Pupils who have problems with Mathematics are generally weak in conceptual understanding knowledge. Lack of fundamental knowledge in Mathematics is normally the root cause for not performing well. If pupils do not have good fundamental conceptual understanding knowledge, they will have fear to solve problem sums. Most tutors will advise the students to focus and work on mastering procedural skill. This will weaken their ability to perform well in Mathematics in future.
Some pupils are learning advanced topics without fully understanding the basic concepts. This will make them lose confidence in Conceptual Understanding. Lack of confidence will cause them unable or even unwilling to take the challenges of solving higher order thinking questions.
Pupils that do not even achieve a pass in Mathematics are those who are lacking in both Procedural Skills and Conceptual Understanding. These pupils are simply too quick to answer the questions without any basic knowledge of understanding the questions. They may be lost and lack the confidence in using any systematic approach towards problem sums solving.