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7 Steps To Remove Fear Of Maths

Last updated on: June 08, 2023 12:04 IST
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Begin by tackling small and manageable math problems.
Gradually increase the difficulty level as you build confidence and familiarity, suggests Aashish Sood.

IMAGE: Kindly note the image has been posted only for representational purposes. Photograph: Kind courtesy RDNE Stock project/

Mathematics is often perceived as a difficult subject as it requires logical reasoning and problem-solving skills. Math anxiety is a common phenomenon among students.

Some people may lack confidence in their problem-solving abilities, because they believe they are not naturally inclined towards mathematics.

Dealing with numbers, symbols, and complex equations may feel overwhelming and even induce a fear response in certain people.

If you are appearing for competitive examinations like the Indian Institute of Technology-Joint Entrance Examination or the Common Admission Test, where performance in mathematical questions influence your overall score, these seven tips will help you:

1. Identify the Source of Fear

Your fear could be due to past negative experiences, a lack of confidence, or due to difficulty in grasping concepts.

Identifying the source of your fear will help you address it more effectively. While dwelling on the past is an easy task to do, no growth can come out of it.

Use the source of fear as an area of caution -- something to be keenly avoided -- something to look out for; so it doesn't come in the way of your preparation.

2. Start with Small Steps

In the initial enthusiasm to reach our goals faster, we often take on too much tasks than we can accomplish.

We get overwhelmed and then we give up.

Instead, begin by tackling small and manageable math problems. Gradually increase the difficulty level as you build confidence and familiarity.

Review basic arithmetic, fractions, decimals, and percentages before you work on difficult and more complex concepts.

A strong foundation will boost your confidence when tackling more advanced topics.

3. Seek Support

Don't hesitate to seek help and support from teachers, tutors, or peers who can provide explanations, clarify doubts, and even offer timely guidance.

Collaborating with others who are knowledgeable in math can boost your understanding and confidence.

Don't just google a solution. You will need someone to listen to your approach and work with you to understand why a particular approach does or doesn't work.

4. Practice Regularly

What most people fail to understand is that everything requires consistent effort.

It doesn't matter if you scored 100% in Class 10 or Class 12.

Solving problems regularly improves your skills and reinforces your learning.

Start with simple exercises and solve them regularly to improve your performance, timing and accuracy while you gradually progress to more challenging ones.

Consistency helps build familiarity and confidence in math. Unless you maintain a regular schedule, things aren't going to look in your favour.

5. Use Multiple Learning Resources

Find resources that present math in a way that resonates with your learning style.

Experiment with various approaches until you find what works best for you.

In this post-Covid period, study material and resources are available in abundance.

There are multiple YouTube channels offering practice papers of differing difficulty levels. You can choose from a plethora of apps and social media available on your phone to access the right teaching channel for you.

The only real constraint is the willingness to utilise the resources and get the best out of them.

6. Embrace Mistakes and Celebrate Progress

Making mistakes is a natural part of the learning process. Instead of being discouraged by errors, view them as opportunities to learn and grow.

Celebrate your progress, no matter how small.

Recognise the effort you put into understanding and improving your math skills.

While you learn from your mistakes, remember to avoid repeating them.

As they say, if you want things to change, you have to change them yourself.

7. Stay Positive and be Patient

I know that you started your preparation on a real high note. But soon reality sets in and you may begin to realise that you may not be the maverick that you thought you were.

It happens to everyone.

During such times, you need to remember that changing your mindset takes time and patience. Believe in your ability to learn and improve.

Maintain a positive attitude and don't get discouraged by setbacks.

Treat the setbacks as a part of the learning process and anticipate them.

Most importantly, be kind to yourself, give yourself time, don't be hasty and focus on your personal growth and progress.

Remember, everyone learns at their own pace. With time, dedication, and the right strategies, you can remove the fear of math and develop a positive relationship with the subject.

Perseverance and a positive mindset can act as a cherry on the cake and help speed up your learning curve.

Aashish Sood is an IIM-Lucknow alumnus who has been teaching Maths and Quantitative aptitude to MBA aspirants for over a decade.
He also mentors management student hopefuls for the group discussion and personal interview rounds that follow competitive examinations.
He has appeared for CAT seven times since 2016 and scored in the 99.9X percentile.

Feature Presentation: Ashish Narsale/

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