The Role of Students’ Conceptions of Assessment on Secondary School Mathematics Performance in Tanzania

Florence Kyaruzi


This study investigated the role of secondary school students’ conceptions of assessment in mathematics performance. Data were collected from 2767 Form Three students sampled from 48 secondary schools in Tanzania. Data collection was done through a combination of questionnaires and focus group discussions. Data were analysed by using t-test, structural equation modelling and content analyses techniques. Quantitative results showed that girls reported more positive conception that assessment improves learning and assessment is for accountability purposes than boys. Furthermore, the conception that assessment improves learning positively predicted students’ mathematics performance. Qualitative results illustrated that most students valued mathematics teacher’s assessment practices. Impliedly, interventions for improving students’ mathematics performance could capitalise on promoting the conception that assessment improves learning.

Keywords: Conceptions of assessment, mathematics performance, secondary school students

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