Curbing the math phobia: 6 tips for students

Curbing the math phobia: 6 tips for students

Mathematics is considered one of the primary subjects of the school curriculum. However this subject has the full potential to bring with it a range of anxiety and phobia issues for a broad number of reasons.

Okay, now most consider this a problem. Yes, it is a definite and common problem in schools and colleges but is there a solution? Course there is. You, yourself can bring the solution if you have a bit of determination and practice coping with the math fear in the right way.

Here are a few definite ways through which you might be able to cope up with this issue and make this problem into a part of the solution.

1. Recognize your math phobia symptoms

The first step to coping up is to understand your problem in thorough details. So how can you recognize your symptoms? Ask yourself these questions first.

  • Panic: Do you get the feeling of helplessness whenever you are compelled to face math problems either in class, homework or in tuitions?

  • Paranoid: Do you feel that you are the only one the world who have comprehensibility problems especially when math is concerned?

  • Passive mentality: Is there always a no-no involved from your ends when mathematics is concerned?

  • Zero confidence: Do you always rely on others to help you out whenever you are assigned to do something that’s related specifically to mathematics?

Get these answers first. If you have a “yes” to all the questions highlighted above, you have to accept the fact that you have a math phobia (which IS curable indeed).

2. Face your fear

The natural instinct of our body when it experiences fear is to shy away from fear. You have to shy away from this natural instinct itself. Unless you face your fears, you will not be able to get over them.

So get yourself involved in mathematics at least once a day. Even half a hour can work wonders but do it religiously. The feeling will be unpleasant at the start but it’s bound to improve over time.

3. DO NOT be afraid to ask questions

Most students nurse this belief that if they ask curriculum-based questions to their teachers as a result of any doubt or for any other reason whatsoever during the time of their lessons, they would be laughed at as a result of their incompetence. Don’t nurse this belief. That is not incompetence in any way.

Always clear your doubts on the very spot itself be it the class or tuition. Things like that can go a long way indeed.

4. Your first priority should always go to the easiest sums of the lot

I am not talking mainly from the examination point of view. Read your question paper thoroughly at the start and then point out the sums that are the easiest ones of the lot.

Go for them without further ado. Solve them methodically and systematically on your answer sheet one after the other. Small things like that can definitely boost your confidence to the level of maximum. Soon afterwards, you will gain the courage to face those tougher ones with full gusto.

5. Practice from the start

Don’t leave everything for the days before the exam. Start from the very start. Cramming a bunch of facts and formulae on the day before the exam is going to be as hectic as you can imagine. It’s going to pile up on your misery. Your anxiety’s going to increase.

Hence, it’s advisable to start early because:

  • Long term practice will help you in exam time management.

  • Long term practice can also aid you a lot to focus specially on those concepts that are pretty hard to master.

  • Long term practice can alleviate your exam stress and pressure.

6. DO NOT just read math

Skimming through the math textbook to fasten the process up as a part of your math revision tactic is going to do you more harm than good to be honest. Mathematics isn’t a subject that should just be read. It’s one that needs to be practiced on a piece of paper.

Take it slow and steady. Practice sums religiously and you’ll definitely cope up with your math phobia in no time.


So that’s it then. Just follow the tips mentioned above and you’ll definitely cope up with your math fear in no time. Good luck!

Sudipto Das

Sudipto writes technical and educational content periodically for and backs it up with extensive research and relevant examples. He's an avid reader and a tech enthusiast at the same time with a little bit of “Arsenal Football Club” thrown in as well. He's got a B.Tech in Electronics and Instrumentation.
Follow him on twitter @SudiptoDas1993

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