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Mathematics Core Tests Will Start

By Amy B. Mcintosh

Although the mathematics requirement of the Core Curriculum will not go into effect until 1980, the Math Department will give achievement tests to students who volunteer to learn the quantitative skills the Core will require.

Andrew M. Gleason, Hollis Professor of Mathematics and chairman of the mathematics subcommittee of the Core, said yesterday next year would be a "dry run," and the department would urge students to master these quantitative skills because some required Core courses offered next year will assume knowledge of these skills.

This Does Not Compute

Although the subcommittee is still discussing the final structure of the tests, Gleason said he envisions four kinds of math skills in the requirement: graphing and manipulation of functions, basic computer programming, elementary statistics and use of data.

The department will provide live and videotaped lectures, study manuals and a question center so students who cannot pass one or all of the achievement tests can learn the material without taking a regular course.

Students who do not feel they can learn on their own or who have not passed all the tests after a certain time period will take a basic math course the department will provide.

Panic Squared

Gleason said that although he thinks current high school math programs provide very few entering freshmen with the skills needed to pass all parts of the requirement upon entering Harvard, he expects "about 80 per cent can get squared up without taking a regular course."

"The word is going to be passed around to high schools," he added, and entering freshmen may soon learn to prepare for the test in advance.

The department will probably schedule many days throughout the school year when students may take achievement tests to meet the requirements, Gleason said.

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