Trigtastrophe: Analysis of the process errors senior secondary students commit in solving trigonometric problems


Ekok Edim Odor
Valentine Joseph Owan
Victor Ubugha Agama


Introduction: Mistakes made while solving Mathematical problems can provide insight into their difficulties in learning Mathematics. Identifying frequently occurring mistakes can be an essential tool for teachers to assess their students' proficiency in Mathematics.

Purpose: This study was designed to examine the extent to which process errors are made by Nigerian secondary school students while solving trigonometric problems.

Methodology:  A descriptive survey research design was adopted. Data was collected from 300 respondents selected from a population of 7304 SS3 students using purposive sampling. The Trigonometry Diagnostic Test (TDT) was used to collect data upon validation by experts in Mathematics education and measurement and evaluation. The TDT had a high internal consistency and a reliability coefficient of 0.89. The collected data were analysed using frequency counts, percentages, and the Chi-square test of independence.

Results: The study identified that most Nigerians senior secondary school students made errors in reading, transformation, process skills, and encoding while solving trigonometric problems, whereas comprehension errors were relatively rare. The findings indicated that students' gender and school location did not significantly influence the process errors made while solving trigonometric problems.

Conclusion: The study suggests that Mathematics teachers need to be aware of the different types of errors made by their students in trigonometric problem-solving and develop appropriate programmes to address gaps or disparities.

Recommendation: Based on the findings, it is recommended that Mathematics teachers should design more practical and activity-based trigonometry programs to reduce errors.


How to Cite
Odor, E. E., Owan, V. J., & Agama, V. U. (2023). Trigtastrophe: Analysis of the process errors senior secondary students commit in solving trigonometric problems. Journal of Educational Research in Developing Areas, 4(2), 123-138.


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