Mt Aspiring pupils do well in uni maths test

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YVONNE O’HARA

yvonne.ohara@alliedpress.co.nz

Three Mount Aspiring College Year 13 pupils have scored significantly higher than the national average in a test, which is part of a tough first year university engineering and mathematics paper.

Joe Strawson, Hannah McNabb and Zac Kaye, as well as Tom Rizzi (17), are studying the online Canterbury University first year, degree level Math 199 engineering and mathematics paper, along with about 120 other college or university level distance learning students.

They are part of the Secondary Tertiary Alignment Resource-funded (Star) programme, which is designed to encourage year 12 and 13 students to study first-year university papers.

They recently sat the first major test of the course, and the overall mean (out of all students taking that paper) was 25.6 out of 30.

Joe’s test score was 29, Hannah’s score was 28, Zac’s was 26.

Tom’s was 25.

College assistant head of mathematics Heather Watt was delighted with how well the students had done.

She quoted a Canterbury University co-ordinator who had said “this class has many of the very best maths students in New Zealand, which is why the mean is so high”.

“We identified the students as high flyers,” Miss Watt said.

Joe, the board of trustees student representative, said he intends to study finance and mathematics at university next year.

“I like being able to work out complex problems and see the solutions,” he said.

Tom is looking at studying software engineering next year.

Hannah said she was interested in science and design, and was planning to study engineering or chemistry next year.

Zac said he enjoyed physics, computing and maths, was interested in coding and wanted to study mathematics at university next year.

The students said they would each spend between four and 12 hours on the course a week and more when studying for a test.

The second test, held earlier this month, had a mean of 24.8 out of 30 and another Mt Aspiring College student, Sam Dougherty (17), scored 28.

The three students scored slightly below the mean, but Miss Watt said she had been told by the university tutor the second test was even harder than the first, because of the nature of the work being examined.

The students will spend a few days at the university campus in July.