The Hardest Math Class in High School (And How to Ace It)

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One of the subjects that most students feel anxious about is Math. Math plays an important role not just in academe but also in our profession and daily activities. Because of that, maybe you are wondering about the hardest math class in high school or the math classes from easiest to hardest. However, it is also one of the most vital subjects to proceed to the next level.

That’s why no matter how much you hate Math, you have no choice but to learn it. Instead of thinking that math subjects are difficult, why not change your perception about it? You will be more motivated to understand math concepts by thinking it is important.

In this article, you will learn everything about Math, the different classes, the hardest among them, and how to ace them.

What are the Math Classes in High school?What are the Math Classes in High school?

Are you one of those students afraid when they hear that they need to take up a math subject? Math is more on calculation, analysis, and problem-solving. Learning its concepts can be challenging. However, you won’t graduate without conquering it.

Instead of feeling afraid, why don’t you do all the preparations needed to pass the subject? One way of preparing is knowing the different math classes in high school that is listed below:

Algebra 1

As you enter high school, this is the first math class that you need to take. It comprises 12 chapters, and under each chapter are various lessons. In Algebra 1, you will learn about Algebraic problem-solving, functions, real numbers, the system of equations, rational expressions, exponents, radicals, and polynomials.


After Algebra 1, you will proceed with Geometry. In this subject, you will learn the concept of geometric relationships, coordinates, congruence, similarity, planes, and figures.

Algebra 2

It is a continuation of Algebra 1, which tackles more challenging problem solving and analysis of graphing equations.


It is the next math subject after Algebra 2. It is in preparation for Pre-calculus. In this subject, you will learn about the concepts and the application of Algebra and Geometry.


Pre-calculus is offered if you want to take a more advanced math subject. Its concepts are sequence, statistics, and probability. Most senior high school students take this, particularly if they plan to take a Mathematics course in college.


Some senior high school students choose Calculus. It is in continuation of the Pre-calculus, but it is more on applying the concepts.

AP Classes

If you are in STEM or education, you may take the AP Classes like

AP Calculus AB – you will learn the differential and integral calculus concepts and applications from this class.

AP Calculus BCyou will still learn differential and integral calculus, but with experiments and investigations to apply your knowledge.

AP Statisticsyou will learn about collecting and analyzing data and making conclusions.

Is High School Math Hard?

Is High School Math Hard?

Math in high school can be difficult if you will allow it. In a year, you need to take those math subjects mentioned above. Aside from that, you may not be able to proceed to the next math subject if you fail the first one. For example, if you fail Algebra 1, you must retake it and pass it before going to geometry. Because of this, you will be able to understand more concepts every year until you are ready for college.

You need to understand each concept. That’s why the way your teacher discusses the topic should be clear. Most of the time, the teaching strategies play an important role in the students’ learning. Moreover, you must constantly practice math to get it correctly. You must be determined to continue practicing until you develop mastery.

The more you continue learning, the more the concepts get complicated. It is vital that when your teacher is discussing, you must be attentive to each step on how he solves the problem.

What are the Hardest Math Classes?

What are the Hardest Math Classes?

The hardest math class in high school may depend on the students. Geometry may be more difficult for some students, while others find Algebra 2 more complicated. However, Algebra 1 is the basic among the math classes, while Calculus is more advanced.

According to different students, during their 9th grade, Algebra was the hardest because everything seemed new to them, and they had trouble adjusting and learning the concepts. Some also claim that Geometry is the hardest as, this time, they need to write proofs of theorems, and they don’t just deal with numbers. You may also hear other students complain that Calculus is the hardest because it is a new whole system, such as complex numbers.

However, some individuals are just lucky that they are math genius. They can quickly grasp the concepts. Plus, they love solving problems and calculating numbers.

Math Classes in Order From Easiest to Hardest

Math Classes in Order From Easiest to Hardest

It may vary from one student to another. However, if you will look at the high school curriculum, it is usually arranged from the easiest to the hardest.

When you are in grade 7 and 8, the basic of Algebra 1 is already introduced, but this is elaborated more when you reach grade 9. When you are in grade 10, you need to take geometry. In grade 11, you will have algebra II; in grade 12, you can take Calculus or choose from the elective math class, particularly if you want to take a Math course in college.

How to Ace a Difficult Math Class in High School: 9 Tips

How to Ace a Difficult Math Class in High School: 9 Tips

Even if math class is difficult, there are things which you can do to ace it, like the following tips:

1. Ask for the syllabus

Get this one and keep it close to you until the subject is done. It contains the content of the math class. When you know the topics, you can read and study them in advance. This way, once your teacher discusses it with you, you will be able to comprehend it easily. If there are things which you didn’t know, you may ask your teacher so that you will understand them.

Algebra I Syllabus

  • Statistics
  • Linear and Literal Equations
  • Inequalities
  • Functions
  • Graphing Linear Functions and Systems
  • Systems of Equations and Inequalities
  • Graphing Nonlinear Functions
  • Solving Quadratics
  • Sequences and Exponential Functions

Geometry Syllabus

  • Logic & Reasoning
  • Essentials of Geometry
  • Parallel & Perpendicular Lines
  • Introduction of Triangles & Congruent Triangles
  • Similar Triangles
  • Right Triangles
  • Properties of Quadrilaterals, Angles of Polygons,
  • Symmetry & Transformations
  • Properties of Circles, Equations of Circles, Constructions
  • Two & Three Dimensional Figures

Algebra II Syllabus

  • Linear equations
  • Inequalities
  • Graphs
  • Matrices
  • Polynomials and radical expressions
  • Quadratic equations
  • Functions
  • Exponential and logarithmic expressions
  • Sequences and series
  • Probability
  • Trigonometry

Trigonometry Syllabus

  • Defining Trigonometric Functions and Angles
  • Applying Trigonometric Functions
  • Radian Measure
  • Graphing Trigonometric Functions
  • Trigonometric Identities
  • Inverse Trigonometric Functions and Solving Equations
  • Solving Triangles

Pre-calculus Syllabus

  • Functions and Modeling
  • Trigonometry
  • Analytic Trigonometry
  • Complex Numbers and Polar Coordinates
  • Vectors
  • Matrices
  • Systems and Matrices
  • Analytic Geometry
  • Sequences and Series
  • Limits

Calculus Syllabus

  • Limits and their properties
  • Differentiation
  • Applications of Differentiation
  • Integration
  • Logarithmic, Exponential and Transcendental Functions
  • Applications of Integration

2. Meet your teacher

Do not miss the chance to meet your teacher. When you meet your teacher, you set the expectations and goals. In this manner, you will have directions and completely understand what to do. There is a higher chance of understanding the concept when there is clarity. You may also ask questions to your teacher if there are things that are not clear to you.

It is vital that you find the teaching strategies effective. You may give suggestions to your teacher whether you are a visual or auditory learner.

3. Write down the requirements and grading system

During the first time, you will meet your teacher; there may be an orientation about the subject’s requirements and grading system. You must listen carefully and take down notes. This way, you will know the requirements to submit and see that you pass it on time. Some requirements are exams, homework, projects, and quizzes. That’s why you must always be present so you won’t miss any of these requirements.

The grading system will give you an idea about the score you need to make it to the honor list. The grading system is usually divided into assessment, classwork, and homework. Each of these areas has a specific percentage that comprises a total of 100%.

4. Be one step ahead

It is one of the reasons why you need to have the syllabus. Because you already know what to be discussed next, you must study it in advance. You may watch videos about its explanation or read your books. You will be more prepared for the lesson when you meet with your teacher because you have already studied it.

In this manner, you will also become confident to participate in the class, which can be an added point for you. If you have encountered difficulties during your advanced reading, you will already know what to ask from your teacher.

5. Learn the fundamental math concepts

Math builds upon itself. It means that to understand more complex concepts, you must first learn the simple concept. For example, if you are taking up Algebra 1, ensure you know everything to understand geometry. In math, there are no shortcuts.

For Algebra, you must be fluent in isolating the unknown, solving quadratic equations, doing cross multiply, and solving systems of equations. You can learn about the point, line, ray, collinear, and plane in geometry. For Trigonometry, you must be good in sine, cosine, and tangent as the basic concepts.

For precalculus, you must master its basic concepts: complex numbers, rational functions, trigonometric functions, inverse functions, vectors and matrices, and parametric and polar curves. Once you master the basic precalculus concepts, you may begin studying calculus. Calculus basic concepts are limits, differential calculus (Differentiation), and integral calculus (Integration).

6. Start solving the easier problem first

Try to find a more manageable problem when you answer a complicated problem. First, identify the components or the operations it wants you to carry out.

Most of the time, complex problems come in multiple. In this case, you can split the problem that isolates just one of those components so that you will solve one underlying concept at a time.

7. Study and practice

You need to study and practice answering math problems.

It is the only way for you to understand math concepts. Aside from answering the homework assigned to you, it would help if you still did more practice. You may grab your books, look online for practice questions, and solve them independently. You may even join forum websites where you can check how others solve the problem.

For you to solve the problem, you should be fluent on the underlying concepts. If you didn’t get it once, you must try until you master it. Do not stop working on it until you become confident.

8. Do not miss class

You must consistently attend your class. Every session with your teacher is essential. There’s a tremendous loss if you miss a class. You may be having difficulty catching up on the lessons. You will have a higher chance that you will also miss assignments that will affect your grades. Going to class will show your teacher that you are determined to pass the subject, which is another point.

9. Go to tutoring

You may not want the idea of having a tutor. However, this can help you get high grades in your math subjects. The good thing about having a tutor is you will have a one-on-one session and ask questions that are unclear to you. Do not feel embarrassed that you had a tutor. It is alright to ask for help, especially for your future.

Wrapping Things Up: The Hardest Math Class in High School (And How to Ace It)

Math class has several subjects that build upon themselves, which is why it is vital that you thoroughly understand the simple concept first before you can proceed to more complex concepts. Indeed, there are many difficult math concepts for high school students. However, with complete information and preparation, you can make it. It would be best if you began with Algebra I, Geometry, Algebra II, Pre-calculus, Calculus, and AP classes.

When it comes to which among them is the hardest, it depends on the students. Some find Calculus the hardest math class in high school, but other students still find Algebra II difficult.

Regardless of which is the hardest, this does not mean that you must be afraid to take the math class. Do not forget that math class is important not just in education but also in daily life.

Lastly, you will make it when you are determined to pass the math class. Once you finish the math class with flying colors, you will benefit from it. Indeed, math is worth it, no matter how challenging it is!

Picture of Professor Conquer
Professor Conquer

Professor Conquer started Conquer Your Exam in 2018 to help students feel more confident and better prepared for their tough tests. Prof excelled in high school, graduating top of his class and receiving admissions into several Ivy League and top 15 schools. He has helped many students through the years tutoring and mentoring K-12, consulting seniors through the college admissions process, and writing extensive how-to guides for school.

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