Journal of Economics and Economic Education Research (Print ISSN: 1533-3590; Online ISSN: 1533-3604)


Revisiting the Role of a Basic Math Assessment in Predicting Student Performance in Principles of Microeconomics

Author(s): Melanie A. Fennell, Irene R. Foster

Anecdotal evidence from principles of economics faculty and previous research suggest that many students fail to comprehend foundational material in economics due to gaps in their understanding of basic math concepts. To address this issue, principles of economics faculty at this university administer a basic math assessment at the start of each fall semester. Unlike other assessments on which research has previously been conducted in this area, students are given multiple attempts to pass the assessment and are given optional review sessions in between opportunities. This paper presents results from data collected on 1104 students who completed principles of microeconomics class. Our model predicts that additional attempts on the assessment have a significant positive effect on performance in the course that diminishes as the number of attempts increases.