Math Anxiety in Students: How to Overcome it?

  • ACIO
  • November 24, 2023
  • Views 1118

“Thinking will not overcome fear, but action will.” – W. Clement Stone.

Math anxiety is one of the most common and serious issues among students and adults. It can manifest in various ways, like freezing up, sweaty palms, nervousness, fear of failure, lightheadedness, avoiding situations that demand arithmetic calculations, or simply feeling scared and anxious when confronted with the need to do the math. Adding the pressure of board or competitive exams, Math Anxiety can be aggravated to a new level and interfere with students’ exam performance.

Overcoming math anxiety might be difficult, but by improving your math skills and regular practice, you can put it behind you and continue on your path to success. To help you, here we present some student-backed tips and strategies to overcome math anxiety.

What is Math Anxiety?

Math anxiety is a sensation of worry, anxiety, trepidation, and fear experienced by students when attempting to solve math problems. It is characterised by mild to severe stress, which causes a sense of helplessness and psychological disorientation. It can have a long-term effect on mental health, as well as a harmful impact on overall well-being in some situations. People who are afraid of math believe and feel incapable of accomplishing anything math-related.

Symptoms of Math Anxiety:

  • Not studying math regularly.
  • Negative self-talk
  • Unwilling to work on math problems.
  • Procrastinating math homework until the last possible moment.
  • Getting anxious or panicking before the math exam.
  • Difficulty in memorising equations, formulae, and facts
  • Trying to memorise solutions rather than comprehending the concepts

Tips to Overcome Math Anxiety:

1. Acknowledge your anxiety:

The first step is acknowledging your fear of math. Recognise that you have math anxiety and take steps to overcome it. Once you’ve realised this, it’ll be much easier to take action to lessen any worry or terror brought on by the subject.

2. Avoid negative thoughts:

Be aware of what you’re telling yourself. Rather than thinking like, “math is not for me”, or “I am incapable of performing well in math”, fill your mind with positive affirmations like “I will succeed in math!” or “Math is easy; I just need more practice!“. Positive thoughts will help you subdue any negative sentiments you may possess about math or your potential in general. On the other hand, negative thoughts can erode your self-confidence and self-esteem. You will undoubtedly do well in the subject if you put in more effort and receive further assistance.

3. Practice as much as you can:

Practice will lead you towards perfection. It is the only way to improve your math skills. Solving math problems daily may not sound exciting, but it’ll help strengthen your arithmetic skills. Set aside a specific time for mathematics. Putting in extra time and effort will result in a significant shift in attitude and performance.

4. Join a coaching institute:

Coaching institutes like ALLEN Overseas will help you keep up with the fast-paced classes of schools. You’ll learn about the basics, syllabus, exam patterns, and what needs to be done to improve your exam performance. Most students suffer from math anxiety due to incompetent subject teachers and a dull way of teaching. That won’t be the case with ALLEN Overseas’ innovative teaching methodology. Also, to overcome your math anxiety, you can reach out to your teachers or personal mentor for help and guidance. Several studies have indicated that innovative tutoring has resulted in a significant decrease in math anxiety over time.

5. Use fun learning methods:

Use fun and interactive methods to study. Spice up your learning using math games, open-ended puzzles, and paper folding, or experiment with many approaches to find a solution. Fun learning methods encourage creativity and involvement, which helps students enhance their skills even more. Hence, involve yourself in math games, puzzles, and apps to make learning more adventurous and enjoyable. As a result, your math anxiety may not overpower you when encountering math problems in a recreational context.

6. Practice mindfulness:

Several studies reported that when students with extreme math anxiety practice mindful breathing exercises, they feel more relaxed and perform better on timed examinations. As math can cause stress and worry, breathing exercises can assist in relaxing the mind. A calm and composed mind is essential for tasks involving critical thinking and problem-solving skills.

7. Implement math in real-life scenarios:

Math will become a part of your life if you include it in your daily routines. For example, do some math practice and calculations while running errands, at the grocery store, practice addition, multiplication, and subtraction, and use the clock for fractions. It will be much easier to shift into performing math at school once you become more familiar with doing it on your own.

8. Ask for help:

A student should never be scared to ask questions. Asking questions will assist a learner in resolving any doubts they may have. Delaying this step can have a negative impact on your grasp of the subject. In school, if you have any doubts, ask your math teacher. If you require further assistance, let them know and see if they will work with you one-on-one.

Although math can be scary, a positive attitude and the tips mentioned above can help you overcome your math anxiety. However, if you are preparing for competitive exams like JEE or NEET and require professional assistance to overcome your math anxiety, ALLEN Overseas provides a one-stop solution to help you conquer all your dreams.

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