Background To The Study

A prerequisite for admission into higher education in Nigeria is meeting the criteria set by the National Universities Commission (NUC). Apart from obtaining acceptable scores in the unified matriculation examinations, candidates are also expected to obtain at least credit grades in some subjects at the end of their secondary school education. For Economist these prerequisite subjects include Political Science  , and Political Science . However, there have been debates in recent times as to the relevance of these prerequisites to students’ academic performance after admission. This has been necessitated by suggestions that university students’ performance do not always reflect their pre-admission academic performance. It is in the light of this that this project examines the correlation between the scores of students of Political Science   in some admission prerequisite subjects (Government and Political Science ) and  Political Science   – a core course for the study of Political Science   Education in Nigerian  Colleges of Education and universities. The study adopts a combination of primary and secondary data. Data were obtained through literature survey, archival retrieval of students’ records and augmented by discussions with course tutors and students.

Quantitative data was analyzed using the SPSS (version17) while content analysis was used for qualitative data. This paper found that except for the second semester of the second year of Political Science   studies, there exists no correlation between admission qualification and academic performance of students. However, it found that female students outperformed their male counterparts in all the semesters. It is hoped that the outcome of this project will inform Colleges of Education and university admission policy especially for Political Science   and ensure that the best candidates are given opportunity to study.

Higher education is very crucial for the socio-economic and technological development of any country. It provides the skilled manpower needed to transform the resources within that country into wealth [1]. This is achieved when higher education provides the right quality of training and skills required at the right quantity. Over the years, the number of persons applying to enter universities in Nigeria has been on the increase. However, just a fraction of these applicants are admitted each year. University and Colleges of Education admission in Nigeria is very competitive due to the high number of applicants vying for limited slots. It is thus expected that only the best will be admitted since academic merit is the major criteria used for admission.

Initially, each University and Colleges handled its admission process autonomously. As a result, there was variance in the criteria used as each adopted what was considered most appropriate for it. However over time, the need to harmonize admission processes across the country was realized. Consequently the Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB) were established to coordinate and standardize university admission processes in the country. The board conducted its first unified examination in1978.

Each course was given a cut-off mark which varied from one university to another. Meeting the prescribed cut-off mark for a course in a particular university thus qualified a candidate to be provisionally admitted. Admissions were however confirmed on the candidate obtaining good grades in prescribed subjects (which vary from course to course) at the end of their secondary school education. Results accepted are those organized by the West African Examination Council, (WAEC) and National Examination Council (NECO). The current practice now includes a post-JAMB assessment of candidates by the universities where they have been given provisional admission.

Over the years, there have been concerns about the correlation between the pre-admission qualification of students and their academic performance in the university. This appears to be a global source of concern in view of the ongoing debates and studies on the issue in different countries [1, 2, 3, 4]. This project thus contributes to the debate by examining the relationship between pre-admission qualification and academic performance of Economic students in College of Education Ikere-Ekiti, Ekiti State – a Government Owned College, Nigeria.


There have been serious doubts on the integrity and validity of these two examinations; SSCE and UTME. Students, teachers and even agents of the examination bodies have been reported to have been caught in large scale examination malpractices during the conduct of the examinations. Consequent upon which, studies have shown that students who scored high in both examinations had performed very poorly in the universities, final examinations. Expanding his study to include other extraneous social variables and academic admission criteria, Parveen Azam Ali (2008) in his study reported that academic factors considered in the admission criteria were better predictors of students’ academic performance than the non-academic factors.


To cut down on the constraint this might be encountered in form of dearth/paucity of data and other related constraints to a manageable proportion. the scope and the coverage of this study has been narrowed down, to cover (A Large Institution in the like of College of Education, Ikere Ekiti).The study will cover whole of the College of Education and will be limited to the Qualification(UTME & POST-UTME) as a predictor of student’s academic performance using some target variable to make a generalization such as student’s GPA UTME results e.t.c.

There were constraints such as sourcing of data and financial constraints sourcing of data from various government institutions such as College Departments.  It is not an easy task, carrying-out a study of this nature need a lot of money and as a student, there is always a problem of inadequate fund.


The purpose of this study will be to investigate the effectiveness of the Universities Matriculation Examination (UTME and Post-Universities Tertiary

Matriculation Examination (POST-UTME) in admitting Political Science   students into Nigerian Universities. Also this study is specifically designed to:

(1) Examine the effectiveness of the UTME results in predicting Political Science   students’ academic performance at all levels in Tertiary Institutions in Ekiti State, Nigerian.

(2) Examine the relationship between POST_UTME of Political Science   students and their academic performances of all levels in Tertiary Institutions in Ekiti State.


Successful establishment of relationship between entry qualification and students’ performance will provide information that will help decision-makers and educationists in the teaching profession in predicting performance and therefore proper selection of prospective students into the Colleges of Education, Ikere-Ekiti. This will in turn help in producing quality teachers that will meet the educational needs of the society. Also,

  1. The result of the work will help Education policy makers in the area of Entry Qualification into Universities, Colleges of Education and Polytechnics to know how to tackle some of their problem which has been researched on.
  2. It is also indeed anticipated that this research work will be of immense help to the academic and others who may find study invaluable source of material for their future research work.
  3. This research will help to correlate, compare and co-ordinate the UTME, POST-UTME and Student’s Academic performance in our various Tertiary Institutions in Nigeria.


The following research questions will be generated for this study.

  • Is there any relationship between UTME scores of Political Science students and their academic performance in Political Science   at all levels in College of Education, Ikere-Ekiti?

(2) Is there any relationship between POST-UTME scores of Political Science   students and their academic performance in Political Science   at all levels in Colleges of Education, Ikere-Ekiti?

(3) Will UTME and POST-UTME scores of Political Science   students added to their subsequent academic performance in Colleges of Education, Ikere-Ekiti.


Based on research question, the following research hypothesis were generated and tested at 0.05 level of significance.

(1) There is no significant relationship between UTME scores of Political Science   students and their academic performance in Political Science   at all levels in Colleges of Education, Ikere-Ekiti.

(2) There is no significant relationship between POST-UTME scores of Political Science   students to their academic performance in at Political Science   all levels in Colleges of Education, Ikere-Ekiti.

(3) There is no significant effect of UME and POSTUTME scores of Political Science   Students to their subsequent academic performance in Colleges of Education, Ikere-Ekiti.


Entry qualification is the prerequisite for entry into College of Education, Ikere- Ekiti. Here it is five credit passes, including: Political Science  , English Language, and Political Science  and Government, plus two other subjects in SSCE, GCE O’ Level, etc. The grades in the 5 subjects, ranging from A1 to F9 were converted to scores from 9 to 1, with A1 scoring highest. From this a total entry qualification score was derived for each student.

PERFORMANCE: In this study, the academic performance is represented by the average mark, made by the students in the pre-qualifying final examination. The average score from the three papers taken in the examination was computed.

PREDICTOR: A determinant of a possible outcome from a process.

UTME:    As used in this context, this means University Test Matriculation Examination.

JAMB:  In this project, this means Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board.


POST-UTME:  Post University Matriculation Examination which is a test conducted by individual Universities in Nigeria.

SSCE:   Senior School Certificate Examination

WAEC: West Africa Examination Council




This section reviews the related literature for the study. The purpose of this chapter is to review pertinent literature and what previous theorists and scholars have done in relation to the study. What the findings are and what else is left to be done, and brief appraisal of the literature with a view to sharpening the researcher’s knowledge about the study.

  • The Concept of Entry Qualification and Academic Performance
  • Conceptual Framework
  • O’ Level Certificate

The Concept of Entry Qualification and Academic Performance

Literature review revealed a wide interest in academic performance of pupils and students at primary, secondary and tertiary levels of education in different parts of the world. Farooq, M. S. (2011) investigated factors affecting academic performance at the secondary level in Pakistan. Mlambo,  (2011) studied academic performance of biochemistry undergraduate students in the West Indies.  Corkum, P. McGonnell, M. and Schachar, . (2010) studied factors affecting children with attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder. Adewale, and Adhuze, (2014) examined the academic performance of architecture students in Nigerian polytechnics vis a vis their entry qualifications. Although this project also investigates the correlation between pre-admission qualifications of students of Economics and their academic performance, its focus is on students studying Economics in a Nigerian Government-owned College of Education, Ikere-Ekiti. Ekiti State.

Focus is on tertiary education because pursuit of higher education is the pre-occupation of many people across the world Lotkowski, V. A., Robbins, S. B. and Noeth,. (2004). This is because attainment of higher education raises the social status of individuals and their households Mushtaq, I. and Khan,. (2012). It is also seen as a veritable gateway to access better employment and related income. Higher education also enhances a country’s socio-economic development Mushtaq, and Khan, (2012).  However, many students admitted to higher institutions are unable to achieve this dream. A major reason advanced for this is poor academic performance of students concerned.

Although academic performance of students has long been a subject of enquiry, there does not yet seem to be a consensus as to its definition. Scott, . (2012) views academic performance or achievement as how well a student accomplishes his or her tasks and studies. According to Tuckman,  (1975) performance is manifestation of knowledge, skills, concepts, and understanding and ideas. Within the academic environment, it is a student’s ability to demonstrate mastery of what he has been taught. It is the capacity of the student not only to study and remember facts but also to be able to communicate such knowledge when required, especially under examination conditions.

Several literature like Mushtaq, I. and Khan,  (2012) suggest that grades in various tests is the most well-known measure of academic performance. Thus scoring certain grades in examinations indicate candidates’ ability and mastery of the course content in which they are examined. However, Williams, E. and Media . (2013) argues that grades ought not to be the only measures of academic excellence since grades may be influenced by factors such as attendance and instructor prejudice. Mlambo,  (2011).  opines that poor academic performance at tertiary institutions (which is often measured by grades) result in high levels of attrition which ultimately reduces graduate throughput thereby increasing the cost of training a nation’s labour force. This cost is born by both government and the students’ families or sponsors. Mlambo, (2011) therefore suggests the need to identify factors that affect student performance. There is also need to find other ways of measuring academic performance to reflect students’ capabilities.

Entry qualification into College of Education in Nigeria include: an entrance examination which the student must pass after he/she must have obtained the WAEC or its equivalent. Durotolu, (1994), states that academic performance is an expression used to represent student’s scholastic standing. While Kasworm & Pike, (1994), state that academic performance is cumulative grade-point average. Academic performance is synonymous with academic achievement and this means what a student has learned from instruction. It is an aspect of one’s ability.

In many institutions, grades determine if a student will graduate. It also influences entry into high-level occupations, and influences admission into graduate/professional schools. Most large enterprises and companies these days also employ only those who made very high grades like first class and second class upper division.

Academic performance is measured with both scholastic aptitude test and achievement test. Scholastic aptitude is the capacity to do well in academic pursuits after a period of training. It predicts future performance from the present state of the individual. Examples include the Federal Ministry of Education Aptitude Test, the Joint Admission and Matriculation Board (JAMB) in Nigeria, etc. Achievement tests measure an individual’s performance after undergoing a specified course of instruction. They represent what a person has learned, whereas aptitude test attempts to indicate what a person could learn. Examples of achievement tests are: End of course achievement tests, formative achievement test, general ability test, teacher-made achievement test, and of course the final secondary school education grade enshrined in the SSCE/GCE O’ Level/NECO results in Nigeria.

Educational measurement and evaluation is an integral aspect of teaching and learning. It involves selection of measuring instruments, test construction, test administration and the use of, and interpretation of both teachers made and standardized tests. Testing, examination, measurement and evolution are terms used in teaching and learning. Testing involves the use of specific instrument to determine certain qualities or traits. Examination is broader and covers more topics than testing. Measurement on the other hand is the process by which things are differentiated by assigning a position (in figures) on a scale (a linear continuum) along which objects or integers to entities, attributes or events according to a specified rule.

Evaluation in education is the process of judging the effectiveness of educational experiences through careful appraisal. Gbamanja, (1991), is of the view that education is a process which seeks to change the behavior of students while evaluation is a process by which we find out whether the change in behaviour has occurred.

Generally speaking, predicting future academic performance from past achievement as represented by present performance is not very easy. Most researchers have agreed that high school rank is the best single predictor of college success (Lengacher & Keller, 1990).

Durotolu, (1994), studied the relationship between entry qualifications, (JAMB inclusive) combined with the various periodic course assessments and performance of students of college of education, ORO, at the end of the semester. The results show that both entry qualification and course tests, more or less, have significant influence on students’ performance with course test showing a strong predictive power. Jimoh & Durotolu, (1998), compared the entry qualification of NCE students with their performance in education course, considering WASC/GCE, Grade 11 Teachers’ Certificate and Pivotal Certificate as entry qualification. They concluded that none of these three categories of students showed any significant superiority or otherwise over the other in education and teaching practice.

Platt et al. (2001) investigated preadmission criteria, Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT) scores, and high school grade point average (HSGPA) and to determine the ability of those criteria to predict the college grade point average

(CGPA) of graduates from programmes in athletic training and 5 other allied health disciplines. It was found from this study that overall, HSGPA and SATV score were predictive of student success (CGPA) in the several studies have focused on factors that may influence academic performance. Some of the factors identified from literature include socio-economic status of students’ households; home environment; personal characteristics of students (including self-esteem and attitude); the school personnel; tutors’ teaching styles; class size; quality of teaching; the social structure including relationship with peers, parents’ involvement in their child’s education; gender; aptitude; motivation and entry qualifications and prerequisites .It was found that the socio-economic status and parents’ education do not only have a significant effect on students’ overall academic achievement but also their performance in specific subjects like Political Science  and English language. Explaining the impact of socio-economic characteristics on academic performance, Rouse, and Barrow (2006) elaborates that socioeconomically weak parents lack the capacity to meet the financial demands of their children’s education, a situation which compels the children to struggle through school and consequently perform below their fullest potential Sander, W. (2001). Mlambo, V. (2011). opines that the effect of these factors may differ as a result of contextual peculiarities due to culture, institution, course of study and the like. For instance, Trusty,  (2000) found that the effect of low socio-economic endowment, for instance, is most evident at the postsecondary level. Use of prior academic performance in selecting students appears to be a global trend as documented by Mlambo,. (2011), Minnesota Measures (2007)  and others. This is in view of studies like Kyoshaba, M. (2009), Geiser, S and Santelices,  (2007).and Staffolani, S and Bratti, M. (2002) whose studies showed that previous performance affects future performance.

According to Beilock,  (2008) a vital step in helping students perform better is in understanding what particular factors is needful since stressful academic situations reduce the working-memory available to attend to a task’s information processing requirements and to control its execution Steele,. (1997), Engle,  (2002).  opines that the more working-memory capacity people have, the better their performance on academic tasks such as problem solving and reasoning and therefore stresses the need to understand how people with more or less working-memory are affected by the types of high-stakes situations in which academic performance often occurs. Mlambo, (2011) notes that a good match between students’ learning preferences and instructor’s teaching style has been demonstrated to have positive effect on student’s performance. Noting that a number of students are multimodal he advocates use of teaching styles to meet the needs of students which he has classified as:

i Visual learners: students who prefer information to be presented on the whiteboard, flip charts, walls, graphics, pictures, colour. Probably creative and may use different colours and diagrams in their notebooks.

ii Aural (or oral)/auditory learners: prefer to sit back and listen. Do not make a lot of notes.

Students may find it useful to record lectures for later playbacks and reference.

iii Read/write learners: prefer to read the information for themselves and take a lot of notes. These learners benefit from given access to additional relevant information through handouts and guided readings.

iv Kinesthetic (or tactile) learners: these learners cannot sit still for long and like to fiddle with things. Prefer to be actively involved in their learning and thus would benefit from active learning strategies in class.

Conceptual Framework

An increasing in amount of work has been carried out in Pre-NCE programme. Numerous studies have also investigated the relationship between the direct entry qualification and academic achievement in Pre-NCE programme. Every tertiary institution for learning in Nigeria has its own entry qualification for its various programme and prospective candidate must attain such qualification before he or she is admitted to any preliminary course.

The new National Policy on Education (NPE) provide the following requirement for admission into preliminary programme in the college of education

O’ Level Certificate

Every applicant must possess Senior Secondary Certificate Examination (SSCE), West African Examination Council (W AE C), National Examination Council ( NECO), General Certificate of Education ( G CE), National Business and Technical Examinations Board (NABTHEB). Candidate with any of these result must attain three subject at a pass level including English language and minimum of two credit which must be in a subject is regarded for the preliminary programme.



This chapter highlights the various methods used in carry out research work on the effect of Entry Qualification  on the academic performance of students in the Political Science   department in college of Education, Ikere-Ekiti. This reach method has the advantage of leading itself to studies involving investigation of variable as this chapter under study.

Research Design

This will be descriptive study meant to find out the Entry Qualification  on the academic performance of student in the Political Science   department in College of Education Ikere-Ekiti. The method of selection of data was out extensively to measure the minute degree and possible relationship which influence student’s achievement in programme.


The population of the study will comprises of students that pass through Pre-NCE and some staffs of the College who have knowledge about the effect of Entry Qualification  on the academic performance of student in the Political Science   department.

During the research, ninety five student and five staffs were interviewed through questionnaire and their response were collected.

Sampling Techniques

For the purpose of the study a total number of ninety five (95) students result were sampled as well as five lecturers in the College. The Pre-NCE students were selected through the sample random sampling method while the lecturers were handpicked based on their experience.

Research Instrument

The major instrument used for the study will be student’s questionnaire. Questionnaire was designed for response in (Yes or No) so as to collect data faster. The questionnaire contains ten( 10) questions item including particular of each respondents the student were known to be appropriate for each item.

Validity of the Instrument

The original NCE result and entry qualification of students into the College were collected from the Head of Department (HOD), hence the examination results are considered to be official and valid.

Reliability of the Instrument

The instrument is reliable in the sense that it was administered by Head of Department (HOD)

Administration and Scoring of the Instrument

In administration the questionnaire, the researcher reached out to the people who pass through Entry Qualification  and some administrative staffs who know about the program, so as to explain the aim and objectives of the research to the respondents and what the researcher expected from them.


Afolabi, A.O (2005) Entry Qualification As a prediction of College Students Performance in Microteaching Ife Journal of Curriculum Studies.


Federal Republic of Nigeria (2012) National Policy On Education. Revised Edition. NERCPress, Yaba Lagos.


Idika N. (2003). The Relationship Between Entry Qualification and Final Performance in the Nigeria Certificate in Education (technical) Programme Asaba Journal of Education Studies

Majosan J.A & Bakare G.C.M (2007) Entry Qualification Journal of African Educational Research.


Mwajei T.A (2001). The Relationship BetweenEntry Qualification and Academ Success inAccounting Education. A Case Study of FCE (T)Asaba”. Unpublished NCE Project. FCE (T). Asaba.


National Commission of College of Education (2009). Minimum Standard for NCE Teacher- Education. Abuja: NCCE PR&XS


Oke, C.S. Ogunjide J.A & Oladimeji M.A (2008) An introduction to Historical Development of Education in Nigeria Oyo: Folayemi Cristhle.


Olayemi Bio, Adenigbabe H.A Oluwadamilare O.O. (2010) History of Education Ilesa: God’s Grace.


Saint, W.H & Frrant (2003) Higher Education in Nigeria: A Status Report. Washington D.C: The World Bank.


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