Mathematics is a subject that makes some students anxious. Personally, I hate maths and all the million rules that come with it! But it is a necessary evil that one must conquer in order to get ahead in life. Maths anxiety is a common academic problem among students of all ages and levels. Click here to read another article on the importance of studying maths.
Maths anxiety according to the Centre for Neuroscience in Education, refers to a negative emotional reaction to mathematics that can be debilitating. It also a feeling of tension and anxiety that interferes with the manipulation of numbers and the solving of mathematical problems in ordinary life and academic situations.
As a student, I have suffered maths anxiety on countless occasions. It is the very reason I avoided selecting courses that involved calculations or numbers. Most teachers usually attribute such fear to laziness on the part of students
It usually stems from a student’s unpleasant experience with maths. Students with a high level of maths anxiety tend to perform poorly at math. It is worthy to note that suffering from maths anxiety is not a reflection of a lack of intelligence. Some bright students also suffer from math anxiety too.
According to studies done on the subject, timed test and risk of embarrassment are contributory factors that causes maths anxiety. However, In Ghana, the fear of maths has been largely attributed to the cultural perception of math being a difficult subject. It is also due to poor teaching methods and learning experiences.
Fortunately, there are solutions to dealing with maths anxiety that students can adopt for their benefit. Here are a few steps students can follow to deal with their fear of maths.
- Overcoming maths anxiety starts with the mind. Student must develop a positive attitude towards maths and numbers in general. Developing a positive attitude will change misconceptions about maths that hinders students understanding of the subject.
- Students should also spend time regularly practising maths, especially when experiencing difficulty. Daily practice of the subject will help you perfect all the areas that you have problems comprehending. It will also help you get comfortable with dealing with numbers, calculations and all the many rules that come with solving maths.
- Furthermore, parents should also consider hiring a tutor or a professional for their children who struggle with maths anxiety. A one on one coaching with a tutor will give your child the room to understand the subject better without fear of being embarrassed when they don’t understand what they have been taught.
- Lastly be persistent; don’t be afraid to make mistakes. Remember, some of the most powerful learning stems from making a mistake. Learning from our mistakes helps us become better than we initially were.
Math anxiety should not be the stumbling block between you and the many opportunities available to you. Do all within your power to overcome it.