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Math Anxiety: How to overcome it

One of the colleges I taught (Math) at required all students to write a short essay in APA format. Since Math usually doesn't include writing skills, I chose the topic of Math Anxiety for the students to write about.

The criterion the students needed to address on this essay included: 1) What is Math Anxiety?
2) What can you do to improve your study habits? And,
3) Tell me what you are doing now to improve learning, retention and interest.

To improve your study habits, one should find a quiet location -- your bedroom, the library, ... You should not limit the length of time you study, uninterrupted. If you have a table and a straight back chair, that will help. Look up on the Internet; find what you can do to help yourself.

Practice.

Math. For Math, one should never memorize how to do problems. Any change in the numbers will throw you off. And, you should never substitute numbers in for other numbers. There are too many possibilities and you will be exasperated before you find an answer.

Each step in solving a math problem has a purpose. If you remember what your goal is (e.g. to find "x"), you use the mathematical rules to put "x" on one side of the equation and all of your numbers on the other side. Then, simplify. (This is Algebra).

Note: the difference between Algebra and Arithmetic is that Algebra uses letters (called variables) to represent a set of numbers that fulfill the equation.

I hope you can see how this can help.
__evelyn