Problems students face with mathematics

Problems students face with mathematics

Mathematics is a fundamental subject that is taught in primary schools worldwide. However, not all students find it easy to understand and apply. Many primary school students struggle with various mathematical concepts, which can have a negative impact on their academic performance. In this article, we will explore some of the most common math struggles that primary school students face.

Basic Arithmetic:

Basic arithmetic operations such as addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division are essential mathematical concepts that students learn in primary school. However, some students find these operations challenging to understand and apply. They may struggle with memorizing basic facts or have difficulty understanding the concepts of regrouping and carrying. These struggles can result in a lack of confidence and make it challenging for students to progress to more complex mathematical concepts.

Place Value:

Place value is a critical math concept that students learn in primary school. It involves understanding the value of digits in a number based on their position. For example, the value of the digit 3 in the number 356 is 300. Students who struggle with place value may find it difficult to read and write numbers correctly, perform operations with larger numbers, or understand decimals.


Fractions are a fundamental concept that primary school students learn in mathematics. They involve understanding how parts of a whole are represented, adding and subtracting fractions, and simplifying fractions. However, many students find fractions challenging to understand and apply. They may struggle with understanding what fractions represent, how to add or subtract fractions, and how to simplify fractions. Fractions require a solid understanding of basic arithmetic, so if students struggle with these operations, they may also find fractions challenging.

Word Problems:

Word problems are mathematical problems that are presented in a real-world context. They require students to apply mathematical concepts to solve problems that they may encounter in daily life. However, word problems can be challenging for primary school students because they require not only math skills but also the ability to read and comprehend the problem. Students who struggle with reading comprehension may find word problems especially challenging.


Geometry is a mathematical concept that involves studying shapes, angles, and spatial relationships. Students who struggle with geometry may have difficulty identifying shapes, understanding angles and their measurements, and visualizing objects in three dimensions. Geometry is an essential math concept that is used in various fields, including engineering, architecture, and science.


Measurement is a critical math concept that involves understanding and applying units of measurement such as length, weight, and volume. Students who struggle with measurement may have difficulty converting units, reading scales, or understanding the significance of different units of measurement. Measurement concepts are essential in many real-life situations, including cooking, construction, and science experiments.


Telling time, understanding the concepts of AM and PM, and using clocks and calendars can be challenging for some primary school students. Students who struggle with time may have difficulty understanding the concept of time, reading analog clocks, or using calendars. Time is an essential math concept that is used in various fields, including transportation, finance, and scheduling.

Graphs and Charts:

Graphs and charts are visual representations of data that are used to analyze and interpret information. Students who struggle with graphs and charts may have difficulty interpreting data, understanding different types of graphs, or reading charts accurately. These skills are essential in many fields, including business, science, and engineering.

In conclusion

Primary school students may struggle with various mathematical concepts, including basic arithmetic, place value, fractions, word problems, geometry, measurement, time, and graphs and charts. As a parent or educator, it is crucial to identify areas of struggle and provide students with additional support to help them succeed in mathematics.

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