Do transfer students do better in Maths?

Topics: Standard deviation, Normal distribution, Arithmetic mean Pages: 8 (1849 words) Published: March 22, 2014
Do transfer student raised outside of the United States get better Math grades than students born in America?

It is known worldwide that America specialises in education but there is also a notion that American primary to high school students are not as strong in Maths compared to students from foreign countries. Is this because they put more focus on subjects that revolve around humanities? Or are their Math standards just not as high? Either way, I want to find out if foreign students outside the United States really do get better grades in Math than those who have studied in America for most of their school career. I will only be collecting my data from students at ------- school because then it will be fair to judge peoples Math abilities. If I were to compare people’s data that are all from different schools, some people might have more mathematically vigorous courses than others. Another factor could also be that each school has different teachers so some might be harsher graders than others and it may not always accurately reflect a students Math skills, therefore in order to be concise as possible, I have decided to strictly compile all my data from the same school. By collecting data from both students that had their primary and beginning of secondary education in American and foreign students at ----- school, I could see whether the common belief that foreign students do better in Math is true or false. After collecting the data of people’s country that they have spent the majority of their elementary to secondary career in, I will then split them into two categorical groups: Studied abroad labelled under ‘Foreign’(F) and Studied in America labelled under “Domestic” (D). For the students put under the “Studied Abroad” category, they were those that spent the majority of their high school career outside of the United States. After that I will collect their grades and specifically focus on Math, but will later on also observe other subjects too and see if there is also a correlation. My population would be the group of people that I am getting my data from, and an ideal population size would be above 50 because if I were to get an abnormal data point then it would not greatly affect the population statistics. Due to popular beliefs, I have predicted that there will be a positive correlation, meaning that I do believe that there will be a difference between the foreign and domestic students Math grades. Before starting my statistical test, I must ensure that my data has a normal distribution so that I can then use the z-score formula to see whether my hypothesis is true or false.

This graph was made on Microsoft Excel, which immediately indicated that my data was a normal distribution because the graph resembled the shape of a bell curve, which is what a normal distribution is supposed to look like. The rage for the GPA results go from 55 -97. From the graph it appears that the most frequent GPA received is 74, 80, 81 and 88. The reason why I created this graph was to just visually see that my data was a normal distribution because even though I have all my data listed out on Excel, seeing a graph gives me a better idea of how spread out my data is and I can also easily point out how many people had the highest GPA and how many people got the lowest. In order for me actually test this theory; I will start off my statistical test assuming the “Null Hypothesis” is true. There are only two possible outcomes, the null hypothesis and the alternative hypothesis. The null hypothesis would be if the sample were no different from the rest of the population. The “Alternative Hypothesis” is if there were a difference between the sample and the population. In order to determine whether the statistical test comes out to a null or an alternative hypothesis, I have to calculate the z-score. For the z-score calculations, we need to know the “Standard Deviation” (σ¬). The formula for the standard...
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