If there’s one classroom subject that gets the most hate, it’s likely math.
Students wonder when they’re ever going to use trigonometry or calculus in their adult lives.
Some students may even struggle with math so much that it impacts their grades severely and inhibits their ability to attend a certain college they hoped to attend.
Part of the reason students struggle with math is that they find the subject boring.
Here are 10 reasons why math is so boring.
Why Is Math So Boring? (10 Reasons)
1. Lack Of Creativity
One of the reasons math is boring is because it doesn’t involve any form of creativity or artistic expression.
At the most, some teachers might get a little creative and tell a story to make a word problem more fun, but otherwise, math is just numbers.
There’s nothing beautiful about them, although a mathematician might argue that there is.
They don’t inspire creativity either.
They’re just dull numbers that you need to figure out how to use.
Math is very different from classes like English or art because it uses only logic and memorization.
You have to remember the values of numbers and how they interact with one another.
In English and art, you’re working with more subjective concepts.
You can define your own meanings when reading a poem or examining a piece of art.
There’s nothing to memorize except what certain words mean when reading them for the first time.
Reading and painting can unlock creativity and allow one to express themself.
These subjects are more exciting because you’re able to create something from your thoughts and manifest them into reality.
Math doesn’t let you do that.
Nothing is engaging about solving math problems.
The answers will always be the same.
There’s little room for creative interpretation.
Since math is black and white, it can make the subject feel boring.
Math is boring because it lacks creativity.
2. Not Discovering Anything New
Math is also boring because you’re not really discovering anything new about it.
While some expert mathematicians might unveil new proofs or formulas, when you’re in school, you’re most likely memorizing the current proofs and formulas rather than inventing them.
This can make the subject seem stale since there’s nothing to really look forward to except more of the same.
This is very different compared to a subject like science.
When you’re learning about science, at some point, you end up in a lab.
You’ll conduct experiments to see how certain minerals or elements react together.
It’s interesting because you’re seeing science occur before your eyes.
There are also always new things discovered through science.
While math is certainly a part of science, it’s more of a side note compared to actual experimentation.
Although it’s unlikely, you might even discover something new when experimenting in your classroom.
That’s far less likely in math because most of the experts have already unveiled most information.
The numbers can only do so much according to the basic rules of math.
In science, things are a bit more open and flexible.
It’s even possible that one scientific fact could change when better technology is available to explore the subject further and new information is learned.
That rarely happens in math.
Everything is set in stone.
This makes math boring because it takes a lot of the excitement of discovery out of it.
While you might get a reward for getting the problems right, you’ll never experience that incredible thrill of discovery like you might when studying science.
Math is boring because it’s defined and there isn’t much left to discover about it.
3. Math Is Dry
Another reason math is boring is that it’s a very dry subject.
There isn’t any drama or exciting aspects to it.
It’s just about numbers and how they work together.
It’s very different from a subject like history.
History classes teach students about things that occurred in ancient times, or even recently.
Learning history is far more exciting than math because there’s an element of drama to it.
While some bits of history can be quite stale, learning about the struggles and stories of people who lived in the past is both interesting and enlightening.
You may even be able to relate to some of the stories that you hear.
It’s doubtful that you’re going to relate to a bunch of numbers presented in your math class.
History also gives its students the chance to learn about the mistakes made in the past and how they’re impacting the present and future.
For example, some of the advancements made during the Industrial Revolution still have an impact on the environment today.
The horrors and consequences of Imperialism are still felt in undeveloped countries.
Understanding Imperialism can help those in developed countries understand why they’re more advanced than other countries and the costs of such advancements.
Math doesn’t offer lessons like that.
You’re not going to learn from past mistakes by learning addition and subtraction.
While math is certainly necessary for survival in modern society, the subject doesn’t have as much flavor as history does.
Math is boring because it’s so dry.
4. Too Much Repetition
Math is sometimes boring because it involves a lot of repetition.
Math is all about memorization.
You can’t move on to the next step of math until you’ve completely memorized the rules you’re learning currently.
Learning math is a bit like a staircase.
You can’t ascend to the next step until you’ve learned everything you can on the current step you’re on.
That’s because math builds on itself.
To perform multiplication, you first need to understand how to add and subtract.
Before you can start learning the more advanced formulas of trigonometry, you need to learn about geometry.
Before you start tackling the extremely advanced concepts of calculus, you need to have a firm understanding of algebra.
The higher you climb on the staircase, the more advanced the subjects become.
Yet, because each step relies on the one that came before it, you need to have a firm understanding of each step to learn the next one.
That means there’s going to be a lot of repetition.
Many teachers believe that the best way to memorize something is to repeat it over and over.
The more often you do it, the more ingrained it becomes in your mind.
That’s why they’ll give you worksheets and homework featuring problems that are all similar to each other.
They might differ here and there, but they’re all trying to ingrain the current concept in your mind.
You may spend a week or two on a single concept to ensure everyone has it memorized.
That sort of repetition becomes very dull over time.
If you grasped the concept early, then the repetition can become even more boring.
Math is boring because it relies on repetition for memorization.
5. Some Learning Styles Don’t Work With Math
Math is a difficult concept to teach at times.
This is especially the case for students who have a specific learning style that isn’t always used when teaching math.
For example, concepts of algebra aren’t easily learned by those who have a kinesthetic style of learning.
While addition and subtraction are great for kinesthetic learners, when it comes to the more complex types of math, it no longer becomes possible to teach them in such a way.
Even those who rely on reading and writing may struggle with learning math.
Story problems can only go so far and don’t always work well with more advanced math topics.
Once math starts to get into imaginary numbers, for example, it can be difficult to present that as a story problem.
Because students are no longer able to learn in the way that they learn best, they can struggle to understand certain concepts of math.
This makes math boring because they may choose to tune out.
If they believe that they’ll never grasp those subjects, then they might not even try.
Since they’re not engaged in the content, the subject becomes boring.
Math is also boring because it forces the students to learn in a way that they don’t prefer.
Students who prefer kinesthetic methods of learning, for example, might find learning visually to be boring or challenging.
Since it doesn’t engage their mind in the way that their preferred learning style does, they find the subject boring to learn.
Math is boring when teachers can’t present it in a way that aligns with everyone’s learning styles.
6. Subject Is Too Easy
For some students, learning math is too easy.
They may grasp certain ideas and concepts earlier than the rest of the class.
This can make math boring because they’re waiting for everyone else to catch up.
Because teachers have to follow a curriculum, they’re not always able to set the pace of the classroom.
They usually have a week or two to teach one or two concepts.
During that time, they work hard to ensure that each student gets the concept.
If some students learned the concept within the first or day two, then they must wait for everyone else to get it, too.
This makes math boring because those students have to do the same work as everyone else.
Even though they understand the content, they still have to complete the worksheets and homework.
At some point, it starts to feel like busy work.
They’re not receiving a challenge from the class because they have to wait until the module finishes to hopefully learn something new.
When students aren’t intellectually challenged, then they become bored.
This problem may persist through the rest of the academic year, too.
If they’re a student who finds math easy, then they’re likely always going to be ahead of their classmates.
As a result, they’re bored the whole time.
Keeping students challenged with math is a bit more difficult than in other subjects.
In English, for example, teachers can always recommend more challenging books to students who advance early.
In math, it’s a bit more difficult since teachers can’t just give students a college textbook and let them loose.
Most will likely still need some help with advanced concepts.
As such, students tend to have to wait, feeling stuck and bored, while the module progresses.
Math is often boring for those who catch on fast.
7. Math Is Too Challenging
On the opposite side of the spectrum, those who find the concepts of math to be too challenging might also find the subject boring.
Math can become quite complex.
Once teachers start adding things like angles, degrees, radians, and circles, math seems like an entirely new language.
Not everyone can grasp these concepts as quickly as others.
It requires a great deal of memorization and logical reasoning.
Some students may have strength in other subjects but not be strong in math.
As such, they may fall behind and be unable to grasp the current lesson.
Because they’re unable to grasp the concept, it can sound like a completely different language to them.
Since they’re not comprehending it, they’re unable to engage in it.
They feel bored as a result.
Some students may even start to feel helpless.
When they feel helpless, one thing they may do is disengage entirely from it.
This is a way that some people cope with the feeling of helplessness.
The way that the brain tells the individual to disengage with math is through boredom.
If the individual feels bored with the subject, then they won’t want to engage with it.
This becomes a problem because the student has to force themselves to participate and learn.
Teachers can also only do so much.
They have to follow the curriculum and are only able to spend so much time on certain subjects.
If the student falls too far behind, then they might need to transfer to a different class or be held back a year.
The student might develop feelings of shame over their perceived failures.
In return, this might make them disengage even more and make their disdain for math even more intense.
Math is boring when it’s too challenging for a student.
8. Boring Teachers
Another reason math is boring is that sometimes there are very boring teachers trying to teach it.
Math is already dull and dry.
When you have a teacher who is also dull and dry, it can make learning math even more difficult.
That’s because they present a boring subject in a boring way.
If a teacher doesn’t add some excitement to the subject, then the students are not going to be interested in learning.
However, if a teacher does make the class exciting or presents the concepts in a fun way, then it becomes far more interesting and enjoyable to learn.
Creative teachers can make learning math fun.
They can engage each student and help them learn concepts by making those concepts memorable.
Memorizing numbers on their own is dull.
Memorizing the number of pies your teacher ate before they became ill is far more memorable.
A teacher can make or break a boring subject.
They can either add to the dullness and make it even more boring, or they can add some life to the subject and make it an exciting subject to learn.
Math is boring when boring teachers attempt to teach it.
9. Doesn’t Relate To Everyday Experiences
One of the reasons math is boring is because you can’t always relate it to everyday experiences.
This is particularly true for students in middle and high school.
In high school, especially, students start to learn concepts about geometry, trigonometry, algebra, and calculus.
These are advanced math concepts that don’t really impact their everyday life.
In most cases, students aren’t going to need to know the angle of a shape when working retail or in fast food restaurants for money during the summer.
Even in college, most students don’t need to know those subjects unless they’re specifically entering a field that uses math.
Because the things they’re learning don’t impact their everyday life, a lot of students may not understand the importance of learning about them.
Math typically isn’t seen as something necessary for survival in everyday life.
That’s even more true with the emergence of powerful computers that can quickly calculate formulas and variables for you.
Learning to do math on your own becomes almost obsolete in the age of advanced computers.
People become bored with something when they can’t relate to it.
English is important since students will always need to be able to read.
Even learning science is important since it can help people understand and navigate certain aspects of the environment around them.
History has its impact, too, since students can learn the lessons of the past to avoid making the same mistakes in the future.
For the most part, however, math plays a minimal role in people’s everyday life.
At most, people use it when reviewing their finances.
Advanced math is even less used.
Math is boring because it doesn’t impact students in their everyday lives.
10. Not Related To Their Interests
A final reason why math is boring is that it typically can’t be applied to a student’s interests.
Math is a very specific subject.
Not a lot of people are interested in solving mathematical equations.
Because of that, it can become difficult to engage while learning math.
It feels like more of a chore.
It’s also difficult, although not impossible, to apply math to a student’s interests.
That isn’t the case for many other subjects.
In English class, for example, you can offer students books about things that they’re interested in.
Because they have an interest in the subject, they’re more eager to read about it.
In science class, you can make things a bit nerdy and discuss some of the scientific facts about a student’s favorite TV series, movie, or superhero.
This makes learning about science far more stimulating because students are learning more about things they are already interested in.
Even history can be applied to a person’s interests.
You can teach someone the history behind something they like to keep the subject interesting.
Students are more likely to engage in the subject if it relates to their interests.
It’s tough to do this with math.
While you might be able to get a little creative with story problems, even that only goes so far.
If someone has an interest and passion for painting, for example, then it can be difficult, although not impossible, to relate math to that particular interest.
Since students are unable to see how math relates to their interests, learning the concepts of math isn’t entertaining or interesting.
Math is boring because it isn’t easy to link it to a student’s interests.
Math is often a difficult subject to learn.
Part of the reason it’s difficult to learn is that it’s boring.
The reasons listed above are some of the factors that could make learning math boring.
By addressing them, teachers and schools may be able to make math a bit more interesting and exciting to learn.