More math helps young scientists

10:28am, August 1, 2007

Apparently, high school math is the key to good grades in college science classes.

A survey of more than 8,000 students from 74 colleges found that each additional year of high school math correlated with a 1-to-2-point advantage, on a 100-point scale, in college chemistry, physics, and biology grades. For example, 2 additional years of high school math typically corresponded to a 3-point improvement in college biology—the difference between, say, a B+ and an A–.

Kids who took more high school classes in chemistry, physics, or biology gained a similar edge when they took a class within the same discipline at the college level. However, no significant benefit crossed a line between science disciplines. Only math seemed to boost grades in other subjects. The study appears in the July 27 Science.

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