in Mathematics in Imo State is -0.60 which is a negative correlation or inverse relationship. The magnitude of the calculated Y-ratio of correlation (-12) is greater than the critical value of Z(1.96) at 0.05 level of significance under B98 degrees of freedom fir a non directional test. Hence, the second null hypothesis is rejected. This means that there is a significant relationship between students C.A. scores in Mathematics and JSCE scores in Mathematics. The inverse correlation 0.60 implies that students who made high C.A. scores got low scores in the JSCE.

These findings support earlier work undertaken by Odwyer (1993) where she observed negative correlation in performance between internally generated continuous assessments scores and senior secondary school certificate examination results, obtained by the same candidates in Imilis Secondary School, Calabar, in commerce form 1989 to 1992 Odwyer attributed the non-consistency in performance among the students to:

  • Research question three: What is the relationship between continuous assessment scores in integrated science and JSCE scores in Integrated Science?
  • Hypothesis Three There is no significant relationship between the continues assessment scores in Integrated Science and JSCE scores in Integrated Science.

The result in table 3 shows that the coefficient of relation between the C.A. scores in Integrated Science and JSCE in Integrated Science is -0.01 which is a negative relationship. The calculated Z-ratio of the correlation (-0.02 is less than the critical value of (1.96) at 0.05) level of significance under 390 degree of random for a non-directional test. Thus, the third null hypothesis is accepted which implies that there is no statically significant relationship between the student’s continuous assessment scores in Integrated Science and JSCE scores in Integrated Science in Imo State. This means that students who made high C.A. score Integrated Science made low in the JSCE Integrated Science.

Results of hypothesis three disagree with Adah (1989), whose research (un-published) aimed at

predicting the performance of students in the senior secondary chemistry certificate examination alone, based on their JSS III Integrated science certificate examination result.  But, Ibe (1993) reported a high positive correlation when he correlated the continuous assessment scores obtained in 1993/94 session with the State’s common entrance into the school reasons for the high positive correlations.
1.         Performance in science related courses is associated with people of high intelligence and all-round ability because of the Mathematical nature of science subjects.
2.         The quality of stay in the model schools must be high in terms of the professional training acquired and dedication to duties.
3.         Research studies have shown that studies admitted into model and Federal Government Colleges are those who have had good primary education background in standard nursery/primary schools.
i.          Research question four What is the relationship between continuous assessment scores in social studies and JSCE scores in Social Studies? 
ii.         Hypothesis four There is no significant relationship between continuous assessment scores in Social Studies and JSCE scores in Social Studies.
The result in table 4 shows that the coefficient of correlation between the C.A. scores in Social Studies and JSCE scores in Social Studies is -0.15 which is a negative relationship. The magnitude of the calculated z-ratio of correlations (-3) is greater than the critical value of z (1.96) at 0.05 alpha level under 398 degrees of freedom for a non-directional test. Hence, the fourth null hypothesis is rejected. Therefore, there is a statistically significant relationship between the C.A. score in social studies and JSCE scores in social studies in Imo State. This implies that students who made high C.A. scores in Social Studies made low JSCE scores in Social Studies. The result of hypothesis four also agrees with Nwana’s views (1982) that students who performed well in internal examinations free from any form of malpractice are bound to correspondingly do same in external examinations.

Other factors that would have led to the significant relationship between C.A. scores and examination scores in Social Studies include:
1.         Availability of adequately qualified professional teachers.
2.         Proper supervision in the examination.

This result also is in agreement with Becker and Engloman’s views (1976) that students with high or low academic achievements in school end up with corresponding grades, provided there is good quality of staff, conducive environment and uniformity in standard of examination and assessment tools.  Considering the quality of staff and facilities on ground, and other factors like strict supervision, standard and competiveness of the examination in Federal Government Colleges, analysis of hypothesis four agrees to an extent with Andortan (1985) in his study to determine the predictive value of continuous assessment scores among 100 randomly selected JSSI students of Federal, Girls College, Calabar and observed a high positive correlation between students scores in continuous assessment and their promotion examination to JSS2. 

Implications of results
These implications follow from the results of this study
1.         That the students that got high continuous assessment scores in English studies got low scores in JSCE and those who had low continuous assessment scores got high JSCE scores.
2.         That the students who got high C.A. scores in mathematics got low scores in mathematics in JSCE and vice versa.
3.         That the students that obtained high C.A. scores in Integrated Science got low JSCE scores in integrated science and vice versa.
4.         Also, that student who obtained high C.A. scores in social studies obtained low JSCE scores in social studies and vice versa.

Recommendations
The following recommendations are hereby given based on the results of the study.

.           Workshops and seminar should be organized for teachers in the concept and application of continuous assessment.
2.         School administrations should be given proper orientation on the need to safe guard and properly store continuous assessment records.
3.         Continuous assessment format should be centrally prepared and co-ordinated by psychometricians from State Ministries of Education. 
4.         Enough well qualified guidance counselors should be employed and posted to all secondary schools to help give students guidance and counseling services.  

Refereces
Abdullah, A (1973), A case study the predictive value of joint matriculation examination in selected subjects Journal of Nigeria Educational Research Association vol.P.31.
           

Akusoba, E.O. (1982), Continuous assessment as now practiced in the schools and the West African school certificate results  ANVIL Vol. 1
           
Aleyidaina, S.C. (1987), Factors of qualitative education and the role of the West African Examination Council” WAEC NEWS: A House Journal of the West African Examination Council Vol. 3 No.18 Sept./Dec. 1987.

Bloom, B.S., Hactrep, I.J. and George, M. F. (1971). Handbook on formative and summative evaluation of students learning USA :Mc-Graw-Hill Inc.

Brown, J.N. (1982), Grade point average and internal examination, Education Review PP. 56 - 57.

Dalton,S. (1974), Predictive validity of high school  and C.A. scores for minority students,

 

Educational and psychological measurement; vol.34, PP. 367 – 370
Dustan, J.O. (1966), Theory and practice of continuous assessment, Ihiala, Nigeria: Deo Gratias Press.

Eke, A (1993), Prediction of academic success in school certificate examination from national common entrance examination score; unpublished M.Ed Thesis: University of Ife.

Eze, D. (1981) The CA cumulative scores as predictors academic achievement in junior secondary school examination. Unpublished M.Ed Thesis of U.N.N. Nsukka.

Federal Ministry of Education (1981): National policy of education (Revised), Lagos: NERC Press.

Holmes, B. and Lawre, S.A. (1969), Education and examination; The World year Book of Education  New York; Harcourt, Brace and World Inc.

Ibanga, F. (1982), Psychology for Researchers, London: Macmillan.

 

Nwana, C.C. (1982): Educational measurement for teachers, Walton: Thomas Nelson and Sons Ltd.

Nwigwe, G. (1988) Grades and teachers’ forecasts, Educational Research Vol. 13, PP. 28-35.

Nworgu, B.G. (1991), Educational research (basic issues and methodology), Ibadan: Wisdom.

 

Odwsr, O. (1993), Relationship between academic performance in mock and senior secondary school certificate commerce examination; unublished M. Ed thesis, University of Calabar.