Exploring Students’ Understanding on ‘Inequalities’

Haji Mohammad Redzuan Haji Botty, Hjh Jamilah Hj Mohd Yusof, Masitah Shahrill, Mar Aswandi Mahadi


The topic on Inequalities is one of the main topics in Year 9’s secondary mathematics scheme of work in Brunei Darussalam which consists of three sub-topics: Meaning and Symbols, Solve Linear Inequality and Graphical Representation of Inequalities. The primary focus for this study is to investigate which area or items that the students find easy or difficult. Twenty test items were prepared and the questions were adapted from textbooks and past year questions. The two items (10%) tested the students’ understanding on the meaning and symbols in inequalities, fifteen items (75%) on solving linear inequality and three items (15%) on graphical representation. A total of 51 students from two different classes were given the test on the same day. The two classes were from the General Science Programme and the General Programme. Using the Discriminative Index and Percentage of Difficulty analysis shows that students are confused with the value of negative integers, made careless mistakes and had poor basics in solving algebraic equations. In order to improve the students’ performance on the test, we recommend the teacher should first assess the students’ prior knowledge especially with integers and algebra before proceeding with the lesson on inequalities.

DOI: 10.5901/mjss.2015.v6n5s1p218

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Mediterranean Journal of Social Sciences ISSN 2039-9340(Print) ISSN 2039-2117(Online)

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