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ERIC Number: ED502316
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2004-Feb-24
Pages: 25
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 15
ISBN: N/A
ISSN: N/A
Comparative Validity of the Descriptive Tests of Mathematical Skills (DTMS) and SAT-Mathematics (SAT-M) for Predicting Performance in Freshman College Mathematics Courses: Prefatory Report
McLoughlin, M. Padraig M. M.; Bluford, Dontrell A.
Online Submission, Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Eastern Educational Research Association (Clearwater, FL, February 12, 2004)
This study investigated the predictive validity of the Descriptive Tests of Mathematical Skills (DTMS) and the SAT-Mathematics (SAT-M) tests as placement tools for entering students in a small, liberal arts, historically black institution (HBI) using regression analysis. The placement schema is four-tiered: for a remedial algebra course, college algebra course, pre-calculus course, and a first calculus course. Low psychometric indices were found between score earned on the Elementary Algebra Skills (EAS), Intermediate Algebra Skills (IAS), and Calculus Readiness: Functions and Graphs (CR) of the DTMS and grade earned in College Algebra, Pre-calculus, and Calculus I, respectively, and between score earned on the SAT-M and grade earned in College Algebra, Pre-calculus, and Calculus I. Define E denote the score earned on the EAS, I the score earned on the IAS, R the score earned on the CR, S the score earned on the SAT-M, B the grade earned in the Basic Mathematics course, A the grade earned in the College Algebra course, P the grade earned in the Pre-calculus class, and C the grade earned in the Calculus I class. The models for the DTMS produced were as follows: A{hat} = 1.504 + 0.039E for the EAS of the DTMS; P{hat} = 1.030 + 0.084I for the IAS of the DTMS; and, C{hat} = 1.670 +0.050R for the CR of the DTMS; whereas, the models for the SAT-M produced were: A{hat} = 0.241 + 0.004S; P{hat} = 0.695 + 0.003S; C{hat}= -0.519 + 0.005S. Perhaps the most interesting component of the study was not the regression equations, correlations, or any other parametric statistical portion of the study but the effect of the change of policy on the placement schema at the college. If placement decision were based on scores of SAT-M rather than on scores earned on the DTMS, there seems to be a shift of students such that less were placed in the remedial class and more into the courses that allowed a student to earn college credit and satisfy core curriculum requirements for mathematics. The paper ends with recommendations for further research on minimum competence testing and placement and notes the follow-up studies to this study that will be done by the researchers. (Contains 8 footnotes, 1 figure, and 5 tables.)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Assessments and Surveys: SAT (College Admission Test)