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Education Research International
Volume 2012 (2012), Article ID 863286, 6 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2012/863286
Research Article

The Impact of Arithmetic Skills on Mastery of Quantitative Analysis

Department of Management, College of Business and Economics, Radford University, Radford, VA 24142, USA

Received 30 March 2012; Revised 16 August 2012; Accepted 19 August 2012

Academic Editor: Yi-Shun Wang

Copyright © 2012 Bruce K. Blaylock and Jerry M. Kopf. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

Over the past several years math education has moved from a period where all math calculations were done by hand to an era where most calculations are done using a calculator or computer. There are certainly benefits to this approach, but when one concomitantly recognizes the declining scores on national standardized mathematics exams, it raises the question, “Could the lack of technology-assisted arithmetic manipulation skills have a carryover to understanding higher-level mathematical concepts or is it just a spurious correlation?” Eighty-seven students were tested for their ability to do simple arithmetic and algebra by hand. These scores were then regressed on three important areas of quantitative analysis: recognizing the appropriate tool to use in an analysis, creating a model to carry out the analysis, and interpreting the results of the analysis. The study revealed a significant relationship between the ability to accurately do arithmetic calculations and the ability to recognize the appropriate tool and creating a model. It found no significant relationship between results interpretation and arithmetic skills.