Graad 12–punte as voorspeller van sukses in wiskunde by 'n universiteit van tegnologie
Mulder, Isabella Dorothea
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Problems with students’ performance in Mathematics at tertiary level are common in South Africa − as it is worldwide. Pass rates at the university of technology where the researcher is a lecturer, are only about 50%. At many universities it has become common practice to refer students who do not have a reasonable chance to succeed at university level, for additional support to try to rectify this situation. However, the question is which students need such support? Because the Grade 12 marks are often not perceived as dependable, it has become common practice at universities to re-test students by way of an entrance exam or the "National Benchmark Test"- project. The question arises whether such re-testing is necessary, since it costs time and money and practical issues make it difficult to complete timeously. Many factors have an influence on performance in Mathematics. School-level factors include articulation of the curriculum at different levels, insufficiently qualified teachers, not enough teaching time and language problems. However, these factors also affect performance in most other subjects, but it is Mathematics and other subjects based on Mathematics that are generally more problematic. Therefore this study focused on the unique properties of the subject Mathematics. The determining role of prior knowledge, the step-by-step development of mathematical thinking, and conative factors such as motivation and perseverance were explored. Based on the belief that these factors would already have been reflected sufficiently in the Grade 12 marks, the correlation between the marks for Mathematics in Grade 12 and the Mathematics marks at tertiary level was investigated to assess whether it was strong enough for the marks in Grade 12 Mathematics to be used as a reliable predictor of success or failure at university level. It was found that the correlation between the marks for Mathematics Grade 12 and Mathematics I especially, was strong (r = 0,61). The Mathematics marks for Grade 12 and those for Mathematics II produced a correlation coefficient of rs = 0,52. It also became apparent that failure in particular could be predicted fairly accurately on the basis of the Grade 12 marks for Mathematics. No student with a Grade 12 Mathematics mark below 60% succeeded in completing Mathematics I and II in the prescribed two semesters, and only about 11% successfully completed it after one repetition. The conclusion was that the reliability of the prediction based on the marks for Grade 12 Mathematics was sufficient to refer students with a mark of less than 60% to receive some form of additional support.
- Education