Undergraduates Mathematics Achievement: Exploring the Students’ Attitude, Self-Efficacy and Anxiety
Underachievement in mathematics has been a great concern globally for decades and remains hotly debated in many research studies. Various factors related to students’ mathematics achievement have been widely discussed. This study examines the undergraduate students’ mathematics achievement (Pre-Calculus result) across gender and mathematics background (SPM Mathematics & SPM Additional Mathematics results). This study also investigates the students’ attitude, self-efficacy and anxiety concerning gender and mathematics achievement. A quantitative approach was employed by disseminating a questionnaire to diploma students of Universiti Teknologi MARA (UiTM) Sarawak, who enrolled in the Pre- Calculus course (MAT133). The findings shows that students’ Pre-Calculus result has a very strong association with their SPM Mathematic and SPM Additional Mathematics results, however, it was noticed that SPM Additional Mathematics associated stronger than SPM. Mathematics. It was also found that Pre-Calculus results and gender were strongly associated. Although there was no significant difference on the students’ mathematics attitudes, self-efficacy and anxiety across gender, this study confirms that attitudes, self-efficacy and anxiety have a significant impact on the students’ mathematics achievement. Moreover, the findings also reveal that there was a moderate positive significant relationship between students’ mean scores for attitudes and self-efficacy. Nonetheless, there was a moderate negative significant relationship between students’ mean scores for anxiety toward attitude and self-efficacy, which concludes that a positive attitude of students on mathematics will increase their self efficacy and hence reduce their anxiety towards mathematics. The result from the multiple regression analysis suggests that students’ attitude was the best predictor to students’ achievement in Pre-Calculus courses. This study provides some insights that may be deemed useful, especially to those who teach mathematics at the tertiary level.