On Oct 22, 2012, at 2:06 PM, "Dave L. Renfro" <firstname.lastname@example.org> wrote:
> I too am rather amazed, but not because they're essentially > precalculus level
I mentioned "precalculus" only to describe the test. I think the idea (giving students a precalc diagnostic test) is spot on. I am just amazed that MIT freshmen are having so much trouble with it. MIT still describes itself as a technical school seeking technical applicants. I would have given this test as part of the application process, not after. Obviously, many students have a big hole in their mathematical development in high school. I bet if you surveyed these students you would find that those that did well on this test had physics (real physics, not pretend physics) in high school, and those that did poorly did not.
Seeing these results makes me want to bring Trigonometry back as a course.