The Natural World Test, Version 9 (NW-9) is a 66-item multiple choice test developed by science and mathematics university faculty to assess college students’ quantitative and scientific reasoning skills. The Natural World Test is currently in its ninth edition and reflects development spanning over the last decade. The NW-9 is intended to measure learning in scientific and quantitative reasoning for undergraduate college students. Since items were designed to be content-free, this instrument should be appropriate for students in any general education science curriculum. Students should be given approximately 60 minutes to complete this test.
The NW-9 was designed to evaluate student learning in eight general education objectives related to scientific and quantitative reasoning.
- Objective 1: Describe the methods of inquiry that lead to mathematical truth and scientific knowledge and be able to distinguish science from pseudo-science
- Objective 2: Use theories and models as unifying principles that help us understand natural phenomena and make predictions
- Objective 3: Recognize the interdependence of applied research, basic research, and technology, and how they affect society
- Objective 4: Illustrate the interdependence between developments in science and social and ethical issues
- Objective 5: Use graphical, symbolic, and numerical methods to analyze, organize, and interpret natural phenomena
- Objective 6: Discriminate between association and causation, and identify the types of evidence used to establish causation
Objective 7: Formulate hypotheses, identify relevant variables, and design experiments to test hypotheses
- Objective 8: Evaluate the credibility, use, and misuse of scientific and mathematical information in scientific developments and public-policy issues
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