Mathematics Self-Efficacy Scale

Measure beliefs regarding ability to perform various math-related tasks and behaviors

Nancy Betz & Gail Hackett

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The Efficacy Scale is intended to measure beliefs regarding ability to perform various math-related tasks and behaviors. Subjects are asked to indicate their degree of confidence in their ability to perform the math task on a scale ranging from “Not at all Difficult” (0) to “Extremely Difficult” (9).

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About the MATHS

The MATHS inventory is based on three areas of math-related self-efficacy expectations.

  1. The solving of math problems, that is, problems similar to those found on standardized tests of mathematical aptitude and achievement (i.e. Dowling's Mathematics Confidence Scale.
  2. Mathematics behaviors used in everyday life, for example, balancing a checkbook, as represented by the Math Anxiety Rating Scale (MARS; Richardson & Suinn, 1972).
  3. Capability of satisfactory performance in college courses requiring various degrees of mathematics knowledge and mastery. This aspect of behavior has not previously been used in the study of attitudes toward math but was considered particularly appropriate for examination in a population of college students.

Thus, self-efficacy expectations with regard to mathematics were operationally defined to include perceptions of performance capability in relationship to math problems, everyday math tasks, and mathematics-related college coursework.

Sample question

Confidence Scale
0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9
No confidence at all Very little confidence Some confidence Much confidence Complete confidence


    How much confidence do you have that you could successfully...

1. Multiply two large numbers in your head. 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9

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