Is math anxiety real? And if so, what can one do about it? I often hear from student's parents and even students themselves that they have math anxiety.
As far as it being real, yes I do believe it to be a reality for many people. What I recommend is simulating the test taking experience. What I mean by this is create a sample test covering topics from each section of the chapter being covered then sit down and take the test just like you will in your class. You will be at home and will likely be more relaxed so the level of anxiety will be less. Furthermore, after checking the answers to your practice test, you will realize that you made a number of mistakes and even that there were some concepts you didn't understand. Great! This is a good discovery because now you know what to work on to better prepare yourself. Sometimes math anxiety is an underlying feeling that you are in for a real struggle on the test because you don't know the material but are hoping that somehow either the test will be easy or you will somehow manage. There is no better palliation for math anxiety than preparation. The better prepared the less anxious. Now, it may never go away completely, but this is a start. The next step would be to approach your test a little differently. I recommend when you get the test do the problems you know first(not necessarily in the order given on the test). This does three important things: It allows you to settle in to the test taking zone, builds your confidence and momentum, and triggers your memory on how to solve the other problems as well. Good luck on your test!
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