Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science in Education (MSEd)


Education and Human Development

First Advisor

Dr. Walter Brautigan


The purpose of this study was to determine which of the following variables contributed most to students' success on the New York State Regents Chemistry examination. The four variables to be assessed are Space Relations, Numerical Ability, Verbal Reasoning and Language Usage. Studies by Carter, LaRussa and Bodner (1987) using college students enrolled in general chemistry suggest there is a significant relationship between spatial ability and chemistry performance.

Based on such research, it is hypothesized that a similar relationship exists at the secondary level. In order to see if such a relationship exists an investigation to determine the validity of this hypothesis was tested using New York State Regents Chemistry final exam scores with the subtest raw scores of Space Relations, Numerical Ability, Verbal Reasoning and Language Usage for sixty students enrolled at West Irondequoit High School during the academic years 1986 through 1988.

The results of this investigation based on simple linear and multiple forward stepwise regression analysis revealed the Numerical Ability and Verbal Reasoning have the greatest influence as predictors of success on chemistry performance. Space Relations and Language Usage showed minimal impact on student achievement.

Since the regression analyses indicate that all of the four independent variables are explaining small amounts of the variation in the Regents Chemistry exam scores a Chi Square analysis was performed with these variables for the purpose of determining the global effects on Regents chemistry exam scores. The Chi Square analysis at the ninety five percent confidence level revealed that Numerical Ability and Language Usage impacted the most on students' chemistry performance.