Performance in Mathematical and Scientific School Subjects as an Indicator of Success in Undergraduate Modules in Construction Economics in South Africa

Conference paper
Part of the Advances in Intelligent Systems and Computing book series (AISC, volume 1211)


The Department of Construction Economics, University of Pretoria, South Africa offers a three-year BSc undergraduate program in Quantity Surveying (QS). Specific mathematical and scientific first year modules experience high failure rates that negatively impact throughput rates of students. To address this the department is considering intake cohorts with stronger academic ability in Mathematics and Natural Science. This study explores school performance in these school subjects versus performance in problematic modules from records of cohorts of 2010–2015. The Grade 12 marks of the cohort for Mathematics varied between 55% and 91% (average 73,2%; standard deviation 9,27). The Grade 12 marks for Natural Science varied between 41% and 82% (average 59,8%, standard deviation 9,34). The study found a relatively low correlation between performance in undergraduate modules and school subjects (r vary from 0.3950 to 0.4929). A stratified approach however indicated a constant, positive relationship. The slope of the best-fit regression lines for first year pass rate varied between 1,2669 and 2,122. Pass rate increased significantly with higher marks in Mathematics and Science. The slope for marks achieved was flatter at 0,493 to 0,794. Marks in undergraduate modules do increase with higher marks in Mathematics and Science, but at a slower rate.


School subjects Undergraduate modules Construction Economics South Africa 


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Copyright information

© The Editor(s) (if applicable) and The Author(s), under exclusive license to Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of PretoriaPretoriaSouth Africa

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