How much focus do I need for math(5 valuable insights)

Many students have focus problems in math, what are the best strategy to help students focus while doing math?.

In this article, we’re going to respond to the brilliant famous 5 popular questions about math that any math student asks or has asked about.

How many hours students stay focused doing math

To respond in detail to this question we’re going to treat this subject in 4 important steps:

  • how much humans can focus?
  • the important of having math mentor to reduce time studying
  • pomodro technic
  • make a sum up

Human focus

According to BBC, studies show that human beings can’t concentrate continuously for more than 90 min. It could be less for people or more but the average is around 1 half-hour before humans need a minimum breaking time of 15 min.

But it doesn’t continue like that, after 8 hours of work productivity goes down and the work gets harder and louder. For math students who are ambitious and look to work more, after studying 8 hours, it is recommended to take a break for at least 90min before starting again.

This is a message for people who love to study 12 hours a day, the best and most experiencing method to do that especially for exam preparation is

8 hours of studies(15min break each 90min)

90min break

4 hours of studies(15min breack each 90min)

the important of having math mentor to reduce time studying

To control that well, studying alone is very different from having a mentor or guidance. 1H hour mentoring could be worth 10H of self-study math. So having a guide is really important more than hard work or discipline.

working 12 hours a day in math doesn’t guarantee to have a high degree and to get a higher GPA like 3.8 or 4.0. Firstly students need to have a correct plan’s execution, meaning you should have the right math basics and foundation knowledge before beginning.

Working smart first then going hard that what we mean by that.

So the intelligent students go during office hours and ask professors or even hire people to teach them more effectively. With this strategy, a student could only work for 2 to 3 hours a day. It could be equivalent to or even better than 12 hours of work a day of self-studying.

A lot of students are humble and get intimidated to ask for help. Students can’t understand everything by themselves in math, it is a complex subject.

So students don’t have to be minded like I can figure out everything by myself. You could spend 100 hours on 1 math problem and not solve it at all.

Technic pomodoro and math study

The technic Pomodoro is equivalent to the BBC research that we exposed above in the article. Fransisco Cirilio(founder of this technic) says that on every 25 minutes of work students have to break 5 minutes. While the BBC research says on each 90 min humans have to take a break for 15min.

if we calculate it, we find that the Pomodoro technic and BBC research are the same. 5 minutes break for each 30 min work in general.

As our recommendation for math application, the Pomodoro technic or “5-minute break on every 30 minutes” of math is not effective that much. it is a little bit stressful.

The good option is to stay focused doing math by taking on every hour 10 minutes of break or following the 90-15 method of BBC. That depends on how math drains you.

In other words, Math consumes a lot of time so having breaks for each 25min work will be distracting more than helping to focus.

Sum up

According to the research and experiences that we noticed above math students are classified into three categories. We will approximate each category and how it can stay focused for a long day working:

  • people who are good at math but don’t love it ====> 6 hours
  • passioned people about math ======> 8 to 10 hours
  • ambitious and passionate people ======> 12 hours or more

So math focus depends on how much the student is interested in math. The more interest and passion are present the more he could stay for a long time. There is no evidence that productivity goes down, But down doesn’t mean ZERO.

The best proof of that is Albert Einstein, According to Forbes, 10 hours a day Einstein was spending 6 days a week, which means he was working 60 hours a week.

It is out of range of what specialists recommend, is higher by 20 hours a week. That is to say, Einstein was working 2.5 days more in a week. So it depends on each one but the average is 6 hours a day.

In other words, students can work as a minimum doing math for 6 hours a day using the break technic that we talked about.

How to increase focus studying math

According to campus technology, 71% of students are suffering from focus problems, this issue is widespread due to huge entertaining tools that students are affronting today.

In other words, only 3 out of 10 are studying normally without getting distracted and have hardships in focus. The lack of focus in mathematics is due to these 5 principal issues:

  • using a source of distractions like a smartphones while studying math
  • trying to solve multiple things at the same time
  • studying in noisy environments
  • having bad math foundations
  • self-comparisons to other students

The first 3 reasons are clear but what about having a bad foundation and self-comparisons to focus on mathematics?

for people who have bad math foundations, they relate their problem to focus. But the truth is the lack of foundation is making them think this way. Math is a sequential subject if students don’t have a solid base they will automatically suffer in the upcoming math subjects.

For people who have this kind of problem, you could read this article helping you to solve this issue.

The second thing is comparison, this phenomena relate to student poor self-esteem. Students focus on other people and how good are in math instead focus on themselves solving their issues.

solving mathematics focus problems depend on these 5 key points :

  • solidify math foundations by working on the weakest math subjects
  • apply the management time strategy that we listed above(Pomodoro technic)
  • eliminate all distractions tool whole studying(noisy environment, tv, smartphone, talking to a friend)
  • understand the lesson well before going to exercises
  • practice, practice, practice… solve a ton of exercises, Math is like a muscle it needs a workout.

Is calculs important in math?

Calculus is very important it is used in many different areas like physics, engineering, and other rising filed. It is a foundation that many science-based on, with calculus, we can do:

  • engineering
  • study stem classes in college
  • in chemistry
  • physics
  • biology
  • stock market
  • determining the space rocket direction
  • wether predictions
  • astronomy
  • radioactivity
  • electricity
  • heat light
  • birth /death rates and so on

learning calculus is something really important for students who want to follow stem. So for people who have a bias toward the stem, it is essential to learn and have solid knowledge in calculus. Because it is used in almost all fields.

why student become bad at math when they go to college

for students who become bad at math when they go to college, 4 major reasons can influence and cause this issue:

  • changing of environment
  • lack of support
  • a lot of freedom
  • work and busy times

==> changing of the environment: Students are used to studying in a different environment like they are today. Moving from 30 students classroom to 300 students in an amphitheater is not easy to absorb instantly. Sometimes is very hard to follow the instructor, arriving late to lecture means sitting away and barely seeing what is written on the table. But the worst thing is when the mic is off…

==>Lack of support: in HS math classes, students can ask at any time they want a teacher. While in college, students have office hours. Students have to go and wait for a professor to come into his office asking him for valuable and not enough minutes of questions.

==> A lot of freedom: in college, students are free and aren’t controlled like in high school. They are adults and can skip classes, no one would judge them. Many students fall into this trap,70% of students are regularly skipping classes in the US. That influences their math levels.

==> work and busy time: 80% of students are working part-time jobs, which makes things hard a little bit. Some students forget to study and focus on getting money while some others don’t arrive to make a balance between work and studies.

You could read this article if you are struggling between work and studies.

it worth studying math for long hours

it is worth it if a student has a solid foundation in math and does solve a lot of exercises. it could be helpful. But for people who are doing it for the sake of doing or disgusting their insecurities it a just a waste of time.

math has one simple and successful strategy

  1. Having solid foundation
  2. understanding well the lecture Math
  3. doing and solving a lot of problems

The order is important skipping one step or not disrespecting the order guarantees failure. This is why students struggle with math.


math is not that hard we just have to understand his rules.


Yassin ajanif is a physics graduate and electromechanical engineer width more than 5 years in the field. My goal and my team are to share our experience to help you succeed in your career as a stem major. we talk about all tips, problems, and struggle STEM students face in their career and how to overcome them.