The major objective of this research study is to determine the misconceptions student harbour in organic chemistry. The design used for the study was Survey Design. The population of the study comprise of all five hundred and twenty six (526) SS2 chemistry students in the six Secondary Schools in Dutsin-ma, Katsina State. The sample comprises of one hundred and thirty four (134) Senior Secondary II (SS 2) students which were randomly selected from three (3) Government’s owned Secondary Schools in Dutsin-ma, Katsina State. The Instrument used was Organic Chemistry Misconception Test (OCMT) which contained thirty (30) multiple choice questions with four options (A-D) designed to identify students’ misconceptions in organic chemistry. The result shows that Students of chemistry harbour misconception in organic chemistry. Also female Students harbour more than the male Students. The result of the study revealed that students have misconception in organic chemistry and there was no significant difference with the level of misconception between male and female student. There was no significant difference between male students’ misconception in organic chemistry also there was no significant difference in female students’ misconception in organic chemistry. Based on the findings, it was recommended that the teaching and learning of organic chemistry in secondary schools should be strengthened to provide a good foundation for students



  1. Background of the Study

 Chemistry is one of the three main branches of pure science, others being biology and physics. Chemistry has been defined differently by various authors. Ababio (2004), defined chemistry as the branch of science that deals with the composition, properties and uses of matter. It probes into the principles governing the changes that matter undergoes. Encyclopedia (2015), chemistry is a branch of science concerned with the properties, composition, and structure of substances and the changes they undergo when they combine or react under specified conditions.  Furthermore, chemistry can be characterized and studied under its varying branches; organic, inorganic, physical, analytical, industrial, nuclear.         

     Organic chemistry in its simplest term is the chemistry of carbon compounds, excluding carbon oxides, metal carbonyls, metallic carbonates and other related compounds (Inikori, 2012). Organic chemistry is the chemistry of hydrocarbon and its derivatives (Omwirhiren, 2016). Organic compounds are any of a large class of chemical compounds in which one or more atoms of carbon are covalently linked to atoms of other elements, most commonly hydrogen, oxygen, or nitrogen (Encyclopedia Britannica, 2015).           

  Chemistry, as a subject, is concerned with the properties and reactions of substances,

( Johnstone, 2011). Chemistry as a branch of science plays an important role because it serves as a rock for professional courses like medicine, pharmacy and engineering etc. (Sootin, 2011), stated that the word chemistry comes from the word “Alchemy”. An earlier set of particle that encompassed elements of chemistry, mettalogy, philosophy, astronomy, mysticism, astrology and medicine. Sherma ( 2013) defined chemistry as the science that describes the structures and compositions of materials in the universe,

Misconceptions are meanings or notions or conceptions students have formed about the physical world before instruction that they bring to class, (Ezenwa, 2013). These misconceptions could or could not be in line with scientific way of thinking. Misconception as a term can be more appropriately defined as the privately held knowledge of an individual or individuals that departs significantly from the publicly held version of that knowledge domain and concept (Pines & West, 2016; Simpson, 2011). Several studies on misconception like those of Abimbola  and Baba (2012), Martin and Subbarini (2013) show that students’ previous knowledge largely  determines the number of misconceptions that they hold. Many students wrongly perceived chemistry (particularly organic chemistry) as a difficult subject and feel that studying chemistry Means exposure to only corrosive, harmful and toxic substances forgetting that such substances Like water, soap, perfumes and so on are chemicals in nature (Onu, 2014).