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Simple Ways to Combat Math Anxiety before Exam

Math Anxiety

As soon as it’s test time and that “Math exam” hits your desk, you totally panic and forget everything that you studied so hard (although, you already know the answers).

So what went wrong???

Everywhere, so many students walk into Math class every day and start to feel the physical manifestation of anxiety.

To understand the reason behind this, we need to know what is Math Anxiety in the first place…

Math anxiety is an intense emotional feeling of nervousness  and panic about your inability to understand and handle math.


“A recent study by Stanford university’s medical school has confirmed this, that when fear enters our brain, our ability to process numbers, virtually shuts down”.

Math seems to be one of those things that generate strong emotions among people. As we know, there are 2 kinds of groups:

  • One who loves math
  • Likewise, another group who hates math

I believe that hate towards math is the feeling of helplessness or even traumatic experiences  in front of the class or during the test.

Students may experience math anxiety because they have never experienced success in their mathematics classes. This can be due to poor instruction. If the teacher does not teach well, the average student will most likely not do well in his class.

In this article,  you’re going to learn how to conquer that fear towards math and may be changing the perspective towards it.

5 Helpful Tips that you can put to use Immediately: 

1. Positive Self-talk and Attitude:

Remember that it’s only a test if you don’t clear, the world is not going to come to an end  because of it. In order for you to effectively overcome panic attacks on test day, the first thing you can do is to relax your mind and body.

Math Anxiety

If you keep them blocked up with fear your brain won’t be able to function properly  and it won’t release the information stored there, no matter how hard you studied the math test

You should convince yourself that It’s just math- it does not define who you are, thousands have mastered this before you, they were no more gifted or talented than you and you can do it too.

2. Take it easy and don’t be so critical on yourself:

Math Anxiety

Don’t get me wrong because we are supposed to be our biggest critic, but at the same time, we must also remember to be our biggest supporter. If you don’t believe in yourself then no one will. It all starts inside with you first.

3. Talk to your Instructors:

Speak to your instructors, let them know about your concerns, they may know of additional techniques for helping overcome the anxiety.

Math Anxiety

By letting the instructor know about your worries they will likely make extra efforts to check in with you and make sure you understand the material. They may also provide additional material to help you get through the work.   

4. Luck favors the well prepared:

Make a study plan, start studying days before the exam.  PRACTICE It is a common term but it is one that’s still very true today especially when it comes to math.The more you practice it  the better of you will be.

The only thing you should be doing the day or night before is reviewing your formulas. Don’t cram the night before as it can lead to disastrous result.

5. The exam day:

Get enough sleep a day before, eat well before the test. when you enter the test immediately write down all the formulas you need somewhere on the test. Skim the test and do the problems that seem easy for you FIRST. This will build your confidence too. 

6. Find extra ways:

Try to identify your learning style as it helps a lot in improving your ways to learn and to study. there are a number of tests available out there to reach out for learning style. Here at Vnaya we focus  on this approach, we match the learning style of the child with the teaching style of the tutor, so that the child can get a maximum of help.

To Identify your learning style you can simply click here. Bonus: this Assesment test is totally free

I hope these easy tips will help you overcome your fear over math!! 




About Scarlett

Bachelor in Mathematics, MSc in physics from the university of Calgary, Canada. Scarlett has been teaching mathematics to high school students from last 5 years.