Relationship between Entry Qualification and Academic Performance in Undergraduate Science Courses at the University of Nairobi, Kenya
A number of institutions admit students based on their entry qualification with the scenario of admitting the more qualified students. This is premised on the fact that since learning is a cumulative process, a student admitted with higher entry qualification is expected to be well prepared for the course content than one admitted with lower qualification. In this paper, the researchers explored the relationship between entry qualification and academic performance by comparing the performance of students in the Bachelor of Education (Science) on-campus mode of learning relative to those enrolled in the open and distance learning (ODL) mode at the University of Nairobi. On-campus students are admitted with higher entry qualification than their distance learning counterparts yet the students are taken through the same course content and sit for equivalent examinations. Our data were based on externally moderated examination marks from a sample of 131 on-campus students and 50 distance learning students. Using Pearson Product Moment correlation and Regression, results indicate that there was a significant positive correlation between entry qualification and academic performance in Chemistry and Biology. In Physics, there was almost no linear relationship between entry qualification and academic performance. Results also indicate that the variation explained by entry qualification is below 50.0% and therefore entry qualification is not the best variable to predict academic performance though this parameter should not be ignored in admission exercises. Recommendations include the fact that variables other than entry qualification should form part of admission criteria. // Paper ID: 85
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