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I'm having trouble in math – what can I do?

I have a math teacher that I really don’t understand and I’m not doing as well in his class. I’ve always been pretty good at math, and I was thinking about majoring in engineering when I get to college. He said maybe engineering isn’t for me because I’m having trouble with the class. I never thought I was a bad student before. Is my teacher right? How important is math for engineering? Do you have any tips for how I can start understanding the material?

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  • Added Monday, April 8, 2019 at 9:17 AM


    I have a math teacher that I really don’t understand and I’m not doing as well in his class. I’ve always been pretty good at math, and I was thinking about majoring in engineering when I get to college. He said maybe engineering isn’t for me because I’m having trouble with the class. I never thought I was a bad student before. Is my teacher ...

    Answers 22
    Urbashi Mitra, USC Viterbi School of Engineering
    Answered Monday, April 8, 2019 at 10:45 AM

    Dear You-Can-Do-Math-too,

    Mathematics, like many acquired skills, requires practice. This is true of mastering cartwheels, baking, woodworking, painting – I could go on. This is also true for reading and for language in general, the more exposure we ...

    Priscilla Bennett, Spire / Laclede Gas Company
    Answered Monday, April 8, 2019 at 10:25 AM

    The opinion of one person does not/should not define us. Please do not take this person’s teaching style or opinion as a reflection of what you are capable of accomplishing. Study groups, online learning, a tutor, library resources, a classmate, someone ...

    Alicia Bailey, Sain Associates
    Answered Monday, April 8, 2019 at 10:23 AM

    Doing poorly in one math class should not determine your entire future nor should it deter you from considering engineering. It could be an isolated issue that is causing you difficulty. My advice would be to find a tutor or a friend who is understanding ...

  • Ellie

    Added Wednesday, March 13, 2019 at 9:01 PM

    I am advanced in math and have an opportunity to attend challenge math throughout middle school. Should I? I want to become an aerospace engineer and dream of working for NASA.

    I am 11 and in 5th grade. I dream of becoming an astronaut. I need a degree in engineering to do so. I want to do aerospace engineering because I feel I would be accepted easier. I do enjoy all things space and physics.

    Answers 1
    Moyra J. McDill, Carleton University
    Answered Monday, April 1, 2019 at 4:56 AM

    Hi Ellie

    It sounds like a great program and a great opportunity. "Being challenged" is part of science and engineering.

    I don't know the details of your math challenge program so you may want to check with your family and teachers that it will fit in ...

  • Chakraborty gupta

    Added Wednesday, March 13, 2019 at 4:34 AM

    I am a Civil Engineer and i applied for job with a reputed company. I easily crossed technical interview and HR interview. But last was director meet so i met him and after commenting on my dress he asked some technical questions that i replied easily although he was not technical person. At last he asked my current project details (i am monitoring the project, i am not the contractor), he asked me the area of building. I said around 3000-4000 sqft. He said three or four? I said yes sir that ...

    Answers 0
  • Priyanka asked Patricia Galloway, Pegasus Global Holdings, Inc.

    Added Tuesday, March 12, 2019 at 2:26 AM

    Hello, I am a 2015 Civil engineering graduate, I have 2 years experience in Educational field as a Content Developer. I want to get back to my field, hence I need assistance to go about it like which software's to study. What do you suggest?

    Answers 1
    Patricia Galloway, Pegasus Global Holdings, Inc.
    Answered Friday, March 29, 2019 at 1:28 AM

    Glad to see you want to re-enter your field!!! The question is whether you want to use your 2 years as a content writer to promote engineering or whether you want to go back to engineering. As a content writer it is important to know have a fairly good ...

  • Added Monday, March 11, 2019 at 8:48 AM


    I was told I should have a mentor to help me into an engineering career. Is it necessary to have a mentor? Did you all have mentors? If so, how did you find them? What should I look for in a mentor?

    Answers 26
    Kristin Sweeney, Pennsy Supply Inc., A CRH Comany
    Answered Tuesday, March 19, 2019 at 11:22 AM

    The need for a mentor is a great question. For me, this wasn’t something I actively sought out, meaning I didn’t go up to people and say “will you be my mentor”, rather I when I encountered someone, be it an educator, co-worker, one of my employees, ...

    Hope Bovenzi, Texas Instruments
    Answered Monday, March 11, 2019 at 10:42 AM

    Everyone's journey is different and sometimes it’s challenging to find an engineering mentor before you start a career in engineering. With that said, I highly recommend you do find one as soon as you can and definitely once you enter the workforce. ...

    Alicia Bailey, Sain Associates
    Answered Monday, March 11, 2019 at 10:41 AM

    While it’s certainly beneficial to have mentor, it’s not required to excel in your engineering career. I have had several mentors. They have been natural relationships through work, rather than ones I specially sought out to be my mentor. The mentors ...

  • Ayanna Patterson

    Added Monday, March 4, 2019 at 10:11 PM

    I want to be an astronaut and many more things. How would I apply engineering to my life if I wanted to be a president or marine biologist?

    Answers 1
    Kristin Malosh, North Star BlueScope Steel
    Answered 4 days AGO
    Hi Ayanna. Of course it is OK to just learn engineering skills for fun! Engineering is all about problem solving- and it doesn't matter what career path you take, solving problems will always be a part of your career and your life. Engineering skills- ...
  • Atif malik asked Natalie White, CyberSource

    Added Sunday, March 3, 2019 at 2:58 AM

    I am becoming a software engineer and I am in 2nd semester of school.

    Answers 1
    Natalie White, CyberSource
    Answered Wednesday, March 27, 2019 at 8:59 AM
    Great question! You have so many resources at your fingertips than we did even a few years ago. You can  learn basic coding concepts with Scratch (  and find a local coding group through Girls Who Code ( ...
  • Added Saturday, March 2, 2019 at 6:27 PM

    Hello! I am currently a Junior in high school. I'm about to move onto my senior year and I'm concerned about what kind of math and science I need that would help be fulfill being an Aerospace Engineer. I'm also planning on pursuing a career in nursing. So far I've only had classes that will fulfill nursing. I'm also kind of concerned how I can balance both careers in the future. I am passionate about both of them.

    So far the only science + math classes I've taken ...

    Answers 1
    Answered 9 days AGO

    You have interest in two very different fields, both of which have careers in high demand. I recommend taking as many of the subsequent math levels as possible before you graduate. Additionally, I’d recommend taking physics or other general or mechanical ...

  • Ayushi tayal asked Yusan Lin, Penn State University

    Added Thursday, February 28, 2019 at 10:46 AM

    I am an architecture student and u can say that my passion is fashion. Now I am in trying to figure out how to merge both my profession with my passion for fashion.

    I saw that you are an computer science student and had a passion in fashion too, so how do you manage both? During my graduation apart from building I designed so many products in fashion designing but now I am blanking for what I do that would be best for me and makes me feel happy too.

    Answers 0
  • Laura Buker

    Added Tuesday, February 26, 2019 at 8:56 PM

    I have a BS and 2 MS in engineering (one in CE/Water Resources and another in Civil/Environmental engineering) and yet I feel dumb and lost at work everyday, to the point of considering a career change.

    I've been working for a small Land Development company for a little bit over a year and still feel unfit and lost. Daily feelings of impostor syndrome. I 'learn' how to do something and by the time I have to do something similar again I don't really remember how to do it or there are ...

    Answers 1
    Molly Lebowitz, Propeller Consulting
    Answered Tuesday, March 26, 2019 at 9:36 AM
    So glad you wrote, Laura. There could be a few things at play here, all of which I've experienced at some point in my own career. Only you can determine what mix of the below is actually going on. 
    (1) Size of Transition. I've typically measured the ...
  • Added Wednesday, February 20, 2019 at 10:47 AM

    I'm a civil engineer student. I currently have an internship at an international company. I have been told by a coworker that I don't ask a lot of questions and that I should. However I feel like when I do ask questions the answer is just try to figure it out. I don't like to ask questions because I don't want to bother others. I'm also discouraged because I'm not given a lot of direction in terms of tasks and when I don't get it I feel bad. This worries me. I know that engineering is a ...

    Answers 0
  • Emma

    Added Saturday, February 16, 2019 at 12:54 PM

    I consider myself very skilled in math and science, but in middle school (back when I didn’t know I wanted to be an engineer), I decided to take the easier math classes. I’m not necessarily behind, but I’m not ahead either. Currently I’m in 10th grade and I’m taking honors geometry. Last year I took algebra 1, next year I will take honors algebra 2 trig, and my senior year I will take pre- calculus. Personally, I think I could’ve done what many people did and took honors geometry freshman ...

    Answers 0
  • faiza asked Hannah Noll, ATI

    Added Friday, February 15, 2019 at 1:30 PM

    Hi Hannah – What is nano-metallurgy? I've heard a lot about it but i don't understand what is it and can't find information that's easy to understand. Can you explain it please and give some examples?

    Answers 1
    Answered Friday, March 22, 2019 at 12:00 PM

    Nano-metallurgy is the study of metals on a nano scale! As our electronics are getting smaller (cell phones, medical devices, etc…) a better understanding of the materials that go into them is required. Let’s say you want to make a very small electrical ...

  • Gayou

    Added Wednesday, February 13, 2019 at 11:51 PM


    I am a current sophomore civil engineering student. I did good for calculus 1&2 ( haven't taken 3 yet) , the chemistry and the physics courses as well. But when I got to statics, it became a different story. I took it during the summer, and I didn't do great. I didn't bother finishing. I took it in the fall , ( mind you , my teacher is not the best at all, none of us learned anything from him) and I didn't do well although I passed. The thing is, when I read the book and watch ...

    Answers 0
  • Leyna

    Added Sunday, February 10, 2019 at 6:57 PM

    Do all grades matter or just math and science grades? I know most engineering is mostly math and science and I LOVE math and science. I want to be an Engineer when I grow up

    Answers 1
    Ursula Gibson, Dartmouth College
    Answered Friday, March 22, 2019 at 11:57 AM

    While the math and science grades can be enough to get you where you want to go, often your GPA will be used as a filter when looking at your admission file, so other courses could count against you. Perhaps you can find a school that has enough of a ...

  • Johnnathian

    Added Thursday, February 7, 2019 at 7:26 AM

    I'm a senior Pharmaceutical Science major and I'm having trouble deciding on going to Pharmacy School next fall or search for Grad programs for Biomedical engineering. Originally I was an Engineering major but decided to switch because my school did not offer my field of interest. I have always thought of engineering, but I was unsure of what their everyday work environment is like. I know pharmacy is much more than working in a retail location, but engineering I know little to nothing ...

    Answers 0
  • Rana

    Added Tuesday, February 5, 2019 at 1:29 PM

    Hi I am a junior in HS and have been thinking about majoring in engineering but I am not sure if I should major in aerospace because I am very interested in it or mechanical with a focus in aerospace?

    I have heard that it is easier to have a job with a mechanical engineering degree than in aerospace – is that true? For example, I have dreamt about working at NASA as an aerospace engineer but I am not sure which would be a better major to be able to get a job there. Thank you!

    Answers 0
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