At several points it has been suggested that an initial screening test can be extremely helpful in identifying students who need more support, either in a dedicated module or in longer workshops. The following maths diagnostic test has been developed at the University of Bradford. This test is included within this chapter as it may provide useful guidance to staff in other institutions considering introducing maths screening. A similar approach could be taken in relation to statistics.
Please note that the University of Bradford has a minimum entry requirement of GCSE grade C in maths. The pass threshold currently used is 70%. All students below this are required to take the first semester preliminary maths module.
A note of caution: this test format may not be appropriate in a different institutional context even if the maths entry requirement is identical. You should reflect on the appropriateness of any test based on the skills required of your students given the demands of your programme.
Following the maths diagnostic test students may be selected to attend a preliminary maths module. The syllabus and assessment schedule adopted at the University of Bradford is listed below. A few points to note:
Week 
Topics 
Assessment 
2 
Number:
Order of calculation
Negative numbers
Fractions


3 
Decimals
Percentages & interest


4 
Converting between fractions, decimals and percentages
Decimal places & sig figs (rounding)
Ratio

Test – 30% 
Directed Study Week 

6 
Introduction to Algebra:
Writing expressions
Solving linear equations
Simplifying expressions
Multiply out brackets


7

Powers & roots
Financial maths 

8 
More Algebra:
Linear factorisation
Function Notation
Formula substitution
Rearranging expressions


9 
Multiply out 2 brackets
Quadratic equations:
Solve by formula
Discuss factorisation (for easier ones) if time.

Test – 30% 
10 
Geometry:
Straight line graphs: sketching by finding intercepts


11 
Sketching curves 

12 
Revision 
Final Test – 40% 