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Overcoming Math Anxiety: 10 Evidence-Based Strategies That Work

“Do not worry about your difficulties in Mathematics. I can assure you mine are still greater”- Albert Einstein.

The time to do math has again arrived. You feel a knot in your stomach, your heart begins racing immediately, your palms start becoming clammy, an immense fear of failure and self-doubt weigh heavy on your shoulders, and a sheet of complicated questions stares you down. This is nothing but math anxiety.

In fact, according to a research article, approximately 93% of adult Americans experience a certain level of math anxiety. Also, as per a study in the Journal of Psychoeducational Assessment, alarmingly, around 17% of Americans suffer from high levels of anxiety. Adding on, Lucy Sells, in her study,  highlighted that almost 92% of female-first year students were math-anxious. This led them to compromise on career choices, almost filtering about 75% of the available opportunities.

 Thus, make no error; the issue of math anxiety is real for most students worldwide (more than you can imagine, actually!)  And it’s a thing that you must should consciously deal with. The brilliant news is that you can combat and overcome it with ease. To aid you in today’s comprehensive post, we aim to unravel certain crucial reasons why students fear the subject and certain outstanding hacks to reduce maths anxiety by notches in the classroom.

Fasten off your seatbelts. Let’s take off!

Math Anxiety: A Quick Overview

Math anxiety impacts all-aged people worldwide. In the words of a famous American academic, Mark H. Ashcraft, math anxiety can be described as “a feeling of apprehension, tension, or fear that interferes with math performance.”

Math anxiety implies much more than simply disliking the subject. Instead, it is an anxiety or fear surrounding the subject that affects a student’s capacity to perform.

Also, according to a survey, eminent researchers led by Alana Foley from the University of Chicago looked at the remarkable phenomenon across 64 countries. Unsurprisingly, they came to the conclusion that students with higher math anxiety tended to perform poorly on math exams.

When an individual experiences math anxiety, they may feel the below-enlisted things-

  • Fear of failure
  • Feeling ill physically
  • A feeling of helplessness or ‘dumb’
  • Excessive stress
  • Overall confusion
  • Low accomplishments
  • Negative self-talk
  • Intense emotional reactions
  • Lack of motivation to work on math

Always remember, math anxiety is a condition that can be controlled or changed if you want. It is a learned behavior, so you can overcome all the hindrances holding you back from scoring high!

Strategies to Reduce Math Anxiety Effectively

  • Having A Mathematical Brain Is Not Necessary

Most students who have math anxiety believe that they ‘don’t have the brain for math’ or are ‘simply not good at it.’ Understand that no one is. There are no magic grey cells in some students that enable them to excel at math. Similar to countless things in life, it’s just a matter of practice. Further, a large creative group i.e. ‘non-math’ people excel at the subject with ease. Hence, if you make efforts to master math, you can do it too.

  • Concentrate On The ‘Positives’

According to the best minds associated with reliable online exam help services, a crucial part of math anxiety, is a disproportionate focus on the cons and usually ignoring the pros completely. This might look cliché, but concentrating on the pros intentionally is a precious technique.

Suppose, you get a math assignment back from your professor and see that you have received only 8 out of 16 right. You know you need to score 13 for a B. So, you conclude that you cannot do this. However, the truth is that you’ve demonstrated that you can accurately answer half of the questions. Hence, if you think excessively about the 8 bits you need to consciously work on, you tend to risk completely negating the fact that you knocked 8 questions out of the park.  

  • Master One Concept Before Moving To The Next

You may have to learn innumerable mathematical concepts and theories, but try to invest time in each step. Concentrating on each theory individually will allow you to grasp them more easily and master skills without getting confused.

The key is not to bite off more than you can chew. Always remember doing math is similar to learning to read. You need to learn the sound of letters before forming words. Akin to that, you need to learn to solve for one variable before you can master algebra. So, concentrate on mastering each step rather than the overall concept.

  • Know The ‘Whys’ First

One of the most outstanding ways to master this daunting subject is to concentrate on conceptual comprehension instead of simply fretting about memorizing a specific formula. If you can comprehend ‘why’ the subject works the way it does in reality, the specifics become excessively easy to remember.

Memorizing equations and formulas is simply the surface level of math. The important thing is to comprehend what the formulas and equations do and why. This is because you can always forget the memorized information, but mastering the logic behind the math you’re doing will help you work out complicated problems even if you aren’t confident about the perfect way to complete them.

  • Invest Extra Time On Complicated Concepts

It is always wise to give extra attention to any mathematical concept that may trigger your anxiety. While this can seem scary or overwhelming, the more you expose yourself to triggers, it will induce less anxiety on you.

Now this doesn’t imply that you have to do this entirely on your own. If you find yourself striving for a specific concept or theory, you can seek math assignment writing help online or with a tutor’s guidance. A tutor can guide you through the struggle and enable you to easily comprehend the subject. In certain cases, certain schools will have a tutor or an after-school program that can help you out effectively.

  • Practice Math Skills In Daily Life

Know the more you do the math, the more you will be comfortable with it. So, try to practice math with yourself when there’s no pressure. Once you become comfortable with doing math on your own, it will become incredibly easier to transition into doing math at work or school.

To do this, you can do addition and subtraction at the grocery store. For instance, if you are buying more than one of the same items, make sure to practice multiplication by figuring out their total price. You can also use the clock to work on fractions. Like thirty minutes is ½ and fifteen minutes ¼ of an hour.

  • Use Game-Based Learning Platforms

In the current era, the education sector has transformed to welcome innovation and technology with open hands. Game-based learning is a result of this. It has made learning immensely fun and interactive for students.

Through these platforms, students can enjoy studying math while educators get to see more engagement in the virtual classroom. These remarkable platforms help in imparting knowledge through games that are curriculum-aligned and will make your base strong. What’s more, you will never know that you’re being evaluated or practicing math- it’s all a part of your adventure.

  • Practice Formally

This may not sound exciting, but providing yourself with practice problems to solve at home can help hugely to enhance your math skills.

A close look at the math assignment writing help forum will help you understand that it is wise to find math problems that are at your level from online or textbooks and start practicing them. If you can look for ones that also offer answers, check your work to ensure you’re practicing the right skills.

  • Assess Yourself Continually

Always be aware of what you know and what you don’t know. Try to keep practicing the problems and concepts presented in the classroom and the textbook.

  • Replace Negative With Positive Self-Talk

Try to be mindful of what you are saying to yourself. Providing yourself with positive self-talk helps to counter and fight your belief in math myths or to stop playing mind games.

Hence, establish positive affirmations like “I love math! I will score 90%! I will succeed in this course!” to effectively counteract any negative feelings you may have about your abilities or the subject itself.

Wrapping Up,

Preparation+ Confidence= Success (Formula to Fight Math Anxiety)

Math anxiety is a thing that impacts students directly remarkably into adulthood. So, the real trick is to shift your attitude towards the subject. The issue is not about your ability- you’re most capable of learning it. However, it’s the notion that math is an alien thing that won’t be useful to you.

Hence, start implementing these research-backed strategies to overcome math anxiety and move from math anxiety to math excitement.

As Beilock once said, “No one walks around bragging that they can’t read, but it’s socially acceptable to say you don’t like math.”

Let’s change that today!

Author Bio

Anna Mayer is a reputed math professor at a university in the US. Professionally, she works for Assignmenthelp.us, where she offers assignment help services. When she isn’t working, she can be seen reading books and listening to vintage records.

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