Why Do Students Fail Math in College?

Students Fail Math in College
Students Fail Math in College

Getting good grades in math may have been easy in school, but the same cannot be said for college. University curriculum is hard, especially if you have advanced math as a subject. Moreover, you will have a heavy academic workload, lack of motivation, and additional responsibilities in college.

As a result, the dropout rate in America has risen to 40%. Moreover, only 41% of college students graduate without delay in the four-year course.

After the pandemic, the rate of math readiness in America has decreased, which proves a dire need for math awareness. In 2022, only 31% of high school students were ready for college-level math. It was an 8% decrease from 2019.

Are you planning to take up math as a subject in college? This blog discusses the reasons why students fail college-level math and some tips for studying.

3 Reasons Why College Students Fail in Math

Math in university is different from math in school. Chapters like advanced calculus and algebra can send shivers down your spine. Moreover, mathematical physics and statistics are hard to understand.

Some turn to Proprep’s math for college students resources, while others look for books in the library. Either way, students should put in extra effort to learn college algebra, complex analysis, calculus, and more.

Prorep suggests that college students must study smarter, instead of studying harder. This way, students can excel in their studies, avoid anxiety, and have free time. However, some students find it difficult to master and fail because of the following reasons:

#1. Lack of Understanding and Basic Learning

It is easy for college students to get confused between hundreds of advanced mathematical symbols, signs, equations, and more. Students can misunderstand certain things and not consider actual concepts while studying. Furthermore, they may not have enough knowledge about previously learned skills in school.

University math is a subject that builds on concepts you have learned before. If you have insufficient knowledge about math topics, then getting good marks can be difficult.

#2. Self-Doubt and Poor Studying Skills

You cannot study 24 hours before the math exam in university and expect good marks. Advanced math requires students to invest at least a few hours every day to solve problems. Moreover, students can fail the subject if they do not put in the proper effort to complete their assignments.

Another thing that prevents college students from succeeding in math is self-doubt. You can find a math problem difficult. And without help, it can lead you to fear the outcome.

#3. Lack of Proper Attitude and Attention

You can get distracted during a math lecture because it can get boring. However, university classes and teachers’ materials are crucial if students want to get good marks. If they fail to give proper attention, then they will find certain advanced mathematical problems hard to solve in the future.

Math might have been your favorite subject in school. But in college, you can develop math anxiety because of how difficult it can look. Hence, students lose interest, and their attitude toward math can change.

How to Study Math in College?

At university, you must take notes in class, read textbooks, study regularly, and create summary sheets. These will help you learn the fundamental ideas and practice important concepts. Consequently, you can focus on practicing the advanced math problems until you have mastered them.

Are you aware of the topics that you know well? In that case, try to focus on the chapters that scare you and continually review the study materials.

If you are doing a double degree, then focus on finishing your math assignments before any other subjects. Moreover, you must take enough study breaks and use your campus resources like books or study groups.

The most important thing would be to study in a quiet and well-lit environment. You can find STEM groups on campus and take their help with certain mathematical issues. Remember, your errors will assist you in learning college-level math the right way.

The Bottom Line

Advanced math is considered a difficult subject to take up in university. It requires extreme discipline, hard work, and multiple hours of problem-solving to succeed. Of course, math as a subject in college is not for everyone.

You may have loved studying general math in school, but advanced math in college can be hard. That is why most students fail for not understanding basic mathematical concepts. As a result, you can develop self-doubt about the subject. Poor studying skills can also be a leading cause of hatred toward math.

Hence, students should follow a proper routine when they are studying math in college. For example, you need to put extra effort into taking notes, practicing regularly, and taking proper study breaks. Do you think you can give 100% and excel in your career choice?

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