DOCUMENT by: *
Subject: Self-Assessment: Math Introduction
Quantifying, using mathematics, is at the heart of much professional work done in the contemporary world. Math is essential for business, economics, technologies, natural sciences, social sciences, psychology, and any profession related to those fields. Most history departments now require quantitative reasoning courses such as demographics and other statistical methods. Arts and humanities courses are also making use of quantitative relationships in their studies of literature, art, and music. You can scarcely be educated in twenty-first century without mathematical skills and quantitative reasoning.
Take a moment to reflect on the many ways you encounter quantitative reasoning every day--do you see numbers, tables, graphs, diagrams in the newspaper? Think about your work environment, your volunteer work, or other daily life activities that deal in some way with quantitative information. For example:
- What do those survey results, reported in opinion polls, really mean?
- How can I use the nutritional information on the product label to analyze my diet or plan my family's meals?
- How do I determine the budget for my department?
- What pattern does that graph describe?
Math is a form of communication, just as writing is. It includes ways of representing precise relationships and of discovering or representing patterns. It's an important tool for inquiry as well as for problem solving, and it is a fundamental part of critical thinking. You need to examine your quantitative reasoning skills in order to determine what they are, how you use them,and whether they are appropriate to the type of critical inquiry and precise communication you will be doing in college and as an informed participant in modern life.
Do this self-assessment if:
- you believe that quantitative reasoning means arithmetic and calculations
- you generally just gloss over graphs, charts, statistics, or any mathematical information of this sort because you just don't know how to deal with it
- you know that some level of math skill is expected for your profession and you don't know if your current learning is appropriate
- you have "math anxiety"
The math self-assessment has many pieces. You may do one or many, depending on your individual needs. Go to the home page for this site, www.esc.edu/epresources, and click on "My Self-Assessments" in the upper left-hand corner. Under Academic Skills - Math, you'll find the following self-assessments:
Ratio & Proportion
Statistics and Probability
Part A: Real Life Applications: Instructions
Part B: Math Operations Problems
Part B: Math Operations Solutions