The Importance of a Mathematics Diagnostic Test for Incoming Pharmacy Undergraduates


  • Hannah Batchelor Medicines Research Unit, School of Life and Health Sciences, Aston University, Birmingham, UK


Mathematics, Pharmacy, Undergraduate, Diagnostic test, Pre-university


The expansion of higher education in the UK in the 1980s and the subsequent increase in student numbers has created greater variation in cohorts of students entering university. Entry requirements are more relaxed and students with lower pre-university (A-level) qualifications or alternative qualifications (BTEC, GNVQ) are routinely accepted onto MPharm degree programmes within the UK. Mathematics is a key component in the pharmacy degree programme and an understanding of basic mathematics is essential.
This wide variation in mathematical ability coupled with increasing class sizes has led to various strategies being introduced to ensure that all students attain the required level of mathematical ability to complete the degree programme. This study investigates the use of a diagnostic test to improve both the teaching and learning experience.
The paper describes an investigation into what may be learnt about students’ background knowledge and skills from initial assessment and information about their prior qualifications, and how this information may be used to devise effective teaching and learning strategies.


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Research Article