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A CRITICAL EXAMINATION OF THE USE OF PREDICTIVE VALIDITY OF UTME SCORES IN DETERMINING THE ACADEMIC PERFORMANCE OF FRESH UNDERGRADUATES IN CHEMISTRY

A CRITICAL EXAMINATION OF THE USE OF PREDICTIVE VALIDITY OF UTME SCORES IN DETERMINING THE ACADEMIC PERFORMANCE OF FRESH UNDERGRADUATES IN CHEMISTRY

CHAPTER ONE

INTRODUCTION

1.1       Background of the Study

A variety of characteristics are sought when evaluating the test teacher’s use of the exam in grading and reporting student performance to stakeholders. The qualities are validity, dependability, usability, objectivity, and interpretability. Item analysis is also used to create difficulty, discrimination, and distracter indices. This type of validity is referred to as test validity. According to Anikweze (2005), tests The degree to which a test measures what it is designed to measure is referred to as its validity. According to Kolawole (2010), test validity is defined as the extent to which a test measures what is intended to be assessed. In educational assessment, validity can be defined broadly as the precision with which inferences are drawn from students’ responses to questions.

Tests and inventories are examples of assessment tools (popham 2000). The validity of a test depends on the technique or process used. Validity tests are classified into four types: face and construct validity, criterion-related validity, and content validity.

Face validity refers to how well a test appears to measure what it promises to measure. Although it is not technically a type of validity, a test should be phrased and presented in an appealing manner to the testee. A test must have this feature in order to elicit testee participation (Mprat, 2014). Harnony (2012), on the other hand, defines construct validity as the degree to which test performance can be explained in terms of specific psychological concepts. A construction is defined as

a psychological property assumed to exist in order to account for some aspect of psychological activity. Constructs include intelligence, preparedness, anxiety, reasoning capacity, endurance, introversion, extraversion, sociability, spatial visualization, reading comprehension, and linguistic ability.

Criterion-Related The amount to which a testee’s score on one test can be used to estimate the testee’s score on another test is referred to as validity. It is frequently combined with a criterion variable or measure (Sophina, 2012). While Predictive validity in psychometrics refers to the degree to which a score on a scale or test accurately predicts a score on a criterion measure. The validity of a cognitive work performance test, for example, is determined by the correlation between test scores and, for example,

ratings of supervisor performance (Sophina, 2012).

In addition, Michael (2011) defines prediction as an attempt to predict what will happen in the future about a result or even an unobserved event based on information/data deemed important to this unobserved occurrence. He emphasized that the concept can be expressed as using test scores to forecast a prospective student’s level of achievement in an academic program, using ability and interest measures to forecast/prognosticate the probability of success of subjects in various job categories, and determining which members of a freshman class are likely to be the most valuable competitors on the football or track events.

As a result, validation is defined as the process of comparing a test score to another.

The criterion is an observation. As a result, the purpose of testing is to forecast this criterion, and the value of the test is determined solely by its predictive accuracy (Cronbach,2001). In essence, predictive validity refers to a test score’s ability to accurately predict future performance (Ogunlade, 2000; Uzomah, 2009; and Ogunniyi, 2010). (2009). Normally (2008) defines determining an instrument’s predictive validity as matching prediction test scores with criterion variable scores. The strength of the correlation is proportional to the degree of validity. According to him, predictive validity is only determined by the degree of congruence between predictor and criterion measurements.

The University Matriculation Examination (UME), renamed the Unified Tertiary Institutions Matriculation Examinations (UTME), is a yearly entrance examination administered by the University of Matriculation. is a yearly entrance examination held by Nigeria’s Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB) to select and place suitably qualified candidates in Nigerian universities. Prior to the establishment of JAMB for the purpose of admitting students to various universities, universities conducted their own admission processes (Omodara, 2010). A slew of complaints have tainted this type of admission procedure. According to Osakuade (2011), there are several challenges, including the problem of numerous applications and admissions, an incoordinated system of university admissions, and a high cost to applicants. The pattern of university enrollment, for example, revealed that the majority of universities recruited the majority of their students from their local geographical communities (catchment areas). As a result of this, in

In 2004, the Vice-Chancellors’ Committee proposed central admission to avoid the numerous complications associated with separate admission procedures (Ifedili & Ifedili, 2010).

In recent years, Nigerians appear to have developed a remarkable understanding of university education. This is a positive trend that has resulted in an increase in the number of new universities, enrollment statistics, and massive government, religious, and individual investment in the sector. This could be due in part to the National Policy on Education (NPE), which states that university education in Nigeria should maximize national development by intensifying and diversifying programs for the development of high-level manpower in accordance with national needs (Federal Republic of Nigeria (FRN), 2004). This could also be due to the fact that the majority of professional organizations

University education is now required for member training.

University education is competitive around the world, and the next generation of Nigerian students capable of effectively contributing to her progress cannot be chosen at random. As a result, competition for admission spaces becomes more intense each year. Admission to university degree programs is thus contingent on performance in selection exams such as the Unified Tertiary Institutions Matriculation Examinations (UTME). To address the challenges inherent in individual institutions’ admission processes, the Federal Government of Nigeria established JAMB in 2008 as a centralized examination agency tasked with administering placement tests into Nigerian universities. In 2009, the Board administered the country’s first matriculation examination for admission to all degree-granting institutions; polytechnics and colleges of education in 2001, and monotechnics in 2002. and the Institute for Innovative Enterprises in 2009. (JAMB, 2011). JAMB has continued to administer admission tests for Nigerian universities since then. However, the number of prospective students at Nigerian universities has grown to the point where admissions competition has become a source of stress for both parents and applicants. The fact that the JAMB’s enrollment numbers for universities have increased demonstrates this (Adesina, 2005). The Board had over one million, five hundred and three thousand, nine hundred and thirty one (1,503,931) applicants in the 2012 Unified Tertiary Institutions Matriculation Examination (UTME) (Nairaland, 2011). The country’s institutions were the weakest in its history, according to Black-Revo (2010). This was due to the fact that only about 500,000 of the over 1.4 million students who took the UTME passed.

Admission to universities was granted. This trend has not been reversed, and it may result in malpractice.

In order to gain admission to their desired degree programs, desperate applicants may have engaged in various examination malpractices. According to Onyeoziri in Ifedili &Ifedili (2010), this was done in response to widespread dissatisfaction with JAMB and the unpredictability of educational policy. Many parents enroll their children in JAMB earlier than educational policy expects. According to Umo and Ezeudu (2010), parents find satisfaction in their children’s future selves rather than their current selves, facilitating and mitigating examination misconduct. Furthermore, many people are concerned that the quality of students accepted by JAMB is deteriorating year after year, despite their excellent UME scores. a large number of experts

and academics believe that the heyday of outstanding academic performance and superlative accomplishments among Nigerian students has passed (Obioma & Salau, 2007). As a result, experts have called for a conference on education to address the issue. Most universities that admit students solely on the basis of their UME scores, according to Afolabi, Mabayoje, Togu, Oyadeyi, and Raji (2007), have recognized that applicants with extremely high UME scores perform poorly at university and are frequently asked to withdraw.

Chemistry is the scientific study of compounds made up of atoms (or elements) and molecules (or atom combinations): their composition, structure, properties, and behavior, as well as the changes that occur when they combine with other substances. Chemistry is the most researched scientific subject. It

Nursing, medicine, public health, pharmacy, and natural science all use it as a foundational topic. In many African communities, students’ aversion to chemistry has resulted in significant schools in the classroom. The mistaken belief that scientific subjects, particularly chemistry, are difficult and abstract is passed down from generation to generation. This factor, commonly referred to as anxiety, has been identified as a contributing factor to students’ poor performance in chemistry. According to Jegede (2007), the breadth of the curriculum, the quality and quantity of chemistry teachers in schools, the lack of a well-equipped laboratory, and ineffective teaching methods are some of the primary causes of students’ anxiety about learning chemistry.

1.2 Definition of the Problem

In recent years, there have been several reports of

Chemistry courses are failing for new college students. While many of these students took and passed Chemistry in the UTME before being admitted to university, the rate at which they failed level one chemistry courses is concerning. What factors contribute to this high failure rate among first-year college students? Is it true that students who performed poorly in chemistry in the UTME are forced to study chemistry and other chemistry-related subjects? To address the aforementioned issues, it is critical to investigate the predictive validity of UTME scores in predicting new undergraduate chemistry students’ academic performance.

1.3 The Study’s Objective

The overall goal of this study is to critically examine the use of UTME score predictive validity in determining

the academic performance of fresh undergraduates in chemistry. As a result, the research will be focused on the following specific goals:

1. Determine the factors that contributed to the widespread failure of first-year chemistry students.

2. Determine whether there is a relationship between students’ chemistry scores in the UTME and their scores in level one chemistry courses.

3. Determine whether UTME Chemistry scores can predict the performance of fresh Chemistry students in chemistry courses.

4. Determine whether students with poor UTME chemistry performance are forced to study chemistry and other chemistry-related courses.

1.4 Hypotheses for Research

During the course of this research, the following hypothetical statement will be tested:

H01: There is no existing relationship between student chemistry scores.

in the UTME based on their performance in level one chemistry courses.

H02: Students’ UTME Chemistry scores do not predict the performance of fresh Chemistry students in chemistry courses.

H03: Students who perform poorly in UTME chemistry are not required to take chemistry or other chemistry-related courses.

1.5 Importance of Research

Given the recent high rate of failure among newly admitted science students in Nigerian universities, this study is critical because the findings will help teachers, school administrators, and policymakers understand the problems that prospective students may face in the University before being admitted. Furthermore, if a correlation is discovered between UTME Chemistry scores and student performance in Chemistry courses, then

Students who perform poorly in the UTME Chemistry may be assigned to a department with less chemistry content.

1.6 The Study’s Scope

The purpose of this study is to investigate the predictive validity of UTME scores in determining the academic performance of fresh undergraduates in chemistry. The study will, however, identify the factors responsible for the mass failure of fresh undergraduates in chemistry, ascertain whether there is a relationship between the chemistry scores of students in UTME and their scores in level one chemistry courses, ascertain whether the Chemistry scores of students in UTME can predict the performance of fresh Chemistry students in chemistry courses, and determine whether students with low performance in UTME chemistry can be successful in chemistry courses

as well as other chemistry-related courses.

This research will be conducted at the University of Nigeria in Nsukka, Enugu State.

1.7. The Study’s Limitations

The researcher encountered some constraints while conducting this study, including time constraints, financial constraints, language barriers, and the respondents’ attitudes.

There was also the issue of researcher bias. In this case, the researcher had some biases that may have been reflected in the way the data was collected, the type of people interviewed or sampled, and how the data gathered was subsequently interpreted. The possibility of all of this influencing the findings and conclusions cannot be overstated.

Furthermore, the findings of this study are restricted to the sample population in the study area, so they are limited.

In comparison to other schools, it may not be appropriate for use.

1.8 Terms Definition

The University Matriculation Examination (UME), also known as the Unified Tertiary Institutions Matriculation Examinations (UTME), is a yearly common entrance examination conducted by the Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB) of Nigeria for the sole purpose of selecting and placing suitably qualified candidates into Nigerian Universities.

Chemistry is the scientific study of compounds made up of atoms (i.e. elements) and molecules (i.e combination of atoms).

The degree of relevance and accuracy with which a test measures what is meant to be measured is referred to as test validity.

Prediction: This is an attempt to predict what will happen in the future, whether it is an outcome or not.

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