Difficulties in Math: You Are Not Alone

Student review material Credit: Ruben Soberanis

By Ruben Soberanis ’19

During the time that students transition from grammar school math to high school math, things get fairly bumpy. One notices that math they start to learn does not add up in their heads. To cope with this, students should ask around for help because many students find certain materials hard to master.

Every grade level has their battles; however, the best part about learning math concepts is that previous students have learned about things like t-scores, proportions, and more. They will always be there to help students out when learning challenging materials.

What math concept is the hardest to learn?

All grade levels struggle with different math material. For example, Freshman Monica Rodriguez mentioned that a hard concept for her to learn was proportions. Proportions are when a student has to set two ratios equal to each other. This includes having one variable that needs to be solved for.

Senior Julia White struggles with learning about T-scores. White mentioned that “all this time [she] learned how to use Z-scores and now there is a T-scores.” White goes on to explain that a T-score is used to figure out confidence interval for averages.  

What makes the math concept listed truly difficult to understand?

Learning math steps is different for everybody. White states, “learning about z-scores is a very big lesson and [she] thought [they were] done and didn’t think [they] had to learn anymore.”

On the same note, Rodriguez stated that “the steps that need to be taken in order to solve the problems” were what made learning proportions hard to do. She had a hard time setting up proportions so that she could do her math correctly.

What steps were taken to master that concept?

In order to learn more about the math material, students needed to get some help from their teachers. White stated she got help by “ going to office hours with 12th grade Statistics teacher Megan Shien.” White explains that Shien knows how hard it is for White to remember things because taking a test is terrible for her. When she goes in constantly asking questions and going back. She is a really good helper.

Rodriguez stated she mastered the concept with her 9th grade Algebra 1 teacher Alex Riggs who helped her step by step. She mentioned that he walked her through every step until she understood the process.

What advice could seniors give to students on ways to overcome a difficult math subject?

For students who are in a similar place, White stated that students should talk to Shien or their math teacher. She talks to Shien because “she is great help. If you are in class and still struggling, go to office hours.” Teachers know their students so nobody should be afraid to reach out for help.