Are science students ready for university mathematics?


  • Mary Patricia Coupland University of Technology, Sydney
  • Jason Stanley UTS
  • Layna Groen UTS
  • Stephen Bush UTS
  • Stephanie Beames UTS


At UTS students in science courses often struggle with the first year first semester mathematics subject. This year we requested all commencing science students to take a Readiness Survey so that we could advise them of suitable pathways for the maths subjects in their degree. One such pathway includes taking a one-semester subject of introductory calculus before the regular mathematics subject. This paper reports on the practicalities of running such a test before semester starts, and the pathways taken up with varying levels of success by Science students. Insights from a parallel survey and pathway used for some years now with Engineering students in the same institution are offered.

Author Biography

Mary Patricia Coupland, University of Technology, Sydney

Director, Mathematics Study Support Centre, School of Mathematical Sciences, University of Technology, Sydney.