Applied Mathematics & Information Sciences

Author Country (or Countries)

Saudi Arabia


One of the ultimate objectives of the Saudi Vision 2030 is to reduce the country’s dependence on the oil industry and construct a competitive, knowledge-based economy through developing the education system. Mathematics is the base of all scientific disciplines and technology. The recent trends of mathematics education reform have been shifted internationally towards mathematical competencies. This study aims to improve undergraduate freshmen students’ mathematical thinking, reasoning, representation, and handling mathematical symbols and formalism competencies through the implementation of the ”Realistic Mathematics Education” learning strategy. An RME-based pre-calculus course has been implemented in a six-week quasi-experiment involving a total of 39 students in the treatment group and 44 students in the control group. The results illustrated that RME has a significant positive effect on students’ mathematical competencies. Handling mathematical symbols and formalism was the highest accomplished competency, while representation competency was the lowest accomplished. In general, there were no significant differences between any pair of the four competencies, except for the representation and handling mathematical symbols and formalism competencies. It is recommended for the Saudi universities to adopt RME learning strategy, and to consider the competency-based learning to improve students’ mathematical competencies, Thereby, to be able to fulfil the market requirements with qualified human resources.

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)