Why Students hate and Struggle with Mathematics

Why Students hate and Struggle with Mathematics

If you visit any school or any class and you conduct an interview of all the students in the school environment you will surely discover that a greater percentage of the students prefer other subjects to mathematics. And then you begin to wonder the reasons why students hate mathematics and fail them.


The subject of mathematics is not just about numbers, but it involves finding solutions to problems even though it seems hard to solve. Mathematics is but a core subject in all schools and students are expected to pass them before graduating from some classes. Although, it still depends on the policy of your school.

Well, I could remember my days in secondary school, particularly in the junior class. I was doing well until our maths teacher left and a new teacher was recruited. Well, he came with his different pattern of teaching and almost all the students hated maths including me.

It happened that 80% of the students performed poorly and we did not ever like mathematics again because he made it seem so difficult and we already took it in that we cannot learn it nor understand it again. until date, most of us including me wish that we got a different teacher during that time because we hated mathematics because of him.

Well, you won’t be far from the truth if you want to blame the students or the school system but they are other more detailed reasons why students dislike mathematics a lot. It becomes a nightmare to them and any mention of the subject sends goosebumps to the skin.

When you see a student who performs poorly in mathematics, it is reasonable to assume that such a student does not like mathematics at all. This is because when you do not like any subject, you certainly will not put much effort in it to learn and understand it.

The term mathematics does not need any form of introduction or definition. As per common knowledge, mathematics deals with numbers, space, shapes, and figures. The basic mathematics formula is Addition, subtraction, multiplication, and Division. These four symbols form the foundational knowledge and basics of mathematics for students.

The importance of mathematics cannot be undermined in every student’s life during and after school. It is undeniable that a strong knowledge of it helps in problem-solving, finance, and general calculations and it also increases your level of critical thinking when we talk about logic in mathematics.

Well, as much as we would love to walk down straight to reveal some of the reasons why students hate mathematics, we must tell you that mathematics is a simple and easy subject. The benefits are too much and if you only open up your mind to it and avoid that bias, then you will find how simple it is for you. If you do not love mathematics, you are limiting your career paths because you will want to do everything possible to avoid maths in your life.

This means that you will avoid anything that has to do with science. If you are looking for a career in a scientific field like nursing, medical doctor, engineering, anatomy, electrical engineer, or architecture, you will surely need the knowledge and a pass in mathematics to scale through in that area.

More so, if you are interested in any commercial-related field like accounting, business management, finance, or Banking, then you cannot run away from numbers again. The earlier you accepted it, the better you learn and start liking mathematics.

10 Reasons Why Students Hate Mathematics

The essence of giving you the most common reasons why most students do not like mathematics is for you to identify the potential cause on time and make sure it does not affect you. That is the only preventive measure that you can adopt to make sure that you are always good at mathematics and do not fall under the category of those who dislike it.

Family Background

It is common knowledge that when a child is growing up and is already learning how to read and write, the next thing that will be introduced is maths. It includes the basics of it-Addition, counting, subtraction, division, and basic multiplication at different levels.

This stage is very important for that child and the parents or teachers are to play a great role here, especially the parents. This will give that child a positive mindset about mathematics and he will most likely grow up not to be among those students who hate mathematics.

There is no doubt that mathematics is undoubtedly the most difficult subject in school, so it is important to start teaching your kids basic mathematics at an early stage. One good thing it does to that child is that it improves the concentration level, problem-solving skills, thought process, and level of patience because maths questions require critical thinking and concentration.

Now as the child grows up with a good knowledge of basic maths, it becomes easier to advance and become more advanced in maths, and the confidence level increases. So do not miss the foundation so that your child finds it easier to understand and like mathematics.

Teacher Factor

Deleted: Teachers are very influential in the life of students and contribute to the fact that some students do hate mathematics. This is because some of the teachers do not have any enthusiasm for that subject and some of them know but just do not know how to pass it across. It is not an easy task teaching mathematics. You will need a lot of patience and long-suffering as a teacher and at least understand that students in your class are from different backgrounds and have various assimilation abilities.

Some students find it easier to understand mathematics and grab what you are teaching. Now the mistake you will be making as a teacher is to stop teaching when you feel that a particular student already understands what you are saying. It is discriminatory and others will not learn anything, and you will just end up making them hate mathematics and they will keep disturbing or skipping your classes.

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If you are a mathematics teacher and you find out that a good number of the students are not showing interest in mathematics, you can simply organize a special session for them to make inquiries as to why they are performing that badly. Then you will know the approach to adopt in making them at least have a better understanding of the subject and appreciate it further.

The goal of a teacher is not just to call out notes or solve mathematical problems only. It extends to taking your time to explain the solution in simple terms and make sure that at least a reasonable number of students can take on the topic you just thought about by giving them some simple tasks and assignments. Deleted: Furthermore, the teacher should ensure that there is a good student-teacher relationship to enable the students to have a friendly environment to understand maths easily.

School factors

Well, you will understand that it is crucial for your child’s learning that you enroll them in a good school where they can get a quality education. Yes, the truth is that quality education is very expensive because it takes a lot of money to bring the best teachers to teach the students and make sure they get a good education.

The performance of the students determines whether the school teaches very well or otherwise. Deleted: The school should occasionally try to participate in mathematics competitions which could be inter-school or just intra-mathematics competitions. This serves as an incentive to students and it helps the school to evaluate the performance of their students.

More so, to encourage students to develop a positive mindset about mathematics bearing in mind that students easily hate mathematics, they can award excellent scores in mathematics and encourage others to do better too.

Additionally, the school can also do an occasional evaluation of teachers to present and show how students have performed and their reactions to mathematics subjects. When there is a positive or there is a decline in interest, then it is best to find a way to discover the reasons why the students are hating mathematics. When they know the problem, then you can proffer a solution to restore the likeness and great performance for maths.

Mental Factor

If you show me a student who hates mathematics, you will find one who has lost total interest in mathematics. Well, if you want to learn maths, then you have to be interested in it to understand it. Some students find it terrible and they get frustrated once they find themselves in that position of finding it difficult to understand mathematics and they simply give up and will not try again.

If you do not have strong mental strength then you are sure that you will hate mathematics. There is no one born with the knowledge and understanding of it. We all are a product of what we believe in and work for.

So if you are a student and you believe that you can not excel in mathematics, then you do not expect to see yourself having wonderful results in it. This is because we are in control of our choice and when we decide not to put in the effort, it is because we are not interested in it.

So one of the factors you should work on is your mindset. If you see yourself not handling maths because it is a difficult task then you have already failed it mentally and there is no way you are going to pass it at all.


This is also another reason why students hate mathematics -complexity. Mathematics is not a straightforward subject because the problem differs but the most important thing that you need to know is the formula. I could remember when we did algebra and linear equations in maths during my school days. It was easy while the teacher was solving it in class but when he gave us to take home assignment and included various problems, it seems like I have never seen such a question before and it became more difficult.

As funny as it is, you will be faced with some vague problems like; if X=25, P=2, then find Y. If Y is proportional to the value of X and P respectively. Normally, if the teacher solves this in class, you will understand it but when you are given a take-home assignment you will do something like this; John has 35 oranges, Ada has 5 apples, and James has 12 pineapples. Find the value of X, Y. It makes you wonder.

So if you don’t want to fall under the category of students who hate mathematics, then you should know that maths is complex and you should be ready to study the questions and find a solution to them. Try repeatedly if you fail until you get it correct and do not give up if you are not getting it.

Peer Groups/Friends

This is another strong reason why students hate maths because of bad influence from friends or peers. The truth is that if you have friends who do not like maths, then it is very likely that they will influence you to also hate it. This is just like them recruiting you to their course.

I remembered that one of the ways I passed maths was because I was on good terms with one of the girls who understands maths and she always encourages me to keep trying even when I fail sometimes. Now, imagine when all your friends hate maths and you don’t know who you want to meet when you find it difficult.

So if you have friends who know and understand maths, it is highly possible that they will also teach you and you will discover that it’s not an impossible subject since they are all passing the subject.



Now, this is another issue that some people have with maths. It is like the subject appears boring and non-interesting since it does not have stories and if you do not know it, then you do not know it. It does not allow you to express yourself and try to convince your teacher with your writing of your answer.

Maths is all about principles and if you do not apply them correctly, then you should know that you are going to fail it and you won’t get the answer.

For example; 2+2+2=6. That is the addition principle in maths but a different principle in maths (4-5) will certainly give you a different answer.

Low self-esteem

This has to do with the personality of the student. If you do not have the right training and learning values, then you might suffer from low-self esteem. You will find yourself struggling with the answers that you already know just because you are afraid that you might get them wrong and people will laugh at you.

Well, alright, get that off your head because if you fail it, you will be corrected but if you do not speak, you will not know if you were correct the first time. So you should not be afraid to answer questions in class or participate in competitions or class activities.

If you keep doing that, then you are charging yourself up to keep doing better and then you will understand that it will not pay you much to hate maths as a student because of its numerous advantages.

Lack of Determination

Determination is a key that every student who wants to like maths must have and always practice because maths is not an easy subject. Determination comes in because sometimes you might be given a task and then you fail it repeatedly and you are most likely going to decide that you do not know it and then you give up.

Yes, you do not know it but giving up will not also make you know it too. So the best approach is for you to meet your teacher, parents or friends who could help you with it to explain it better for you. If you are advanced, you can also check out some videos on youtube on that particular subject and you will surely get helpful resources to help out.

When you are determined, even the devil can not stop you from understanding mathematics and you will not fall under the categories of persons who hate maths.

Lack of Practice

They say practice makes perfect even though it is exaggerated. Practice will in real terms make you an expert. This means that when you finish school if you fail to go back and practice the maths questions you did that day, you will find it difficult to remember them next time because you have not internalized them.

The more you practice questions on various maths principles, the easier it is for you to solve many maths principles, and then you will love maths. Well, most students hate maths because of this reason. I hope you do not want to be among them.


Now you have seen the reasons why students hate mathematics and you have seen how you can avoid being among those who dislike it. Yes, maths is a difficult subject but it is not an impossible subject for you to do.

All you have to do is to have the right mental strength and be confident in yourself and keep practicing, then you will find yourself in love with maths.

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