# What is QR?

## About Quantitative Reasoning

**What is QR?**

**QR skills refer to the ability to reason quantitatively and to model and solve problems with quantitative (or numerical) methods.**While QR is tied to mathematics, QR skills can be applied more broadly to

**daily**tasks such as:**estimating one's risk of contracting the coronavirus**,**calculating the cost of purchasing a home with mortgage payments**,**understanding the chances of a candidate being elected president**, or**assessing the likelihood of getting a job in one's college major**.Quantitative skills are needed for research and analysis in

**biology**,**chemistry**,**computer science,****mathematics**,**physics**,**psychology**and**sociology**courses, as well as in the context of making decisions and assessing risks in our personal and professional lives.At the

**undergraduate**level,**QR skills refer to****students' abilities to apply data and numerical evidence to theoretical questions**.According to the AAC&U,

**quantitative reasoning (QR)**is, "t**he application of basic math skills, such as algebra, to the analysis and interpretation of real-world quantitative information in the context of a discipline or an interdisciplinary problem to draw conclusions that are relevant to students in their daily lives**."

**Why is infusing QR across the disciplines important?**

While many of the liberal arts are not traditionally associated with QR, the AAC&U stresses that

**QR is "located at the intersection of critical thinking, basic mathematics skills, and the disciplines or real-world contexts for learning."**Importantly, in order to truly assess QR competency, students must be able to

**identify**and**apply**quantitative relationships in a range of contexts,**even ones that are not usually associated with numeracy**.It is easy to spot QR across a wide range of disciplines including:

**nutrition and exercise science**(i.e. understanding nutrition fact labels),**political science**(i.e. making judgements on political polling), and even**literature and the arts**. An example of**Quantitative Reasoning in writing**can be found here.However, according to the AAC&U, a 2003 survey revealed that only

**13 percent of American adults are proficient in quantitative literacy,**while**22 percent are below basic level**.

**What is the difference between mathematics and QR/numeracy?**

"Numeracy is not the same as mathematics, nor is it an alternative to mathematics…today's students need

**both****mathematics and numeracy.**"

**Mathematics**is rooted in**abstract, deductive reasoning**, and**serves primarily professional purposes**.

**QR**refers to a more general set of skills that are**anchored in context**, and which are are**employed in every aspect of an alert, informed life.****QR**skills are essential for all college graduates'**personal and civic responsibilities**, and are used**across**academic disciplines.