Anonymous asked in Science & MathematicsMathematics · 1 decade ago

why is math so hard?

i see alot of math questions espcially why is math so hard especially scince alot of math is not really useful...


btw im good at math...

32 Answers

  • 1 decade ago
    Best Answer

    I think this is a rather interesting question. I would like to address to points:

    1) Is math useful?


    I'd say that depends on who you are talking too.

    Some people will have to use much higher and more advanced forms of mathematics then others depending on what they do from day to day.

    Let me ask you when will you use half the things you learn in school? When are you going to be at a desk and have to answer on the spot without a book or notes or google:

    The capital of Russia,

    the date of death of Marie Antoinette,

    the correct context of the sentence Buffalo buffalo Buffalo buffalo buffalo buffalo Buffalo buffalo ,

    what did Sigmund Freud say,

    what does E=mc^2 mean,...?

    These are all things you learn about in school yet you're not going to use them in an office so what is the point of learning anything in school at all?

    If you get a job you will go through some sort of training so, I ask you "why are you in school?"

    Perhaps these things are more profound then you will one day use them at your job, perhaps a subject can just be interesting. Perhaps the point of school is to expand your mind and get you to think, this is not a skill that can be taught, but is one that every job looks for. Why not be like the Greeks and ponder all the wonders and knowledge of the Universe?

    Or perhaps you only care about money, well in this case the guy that gets paid, is the guy that is good with numbers. Legally or illegally, people with good math skills can make money and go very far. I was interest in Finical Mathematics before, this is a well paying field, and a good place to make money.

    More then that good math skills teach logical thinking, and proficiency in dealing with numbers, and data analysis. So if you want to work with numbers or data some good math skills will benefit you.

    You will not be highered to a CEO position if you cannot read a charts or graphs. And while you may not understand exactly how to crunch the numbers, you should understand what they mean where they come from and make judgments and decisions off of that information. Given this I'd say that good math skills make you a better candidate for a CEO then someone lacking these skills.

    2) Is Math hard? If so why?


    I think that also depends on who your talking to...

    To some people math comes very easy and naturally to them. To others it seems like a class full of formulas they never use. I'd say math does have a stigma for being harder then other sciences.

    Why math is so hard to some people and not to others is a pretty good topic of debate in the 'science' of math education. (My girlfriend is in Math Education so I know this).

    In my experience, people are not good at math because it is not like a history subject, you cannot just read the book an hour before class and expect to ace the quiz your about to have. Math is about skills and application of skills, you have to understand the material, rather then recite facts. Most people can memorize formulas however when it comes to solving word problems they don't understand what to do because they don't have any intuition as to what mathematics is really all about or what is really going on in the class. For the most part what a student will try to do is see what the teacher did for a problem then replace numbers whenever they can, however if the wording is even slightly different then they are very confused.

    However most everyone is good at addition and multiplication, we all learn it at the same time. Besides some people just being better at one thing then another a common cyclic situation develops that eventually leaves the student at a disadvantage.

    As I said suppose that all things are equal, what causes people to hate math? Poor student attitude with math along with bad teaching also play into this. Sometimes students will just have bad teachers that really don't have any better understanding of math. Poor teachers just read the book a week ahead of the student and come in to class and present. Student's will often get confused because the teacher seems confused and unconfident, and unable to answer "bigger questions" that the students pose. The students without math intuition will become less confident and more confused. Poor teachers will often over simplify answers and say "things happen this way because they do." and not give reasons why they are doing steps of why things work out like this. Then students become lost and frustrated with the subject. This situation then follows over to the next teacher the next year. Some times this new teacher is better and can pull some students back to getting it, but often you need the previous stuff to move forward in mathematics so you often loose more people to the grip of apathy and lack of understanding.

    Students are also to blame for this cycle. I'm a PhD student in Math. Part of what I do is teach. I won't claim to be marvelous, or anything like that; however I know the material quite well. Last year I posted a 75 question take home quiz to the students, most of the class didn't start it until the night before it was due (which was the day of the exam). The 30 questions on the exam were exactly the same as questions on the test, just different numbers. Yet people didn't start it until the night before it was due?

    Another example of this is again this year I assigned homework and then I gave a quiz in class. In the middle of the quiz, many students were doing the problems completely wrong. So I went up to the front of the room and asked "Why didn't you do your homework? You turned it in got it right on there, but you didn't do it?" A student responded that last week was the week after spring break and they didn't feel like doing work... How is one supposed to expect the students to do well if they don't even try to do the homework, if they just copy the answers from the back of the book or go to Y!A! and just get it. You have to learn a little bit of math on your own.

    One last example, after a student fails an exam I e-mail them telling them I would like to see them. The student doesn't come in. On the next exam same thing happens: they fail, I e-mail them, they don't come in. On the next exam same thing happens: they fail, I e-mail them, they don't come in. Now a week before the final exam in comes the student thinking he can cram for the final and get the 95% he needs to pass the course. Students think that cramming for a math test will help them pass, it won't, again, you must actually know the material. Had this student come in the 1st time (or dropped the class) he could have saved his GPA. Why didn't this person care about his grade before? I speak English, I offer to help, my office is easy to find, why not show up, and get help?

    The answer: Students that aren't good at math are stuck in the mind set that they will never use this, they hate it, and they will never be good at it. They should read my first point and just try to enjoy it or 'pretend' like one day they will use it.

    Hope this adds to your discussion.

    Source(s): I'm a PhD candidate in mathematics and I'm also teacher of mathematics.
    • Math and English... lol... need to revisit the words Two as in the number 2... too which means as well used in a sentence "me too"... and to... as used in your sentence... "it depends who you are talking to".. not talking too unless you are saying he's talking too.😉

  • 1 decade ago

    The secret of math is to study the textbook examples and to do the homework at the end of the sections.The more you do a certain concept in math the more you will understand it.A good textbook will then apply it to everyday life in a problem. When you apply yourself in the study department, you will be surprised at how much you understand. I am 53 years old and have been away from school for a long time and am taking a college algebra class where I have an A average. You have to focus!!!

  • Anonymous
    5 years ago

    math is realy hard for me i try very hard and i take any chance i have to ask a question or figure out why i answere a problem i try so hard but i fail alot before barely passing . and i keep tryng . people in a similar situation as me just give up and fail the class . why is math so hard for me if i tend to hav a possitive attitude towards the learning process in math. could there be something wrong in my brain could i have been born mentally challenge . a math test to me is like survival of the fittest all or nothing life and death. algebraic problems i feel like their very intimidating like a little game puzzle someone devised to get me to choice the incorrect answer , algebra and geometry are sinical twisted jigsaw puzzle a demented group use to test ones inferiority's by that one groups standards. i dont hate math i just feel like the long journey a high school student most take earn math requirements and then including state requested test that could mean u ither get the credit or not just makes me one to try shed tears but keep tryng and hope for a victory

  • 4 years ago

    Reading threw some of these post, I see some valid responses. On the other end. I see a bunch of typical internet know it all's spewing their typical idiocy, in attempt to try to make themselves look smarter than they really are. "LOL. MATH IS EASY! WHAT R U STUPEAD!? JUST STUDY! STUDY STUDY STUDY! DUH! MATH IS SO EASY! EVEN A DOG CAN DEW IT! YOU USE MATH EVRYDAY STUDEAD!"

    First off. People use addition, subtraction. Mulitplication and division everyday. Not extreme formulas most math subjects have in class. No one is going to be at a store like "If x =y squared.". They just add it up, add up the amount. Do some subtracting. If it adds up? Their on about their day. But believe or not. There's some people out there that's not familiar with the simple stuff. The need extra long steps to get them by.

    Second. "Just study study study Little Timmy" ain't gonna cut it... Math takes steps. Time. And recognition. You can study until your brain hurts. If you get lost in math easily. You get lost. It's not people are "TEW LAZIE!". Their minds just don't process those formulas as quickly and fluently. Even if you get a tutor. It might take some time. And No. Saying to yourself "Well math is easy" isn't going to cut either. I guess I can just click my heels together and wish myself back home too, if I believed hard enough amiright? *Rolls eyes*

    Third. Everyone has strengths and weaknesses. My strength is reading and history. Math is a weak point for me. Just because my strength is reading and history, doesn't mean I'm just going to scream "Study study study" down the throat of someone who doesn't get reading. "It takes one foot at a time" is what I'll say. I love cars. I'm not fond of math. Am I going to stop loving cars, because it involves math? Nope. Because I don't have to my a mathematical wiz to know, that a Corvette is am awesome machine, fast as stink and took millions of man hours to build.

    Coming from a guy that is weak at math. Math isn't easy for me. I just take it one step at a time. A lot of people have a hard time at math. But at the same time. A lot of people have a hard time at reading. You can learn it. Just don't expect people to just fly off the bat and know it instantly. Life doesn't work like that.


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  • 1 decade ago

    math is the single most important subject that our school system teaches. You use it every single day of your life in some way or other. You just don't realize it. Some of the complex formulas are not something most people use but engineers and chemists use these formulas everyday. Without math, you wouldn't have things like candies and drinks. They use mathematical formulas to determine how much of what to put in these items to make them taste the way they do and have the properties that they have. Math is extremely important to everyday life. just because you don't understand the complexities of all math, it is still an avid part of your everyday life. (through the foods you eat and the car you drive, and everything in between)

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    it's hard becaue u don't understand it....all math is is basically learning the steps......don't worry about the numbers, figure out the formula and the rest will be easy

    you use math all the time you just don't realize it

    for want to go to the movies @ 6:00, he theater is about 30 minutes away and it takes you about 30 minuts to get ready.....what time should you start getting ready

    answer 6:00 - 30 minutes = 5: 30 - 30 minutes = 5:00

    you should get ready a 5:00 and be on your way @ 5:30 to get there at 6:00

    simply !!!!!!

    or with money

    you want a drink that cost 99cents and state tax is 0.9 ( nine cents to every dollar) how much is the drink

    .99 + 9 = 1.08

    Source(s): oh and if you good at math y ask this question hmmm....if your good at it it's not that hard then
  • ?
    Lv 4
    4 years ago

    It depends what math you are taking. If you are taking algebra 1 then that math is SUPER easy!!! If you are taking Geometry its actually not that hard either. The whole class basically deals with triangles and circles. Trust me. Your 9th grade year will be the easiest.!

  • 1 decade ago

    It depends on the type of math you're talking about. In general math is very complex due to the wide range and scope of mathematics. When it comes to specifics, math such as algebra, trigonometry, etc., can be pretty easy but then again this is dependent on what area you major in as well as what kinds of math you find interesting. Algebra, for example, can be applied in many of the things we do in life and thus can be considered useful. Calculus, on the other hand, would prove to be of very little use for those majoring in business or in medicine. The list can go on and on as there are many different fields under mathematics.

  • 1 decade ago

    I am not a math teacher, but I have kids and they do well in math. Several years ago, my niece came to live with us. As I've always done with my own kids, I would help her every night with her homework and/or check it over when she finished. Math was a big problem for her. I tried everything I could think of to help her. Finally, one day, it occurred to me that the problems began way back when she was learning the basics. She had problems with addition, multiplication, subtraction and division. I realized then that if you don't fully understand a step in math before moving on to the next section, you are going to be lost. Nothing will make sense and it will just snowball from there. A lot of teachers move the class along as a whole and if someone is struggling, it's up to them to work it out. OTOH, a lot of parents don't help their kids with homework (especially math) leaving them to struggle on their own. In our case, we eventually got a college kid to tutor her for a summer and that helped a lot!

  • 3 years ago


  • 1 decade ago

    It's attitudes like this that make people hate math. You must be joking, right? You're using math every minute of every day. When you go buy food, you're counting, for instance! How can you say math is useless? The only way to appreciate math is to study. Study, study study - the key to success in everything. Math isn't hard.

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