Professor: The number of new university students who enter as chemistry majors has not changed in the last ten years,...

on September 11, 2019

Help please

How can we make the jump that the loss of intellectual appeal of the major will make people give up on that major?

2 Replies

Irina on September 11, 2019

@Minerva,

The stimulus tells us that the number of students that enter as chemistry majors remained the same but the number of graduates with the chemistry degree has declined. So what happens in between that the students give up on their initially chosen major?

(E) explains that first year chemistry courses are taught in such fashion, that chemistry is no longer an appealing field of study for students who previously founded it appealing and chose it as their major initially. Hence, this experience with the first year chemistry class leads to studying changing their major to a different discipline.

Let me know if this makes sense and if you have any further questions.

Aneesh on November 13 at 12:50PM

Hi @irina,

Can you please help me understand the jump between chemistry not being appealing and the number of degrees being earned? My reasoning for excluding this option was that though chemistry might be unappealing, it does not necessitate that fewer degrees would be earned because students' reasons for earning the degree could extend beyond the subject being appealing.

I picked "There has been a significant decline in the number of undergraduate degrees earned in the natural sciences as a whole" - which I can see is flawed because a decrease in the number of natural sciences doesn't indicate a proportionate decrease in chemistry degrees.

Are there any indicators I can look to so that I don't make this mistake again?