n IFE PsychologIA : An International Journal - Content analysis of West African senior school certificate chemistry examination questions according to cognitive complexity

Volume 22, Issue 2
  • ISSN : 1117-1421



Using revised Bloom's Cognitive Taxonomy Scale as a major categorization tool, this paper presents a content analysis of cognitive complexity of West African Senior School Certificate Chemistry Examination questions constructed by the West African Examinations Council (WAEC) between the periods of 2008-2012. The research data consisted of 230 questions from 5 Senior School Certificate Chemistry Examinations conducted by the WAEC between 2008 and 2012. Qualitative approach and content analysis method were employed in the research. The knowledge components (factual, conceptual, procedural, meta-cognitive), the categories of the cognitive skills (HOCS and LOCS) and the Expanded Framework for Analyzing General Chemistry Exams (EFAGCE) form the basis of the coding scheme used to analyzed data collected (examination questions). The examination questions were coded by two independent raters. The inter-rater reliability was high. The findings of this study indicate that the majority of the questions constructed by the WAEC required LOCS. In addition, both the HOCS-type examination questions and LOCS-type examination questions were not evenly distributed for the period of examination considered in this study.

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