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Determining Thinking Levels Required in West African Senior Secondary School Certificate on Core Mathematics Multiple Choice Items

Dorcas S. Daramola1, Adekunle T. Olutola2, Henry O. Owolabi3, Andrews Cobbinah4

There have been many criticisms with regard to the low performance of students in the examinations conducted by the West African Examination Council (WAEC) especially in core mathematics which is one of the perquisites for the students to gain admission into the University. This situation presupposes that WAEC mathematics test items are seen to be very difficult by students. It is essential to investigate this claim by the students. This study aimed to determine the thinking levels required in West African senior secondary school certificate on core mathematics multiple choice items. The research design adopted for this study was descriptive and survey was the method employed. The data were gathered from the multiple-choice items of 2013 and 2014 Senior Secondary School Certificate Examination (SSSCE) of WAEC. Data analysis was carried out using frequency, percentage, and chi-square test. Findings revealed that the thinking levels required in the test items varied. Analyzing was the thinking level required to a greater degree in both tests relative to the other thinking levels. There was no significant difference in the thinking levels required in both examinations. Overall, the thinking levels required in the tests are categorized in higher-order cognitive learning domain. The findings may serve as input for WAEC in the review of the test items and for secondary schools in enhancing their mathematics instruction.

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