Why Students Find It Hard to Ask Questions in Class

Why Students Are Afraid to Ask Questions in Class

Is it easy for students to tell a teacher, “I have a math problem I need help solving it?” Of course not. While asking questions in a math class demonstrates curiosity and the need to understand better the subject, most learners rarely get the courage to do it. This leaves the teacher wondering why learners are always hesitant to ask for help in solving math problems. Let’s discuss the reasons.

Are Afraid of Looking stupid

Almost all students have been in a situation where they wished they had not raised their hands to ask a class question. This is because some teachers will always be quick to point out how obvious the answer is or worse retort that it is a stupid question. Such reactions often discourage students from asking any questions even if they have not understood a particular concept.

When a learner asks questions in class and the classmates end up laughing or making fun of the individual, the student will be traumatized and associate that memory with a bad experience. Hence to avoid getting mocked or laughed at, they would rather remain silent in class and refuse to participate.

h2: Wastage of Time

Another reason that causes a student not to ask questions in class is that they feel they are wasting their classmates’ time. A teacher would expect the student to raise any concerns a few minutes before the class is over in most scenarios. However, if the teacher has a reputation of giving lengthy answers that eat a big chunk of the free time, a student might be less motivated to ask a question.


Some learners are so shy that they find it difficult to formulate a question. Others are shy such that they do not dare to seek academic help, including in solving mathematical problems. This can create a perception that a teacher is a subject expert hence is likely to undermine a student who says, “I have a math problem I need help solving”.

Other barriers that that can stop a learner from seeking help to solve a math problem include:

  • Time
  • Unavailability of the teacher even during office hours.
  • A teacher’s attitude
  • Intimidation
  • Hectic schedule
  • Laziness
  • A teacher’s unapproachability.

An educator who does not show a caring attitude towards students and is more interested in teaching jusr to get money. Professionals who are not passionate about the subject or care less about whether the class understands the curriculum are likely to transfer the same traits to the learners.

This is because students tend to spend a big chunk of their time with teachers. Therefore, if they see an educator is not passionate about that subject, they will be less motivated to understand it or go to the library to read further. Besides, students’ perception of a teacher’s quality often serves as the main barrier to seeking academic help. As a result, it creates a less friendly environment where a student is free to tell their teacher, “I have a math problem I need help solving.”

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