An evaluation of a self-assessment test used to predict success in introductory college mathematics courses

Author/Creator ORCID



Type of Work


Education and Professional Studies


Citation of Original Publication



The purpose of this research was to determine the ability of a self-assessment test to predict success in introductory college mathematics courses. The test is administered by the Mathematical Sciences Department at Salisbury State College. It is a twenty question multiple-choice test. It is given on the first day of class, graded and returned to the students for interpretation of their chances of succeeding in the course. Data for the evaluation was collected from the graded answer sheets, a student survey, an instructor survey, and unofficial student advisory sheets. The data was analyzed using a statistical package for SPSSX and a program, "Test Grader", available on the VAX 11/780 at Salisbury State College. The test was analyzed to determine item difficulty, item discrimination, and reliability and validity coefficients. The information from the surveys was used primarily for descriptive purposes. Results of the evaluation revealed that the testing procedures are acceptable. The screening and Self-Assessment Test that is currently in ~ has a degree of reliability and validity to justify its continued use. However, there was evidence that suggested that a shorter version of the current test may be just as adequate for predicting academic success in the introductory mathematics courses at Salisbury State College.