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  Weekly Feature (November 30, 2008)


Why Math?
Paul's Weekly Feature


Why Write a Math Assessment? Take a Math Course? Upgrade Math Skills?

Our registration sessions begin with a presentation of the many courses and programs we offer. Afterwards, almost all prospective students write a short assessment of their English reading and writing skills, and of their math skills. Regardless of the courses one plans to pursue at our Centre, assessment of language and math skills are vital in helping us place a student at course levels which match the studentís current academic abilities, knowledge, and study habits.

Many of our new students question the need to evaluate their math skills, especially if theyíre not even planning to study math in the near future. The following four scenarios, scenarios common to many of our students, will help clarify the importance for students to write our math assessments and demonstrate the purpose in studying math at our Centre:

1) Letís begin with considering a student with strong English language skills, pursuing British Columbia Secondary School Graduation. To graduate in the secondary program, completing a math 11 course is one of the Provincial requirements.

The qualifying math 11 courses we offer include Essentials of Math 11, Principles of Math 11, and Accounting 11. The studentís math assessment result, in conjunction with his or her English assessment outcome, will indicate the appropriate beginning math course for the eventual success in a math 11 course.

2) In a second scenario, a student may already hold a British Columbia Secondary School Graduation Diploma, but perhaps just needs to complete a specific math course in order to enter a Post-Secondary program at a college, a university, or some other training facility.

For example, one may need to complete Principles of Math 11 to enter a Registered Nursing Program, or needs to complete Principles of Math 12 and/or Calculus 12 to enter a Computer Science Program. Our math assessment will help determine such a studentís current math skills, so that he or she will begin in the appropriate math level commensurate with his or her present skills and abilities.

3) As a third situation, we can look again at a student who has already attained his or her secondary graduation, but this time wants to complete a secondary school course requiring only some math skills, rather than a math-specific course. For example, this student may wish to complete at our Centre Chemistry 11 or 12, Physics 11 or 12, Accounting 11 or 12, or perhaps Biology 11 or 12.

The math assessment portion of the assessment test for such courses will help determine if the student possesses the math related skills to succeed in the desired course. We may find that the student needs to upgrade his or her math skills before starting the planned course.

4) As a last scenario, letís consider a non secondary school graduated student whose assessments indicate fine math skills, but weak English reading and writing skills. This student needs to upgrade his or her language skills before entering the next level of courses. In this situation, the student would begin with some of our upgrade of language skills courses.

We offer upgrading in English Reading, Writing, Literature and Composition, as well as upgrading in Social Studies, Science, and Math. As this student begins upgrading his or her language skills, we would likely also assign concurrently an upgrade level math course even if the assessed math skills are fine. Working with math vocabulary and reading and solving math word-problems will certainly facilitate the development of language skills.

To conclude, our math assessments, just as our English and other assessments, are invaluable tools to evaluate a studentís current skills and knowledge. The results of any assessment written at our Centre will guide our teachers in assigning students to course levels that will maximize the probability of student success.

As for students taking our math courses, it is usually for one of four reasons Ė to upgrade math skills, to complete a math course toward secondary school graduation completion, to gain specific math credits for secondary school graduated students, or to facilitate the improvement of language skills.

If youíre 19 years of age or older, or even if youíre just approaching your nineteenth birthday, then be sure to attend one of our registration sessions. We can help you achieve your education goals. See you at our Learning Centre!

Check the following helpful pages of information about our Learning Centre:

Courses Available
Enroll Now Ė Registration and Orientation
Classroom Courses and Times

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