Analysis of Students' Ability Level in Senior Secondary School Certificate Examination Economics Multiple Choice Tests (2012 - 2016) in Ogbomosho, Oyo State6

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Department of Social Sciences Education, University of Ilorin, Ilorin, Nigeria


This study aimed at analyzing the ability level of students’ in Senior Secondary School Certificate Economics Examination using Item Response Theory (IRT). Using descriptive survey type research design, two research questions and one hypothesis were generated for the study. The study population consists of all four thousand, seven hundred and thirty final year students of Senior Schools in Ogbomoso, Oyo State; out of which sample of one thousand and eighty students were selected using multi-stage sampling technique was drawn. The instruments used for data collection were WAEC, NECO and NABTEB multiple choice Economics papers which are standardized tests that are presumed to be accurate, reliable and valid. The data collected were analysed using Cronbach’s Alpha method to ascertain the reliability of the test items to provide answers to research question one, descriptive statistics and WinGen IRT software package was used to provide answers to research question two, while the research hypothesis was tested using Analysis of Variance (ANOVA) statistics. The result shows that all three exams were reliable; however, NECO had the highest reliability index of 0.69. Also, the result reveals that on the average, the examinees were of medium ability, but in 2012 to 2014, the mean abilities in NECO were higher than in WAEC Economics items, while that of WAEC in the same years were higher than those of NABTEB except for 2015 and 2016 where the ability levels of the examinees in NABTEB were found to be higher than that of WAEC even though that of the NECO remains the highest of them all. Moreover, the result indicates that there is no significant difference in the ability levels of students in 2012 to 2016 multiple-choice Economics items based on WAEC, NECO and NABTEB standardized examinations (p-values of .85, .26, .14, .64 and .44). Recommended were given in line with the obtained results



Construct, Students’ ability, Achievement Test, Item Response Theory