If you are thinking of taking finite math next semester then you might be wondering how hard it will be.

This post will show you how hard finite math is and what you can do to make it easier.

So, is finite math hard? Finite math is a class that can have a high failure rate. How difficult it will be for you will depend on how well you have done in other math classes and the professor that you take it with.

There are actually a number of things that you can do to make the class easier and there are a number of things that impact its difficulty.

It depends on how much math you have already done

How difficult finite math will be for you will largely depend on how much math you have already done.

If you did well in algebra 1 and 2, college algebra and other math classes then you will likely be able to do well in finite math as well.

If you did not take many math classes in high school, you did poorly in them or you struggled with college algebra then you will likely have a hard time in finite math as well. With that being said, it doesn’t mean that you won’t be able to do well in the class but it does mean that you will need to work hard.

It depends on the professor

The difficulty of most math classes will be highly dependant on the professor. The professor will usually determine the pace of the class, what goes on exams and how much homework gets set. Some professors will give you a study guide and others will tell you to know everything from the book for the exams.

Before selecting the class it would help to look at what other students have said on ratemyprofessors.com in the past. Make sure to schedule classes early since the recommended professors will have their classes fill up quickly.

It will be necessary for you to study

Regardless of whether or not you have a solid foundation in math, it will still be necessary for you to study throughout the semester. The reason that many students fail the class is mainly that they think that they don’t need to study outside of class time which is not the case.

On the other hand, if you do study throughout the semester you will be much more likely to do well in the class. By studying throughout the semester it will be easier for you to understand what the professor is teaching, you won’t have to cram the night before the exams and you will retain the information more effectively (source.)

Ways to make finite math easier

There are a number of things that you can do to make finite math easier that I will mention below.

Plan the schedule of the semester out early on

It would be very helpful to plan the entire semester out during the first week of classes. By doing so you will be able to spot potentially difficult weeks ahead of time, avoid missing deadlines and know which classes you need to focus on.

Make sure to do well on the homework

The weighting that gets given to the homework will often be quite high in finite math. Many students do not take the homework very seriously. However, this is a mistake since doing well on the homework will help you to get a higher grade in the class since you will do better on exams and it will help to make up for poor exam results.

You can ensure that you do well on the homework by reading the book before starting it, avoiding waiting until the day before it is due and using resources such as Google and Youtube to study parts that you get stuck on.

Read the book before trying to solve the problems

Often, students will try to solve their homework problems based on what the teacher taught in-class without reading the book.

The problem with this is that some the teacher might skip over parts of the chapter from the book, the questions will be based on the material in the book and you won’t understand the material as well as you could.

Instead of jumping straight to the homework problems it would be more effective for you to read the relevant chapter first and then to try to solve the questions from the book after.

Get help when you get stuck

It is important to get help when you really get stuck. By getting help you will be able to show the professor that you are putting an effort into the class, avoid having gaps in your knowledge on the exam and you will be able to have a higher homework grade.

However, while it is important to get help when you get stuck it is also important to try to figure out the solution yourself beforehand. This means that you should reread the relevant chapter, look at tutorials on Youtube and look at any lecture notes that you might have first.

Prioritize material given to you by the professor

The material that the professor gives you will often be very likely to appear on exams. When preparing for exams it would be best to prioritize understanding the material given to you by the professor this would especially be the case if you are given a study guide.

Prepare for finite math in advance

One way to do well in finite math would be to prepare for the class in advance. By doing this you will be able to follow along with the lectures more easily and you will find the homework to be easier as well.

You can prepare for the class by watching this Youtube playlist before taking it.


I created and currently manage College Corner. I received a Bachelor's degree in Mathematics from the University of Nevada Las Vegas. My goal is to help current students do better in college and to help future students plan for college. You can read more about me and my website here.