Student perceptions of mathematics readiness from a university preparatory program to undergraduate studies

Robinson, Clare and Galligan, Linda ORCID: and Hussain, Zanubia and Abdulla, Shahab ORCID: and Frederiks, Anita ORCID: and Wandel, Andrew ORCID: (2019) Student perceptions of mathematics readiness from a university preparatory program to undergraduate studies. Adults Learning Mathematics: An International Journal, 14 (2). pp. 6-22. ISSN 1744-1803


For many mature-aged students, there can be a considerable gap between finishing formal study and beginning university. They are often required to draw on qualifications and skills, including mathematics, which are dated, but necessary for success. Most universities offer several pathways that prospective students can take to enter university: from school; from vocational education; based on prior learning; or via a university preparatory program. Even with extra preparation from a preparatory program, success is not guaranteed, as the assumed skills can be quite specific to particular degrees. Mathematics prerequisites for entry into undergraduate programs are not enforced in many Australian universities. Students are only advised of the level of senior mathematics that is ‘assumed’ or ‘recommended knowledge’ for their degree and are often uncertain if their current mathematical skills are enough to understand the content of a particular course. A survey to investigate students’ perceptions of how well their pre-university studies prepared them for first year undergraduate courses that required quantitative skills was conducted at one regional university in Australia. As part of this survey, the perceptions of mathematical preparedness of students who had qualified for entrance to undergraduate studies via the university’s tertiary preparation program were investigated. Most respondents who transitioned through the preparatory program felt well prepared for their undergraduate mathematics. However, a greater proportion of these students either withdrew from the undergraduate quantitative course that they had enrolled in or achieved lower grades when compared to other survey respondents who had entered university through more traditional pathways.

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Item Type: Article (Commonwealth Reporting Category C)
Refereed: Yes
Item Status: Live Archive
Additional Information: © Adults Learning Mathematics – An International Journal (2019).
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: Historic - Open Access College (1 Jul 2013 - 7 Jun 2020)
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: Current - Faculty of Business, Education, Law and Arts - No Department (1 Jul 2013 -)
Date Deposited: 03 Jul 2020 06:31
Last Modified: 02 Jun 2022 22:36
Uncontrolled Keywords: mathematics; tertiary preparation; student perceptions; enabling; pre-requisites; STEM
Fields of Research (2008): 01 Mathematical Sciences > 0199 Other Mathematical Sciences > 019999 Mathematical Sciences not elsewhere classified
Fields of Research (2020): 49 MATHEMATICAL SCIENCES > 4999 Other mathematical sciences > 499999 Other mathematical sciences not elsewhere classified
Socio-Economic Objectives (2008): C Society > 93 Education and Training > 9301 Learner and Learning > 930199 Learner and Learning not elsewhere classified

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