A tale of two tests
Leanne Rylands and Don Shearman, Western Sydney University
Presentation at the 11th Southern Hemisphere Conference on the Teaching and Learning of Undergraduate Mathematics and Statistics in Gramado, Brazil, November 2017, “Brazil Delta 2017’
In Australia, students can come to university to study subjects requiring maths without having done maths in their last 2 years of high school! Some degrees have mathematics prerequisites but many Science degree do not have high school mathematics as a prerequisite. In 2016 at Western Sydney University, 50.5% of Australian students registered for first year mathematics and statistics did no mathematics in their last 2 years of school and 15% only studied the lowest level of mathematics at school in their last 2 years.
Conjecture: Diagnostic mathematics tests can be useful
- Let teachers know the level of their students
- Let students know where they need to improve skills
- Predict performance
- Inform non-mathematicians and decision makers about the level of maths knowledge of students with hard data to counter accusations that you can’t teach.