Anxiety from school work has become a rising issue among students. An NPR poll found that almost 40 percent of parents say their high-schooler is experiencing a lot of stress from school. It states that in most cases, that stress is from academics, not social issues or bullying. Homework was a leading cause of stress, with 24% of parents saying it’s an issue.
However, this isn’t just something that parents recognize about their children, but students also notice this anxiety. A survey by the American Psychological Association found that nearly half of all teens, 45%, said they were stressed by school pressures.
Being in a classroom environment doesn’t always come easy to students. Math, in particular, has quite a reputation. Math can appear overwhelming to students with its long equations and specific rules to achieve that perfect answer. Needless to say, many suffer from math anxiety. A study from the Fordham Institute found that 34% of high school-aged students reported Math as their least favorite subject.
Yet, with the right tools in hand, we’re confident that any student can conquer their math anxiety and learn to enjoy the subject. Check out our tips below.
Attend class and take notes
As a student, it’s crucial to be present and listen to the lesson. If you find yourself struggling in math class, make an extra effort to pay attention and take detailed notes. Try sitting away from friends and only keeping that class’s materials on you to eliminate any other distractions. If a certain subject makes you feel anxious, it’s easy to let your mind wander as a way not to confront it. However, this will only further your math anxiety as you won’t be engaged and absorb what is being taught.
If you aren’t organized, chaos is bound to happen mentally and physically. Sort through your math materials and create a system that works for you. Separating notes and worksheets by lessons will help you go back and reflect on them when preparing for a big math exam. Seeing the different styles of math problems and their solutions will eliminate confusion.
You’ll also want to ensure you have all the necessary materials for success! This includes the proper calculators, graphing materials, and paper. Being organized and prepared will help ease anxiety and make you feel more grounded.
If you battle math anxiety, it most likely stems from a lack of confidence in the material. The trick to combating this is repetition! Repeating the same problem several times will make the information stay in your brain and help you fully comprehend the solving process.
Once you have a problem solved correctly, write it out two more times and solve it repeatedly back to back without looking at the previous solution. While this may seem tedious, really focus on the steps you take to get to the answer. The next time you are prompted with a similar equation, you will focus on the strategy to achieve the result versus feeling overwhelmed by the new numbers in front of you.
Once you feel more confident in the lesson, do additional worksheets that pose similar but new math equations. Taking just an extra thirty minutes to solve more problems will help you feel more confident in your math ability.
Math anxiety is especially strong in the run up to a bigexam. Do a trial run on your own to get all your nerves out and see where you still need to study! You can find online tests to help you prepare. Be sure to treat this practice test like the real deal. Sit down at a desk or table with only the materials that would be allowed for the test. Have no additional distractions and complete the test in one sitting. Once you are complete, check the answers and see how you did.
Taking a practice test is multi-beneficial as it helps address the test anxiety itself and gives you extra time to solve more problems and get that repetition in.