INFLUENCE OF STUDY HABITS ON STUDENTS’ ACADEMIC PERFORMANCE IN SECONDARY SCHOOLS IN GWER-EAST LOCAL GOVERNMENT AREA OF BENUE STATE

Abstract

This project has a primary objective to investigate the influence of study habits on academic performance of secondary schools students in Gwer-East Local Government Area of Benue State. Towards the realization of this objective, the researcher formulated a student questionnaire of 21items and administered to a total sample of 353 students from 10 different schools, 35 from each of the schools. The researcher used 7 research hypothesis and 7research questions to carry out the research.  The research questions were further tested and validated through the use of the 21items questionnaire administered. The influence of study habits on academic performance of secondary school students was seem to be imperative and influential on academic performance of secondary school students, again it was discovered that students who cultivate the habits of good study excel in academics more than those who practice bad study habits. Furthermore, the recommendations were that students should always prepare well before examinations to enable them pass creditably, also parents are advised to make sure that they provide a conducive environment for their children to learn both at home and in school. Furthermore, parents are advised to avoid giving their children who are in school jobs that involve serious task to enable them have time for their studies. Government is also recommended to provide libraries, functional laboratories, reading materials etc for schools so that students can have access to them and concentrate on their studies. The research is further suggested for more studies on the influence of study habits on academic performance of secondary school students in Nigeria as a whole for conformity with the research work.

 

 

 

 

CHAPTER ONE

INTRODUCTION

1.1              Background of the Study

Human life, which is the best creation of God, has got two aspects: The biological and sociological or cultural. While the former is maintained and transmitted by food and reproduction, the latter is preserved and transmitted by education. It is again through education that promotes individual intelligence and adds his knowledge with which he can move the world for good or for evil according to his wishes.

According to Safaya and Shaida, (1998), education in fact, is one of the major “life processes” of the human beings just as there are certain indispensible vital processes of life in a biological sense. So education may be considered a vital process in a social sense. Education is indispensable to normal living, without education the individual would be unqualified for group life.

Quality of performance has become the key factor for personal progress. Parents desire that their children climb the ladder of performance to as high a level as possible. This desire for a high level of achievement puts a lot of pressure on students, teachers, and schools in the educational system. In fact, it appears as if the whole system of education resolves round the academic achievement of students, though various other outcomes are also expected from the system. Thus a lot of time and effort of the schools are used in helping students to achieve better in their scholastic endeavours. The importance of scholastic and academic achievement has raised important questions for educational researchers. What factors promote achievement in students? How far do the different factors contribute towards academic achievement? (Ramaswamy, 1990).

Academic performance of students in secondary school may be affected by various factors like intelligence, study habits, and attitudes of pupil towards school, different aspects of their personality, socio-economic status, etc. The desire for success is derived from individual’s concept of himself and in terms of the meaning of various incentives as they spell success and failure in the eyes of others. Thus a child, who sees himself as top ranking scholar, may set as his goal the attainment of the highest grade in the class.

Ramaswamy (1990;255) states that “many students do badly academically, due to factors other than low intellectual capacity”. One such factor is poor study habits, which often result in poor academic performance even among the naturally bright students. Habits are true indicators of individuality in a person. According to Ramaswamy study habits are the behaviour of an individual related to studies. In the process of learning, learner’s habitual ways of exercising and practicing their abilities for learning are considered as study habits of learners. The pattern of behaviour adopted by students in the pursuit of their studies is considered under the caption of their study habits. Study habits reveal students personality. Learner’s learning character is characterized by his study habits. Study habits serve as the vehicle of learning. It may be seen as both means and ends of learning.

Study habits play a very important role in the life of students. Success or failure of each student depends upon his own study habits. Of course, study is an art and as such it requires practice. Some students study more but they fail to achieve more. Others study less but achieve more. Success of each student definitely depends upon ability, intelligence and effort of students. No doubt, regular study habits bring their own rewards in the sense of achievement of success in academics.

According to Patel (1996) study habits include:

v  Planning of work

v  Reading and note taking habits

v  Planning of subjects

v  Habits of concentration

v  Preparation for examination

v  Group study

v  Organising tutorials with mates

Research on the correlation between study habits and students’ academic performance has long received attention from scholars and educational agencies. For instance, the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) in 1994 conducted a study in the United States of America to find out relationship between study habits and academic performance of secondary school students. Findings of the study revealed that academic performance can be altered by the kind of habits a particular student chooses to practice.

          Based on the above, one can understand that habits as earlier mentioned play a key role in a life of every individual. Academic performance of any student in any institution can be affected by certain habits. Habits have something to do with practical aspect of every student. 

          Educationists and researchers have shown that study habits such as planning of work, reading and note taking, planning of subjects, habits of concentration, preparation for examination and general habits and attitudes have influence on academic performance of secondary school students.

          There are also factors that are obviously responsible for study habits of secondary school students and in turn have influence on the academic performance of secondary school students.

          Literally, it means that good study habits such as proper planning of work, proper reading and note taking, habits of concentration , well preparation for examination  produce positive academic performance while poor  study habits such as listening to music while reading, poor preparation for examination, lack of concentration, poor reading and note taking habits etc. lead to academic failure.

          Study habits are behaviours styles that are systematically formed by students towards learning and academic performance. These study habits of secondary school students can be good (proper planning of work, proper reading and note taking, proper concentration, proper preparation for examination etc) and can bring about success in academic performance of secondary school students. While bad or poor study habits of secondary school students such as poor planning of work, poor reading and notes taking, poor preparation for examination, listening to music while reading etc. can bring about failure in academic performance of secondary school students.

          According to Okegbile (2007), performance is generally a pedagogical (educational) terminology used while determining learners’ success or failure in formal education and which is measured through reports, examination and research. Essentially the National Policy on Education (Federal Republic of Nigeria, 2004) has identified school achievement contents according to subjects.

          Academic performance of secondary school students is the outcome after the students have been evaluated by their teacher or instructor. The academic performances of secondary school students can be evaluated by examining the students. This could be within the school through administration of tests to students, terminal examinations etc. It can also be done by external examinations bodies such as WAEC, NECO etc. The success and failure of secondary school students can be measured through reports of examinations.

          It is therefore, these different study habits listed above which students exhibit while learning, that prompted the researcher to find out the influence of study habits on the academic performance of secondary school students in Gwer-East Local Government Area.

1.2         Statement of the Problem

          There is an increasing general outcry over poor academic performance of secondary school students especially in external examinations like senior secondary school certificate examination (SSCE) in Gwer-East Local Government Area. Many educationists tend to shift the blame on the teaching methodology adopted and failure to provide quality text books.

          Secondary school students have different study habits; such as planning of work, reading and notes taking, planning of subjects etc., these study habits can lead the students to success or failure in academics. It is due to poor academic performance of secondary school students that the researcher attempts to find out the influence of study habits on academic performance of secondary school students in Gwer-East Local Government Area of Benue State.

1.3         Purpose of the Study

          The main purpose of this study is to investigate the influence of study habits on academic performance of secondary school students in Gwer-East Local Government Area of Benue State. The specific objectives seek to:

v  determine whether planning of work has influence on academic performance of secondary school students in Gwer-East Local Government Area .

v  find out whether reading and notes taking habits have influence on academic performance of secondary school students in Gwer-East Local Government Area .

v  determine whether planning of subjects have influence on academic performance of secondary school students in Gwer-East Local Government Area .

v  ascertain whether habits of concentration have influence on academic performance of secondary school students in Gwer-East Local Government Area .

v  find out whether preparation for examinations has influence on academic performance of secondary school students in Gwer-East Local Government Area .

v  find out whether group study has influence on academic performance of secondary school students in Gwer-East Local Government Area .

v  determine whether organising tutorials with mates has influence on academic performance of secondary school students in Gwer-East Local Government Area .

1.4         Research Questions

          The following Research Questions were raised to guide the study:

1.How does planning of work influence the academic performance of secondary school students in Gwer-East Local Government Area?

2.To what extent does reading and notes taking habits influence the academic performance of secondary school students in Gwer-East Local Government Area?

3.How does planning of subjects influence the academic performance of secondary school students in Gwer-East Local Government Area?

4.How do habits of concentration influence the academic performance of secondary school students in Gwer-East Local         Government Area?

5.To what extent does preparation for examination has influence the academic performance of secondary school students in Gwer-East Local Government Area?

6.How do the habits of group study habits influence the academic performance of secondary school students in Gwer-East Local Government Area?

  1. To what extent do organising tutorials with mates influence of academic performance the secondary school students in Gwer-East Local Government Area?

 

1.5         Research Hypotheses

          The following null research hypotheses are formulated to be tested at 0.05 level of significance.

1. Planning of work has no significant influence the academic performance of secondary school students in Gwer-East Local Government Area.

2. Reading and notes taking habits have no significant influence the academic performance of secondary school students in Gwer-East Local Government Area.

3. Planning of subjects has no significant influence the academic performance of secondary school students in Gwer-East Local Government Area.

4. Habits of concentration have no significant influence the academic performance of secondary school students in Gwer-East Local Government Area.

5. Preparation for examinations has no significant influence the academic performance of secondary school students in Gwer-East Local Government Area.

6. Group study habits   have no significant influence the academic performance of secondary school students in Gwer-East Local Government Area.

7. Organising tutorials with mates have no significant influence the academic performance of secondary school students in Gwer-East Local Government Area.

1.6     Significance of the Study

          The findings of the research will be of immense significance and benefits in many respects. First and foremost, as an academic study, the findings will fulfil several academic purposes. The findings will be useful material or information for improving on academic work by students of both secondary and higher levels. Many academic readers will gain more knowledge from the findings.

          Secondary, the findings of the study will enable students who involve in bad study habits like not planning properly for examination, not reading and taking note properly, no proper concentration etc. to improve on their study habits in order to be successful in academics.  It will help to ascertain the level of students’ academic performance in secondary schools by making use of the result from the research.  

          The study will also reveal to students the study habits such as planning of work, reading and notes taking, habits of concentration planning of subjects by students, which can lead to success in academic performance by students.   The outcome of this study will help parents to improve on how to guide their children to read the appropriate materials and achieve better performance. The study will also provide valuable research information for future research on this similar topic.

1.7    Scope of the Study

          This study focuses on the influence of study habits on the academic performance of secondary school students in Gwer-East Local Government Area. The researcher intends to carry out this research in Gwer-East Local Government Area. It is one of the local governments in Benue State that has three geo-political zones namely Njiriv, Ngyohov and Yonov. Each zone consists of more than two council wards, in which secondary schools are located across the zones. The variables of this study are: planning of work, reading and notes taking, planning of subjects, concentration, preparation for examination, group study and organising tutorial with mates habits.

1.8       Operational Definition of Terms

          The following terms as used in the research are operationally defined.

Study habits: This is a behavioural style that is systematically formed by students toward learning and performance. These are planning of work, reading and notes taking, planning of subjects, concentration and preparation for examination, group study, organising tutorials with mates.

Academic performance: This refers to the outcome from students after the teacher had evaluated the students in the class by either administering test to the students or examination.

Influence: Influence that study habits have on students’ academic performance.

Planning of work: This refer to how a student make his/her arrangement  on how to carry out academic work such as reading, attending games, and other activities in school as well as at home.

Reading and notes taking: This is a situation whereby a student  study carefully from a material in order to get meaning or main points from it and  is jotting down the points in his/her notebook.

Planning of subjects:  This is a situation whereby a student makes a time-table for the subjects that he/she can learn. This can be drafted to be carried out in a day or week.

Habits of concentrations: This is a situation whereby a student focused his/her attention on study.

Preparation for examination: Is when a student plan and read carefully the subjects he/she is to write in examination.

Group study: Is a situation whereby students come together in group for learning purpose. They grouped themselves and try to solve problems by sharing ideas.

Organising tutorials with mates: This is a learning process where students choose among them someone to lead them in the learning process; the student that is chosen teaches or leads in the lecture for the rest of the students to pay attention, listen and ask questions where he/she is confused.

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