Blog Students Advice For Students Dyscalculia in Singapore: Why can’t I Excel in Math?

Dyscalculia in Singapore: Why can’t I Excel in Math?

Do you struggle with Math despite putting in tons of effort to understand the concepts and time to practice?

Have you been told that you’re just not putting in the hard work required to excel in Math, despite you already trying your best?

Do you feel that no one in this world can understand your struggle with math as they can’t relate to it?

Many people, including educators, have a misconception that Math is a subject that is easy to ace as long as hard work is put into practice.

They’re unaware that there exists a group of people who just can’t do math, despite trying as hard as they can.

And if you think that what I’ve said above resonates with you, it may be possible that you might be suffering from a learning disability called dyscalculia.

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What is Dyscalculia?

People diagnosed with dyscalculia have difficulty understanding and performing math concepts and equations.

The severity of dyscalculia can vary as well depending on an individual, some struggle with basic math problems while others struggle with math of higher difficulty.

Many people tend to get confused between dyscalculia and dyslexia, but these are 2 different learning disabilities.

Dyslexia is a learning disability that affects reading, not numbers.

Despite not being as well known as dyslexia, scientists believe that dyscalculia is just as common as it’s mistaken counterpart.

At least 5 to 10 percent of humans suffer from dyscalculia.

If you’re diagnosed with dyscalculia, chances are you won’t outgrow it.

You’ll probably struggle with this throughout your childhood and adulthood.

Signs & Symptoms

Suffering from dyscalculia can make everyday tasks that involve number sense difficult for you.

Signs of this learning disability may appear as early as preschool, while some may only notice it later in their education.

Here are some common signs of dyscalculia:

  • Difficulty understanding the logic behind quantities 
  • Difficulty remembering Math facts and formulas
  • Difficulty in counting numbers
  • Difficulty in counting money
  • Unable to judge speed and distance
  • Trouble telling and estimating time

I recommend seeking help from experts as soon as possible if you notice these signs.

Possible Causes

The cause of dyscalculia is not exactly known, but experts believe that it has something to do with the difference in how the brain is structured and how it works.

There are currently 2 possible known causes:

1. Genes

Research shows that dyscalculia tends to run in families, chances are that someone in your family has the same learning disability as you.

So, if you have dyscalculia, it’s highly likely that your offspring will suffer from this learning disability as well.

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2. Brain Development

Researchers have conducted several brain imaging studies on people with and without dyscalculia.

Results have shown that there’s a difference in how the brain is structured and functions in relation to learning skills.

Dyscalculia Diagnosis Process

If you’re wondering how the dyscalculia diagnosis process is like, here’s how it goes.

The diagnosis is done through an evaluation process that consists of different sets of tests as people with dyscalculia tend to struggle in other areas apart from math, such as memory work and reading.

However, apart from pointing out your weak points, the evaluation process is also able to pinpoint your areas of strength.

The evaluation process might seem scary, however, once you get through it and officially get diagnosed with dyscalculia, it makes getting the right support from your school or workplace easier.

People With Dyscalculia

There are several articles online on how people suffering from dyscalculia tried to overcome their problems.

Based on an article from Chris Guillebeau, he had difficulty with learning higher math, which consists of concepts regarding algebra, geometry, calculus, etc.

He mentioned that he has put in the effort to learn those concepts, but just couldn’t seem to grasp them.

Despite going for study groups and getting plenty of help from his peers, Chris couldn’t understand the concepts.

In college (aka university in Singapore), he was majoring in Sociology, which has very little math in it.

However, he had to go through a statistics course, which he struggled big time.

He couldn’t comprehend anything as every word and number seemed foreign to him.

Despite having dyscalculia, Chris managed to score a B for his statistics exam.

How did he manage to pull this feat?

Well, his strategy was to attend every class on time religiously and ask meaningless questions.

Weird right?

You can say he had lucked out for his exam.

But for some reason, attending every class on time and asking meaningless questions had enabled him to score a B for an exam that consisted of words and numbers that he deemed foreign!

Apart from talking about himself, Chris mentioned a famous American person called Daniel Olson.

Daniel was a genius when it came to cracking codes left behind by American spies.

But, wait for it….

Daniel actually suffered from dyscalculia!

So, as a person with dyscalculia, how did Daniel crack codes that involved mathematical logic?

Daniel was a person who was incapable of doing math that involved formulas and equations! Math would practically give him mental paralysis.

However, Daniel was extremely talented when it came to solving problems in words.

Which led to him cracking all sorts of codes for the American government.


So, what I’m trying to say after sharing Chris’ article is that even if you’re suffering from dyscalculia, there’s a chance that you’re extremely talented in something else.

Going back to the header of this article “Is it Normal If I Can’t Excel in Math?”

Yes, it’s totally normal if you suffer from dyscalculia.

But if you’re someone who doesn’t suffer from this learning disability but stumbled upon this article because you’re wondering why you can’t excel in Math.

I recommend that you hire a Private Math Tutor to get the best learning experience to increase your Math grades.

We’re one of the most reputable mathematics tuition agencies around with thousands of experienced private Math Tutors in Singapore.

So, if you’re looking to hire one, look no further! SmileTutor is here to help!

Here are some related articles you might like to read:

Fun Ways to Help Your Kid Love Primary 1 Maths – SmileTutor

Your Best Options for Maths Tuition in Tampines – SmileTutor


Rum Tan

Rum Tan is the founder of SmileTutor and he believes that every child deserves a smile. Motivated by this belief and passion, he works hard day & night with his team to maintain the most trustworthy source of home tutors in Singapore. In his free time, he writes articles hoping to educate, enlighten, and empower parents, students, and tutors. You may try out his free home tutoring services via or by calling 6266 4475 directly today.