Is Discrete Math Hard? Here’s the Truth You Need to Know

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Why Discrete Math is Challenging

Discrete math is a field of mathematics that deals with discrete objects, such as integers, graphs, and sets. These objects can be difficult to visualize and manipulate, making them more abstract than the continuous functions and structures typically found in calculus and other math courses.

Furthermore, discrete math uses a lot of symbols and notation, which can be challenging to understand and memorize. Students also need critical thinking and problem-solving skills to apply concepts and theories to solve problems.

Finally, one of the biggest challenges of discrete math is that the applications are not always immediately clear or readily apparent. Unlike calculus, where the concepts apply directly to real-world problems, discrete math often requires more creative problem-solving and may be less applicable to real-world scenarios.

Study Strategies for Discrete Math

To succeed in discrete math, students need to develop a strong foundation in mathematical concepts. Some effective study strategies include:

  1. Reviewing the basics: Make sure you are comfortable with foundational math concepts such as algebra, geometry, and number theory.
  2. Understanding key definitions and theorems: Discrete math involves a lot of precise definitions and theorems, so make sure you understand what each term means and how it applies to different problem sets.
  3. Practicing problem-solving regularly: Discrete math is all about problem-solving, so the more you practice, the better you will get. Work through practice problems and exam questions regularly to build your skills.
  4. Collaborating with peers: Studying with peers is a great way to develop a deeper understanding of concepts and to reinforce problem-solving skills.
  5. Seeking help from instructors: Don’t be afraid to ask questions or seek help from your instructor. They are there to support you and provide guidance for success in the course.

Alternative Approaches

If you are struggling with discrete math or want to explore different approaches to learning the material, consider some of the following options:

  • Online resources and study groups: There are a variety of websites and forums that offer resources such as video tutorials, practice problems, and discussion boards for discrete math students.
  • Tutors or private lessons: Consider hiring a tutor or taking private lessons to receive one-on-one guidance from an experienced instructor for a more personal learning experience.
  • Breaking up coursework over multiple semesters: Taking discrete math over multiple semesters can help you absorb the material more thoroughly and at a more manageable pace.
  • Looking into related subjects: If you are struggling with discrete math and find it isn’t the right fit for you, consider exploring other related topics such as calculus or statistics. For more information on whether calculus is hard, check out Is Calculus Hard?.

Interesting facts

Here are some interesting facts about “Is Discrete Math Hard”:

– Discrete Math is the branch of mathematics that deals with discrete objects and structures.
– Discrete Math is often considered challenging due to its abstract nature and its requirement for critical thinking skills.
– Discrete Math is particularly important in the field of computer science, as it provides a mathematical foundation for algorithms and data structures.
– While Discrete Math may seem hard, with the right approach and study strategies, it can be much more manageable.
– If you’re also wondering, “Is Pre Calculus Hard?” be sure to check out this informative article on Robert Virona’s website:


What is Discrete Math?

Discrete Math is a branch of mathematics that deals with discrete objects and structures.

Why is Discrete Math considered hard?

Discrete Math is considered hard due to its abstract nature, the use of symbols and notation, critical thinking, and problem-solving skills required.

What are some key concepts in Discrete Math?

Some key concepts in Discrete Math include set theory, graph theory, logic, combinatorics, and number theory.

Is Discrete Math important in computer science?

Yes, Discrete Math is particularly important in computer science because it provides a foundation for algorithms and data structures.

What are some study strategies for Discrete Math?

Building a strong foundation in mathematical concepts, paying attention to key definitions and theorems, practicing problem-solving regularly, and seeking help from instructors or peers are some effective study strategies for Discrete Math.

Where can I find resources to help me study Discrete Math?

There are many online resources available, including textbooks, video tutorials, and practice problems. You can also join study groups or hire a tutor for extra help.

Is Discrete Math harder than Pre Calculus?

Both Discrete Math and Pre Calculus can be challenging, but they require different skills. What may be difficult for one person may not be challenging for another.

What should I do if I am struggling with Discrete Math?

Seek help from your professor, TA, or tutoring services provided by your institution. Collaborate with peers, and practice problem-solving regularly.

Are there any real-world applications for Discrete Math?

Yes, Discrete Math has numerous real-world applications, including cryptography, computer networks, social networks, and optimization problems.

Can anyone learn Discrete Math?

Yes, with the right approach, study strategies, and time commitment, anyone can learn Discrete Math.

Real experience

Jasmine always considered herself to be pretty good at math. She aced every math test in high school, so when she chose computer science as her major in college, she thought she would have no trouble with the math. However, when she started taking Discrete Math, she realized it was a whole different ballgame.

At the beginning of the semester, Jasmine tried to follow along in class and do her homework on her own. But as she crept further into the semester, she found herself more and more lost. She couldn’t understand the absract concepts, struggled to solve some of the problems, and didn’t know who to ask for help. She knew she needed to improve her study strategies.

Jasmine tried a few different things, like rereading her textbook and watching online videos, but nothing really seemed to help. She even started to doubt whether she was smart enough for computer science. But one day, a classmate suggested they study together. Jasmine was surprised how much she learned from her friend’s explanations. They started meeting up every week, and soon Jasmine felt much more confident about her understanding. She even began to enjoy the subject.

Towards the end of the semester, Jasmine was feeling good about her Discrete Math progress. She was finally getting answers right in class and even started to like the beauty of the abstract concepts. When the final exam came around, Jasmine felt ready. And ultimately, she passed with a decent grade.

Though the semester was challenging, Jasmine’s experience made her realize that with hard work and right study strategies, nobody is incapable of learning something challenging. And, she was happy she found a friend and collaborator to help her in the process.


Discrete math can be challenging, but it is an important field of study for anyone interested in computer science, mathematics, or engineering. By building a strong foundation in mathematical concepts, understanding key definitions and theorems, and practicing problem-solving regularly with peers and instructors, you can master the material and achieve success in the course.

If you are a beginner in discrete math and looking for more guidance, check out Study Strategies for Discrete Math Beginners for tips and resources to get started.

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