The effects of successfully completing high school mathematics courses on student achievement in chemistry
A problem in high schools across the nation is that students are placed in courses they are not ready for academically, and this includes chemistry. Most students have not completed the necessary mathematics prerequisites prior to taking chemistry. This study was designed to determine the effects of mathematics preparation on achievement in high school chemistry. Archival GPA data from 113 students enrolled in a general level chemistry course at a comprehensive high school located in the Central Valley of California were used for this study. The Statistical Program for Social Sciences 20.0 (SPSS) was used to analyze the data. A t-test for independent samples was used for the analysis of the data. The alpha level was set at the .05 level of significance. This author found that there is a significant difference in chemistry achievement (GPA) between students who completed 3 years of high school mathematics and students who completed 2 years of high school mathematics and between students who completed 2 years of high school mathematics and students who completed 1 year of high school mathematics. The results suggest that the mathematics prerequisites for chemistry should be examined, and perhaps revised.