## Computer Science and Mathematics

#### Title

Is Arcadia University’s Math Placement Test Necessary?

Spring 2020

#### Degree Name

Bachelor of Science

#### Department

Computer Science & Mathematics; College of Arts & Sciences

Ned Wolff

#### Abstract

Arcadia University currently administers a math placement test to all incoming students. The purpose of this test is to help determine which Arcadia math class students are eligible to take based on their current knowledge of pre-algebra, algebra, and pre-calculus. The math faculty also examines student’s math SAT scores and if they took Calculus I in high school. We investigated all three of these predictors to determine how well they predict students’ grade in their first Arcadia math course. Another purpose of this study is to see if we can eliminate Arcadia’s math placement test under certain criteria.

We will be examining data by each math course. Figure 1.1 displays a list of the five Arcadia math courses students could be placed in (not including MA95 and MA100) and their corresponding sample space. Our total sample space is 575 students.

Our models will include the GPA as the dependent variable. In our case, the GPA value represents the student’s grade in their first Arcadia math course. GPA of students range from 0 (F) to 4.0 (A+). If a student withdrew from the course, we assigned them a 0.7 GPA and students who withdrew while failing were assigned a 0 GPA. These assumptions were made specifically for our study.

Our independent variables (or predictor variables) are math SAT scores, Arcadia’s math placement test scores, and CalcHS. Math SAT scores are a numerical value with a range of 200-800. Arcadia’s math placement test is expanded into 3 different variables. These variables represent the three sections of the placement test which are pre-algebra, algebra, and pre-calculus. The values of each section represent the number of correctly answered questions. The pre-algebra section consists of 10 questions, the algebra section consists of 25 questions, and the pre-calculus section consists of 8 questions. CalcHS variable consists of two different values: 1 and 0. A “1” in CalcHS represents a student who took Calculus I in high and scored at least a B-. A “0” in CalcHS represents a student who did not take Calculus in high school or they scored less than a B- in high school Calculus.

#### Share

COinS

Is Arcadia University’s Math Placement Test Necessary?

Arcadia University currently administers a math placement test to all incoming students. The purpose of this test is to help determine which Arcadia math class students are eligible to take based on their current knowledge of pre-algebra, algebra, and pre-calculus. The math faculty also examines student’s math SAT scores and if they took Calculus I in high school. We investigated all three of these predictors to determine how well they predict students’ grade in their first Arcadia math course. Another purpose of this study is to see if we can eliminate Arcadia’s math placement test under certain criteria.

We will be examining data by each math course. Figure 1.1 displays a list of the five Arcadia math courses students could be placed in (not including MA95 and MA100) and their corresponding sample space. Our total sample space is 575 students.

Our models will include the GPA as the dependent variable. In our case, the GPA value represents the student’s grade in their first Arcadia math course. GPA of students range from 0 (F) to 4.0 (A+). If a student withdrew from the course, we assigned them a 0.7 GPA and students who withdrew while failing were assigned a 0 GPA. These assumptions were made specifically for our study.

Our independent variables (or predictor variables) are math SAT scores, Arcadia’s math placement test scores, and CalcHS. Math SAT scores are a numerical value with a range of 200-800. Arcadia’s math placement test is expanded into 3 different variables. These variables represent the three sections of the placement test which are pre-algebra, algebra, and pre-calculus. The values of each section represent the number of correctly answered questions. The pre-algebra section consists of 10 questions, the algebra section consists of 25 questions, and the pre-calculus section consists of 8 questions. CalcHS variable consists of two different values: 1 and 0. A “1” in CalcHS represents a student who took Calculus I in high and scored at least a B-. A “0” in CalcHS represents a student who did not take Calculus in high school or they scored less than a B- in high school Calculus.