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This study investigated whether basic mathematics skills are associated with undergraduate psychology statistics course performance while simultaneously considering self-reported psychological/behavioral and demographic variables. Participants (n = 460) completed a Math Assessment for College Students (MACS), which included questions ranging from calculating percentages to graphical interpretation. The researchers used a discriminant correspondence analysis to reveal differences in course performance evaluated as the average of three exam grades. For the variation in the average exam scores accounted for by our model, the MACS scores provided the largest contribution. Other variables associated with better exam grades included white ethnicity, non-transfer status, lower year in school, and low procrastination. The researchers discuss the implications for helping instructors identify areas of basic mathematical deficiency and strength.


This work was originally published in the Statistics Education Research Journal, available at



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