What are the symptoms of math anxiety?
- PANIC – Students have a feeling of helplessness. They feel that a brick wall has come down and they will never do better and have reached their limit in math.
- PARANOIA – Students have a feeling that everyone knows the answer except them. They feel they have been faking math for years and everyone knows it.
- PASSIVE – They have an attitude that either they have a math mind or they don’t. There is nothing they can do to become better in math. They sit back and don’t take action.
- LACK OF CONFIDENCE – They don’t trust their intuition. They rely on memorizing rules instead of understanding the concepts.
Tips for overcoming math anxiety
- Realize that you are not alone! Many people dislike or feel anxious about math.
- Become aware of where your math anxiety originated from. Think back to where you first had difficulty with math.
- Recognize your self-defeating talk and correct it to a more positive talk.
- Try to avoid teachers/tutors/peer/family who aren’t helpful or supportive.
- Trust your instincts and don’t put down your approaches to a math problem. Do math in a way that you are comfortable with. Remember there is more than one way to do a math problem.
- Ask questions. This is the way towards better understanding. Besides, other students will be glad you asked.
- Know the basics. In most cases you need to know math from previous courses. If you don’t remember, go back and review.
- Don’t go by memory alone. Try to understand the concept. If you are anxious, your memory is the first thing to go.
- Decide what type of study environment works best for you (quiet place at a table, or music in the background in a comfortable chair, etc.).
- Get help. If you are having difficulty figuring out a concept, seek assistance from your teacher/tutor/peer.