For many years now, math instructors have made the claim that a students' prior knowledge in algebra impacts their success in calculus. If a student struggles with their algebraic skills, can they still pass calculus? To test this hypothesis, I ran data for 188 students which spans from Fall 2005 to Fall 2013 comparing students' 1st exam scores (review exam of algebra) to their final grade in the course. Correlation using Pearson's r showed a significant, strong positive relationship (r(186) = 0.75, p < .001). Thus, the 1st exam grade is a good predictor of their final grade in the course.
The first two weeks of the semester is dedicated to reviewing algebra. I will continue to try to improve students' algebraic skills in the first two weeks as well as throughout the semester. One way I plan to try to improve algebra skills is to utilize Khan Academy and their coaching program.
See attached spreadsheet for the data along with the graph of the data.