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Attitude, secondary schools and student success in a tertiary mathematics unit


There is a consensus in the literature that mathematical ability contributes to student success in tertiary education. More importantly, mathematical skills are necessary when successfully completing mathematics- and/or science-based degrees. Social sciences such as psychology and economics require statistical skills which also require knowledge of mathematics. Even business students, such as marketing and accounting students need the necessary mathematical skills to successfully complete their degrees at university. This paper suggests that student success in a core business subject is dependent on their mathematical aptitude, attitude, and type of secondary schooling whether government or non-government schools. There is urgency for universities to recognize that high failure rates are due to insufficient mathematics exposure in secondary schooling and remedial classes might not be enough. Specifying a minimum (maths, e.g., two units) requirement for entry and/or providing bridging programs to ensure students have the necessary basic mathematical skills would increase student success in quantitative units.



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