THE TRANSITION FROM SECONDARY EDUCATION TO THE UNIVERSITY. THE FIRST ACADEMIC YEAR OF CHEMISTRY AT THE UNIVERSITY OF BARCELONA

R. Gargallo, E. Nicolas, J.A. Farrera, I. Angurell

University of Barcelona (SPAIN)
The transition from secondary education to the University is a key process in the initial academic progression of undergraduate students. Compared to the previous stage, the university studies pose to the new students a higher demand in terms of dedication, autonomous study, depth of comprehension of theories and concepts, reasoning capacity and strategies for solving problems. When this demand is not appropriately addressed by the student, the academic progression will be negatively affected. These problems may be detected along the first academic year; the appropriate tools to solve this situation should be also applied accordingly.

In this communication we present an analysis of the academic results obtained by the students along the first year of their University studies, focusing on the performance obtained in the course Fundamental Chemistry 1 (FC1). These data have been correlated with the grades that the students obtained in the University Access Test. The results have shown that the recently implemented reassessment exam for students who had not passed the first exam has allowed that an additional 21% of students may pass the course. The fact that 39% of students obtained worse results than in the first exam prompts for a better definition and implementation of this reassessment exam.

On the other hand, the comparative analysis of academic results obtained in the first and second semester revealed that the worse results have been obtained in those subjects corresponding to the first semester. As expected, the first semester serves, depending on the student profile, either as a filter or as a bridge helping to pass the gap between secondary and University studies.