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This study investigates “Impact of Biology Practical on High School Students’ Academic Achievement in Advance level biology in the Buea Municipality”. In order to make this study reliable, three research objectives and questions were formulated to guide the study. The descriptive survey research was used for the study. The population consists of 480 students from four high schools within the Buea municipality ( Government Bilingual  High school Muea, Government high school Bokwoango, Government High school Bomaka and Holy Child Grammar school).The sample size consist of 48  students, this was done by taking 10% of the total population of each  of the 4 schools, though at the end 54 students (from both lower sixth and upper sixth ) were sampled  because all the questionnaires produced were answered thus making a return rate of questionnaire to be 100%. This schools were selected through the random sampling techniques where   pieces of papers containing the names of the schools present in the Buea municipality, these papers were wrapped and put in a bowl, they were then mixed and a single piece of paper was picked and kept separately this papers were mixed  3 times, picked and kept separately thus making  a total 4 selected pieces of paper bearing the names of each of the selected school. Questionnaire was the main instrument used for data collection and analysis was done using chi-square at 0.5 level of significance, frequencies and percentages. The results reviewed that Biology practical have a significant impact on students’ Academic Achievement in Advanced Level Biology in the Buea municipality. From the finding it is recommended that well equipped laboratories should be built, specimens used during practical should be provided in such a way that each student is entitled to one, and lastly teacher should hold seminars and become well trained in teaching practical lessons.






1.0 Introduction


This long essay looks at the various factors that contribute to the impact Biology practical has on the academic achievement of students in Advance Level Biology.  This chapter defines the research, gives the background of the study, the research objectives, statement of the problem, research question, the significance of the study, the scope of the study and operational definition of the basic terms, and concepts used in the project and the summary of the chapter.


Nzewi (2008) asserted that Biology practical can be regarded as a strong strategy that could be adapted, that Biology practical can be regarded as a strong strategy that could be adopted to make the task of a teacher (teaching) to be more realistic to students as opposed to abstract or theoretical presentation of facts




1.1 Background of the Study


Generally, there are 3 domains of learning; cognitive, affective and psychomotor domain and these domains of learning are triggered by the various teaching method and techniques used by the teacher. Practical (laboratory method of teaching) helps the students to develop all these domains of learning, therefore making learning and knowledge acquisition to be effective and efficient. With this, the academic achievement of students in Advanced Level Biology will greatly improve. There are varieties of factors/indicators that affect student’s achievement in Biology practical, this factors include;


The availability of equipment’s in the laboratory

The teacher’s teaching experience and teaching method

Availability of materials

The laboratory size

The number of times students carry out practical

In this long essay, we will focus on the 1st three factors.

In relation to the effect of practical to students’ achievement, many scholars have written interesting articles; Allani Rob and Jonathan (2000) stated two reason for emphasizing practical in Biology


Practical work and experience, promote long term memory. For these reason, it is obvious that a learner acquires more in any science lesson if given the opportunity to do activities ranging from manipulating apparatus to classifying, designing and experimenting, hypothesizing to make inference and verifying results.


Hence there is an important need to justify the exposition of students in Biology practical activities as well as studying its effect on students’ academic achievement in A/L Biology.


Eze (1995) stated that Biology as one of the science subjects in all field of studies develop human thinking faculty through accurate observation and that Biology education programs should be built on the skills, knowledge and experience, developed by the student through participation in practical


Also Aniodoh (2001) in his study noted that a sound theoretical and practical knowledge of Biology is needed for the management of our natural resources, provision of good health facilities, adequate food supply and favorable life environment. Thus Biology practical is very important and has a great effect or impact on students’ academic achievement in A/L Biology.


Ezeh and Ezemaga (2008) reported that much stress has been placed upon practical work, for there is no substitute for it. Practical experience must by base on knowledge in Biology. Hence it becomes imperative at this point to find out the level of academic achievement in A/L Biology practical activities, taught to Biology students in the Buea municipality in Cameroon.


Considering all the factors that affect student’s academic achievement in A/L Biology practical we are focusing on the teaching method technique and teaching, experience of the teacher. The availability of equipment in the laboratory that these students can use during practical and last but not the least, we are looking at the availability of materials during practical.


Looking at the teacher’s experience teaching method or technique, we are looking at the way the teacher will carry out his practical class, whether he or she will carry out the lecture method, laboratory method. The teacher’s experience also counts.


In the same light, Ngwagbo (2008) holds the view that the use of practicals to the teaching of Biological concept should therefore be a rule rather than an option to Biology teachers, if society hopes to produce students that would be able to acquire the necessary knowledge, skill and competence needed to meet the scientific and technological demands of the nation.


The main objectives, goals and aims for studying A/L Biology according to the regulation and syllabus for General Education subjects from June 2009 session CEGCE (2007) from pages 159-161, is to;


Stimulate an attitude of curiosity and scientific enquiry

To develop an understanding of biological principles and facts based upon the knowledge of organisms and their environment

To prepare students for the University and other higher institutions



1.3 General Objective


To be more precise, the study of A/L Biology is geared towards giving students an understanding of biological principles and concepts that underline the structure and function of biological systems of organisms demonstrated through laboratory experiment and field work.


Assessment Objectives


The examination tests the following attributes;


Knowledge: Identity, recall and express knowledge of biological facts, terms, principles, concepts, relationship, experimental techniques.

Comprehension: Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of appropriate practical techniques and safety precautions



Constructing hypothesis, designing experiment, observing and recording accurate and interpretation results.


Statement of the problem


Most at times the academic achievement of students at the A/L Biology is greatly affected by their performance in practical. Performance in practical is affected because of the fact that some schools do not even have laboratories, and the few schools which have laboratories lack equipment’s and as a result students are grouped in large number (5-10) per group because of lack of equipment like microscope, chemicals.


Also the aspect of material availability affects students’ performance in practical; that is, the specimen available for practical is usually not enough for each student


Lastly the teacher’s teaching method/technique and experience counts a lot for the students to perform well in practical, the teacher must use effective and efficient teaching methods and techniques and must be experienced too.




1.4 Research Objectives


1.4.1 General Objective


To find out the impact of Biology practical on student academic achievement in Advanced Level Biology


1.4.2 Specific Objectives


This research is aimed at;


Finding out what impact availability of laboratory equipment have on students’ academic achievement in Advanced Level Biology.

Finding out what impact Availability of practical material have on students’ academic achievement in Advanced Level Biology.

Investigating the influence teacher’s teaching method have on students’ academic achievement in Advanced Level Biology.


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