An assessment of the quantitative skills of students taking introductory college biology courses

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Abstract

Twenty-three mathematical competencies were identified and a 46-item multiple choice test was developed to measure the extent to which students entering introductory college biology courses possessed these competencies. Students enrolled in semester-long introductory courses for science majors and non-science majors were given the test at the beginning and end of the courses. The relationships between the mathematical competencies possessed by students at the beginning of the semester and 15 variables dealing with student characteristics were examined. Also investigated was the relationship between test scores and the type of mathematics courses taken during the semester students were enrolled in the introductory biology courses.

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