Preparation for College General Chemistry: More than Just a Matter of Content Knowledge Acquisition

Mark S. Cracolice, Brittany D. Busby

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

31 Scopus citations


This study investigates the potential of five factors that may be predictive of success in college general chemistry courses: prior knowledge of common alternate conceptions, intelligence, scientific reasoning ability, proportional reasoning ability, and attitude toward chemistry. We found that both prior knowledge and scientific reasoning ability were significantly correlated with students performance on the American Chemical Society Division of Chemical Education Examinations Institute First Term General Chemistry Examination. Given that scientific reasoning ability was significantly correlated with final exam performance and that its impact is not broadly known in the chemistry teaching community, we then discuss the implications for facilitating the development of reasoning ability in college preparatory high school chemistry courses and college preparatory chemistry courses.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1790-1797
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Chemical Education
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 10 2015


  • Chemical Education Research
  • Constructivism
  • Curriculum
  • First-Year Undergraduate/General
  • High School/Introductory Chemistry
  • Learning Theories
  • Testing/Assessment


Dive into the research topics of 'Preparation for College General Chemistry: More than Just a Matter of Content Knowledge Acquisition'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this