Worried about Math? 5 Tips to Reduce Math Anxiety
- May 25, 2016
Math makes a lot of students nervous. Are you one of them? Don’t worry. You are far from being alone.
There are several students who do not simply dislike mathematics but hate it. This subject is often quite intimidating and even some of the brilliant scientists have faced trouble with mathematics.
There are several ways you can address this problem.
- Admit if You are Suffering from Math Anxiety
If you don’t even admit that math is causing you anxiety, you will never be able to overcome it.
The very first step thus is to accept the problem. Math is really necessary; most university courses include math in some form and almost all profession makes use of it on a daily basis. You may need to juggle the numbers when you appear for the competitive exams even if you do not opt for a profession that uses mathematics at a more advanced level.
Do not allow anxiety to be a valid excuse for not doing mathematics.
- Overcome Negative Thoughts
The effect of math anxiety on each student is bound to vary. In case you are aware that you are having unrealistic and irrational thoughts, try to replace them with the realistic and the rational ones.
If you are suffering from math anxiety, it’s not because you don’t have the caliber but it is because your confidence got shattered at some point in time.
Try to create a positive environment from the very beginning. Don’t panic and ask your teacher immediately in case you do not understand a concept. If you always think ‘I am not good at math’, you would never be. Replace this thought with, ‘I can do well in math’. You will soon notice the difference!
You can also try giving yourself positive self-talks. This will help you to replace the negative thoughts.
- Practice a Little Everyday
You certainly cannot learn mathematics by listening or reading. You need to solve the sums to tackle this subject better. You are bound to make mistakes while you solve the problems. Always remember that practice ensures perfection and nobody can get everything right at all points of time. It’s normal to mess things up and so, keep reviewing.
“It’s not that I’m so smart, it’s just that I stay with problems longer.” - Albert Einstein
If a test is nearby, start practicing more and consult your teacher on the lessons you have missed out on or did not understand properly.
Note that you need time and patience to master mathematics.
- Work on Panic
You can try taking tests yourself. Get a few test papers or the sums at the end of the chapter would do. Solve the questions and check the answers. Try to find the problem areas and work on it. Most of you tend to make careless mistakes. If that is the problem with you as well, you need to practice a lot and concentrate. Get help if you are facing hardships in understanding the reason behind the mistake. There are a number of people around you who can help you out. Ask questions. Don’t think asking questions to be a sign of weakness. It’s actually a sign of strength. Your classmates will be glad you asked as they have questions too but unable to gather the courage to ask!
- Know when Should You Get Help
Math anxiety develops and gets reinforced over time. It is thus crucial to know when should you seek help. You can always get the help of your teacher and your peers in case you do not understand a concept. But if you feel that it’s not enough and you require additional help, take the help of private tutors.
Don’t freeze during the exam. Close your eyes, breathe, imagine your parents or teacher right by your side and start working on the questions. Remember that the ability to excel in mathematics is not inborn but the quality needs to be developed through determination and hard work. Try hard and give yourself the permission to fail. This will help you to bring down anxiety and focus on the questions.
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