The use of attitudinal variables to reduce potential prediction bais [i.e. bias] of ACT mathematics test scores for non traditional-age students

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Virginia Tech

The primary purpose of this study was to examine the extent to which age-related bias exists when ACT Mathematics test scores are used as the sole predictor of future academic performance in entry-level college mathematics courses. A secondary purpose was to investigate the extent to which academic and attitudinal variables, in conjunction with ACT Math scores, a) lessen or eliminate the age-related bias, and b) enhance the prediction of course grades and posttest scores in freshman level mathematics courses.

ACT Mathematics test scores were used to predict course grades and posttest scores of students enrolled in Developmental Math and General Math classes at Bluefield State College, WV, or one of its community college components. Course grades of Developmental Math students and posttest scores of General Math students were found to be under-predicted for nontraditional-age students and over-predicted for traditional-age students. No differences were found in predictions of posttest scores for Developmental Math students or in predictions of course grades for General Math students. When attitudinal and other academic variables were introduced to the regression equation, there was less evidence of prediction bias and a significant increase in the amount of variance explained in the criterion measures.