Custom software was used to collect data for 416 students over multiple semesters of a college introductory computer transfer course. The objective was to quantitatively identify achievement factors and corresponding actions to be taken to improve student achievement. Student activity data were exam review time, time spent on assignments, attendance, and Student Response System (SRS) use. Data on specific student skills were obtained from answers to assessment questions. Regression analysis shows that attendance, SRS use, time spent on assignments, and time spent on exam reviews do not significantly affect achievement. Score on assessment questions requiring basic math skill and score on questions requiring skill in observation and written explanation of classroom demonstrations do significantly affect achievement. So does score on questions repeated from one exam to the next, but contrary to intuition, the overall effect of these repeated questions is to lower student achievement. A regression model using only these three factors plus percentage of assignments done predicts student achievement to within half a letter grade. Improving student skill in basic math provides the greatest opportunity to improve student achievement. Successful and unsuccessful students are exclusive groups; unsuccessful students are not “partially” successful.

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