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On-line version ISSN 2215-3470Print version ISSN 1011-0275


CHACON-VARGAS, Érick  and  ROLDAN-VILLALOBOS, Gabriela. Factors affecting the academic performance of freshmen in the ITCR general mathematics course. Uniciencia [online]. 2021, vol.35, n.1, pp.265-283. ISSN 2215-3470.

The goal of this paper was to determine some personal or family factors or variables of freshmen enrolled in the General Mathematics course taught at the Technological Institute of Costa Rica affecting their academic performance in that course. The sample was comprised of 729 freshmen enrolled in the General Mathematics course in the first half of 2018. Data was collected using an online questionnaire prepared with 90 questions (11 open ended and the remaining multiple choice), which was applied during the first two weeks of classes to minimize the risk of losing information due to justified withdrawals or dropouts. Additional data was requested from the Admissions and Registration Office of the Technological Institute of Costa Rica and analyzed to determine which of the variables had an impact on the results (passed - failed) or the final grade in the course. Regression analysis and non-parametric tests of goodness of fit and independence were used. The factors that presented statistically significant correlations with the course final grade were average university admission score, grades in the mathematical and verbal reasoning sections of the academic proficiency test, grade point average (GPA) from the last two years of secondary education, and monthly family income. The categorical variables with the greatest impact on passing the course were type of high school (public, private, or semi-private) and modality (academic, technical, experimental bilingual), together with the students' perception of their difficulties in high school mathematics.

Keywords : academic performance; predictive variables; college mathematics; general mathematics; failing the class.

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