Which country has the hardest mathematics in their education curriculum?
Abhijeet Singh Jha, Student, the future of India
My country India.
Not like France but we are never allowed to use calculator whatsoever in any examination.
Ever heard of JEE, One of the world's toughest entrance examinations, just search for its 2015 maths paper 1 and 2 and you will be surprised that they don't allow calculator for exam such tough.
I love maths.
From 1st grade to class 12 (class 12 and 11 in 90% of the schools), we never are allowed to use calculators in any exam.
Sabuj Chattopadhyay, Autodidact | Top Writer '15/'18
I don’t know if this is the “hardest” (I suspect not), but this is the kind of typical maths (arithmetic) question paper I used to solve in third grade. Algebra would come from next class, but I can’t find good representative samples. The question paper is from an Indian school.
译文来源：三泰虎 http://www.santaihu.com/47101.html 译者：Joyceliu
Karthik Viswanathan, Studying at Asian International Private School
Our country may seem to have the easiest text-book mathematics, but again that's never enough for us.
Just like the GAOKAO, students need to attempt the JEE -Advanced examination which is one of the hardest examinations to crack on earth.
It may not be including figures containing complex 3-D images, but believe me; to do one JEE advanced Mathematics problem, is like moving a mountain.
Students of Grade 12 break their minds to crack this six-hour examination!
Sample questions from JEE Advanced.
I don’t know about the hardest, but I can tell with certainty that mathematics taught in Russian primary-secondary schools is like gazillion times harder than such in USA, UK and Australia. When I saw SAT exam tasks for the first time, it almost made me laugh.
I also got Master of Biology degree in Australia, and it was noticeable how shallow the knowledge of mathematics were in other students, and how afraid of maths everyone is.
So if you want to study some intense mathematics, go to Russian secondary school. Maybe there are countries where it’s even harder (Japan, maybe?), but Russia won’t leave you disappointed.
P.S. As of Higher Education, I don’t know. I suppose that at Bachelor of Maths programs, USA students catch up - how else would they be good at tech stuff there.
P.S.S. There is a serious downside of such programs in Russia: it’s not so uncommon for some pupils to finish school not understanding how to solve some of the problems done at class. The level of maths knowledge in secondary school finishers can vary from maths genius to near-zero.
Ethar Alali, Postgraduate Mathematics, The Open University
China and Korea, hands down. The main European countries of France, Germany and the UK are nowhere as far as difficulty.
You may see answers which attempt to create a link between International Mathematics Olympiad (IMO) or even Field Medals won for academic research. This isn’t an accurate nor fair comparison, mainly because in the vast majority of countries, IMO content is not part of the curriculum and also Field Medals are awarded for contributions to Mathematics, more often than not, post-doc. So there isn’t a curriculum at those levels.
The relationship of those to curricula is loose. IMO for example, sets a worldwide standard and this standard is so far beyond the UK standard that even degree level students of mathematics, and some graduates even, have no idea what the IMO questions mean, that these 13 to 18 year olds are competing in.
In addition, as people age and get to university, they difference starts to narrow
I would say India for 3 reasons
1.Schools curriculum and standardized tests standard (there are many standards) is tougher than most countries. (But state school sy em is dismal so average capability is poor)
2.Social acceptance (coolest kid in the school is the one with best Math skills). Relatives would enquire about how the kid is doing in Math. (All this inspite of Math never being a serious career option). It is normal for kids at school to prioritize Math over other subjects.
3.Re gious heritage - Hindu re gion allows and encourages abstract thought … its not a coin dence zero, calculus, calculation of PI can all be attributed to Indian people steeped in Hindu philosophy.
Its not unusual to find medical doctors in India who brag about their math skills at school level.
FYI college level math is not so great though as Math has never been a serious career option. No one ever got a job in India due Math skill need, they got jobs as they felt ppl with math skills are maybe “good”.
One of the reasons Indians are good at coding is they see it as an extension of the same principle of problem solving they pick up in school Math.
Alvin Tanasta, BS Engineering, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
I am not a Singaporean myself but after seeing the level of math that my Singaporean friends do at high school level, I would vouch for Singapore. You can look at their curriculum. Look up Singaporean A-level or NTU entrance exams. They encompass a wide range of topics like poisson distribution, etc. These would be the things that US high school students don't learn.
In addition, here in the US, most of high school students who plan to do engineering have not taken calculus yet. They are not required.
I also think that some other Asian countries such as China and South Korea are not too far behind from Singapore. The difference is probably really small.
Temir Askhat, Software Engineer at DAR
It seems to me that everyone here is trying to convince that their math curriculum is the hardest and posting their math problems. Well, all of these pictures are quite familiar and well-known problems, I’d say even redundant. I don’t know which country has the hardest curriculum, because it needs a lot of parameters to check on a global scale. Probably, even results in international competitions like IMO aren’t sufficient, because some countries are focused on preparation for those olympiads, some not. In what I am sure is that mathematics which taught in all former Sovet Union countries (Russia, Belarus, Ukraine, Kazakhstan etc.) in primary - secondary school is much harder than in the USA, UK, most Europe countries. I know a lot of students in Kazakhstan who have taken the SAT Subject Test Level 2, mostly with no preparation and got 750+ out of 800 easily.
Renyi Tang, Math, Statistics, History, Sociology lover.
For high school math education curriculum, China definitely has the most difficult curriculum. If you look at the math questions on the College Entrance Examination (Gaokao), and the olympiad math contests, you will see the difficult level of these questions. Chinese math athletes perform extremely well in International Mathematics Olympiad every year.
However, in terms of college math education, China's is not the best. Chinese college education math education does not do very well on math research, compared to USA and France. This is partially why China's performance in math academics is not proportional to the the performance in math olympiad.
Rad Kan, In US for 14+ years
Firstly, I know most Indians will be offended if I say this, but it’s true that it’s a misconception that “all” Indians are good at coding. I believe many are good but there are some whom I have seen personally who are not great coders at all, just mediocre. But why are they there? money, easy path to US, for many of us, we do what our parents tell us. If computer science is a hot field, go for it, there are many more job opportunities and people respect you.
At the same time I have seen some self-taught American coders who are super good at coding. Again, I’m not saying Indians are not good coders, I’m only ag inst generalizing as such. The percentage of good programmers given a sample population in India, would be same as that for US population. I’m sure that’s true for China too. I have seen great Chinese programmers too but for some language was a barrier even though they were really smart.
And there are many of those who don’t have money to get proper education but if they were taught programming, then I believe majority kids of today would be good at it or even Maths for that matter. We all have the ability to understand and learn. Sometimes your teachers matter a lot and self-learning too.
Math is hard across Asia in general.
It's no coin dence that Indians and the Chinese form a large part of the student body in prestigious US universities; the math taught in the Indian curriculum is incredibly intense. There are different boards with varying degrees of difficulty, but they're all just that- difficult.
The Oxbridge entrance tests for physics and math, the PAT and MAT respectively, are just regular grade 11 syllabus in India. (I'm sure the same applies to China, Vietnam, etc.)
And the entrance test to India’s prestigious IITs is the hardest physics chemistry math paper in the world, at par with another entrance paper in China.
I'm not trying to prove that Indian math is the hardest: it may well not be.
But I'd like to point out that math across Asia (based off what I know) is definitely harder than in the US.
Claude Martinet, works at Rio de Janeiro
According to what i know, Marocan and Tunisian have very high level in maths finishing high school (speciality math). according to recents studies, in Shanghai China, is where 15y old high school student got best score in maths. But maybe the content of the courses to finish high school is not so intense. in Maroc, high school is very elitist, same program as France used to have in 70, they study a lot of stuff that are university level else where now-a-days.
For level 2 years after high school, i think France is the best, the Classe Préparatoire program, to prepare entrance to engineering university is very intense. but level at universities is not so great. Students, got tired after 2 or 3 years of hard studies, and study much less once they got to university. (unless they are part of the very best that goes to ecole normal sup, and continue to study pure math)
Has far as i know, Russian completing Master degree in engineering, have excelent level in Maths, also because they need 6years instead of 5, to get to that level.
Indian engineers, are also said to be good at maths.
I think considering very high Tuitions fee in the USA, master level, students tend to work hard to get return back on investment, is not bad at all, but much more specialized than in France or Russia, general level is lower, but student got better specialization in what they studied.
Ayman Nabil, Engineering Manager at Unilever (2016-present)
I do not know what basis this question is built on. The question is vague and the answers reflect the experience of the answerer in one or two or three countries s/he visited. No one got the chance to see all countries and study maths in every country to be able to answer this question. You may also think that the answer to this question is obtained by unifying all conditions and get a standard math student from each country at same grade and at same age …etc and give them a standard math test. That even does not help as every single person is different. In same country , same city , same district , same school, same class with the same teacher you have differences between student's ability. So what is the standard way here? Referring to statistics that compare universities? Not necessarily an indication as well. If Einstein were alive , he would say “this question has no answer”
Nguyễn Ngọc Hoàng Thiên, Student at Ho Chi Minh City University of Technology
I don’t know which country has the hardest, but the true that, in compulsory education curriculum of many country in Asia still think that Mathermatics will show your smart and decide your ability. So they make the Mathematics become too hard.
Personally, I live in VietNam and I can told you hornestly that our Mathematics is crazy hard for student (when compare with homework of another student of the West), but after all student don’t know why they have to learn that, what application of these lecture, and when they pass the lass examination to study in college, in university, they try to forget all.
I have listented about the Mathemation of China, Korea, Japan education curriculum, they have some same point like our Mathermatic - crary hard.
Misheck Mwanza, Bachelor's Environmental Engineering & Water Resources Management, Belgorod Oblast (2017)
I learnt with a group of Burundians during my first year of uni. And I must admit, their vast knowledge of the sciences and maths with their Belgian or French standard was pretty impressive, as compared to us who have the British standard of education. So with that experience I’d say the French or Belgians. One of the two should have the hardest education curriculum.
I lived and studied in Shanghai, China until age of 13, then came to Canada as immigrant. Had to take an assessment test for math and English prior to being admitted in the local school sy em. The result of that test indicated that my math level was beyond grade 12. Later on I realized that what we took in grade 7 and 8 math classes back in China, e.g. complex algorithm and geometry concepts, are sometimes not taught until year 1 or 2 of a science or engineering program from universities here. In China, calculus can be taught to grade 7 students. Pretty interesting comparison. Needless to say I cruised through all math classes in high school.
Mohsen Zoalroshd, studied at University of South Florida
I finished high school in late 90s in Iran. Back then freshman students would get to pick their discipline(major) which was somewhat similar to what you have as major in college. I chose Math and Physics. In junior and senior years we had combinatorics, graph theory, Calculus(limits, differentiation , integration epsilon-delta definition etc), a bit probability theory and linear algebra (on R^n) in our curricula. Later on when a college student in the States I asked some of my friends from Greece and Germany about their math programs. Honestly I was zed by their curricula. I suspect that certain countries took their programs after successful European education sy ems such as Germany and France.
我90年代末在伊朗读完高中。那时候大一的学生可以选择他们的专业，这和你在大学主修专业有些相似。我选择了数学和物理。大三、大四两年，我们学了组合数学、图论、微积分(极限、微分、集成ε-δ定义等),概率论和线性代数(R ^ n)在。后来，当我在美国读大学的时候，我问了一些来自希腊和德国的朋友数学课程学了什么。老实说，我对他们的课程感到惊讶。我怀疑有些国家是在德国和法国等欧洲教育体系取得成功后才开始实施这些教学计划的。
Akshay Kalucha, Bsc Computer Science, University of Delhi (2021)
INDIA AND CHINA
just take a look at jee maths section and you will get your answer.
i see many people from china and other countries.
the maths in India is dope AF.
Imagine how dreaded students would get preparing for jee for 2 long years
CP Mishra, Techie| Reader| Traveller
In India Math curriculum of some state boards are much tougher than ICSE/CBSE boards. As Shuai Ye mentioned in case of China, we also used to memorize all the important formulae. I still remember some of them even after 25 years. My daughter is going in 7th grade in USA and here students understand how to prove a formula, what is the significance of it and how to use it at the same time. I guess, it is much better than just memorizing.
In reality, all high school students don’t need advanced maths and it is better to have basic math for everyone and option available for advanced math (like advanced algebra & calculus) for students that are interested. There are few professions that need very advanced knowledge of maths.
At University level, we need progress in areas of pure mathematics as well as applied mathematics.
Sri Lanka had the hardest Math curriculum during the `90s and `80s(those days the highest score in country was somewhat around 30 and 40!),although currently eased up a bit, the main AL exam consists of multiple essay questions based on calculus, number theory ,mechanics, statistics,algebra,number theory ...etc. Any score greater than 75 was considered a high distinction pass and the exam was considered extremely stressful as it decided the fate of whether you get to attend an university or not( the university sions were based on the z-scores of the students and only those who were higher up in the 98th percentile were admitted).
I had a friend who got 2A* and a A in the Cambridge AL but he got 2B( between 65 and 75) and C (between 65 and 55) in the local exam.
我有一个朋友在剑桥大学的AL考试中得了2A*和A，但是他在国内考试中只得了2B(65 - 75之间)和C(65 - 55之间)。
C.Michel de Wilde, studied at Massey University
Indonesia has the hardest maths for the high school curriculums. average high school students learn calculus although they most likely will never use them. however, the maths in indonesia is taught very poorly. emphasizing in memorization and lack of applicability. thus, indonesia's rank is the lowest in maths compared to the other countries.
Syed Adeel Hussain, Independent (2017-present)
The Singaporean, the Swedish and the Fsh Models of pedagogy lead the world of Mathematics at the primary learning level!
Not to sure about higher - college, polytechnic and university level standards and rankings.