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Ten (10) Reasons Why Students Fail Mathematics

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Throughout the world, mathematics is recognized as one of the core subjects in the school syllabus. It contributes to basic science and technology knowledge and has a large social impact.

However, mathematics plays vital records in life of many people and influences all facets of human life.

Mathematics is highly valued and acknowledged for its importance and is a requirement for other subjects.

Students’ poor performance and lack of interest in mathematics continue to be a problem in both developed and developing countries’ schools, colleges, and universities.

It remains one of the most complex subjects in the classroom as perceived by students.

Generally, many students believe that it is complicated because its very nature makes students fear this subject.

If we look closely at it, we cannot dispute that it is a terrible trend. Why should a student perform poorly in any subject?

This article will discuss extensively why students fail mathematics.

Here are the top 10 reasons why students fail mathematics.

Top 10 Reasons Why Students Fail Mathematics

1. Negative Attitude

The student’s attitude toward mathematics plays an important role.

If a student believes he will not be able to succeed in the subject from the start, the student may fear mathematics.

Why? Because it is the mindset they are acquainted with and worsens learning for them.

Above all, a positive attitude can make an impact. It will increase self-confidence.

2. Lack of Understanding

Many students are confused due to the complicated different mathematical signs and symbols.

A student doesn’t use the correct unit after solving a sum or the degree sign in geometric problems.

Students failed math because of this misconception.

Learning maths requires understanding where to place each sign and symbol.

3. Poor Practice

It takes time to do well in math, so it is necessary to commit time to it.

Failure in this subject is caused by not making the necessary efforts to finish the homework or assignment.

Therefore, it is good to practice math ideas to solve many kinds of math problems.

4. Teaching Method

Mathematics should be taught in a way that is easy to understand.

If the teaching strategy is effective, students should be able to add, subtract, divide, and multiply without a calculator.

But more frequently than not, math teachers use complicated techniques to teach.

However, the difficulty starts when applied outside of the classroom.

5. A Lack of Concentration In Class

Studying mathematics requires a high level of focus.

It is necessary to pay attention to math because it has a lot of complex steps.

If a student is distracted, he may miss a crucial step and give a problem during an examination.

6. Self-Doubt

Students frequently experience self-doubt when answering arithmetic problems since they don’t understand the concepts.

It is challenging for students to recover once self-doubt sets into their minds. Additionally, some students fail math because of this fear.

7. A Lack Of Basic Knowledge

Mathematics is a subject that expands on mastered concepts.

So, it is necessary to have basic knowledge before studying a new topic in mathematics.

You can not get good marks in mathematics if you lack basic knowledge.

But to solve problems and get good marks: you must learn basic mathematics concepts.

8. Poor Learning Environment

Both students and teachers must pay close attention to mathematics because it is a tough topic.

That means if a classroom is placed in an area where students may become distracted, it will eventually result in a student’s lack of knowledge of the subject.

Undoubtedly, this kind of occurrence will result in math exam failure.

9. Accessible Textbooks

Some students cannot afford to purchase the required textbooks.

Sadly, if students rely on the school to access textbooks, it will hinder their abilities to do well in mathematics.

Why? Because many schools are not well equipped with instruments and material that will help students understand mathematics better.

It contributes to why some students fail mathematics.

10. Not Seeking Assistance When Needed

It is pretty common for students to get stuck in mathematics problems.

However, it is the responsibility of the math teacher to recognize students that are battling with such problems and make sure they get the extra help to conquer them.

While this ought to be the situation, it is not always the case. Consequently, it is the student’s responsibility to seek assistance.


All the aforementioned problems can be tackled if they are identified on time.

Teachers and parents must work hand in hand to boost students’ performance.

They will be able to handle anxiety, peer pressure, and self-doubt. The student will be able to increase his performance continuously.

Parents can employ personal tutors to teach students extra lessons after school hours. There is an assurance that the student will improve with the right instructions and consistent practice.

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