There are many reasons why students have problems learning mathematics. Some people spend a lot of time studying, work very hard, and still have problems. Usually these people can increase their success by improving their study skills, and supplementing individual study with one or more of the following: tutoring, cooperative learning, and/or study groups.

Other students work very hard, but not on mathematics. They frequently register as full time students, hold down two or more jobs, and juggle family responsibilities too. These students often need to reduce their work loads by taking fewer classes, cutting back on work hours, getting other family members to take over more responsibilities at home, or some feasible combination of these options.

Still other students have had so much difficulty learning mathematics in the past that they are convinced that they will never learn to do mathematics at all! They often employ what we call negative self talk, and seldom experience success because the do not expect to succeed! These students usually need to work on changing their attitudes toward themselves and toward mathematics, before they reap the benefits of improved study skills, tutoring, cooperative learning, and study groups.