Should I study CS if I’m bad at math? (Honest answer)

Many students are interested to study the CS major but are afraid of going into it just because they are bad at math.

So is it possible to go into CS major if you are bad at math?

This is what we’re going to respond honestly without appeasing or discouraging anyone.

So keep reading to know the truth like it is …

Should I study CS major if I m bad at math?

Yes and not at the same time.

For students who are interested in CS just for job opportunities or let’s say for the money, they shouldn’t. Because the road is long and the odds of failing are higher. In other words, these kinds of students don’t have the advantage to use. They don’t:

  • have a passion or interest
  • in addition don’t have good math skills

But for students who are interested or love this field, being bad at math is not a big problem. To clarify you could pass the programs as many weak math students did before.

50 percent of the U.S. population has anxiety about math. So the all US population should give up on their dream, absolutely not. As a student, you just have to follow some strategies that will be going to list later in the article.

were going to be helping you to succeed in CS courses even if you suck at math.

But before listing this strategy were going to give you some facts about the CS field.

CS major is the number 1 of drop rates

as we said in our article our response is going, to be honest depending on the numbers and statistics. So the first thing that CS future students have to know is that this major has the highest drop rate among all majors.

According to our research that we noticed in this article 9 famous reasons why students drop out of computer science ?. We found that CS major has a 9.8% of drop rate. This number consider the highest drop rate for a major in the US.

But the reason is not like you might think. It is not just because of math, there are other reasons that make students quit. You could go discover them in the article that we noticed above.

The success rate of CS major

 according to datausa , 5.54%, is the growth of student graduation, from 2.06M in 2018 to 2.17M in 2019.

So could you imagine that these 2 million people are all good at math?.

1/3 of CS students drop in the first year and here is why

in the first year, a third of freshman CS students drop this major because is not a major that anyone can persist in. The two principals reasons are:

  • they find it hard
  • got to the topic just for money

They find it hard

To be honest, the hardest computer science years is the first one because in the first one you will study:

  • calculus 1
  • calculus 2
  • calculus 3
  • linear algebra
  • discret mathematics

Calculus is the beast where student-run from, most students fear calculus, and most of them drop out for this reason. While algebra and discreet mathematics can get passed. But many students suck at calculus and succeed to overcome it.

we’re going to talk later in detail about the strategies that we’re going to give you as a student to succeed in calculus.

For money

the second reason is the loss of interest, most students go into this field because they know that it provides the highest paid jobs opportunities. They know that the median salary for being a software developer is $100 000.

But don’t know how much effort to make getting into it.

It takes 3 to 4 yeaers to get a degree

Normally CS course is 3 years but most students complete the course in 4 years as an average. So as a future student, you have to be ready for this long journey.

CS is not a major that you can complete in 2 years doing accelerated programs, theoretically is possible but when we look at the heaviness of a course we know that.

61% of students get a job

CS student is the greatest major in terms of job opportunities, most CS students get direct job opportunities after graduation. To clarify 6 of 10 CS students find jobs.

In addition, the US market has a big shortage in the area, according to Dax 1.4M jobs were unfilled the last year.

Only in Data science, 600k jobs were unfilled the last year which indicates the big potential this domain has.

Computer sicnce is not all math

Many students have the impression that a CS major is a full math major, while a CS major involves many topics. So we will list the 8 principal topics that CS has:

  1. electronic
  2. electrical
  3. mechanical
  4. programing
  5. Chemistry
  6. Maths
  7. Physics
  8. Technical Communication skills

So math is one part of other CS fields, CS is not making Ph.D. in math there are still other topics to know about.

The hardest math in CS

Calculus is the hardest math subject that you will face in a CS course, So as a student you should put a lot of effort into this field. Calculus 2 remains the hardest one.

is there students who were bad at math who did it?

Many students who were struggling in math have passed the CS course and got their degrees. In other words, if calculus is hard algebra and discrete math is less hard and 80% of students validate them.

if you make an effort of getting an A in algebra and discrete math, getting a C in calculus will not threaten your success. So making a good balance is what most math suckers do to succeed.

if you have this level at math this is my advice

As we said in the last paragraph that calculus is hard, but there is still an opportunity for students to recompense with algebra and discrete math. But some students get suck at statistics so what they should do?.

if you are one of those students who are really bad at math, meaning you don’t have a decent level of math like distinguishing between functions. In other words, you can’t differentiate between polynomial and exponential this is my advice.

  • pick an IT major if you don’t want relearn the math
  • if you are interested in CS, is better to take one year off and relearn the math this is will be the best choice and this article will be your guidance

The work environment doesn’t require the heavy math

Once you pass or get a CS degree, in 90% of job opportunities you won’t need it. Simply because you won’t apply for math jobs programming occupations like:

  • mathematician
  • signal processor
  • engine developer
  • machine learning
  • computer vision engineer

Most students want to become front or back-end developers, so to be a programmer or coder math is not required in this case, unless you want to work in some advanced field as we mentioned above.

You aren’t demanded to get a high GPA to succeed in a CS major

you aren’t demanded to get a 3.5 or 4.0 GPA to find a job as a CS graduate, getting a degree is all what you need. But if you want to hear from some real success stories of students getting high GPAs you could read this article below.

Stem degree with a high GPA( 3 inspiring stories)

you aren’t demanded to get a degree to find a job in CS

But the most interesting thing that most students know is they could get a job without a CS degree. Yes, this is possible, today the most famous companies like Google, Facebook, and amazon don’t require a CS degree.

A degree is becoming underrated. So if you think only about being a software developer and don”t take some advanced math courses. As a result, you don’t have to study for 4 years and get $100,000 of debt?. in other words you could find a job or get employed just by:

  • taking some BootCamp courses
  • or teach yourself coding

In this article, you will find videos talking about this experience and how some people have got software development jobs with a CS degree.

But that doesn’t mean that a degree is not adding value, a CS degree is very important for some advanced fields. But getting a CS degree just to become a back-end or front-end developer is useless.

The 5 step strategy to study CS for weak math student

This strategy has been used for many students who had the same problem as you, struggling in math. So this strategy is for weak math students who try to succeed and overcome the barrier of math.

if you want to study CS and validate the math models here is our strategy.

Step 1: take high school math courses

The best and the first initiative that students should do is to take high schools math courses like algebra and calculus. Calculus is very very important, So it will be a great idea to take intensive math courses in calculus in a summer where you have to understand well these 3 elements:

  • limits
  • derivitaives
  • integrals

At that moment you should hire someone as a professor or find anyone to help you learn fast. Because learning alone won’t be much effective and will take a lot of time. Moreover, the summer holidays aren’t enough to cover the whole calculus aspect.

So the intelligent way to go fastly is to hire someone or have a mentor. That is to say, anyone who has the ability to explain to you or help you when you are stuck.

Step 2: Take less credit in the first year

The second thing to do is to take less credit, especially in the first year. Because the first year is full of math, and for your case the less credit math you take, the longer time you will have to absorb math subjects. So don’t rush.

So try to get a minimum credit that helps you to stay focused and don’t lose the road.

Step 3: foucs in algebra and discret math

The intelligent way to earn some scores that can help you to validate the semester is to focus more on Alegra and discrete math more than calculus. Because calculus is harder than these lasts, focusing well in algebra and discrete math means scoring an A or at least B in exams.

So if you get an A in algebra and discreet math, getting a C in calculus won’t make a big deal.

So your strategy is tripling down your effort in the easier objects rather than spending a lot of time studying hard subjects like calculus and forgetting Algebra or discrete math.

have a help

According to the research that we made about students and exposed in this article, Do professors care if you skip classes(6 things to know).

The research shows that 42% of students don’t attend office hours, this is the absolute thing to avoid in CS majors, especially in your case.

In math having support is really important you can t solve mathematical issues on your own, for this reason attending office hours is really interesting.

In addition, you have to form or find groups to study with them this is will be helpful, also watching youtube videos and having any additional resources can create a difference.

a lot of practice

The last thing is practice, which is not practice but a lot of practice you have to spend 4 to 5 hours a day studying math. To be honest the CS major is heavy in math and things will not be nice and rosy. So you should double the effort compared to other students.

So if students study 3 hours a day you should do 6. But the average that we recommend is devoting 4 hours a day or more just studying math to recover what you’ve lost before. It is hard but is true you have to pay the price.


if you are bad at math and interested to go into a CS major, is it possible. But the question is are you ready to pay the price and apply the strategy that we listed in our article?…


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.