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Overcoming Math Test Anxiety

By Kathleen Cantor, 17 Nov 2021

Have you ever been in a situation wherein you felt nervous when your Math teacher asked you a question? Have you ever had a crisis when your teacher told you to answer a math problem on the whiteboard? Or been depressed answering Math problems? If you experience some of these things, you are not alone, for students share the same troubles as yours.

Some people feel anxious whenever they are on the verge of attending Math class. Mathematics is the subject that students fear all over the globe. This kind of nervousness is what we call Math Anxiety. This phenomenon is more than feeling nervous about doing Mathematics.

What is Math Anxiety?

Mathematical Anxiety is also known as the Math Phobia: when people fear doing Mathematics. It is an adverse reaction to Mathematics that could last for a long time. That said, we can overcome it.

Symptoms of Math Anxiety

  1. Physiological Effects

Researchers say that having Math Anxiety can result in unusual behavior. Examples of which are nervousness, palpitation of the heart, upset stomach, headache.

  1. Feeling of Frustration

Some students are excellent in Math. But, some students hate the idea of Math. This subject makes them crazy. Persons who hate Math have a strong tendency to dislike this subject for a long time.

  1. Negative Self-Talk

You'll notice that students out there are trying to avoid going to Math class. They are scared of Math and thus avoid it at all costs, and talk negatively when they are forced to even try. 

  1. Fear of being wrong

There are instances that students experience receiving laughs from their classmates upon answering. This situation might stay into the student's mind as days go by. And it will trigger them not to answer Math anymore, for they might think that their peers will laugh at them again.

  1. Teacher Influence

There are ways teachers can influence or trigger more Math anxiety in a child. Like parents, if you don't value how you interact with your child, they will not follow you.

Teachers play a vital role in the child's learning and development. That's why it is necessary to reinforce a good attitude towards the topic.

5 Tips to Overcome Math

1. Practice Math every day

Working on this subject for a couple of minutes could reduce Math Test Anxiety. Engaging yourself in this course could improve your Math vocabulary. Focusing and disciplining yourself into this will indeed be a big help. Schedule study time at least twice or thrice a week to have consistency in your plan. It will help you overcome your fear.

2. Attend Class

Various students skip Math classes to avoid fear—but continuing this scheme won't be a big help. That’s why you must stand against your Anxiety. Face Math class as always. Listen to what your teachers say. Jot down some necessary notes.

3. Replace Negative Self-Talk with Positive Self-Talk

Having a negative attitude towards something could hinder studying. Teachers must be sensitive about what words come out of their mouths. That's why it is a must to maintain positive affirmation at all times.

Try to develop a positive mindset such as, "I Love Math" or rather "I will succeed in this subject." Cut out the negative thinking, feelings, and vibes.

Students must be mindful enough to look for various resources to help survive a Math class. Read, analyze, and reflect on everything. You could search the net for various Mathematical topics.

4. Replace Negative Self-Talk with Positive Self-Talk

Have a background check of what particular Math lessons you find scary. Be aware of what things you know and don't know. 

Practice answering Math problems. Continue to look for possible textbooks that will be a big help. 


Mathematics is a necessary skill that people must learn as wewe use it in our daily lives. It is a must to understand this subject for it could help in the future. Some students experience feeling anxious and depressed when it comes to Math. We call this phenomenon "Math Anxiety," which, if not overcome, lasts for a long time. Math anxiety affects learning, development, and performance. It hinders the passion of the child to learn Math. That's why there were several tips mentioned above to help alleviate this phobia.

Frequently Asked Questions

How to spot if a child has math anxiety?

  1. The first thing to address this issue is to feel what it is to have math anxiety. Try to work on with your child while doing math activities they experience?
  • Anxious
  • Frustration
  • Fear of answering Math
  1. Second, if they came home with poor results on Math subject. There is something wrong with the child's learning, but don’t be too harsh. 
  2. Researchers say that students out there get anxious hearing the idea of more answers to a problem. Indeed it will drive them crazy if they do not understand. 

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