Why Students Hate Mathematics : 10 Reasons

Why Students Hate Mathematics

Visit any school or class and interview all the students in the school environment. You will discover that a more significant percentage of the students prefer other subjects to mathematics. And then, you begin to wonder why students hate mathematics and fail them.


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

I remember my secondary school days, particularly in the junior class. I was doing well until our maths teacher left, and the school’s administration recruited a new teacher who came with a different teaching pattern. Almost all the students hated mathematics, 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. We already took it in that we cannot learn it nor understand it again, and even to date, most of us, including me, wish that we got a different teacher because we hated mathematics because of him.


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. It becomes a nightmare to them, and any mention of the subject sends goosebumps to the skin.

When you see a student performing poorly in mathematics, it is reasonable to assume that such a student dislikes mathematics. This is because when you dislike any subject, you certainly will not put much effort into learning and understanding 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.

However, the basic mathematics formula is Addition, subtraction, multiplication, and Division. These four symbols form the foundational knowledge and basics of mathematics for students.

You cannot undermine the importance of mathematics in every student’s life during and after school.

Undeniably, a strong knowledge of it helps in problem-solving, finance, and general calculations. 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 straightforward subject. The benefits are too much; if you only open your mind to it and avoid that bias, 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.

Why Students Hate Mathematics

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

If you are interested in any commercial-related field like accounting, business management, finance, or Banking, you cannot run away from numbers again. The earlier you accept 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 you can adopt to ensure that you are always good at mathematics and do not fall under the category of those who dislike it.

1. The Teacher

Teachers are very influential in the life of students and contribute to the fact that some students hate mathematics. It is because some teachers are not enthusiastic about that subject, and some know but do not know how to pass it. 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 teach. 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 make them hate mathematics and keep disturbing or skipping your classes.

Suppose you are a mathematics teacher and you find out that many students are not showing interest in mathematics. In that case, you can organize a special session for them to inquire why they are performing that poorly.

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.

Furthermore, the teacher should ensure an excellent student-teacher relationship to enable the students to have a friendly environment to understand maths easily.

2. Low Quality Schools

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 costly 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 students’ performance 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 helps the school evaluate their students’ performance.

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 a periodic evaluation of teachers to present and show how students have performed and their reactions to mathematics subjects. When there is a positive or a decline in interest, it is best to find a way to discover why the students hate mathematics.

When they know the problem, you can proffer a solution to restore the likeness and outstanding performance for maths.

3. Family Background

It is common knowledge that when a child is growing up and is already learning 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 crucial for that child, and the parents or teachers are to play a significant 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 challenging subject in school, so it is essential 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.

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 your child finds it easier to understand and like mathematics.

4. Mental Factor

If you show me a student who hates mathematics, you will find one who has lost total interest in mathematics. If you want to learn maths, you must 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 give up and will not try again.

If you do not have solid 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.

Why Students Hate Mathematics

So if you are a student and believe you can not excel in mathematics, then you do not expect to see yourself having beautiful results. 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, you have already failed it mentally, and there is no way you will pass it.

5. Complexity

This is also another reason why students hate mathematics -complexity. Mathematics is not a straightforward subject because the problem differs, but the essential thing you need to know is the formula. I 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 a take-home assignment and included various problems, it seemed like I had never seen such a question before, and it became more difficult.

As funny as it is, you will face vague problems like; if X=25, P=2, then find Y. Suppose Y is proportional to the value of X and P, respectively.


Typically, 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 five 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 be ready to study the questions and find a solution. Try repeatedly if you fail until you get it correct, and do not give up if you are not getting it.

6. Peer Groups/Friends

This is another strong reason why students hate maths because of evil 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 also influence you to hate it, just like them recruiting you to their course.

I remember that one of the ways I passed maths was because I was on good terms with one of the girls who understood maths, and she always encouraged me to keep trying even when I failed 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.

7. Boring

Now, this is another issue that some people have with maths. It is like the subject appears dull 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; if you do not apply them correctly, you should know that you will fail it and won’t get the answer.

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

8. Low self-esteem

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

Well, 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 it would help if you were not afraid to answer questions in class or participate in competitions or class activities.

If you keep doing that, 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.

9. 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 will most likely 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 to meet your teacher, parents, or friends who could help you explain it better. 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 cannot stop you from understanding mathematics, and you will not fall under the categories of persons who hate maths.

10. Lack of Practice

They say practice makes perfect, even though it is exaggerated, and practice will make you an expert in real terms. 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 why students hate mathematics and how you can avoid being among those who dislike it. Yes, maths is a difficult subject, but it is not impossible for you to do.

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


About Abayomi

Abayomi is an education student and a certified content and prolific writer in Nigeria who is concerned with serving scholars across all nations with in-depth research and quality content.

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