# THE RELATION BETWEEN STUDENTS’ MATH AND READING ABILITY AND THEIR MATHEMATICS, PHYSICS, AND CHEMISTRY EXAMINATION GRADES IN SECONDARY EDUCATION

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## Abstract

Word problems are math- or science-related problems presented in the context of a story or real-life scenario. Literature suggests that, to solve these problems, advanced reading skills are required, in addition to content-related skills in, for example, mathematics. In the present study, we investigated the relation between students’ reading ability and their achievements in advanced mathematics, physics, and chemistry when controlling for their mathematical ability. The study included 1,446 Dutch secondary school students who had taken their final examinations in these subjects. Using multivariate multilevel models, we found that both math and reading ability (the latter only in the pre-university track) were positively related to the examination grades on mathematics, physics, and chemistry. This relation was equally strong for boys and girls. This relation was neither moderated by students’ sex, nor by students’ ethnicity (Dutch versus non-Dutch origin).

## Keywords

math ability multivariate multilevel models reading ability secondary education word problems## Preview

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