Publication Date


Document Type


First Advisor

Miller, Elwyn R. (Professor of education)||Rosemier, Robert A.

Degree Name

M.S. Ed. (Master of Education)

Legacy Department

College of Education


Algebra--Study and teaching; Geometry; Analytic


It was the purpose of this study to partially determine the effects of the study of college algebra taken in high school on achievement in analytic geometry taken as the first course in college mathematics. A statistical analysis was made on two random groups of students, a high school group and a college group, which were equated with respect to ACT composite standard scores. Analysis of covariance was used to equate the two groups. The companion variable to the ACT control variable was grades in analytic geometry with the restriction that both groups earned the analytic geometry grades at Northern Illinois University. Observations were made on the criterion, analytic geometry grades, since it was free to make adjustments reflecting the effects of college algebra on performance in analytic geometry. Factors such as maturation, interest, motivation, and so on, that may have existed between groups or between persons within groups, were recognized and decisions regarding the real or potential differences were made in accordance with research findings from the literature. Each group contained approximately the same percentage of men and women, thus mitigating the effects of a related research finding that attitude towards mathematics was found to be more important in determining grades of women than of men. The effects of the type of mathematics, "new" or traditional, was found to be of little consequence as a determinant of success in freshman college mathematics. The amount of mathematics studied in high school by the high school group was assumed to be greater than that studied by the college group. However, upon entry into the criterion course, the mathematical backgrounds of the two groups was essentially equal. It was concluded that (1) for the sample studied, within the limitations of the study, the performance in analytic geometry, as measured by grades in analytic geometry resulting from the study of college algebra in high school, was equal to the performance in analytic geometry of students who studied the course in college, adjustment being made for general scholastic achievement by the use of ACT composite standard scores, and (2) while there was no significant difference between final average analytic geometry grades of the two groups, there was a tendency for the high school group to have a higher grade point average.


Includes bibliographical references.


vii, 59 pages




Northern Illinois University

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