The Role of Physics and Mathematics in Influencing Science Students’ Performance

  • Munirah RossdyEmail author
  • Roseline Michael
  • Janvin Janteng
  • Shirley Arvilla Andrew
Conference paper


Physics and Mathematics are two closely related fields in the world of Science. Although they are closely related, these two fields have distinct identities. The distinction between these two fields has influenced the learning process in Science programmes at institutions of higher education. The main objective of this study is to identify the relationship between the two disciplines and how their influence affects students’ overall performance. In order to learn Physics, students need basic knowledge of Mathematics. The dependence on Mathematics to understand Physics and its interrelationship have been identified since secondary school level. This is because mathematical concepts that students acquire can be applied in Physics such as functions, derivatives, equations and other aspects with a similar concept. The role of Physics and Mathematics courses is evaluated to determine whether both subjects affect students’ achievement for the Science programme. Data were acquired from 45 students undertaking Part 3 Diploma in Science (AS120) at UiTM Cawangan Sabah. These students took up Physics and Mathematics in the first and second semesters. The instruments used in this study included students’ grades in Physics and Mathematics as well as their Cumulative Grade Point Average (CGPA). The data were analysed using Statistical Package for the Social Sciences (SPSS) version 22.0 software, while a regression analysis was used to identify the relationship between Physics, Mathematics and students’ performance (CGPA). From the findings, it can be established that there is a highly positive relationship between Physics and Mathematics with students’ CGPA. It shows that students’ achievement in both fields will be early predictors to determine their CGPA. Moreover, Mathematics also provides a positive relationship with the learning of Physics, and it appears that students’ performance in Mathematics can predict their Physics’ result.


Science programme Physics and Mathematics Relationship Students’ performance Regression analysis 


  1. Ahmed, I., Mohamed, N., & Fahar, H. (2012). Relating grades of maths and science courses with students’ performance in a multi-disciplinary engineering program- a gender inclusive case study. Procedia – Social and Behavioral Sciences, 46, 3989–3992.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Ahmed, I., Mohamed, N., & Fahar, H. (2015). The role of physics and mathematics courses in influencing students’ performance in engineering programs. In QScience Proceeding (Engineering Leaders Conference 2014). Retrieved November 4, 2015, from Scholar
  3. Awodun, A. O., & Ojo, O. A. (2013). Mathematics skills as predictors of physics students’ performance in senior secondary schools. International Journal of Science and Research, 2(7), 391–394.Google Scholar
  4. Baskan, Z., Alev, N., & Karal, I. S. (2010). Physics and mathematics teachers’ ideas about topics that could be related or integrated. Procedia – Social and Behavioral Sciences, 2, 1558–1562.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Dehipawala, S., Shekoyan, V., & Yao, H. (2014). Using mathematics review to enhance problem solving skills in general physics classes, Proceedings of 2014 Zone 1 Conference of the American Society for Engineering Education (ASEE Zone 1). Bridgeport: IEEE.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Izaak, H. W. (2015). The correlation study of interest at physics and knowledge of mathematics basics concepts towards the ability to solve physics problems with 7th grade students at Junior High School in Ambon Maluku Province, Indonesia. Education Research International, 2015 (2015), 396750.Google Scholar
  7. Kauffman, L. H., & Ul-Haq, R. (2015). The mysterious connection between mathematics and physics. Progress in Biophysics and Molecular Biology, 119, 453–459.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Michelsen, C. (2015). Mathematical modeling is also physics-interdisciplinary teaching between mathematics and physics in Danish upper secondary education (Vol. 50). Denmark: Physics Education Issue 4, article id. 489 (2015).Google Scholar
  9. Noemi, M. B. (2013). Factors influencing the academic performance in physics of DMMMSU-MLUC laboratory high school fourth year students S.Y. 2011–2012. International Scientific Research Journal, 5(2), 34–44.Google Scholar
  10. Redish, E. F. (2006). Problem solving and the use of math in physics courses. Paper presented at the conference World View on Physics in 2005: Focusing on Change, Delhi, August 21–26, 2005.Google Scholar
  11. Simpson, J., & Fernandez, E. (2014). Student performance in first year, mathematics, and physics courses: Implications for success in the study of electrical and computer engineering. Frontiers in Education Conference (FIE), 2014 IEEE. Madrid.Google Scholar
  12. Tan, U. -X., Zhu, Y., Lee, C. H., Toh, T. L., Sze, G. K., Tay, S., & Kin, L. P. (2017). Preliminary study of integrated physics and mathematics bridging course (pp. 1146–1151). IEEE Global Engineering Education Conference (EDUCON).Google Scholar
  13. Vinitsky-Pinsky, L., & Galili, I. (2014). The need to clarify the relationship between physics and mathematics in science curriculum: Cultural knowledge as possible framework. Procedia – Social and Behavioral Sciences, 116, 611–616.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Munirah Rossdy
    • 1
    Email author
  • Roseline Michael
    • 1
  • Janvin Janteng
    • 1
  • Shirley Arvilla Andrew
    • 2
  1. 1.Faculty of Computer and Mathematical SciencesUniversiti Teknologi MARA Cawangan SabahKota KinabaluMalaysia
  2. 2.Faculty of Applied ScienceUniversiti Teknologi MARA Cawangan SabahKota KinabaluMalaysia

Personalised recommendations