Study on transitional mathematics for placement and success in university mathematics courses


Purpose of the study

The Department of Mathematics at the University of Arizona is conducting a study of the impact of transitional mathematics (mathematical content knowledge for pre-college courses) on placement and success. In order to facilitate this, we are collecting information about students who take the University of Arizona ALEKS placement test.


Why you are reading this page

The purpose of this page is to explain the study to you, so that you can decide whether to participate or not participate. You will be asked to indicate your choice regarding your participation once you get to the ALEKS site.


Information that will be collected

As part of this study, we will collect and correlate the following information:

         Your Math SAT/ACT score (if applicable)

         The name of your high school

         Your academic index

         Your high school GPA

         Your Arizona high school GPA

         The mathematics courses you took in high school and the grades you received

         The mathematics courses you will take in the first two years of college and the grades you will receive

         Your mathematics transfer credits and grades

         Your Calculus AB/BC AP score(s) (if applicable)

         Your scores on the ALEKS placement test you are taking

         Your scores on the ALEKS learning mode (if applicable)

         Your ethnicity and gender

         Your residency status

         Your self-declared major

We will also randomly select some participants to partake in an interview regarding their experience in prerequisite mathematics courses.


How collected information will be used

This information will be used to help us determine which factors are the best predictors of success in college-level mathematics courses, decide which knowledge is essential for success in entry-level mathematics courses, possibly help us change the way that we place students into mathematics courses in the future, and decide how students who failed the ALEKS placement test should be trained in order to succeed in future attempts. The data collected in this study will be reported in summary form only. No individual data will be published.


How you can participate in this study

To participate in this study, please first read the Informed Consent Document. Once you get to the ALEKS page, select "Accept" in the section related to the study. If you do not wish to participate, select "Do not accept".

Your participation in this study is completely voluntary. You can choose whether or not to participate. There are in principle no risks in participating in this study. The study team will take every precaution to keep your information confidential. However, since consent is obtained over the internet and data is stored electronically, confidentiality could possibly be lost. There are also no immediate benefits in participating in this study. Your participation or lack thereof will have no impact on your placement or success in mathematics courses at the University of Arizona. If you have any questions, or decide to change your mind regarding your participation in this study, please contact Dr. Linda Simonsen ( at any time during the duration of the study.