Students often fear failure in the math classroom, especially when performing various algebra problems. Combining numbers and letters can be very intimidating when the math skills are already weak. This Independent Study aims to focus on three factors related to students’ calculator use: Anxiety, Attitude, and Time. The research first studied the students’ self-rated level of anxiety towards algebra problems when using a calculator. Another aim is to model the relationship between the use of calculators and students’ attitude toward mathematics. The last objective was to determine if there is a difference in completion time and score results for a predefined set of questions when using versus not using a calculator. Students were split randomly into two groups; one group was encouraged to use a calculator while the other group was only permitted paper and pencil and brain power. Each group was given the same quiz and was timed. The data was collected from math students at Wooster High School and Waynedale High School using an online survey during their regular math class time. These students range in different levels of math: Algebra 1, Algebra 2, Pre-Calculus, Calculus 1 and Calculus 2. The analysis covered methods such as: Hypothesis Tests, multiple linear regression, simple, multiple and ordinal logistic regressions. The results conclude that using and relying on a calculator does affect anxiety levels has small effect on attitude towards math. Factors such as age, favorite subject, gender, location of living, or ethnicity do not have a strong effect towards a student's attitude toward mathematics.


Morrison, Jillian


Mathematics; Education


Educational Assessment, Evaluation, and Research | Educational Methods | Secondary Education


Calculators, High School Mathematics, Math Anxiety, Attitude towards Math

Publication Date


Degree Granted

Bachelor of Arts

Document Type

Senior Independent Study Thesis



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