Predicting College Math Success: Do High School Performance and Gender Matter? Evidence from Sultan Qaboos University in Oman

M. Mazharul Islam, Asma Al-Ghassani


The objective of this study was to evaluate the performance of students of college of Science of Sultan Qaboos University (SQU) in Calculus I course, and examine the predictive validity of the student’s high school performance and gender for Calculus I success. The data for the study was extracted from students’ database maintained by the Deanship of Admission and Registration office of SQU. The study considered a sample of 615 students who took Calculus I course during 2014 Spring semester. Both descriptive and inferential statistical techniques were used for data analysis. Predictive validity of selected factors was analyzed using Hierarchical regression analysis. The analysis revealed that female students entered in SQU with a higher average high school scores than male students, and many boys with lesser scores than girls were succeeded in getting admission in SQU. The results indicate that female students outperformed male students in both high school and college Calculus course. About 30% of the students obtained grades lower than C, of which 20% failed in the course. The proportion of students with F grade significantly higher among male students than female students (28% vs. 7%). The analysis revealed that gender, high school math score and overall high school score showed significant positive association with the performance in Calculus course. Differences among gender and high school performance should also be taken into consideration during the admission process to allow for more equal opportunities to all applicants and have fairer admission decisions.

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International Journal of Higher Education
ISSN 1927-6044 (Print) ISSN 1927-6052 (Online) Email:

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