Math Gene is a Myth, Break it Down


30 December 2020

Reading Time: 4 minutes


Are you afraid of math too?

The math gene is a strong, misguided belief among parents that math is in reality an inbuilt ability or gene that children are born with, which explains why some children are good at the subject and some cannot seem to grasp it at all. This belief is not true.

‘I am not a math person.’
‘I was never good at algebra, so he isn’t either.’
‘I was never a good math student, so my kids won’t be good at it either.’

These are some phrases you’ve come across or said yourself at some point in your life.

Every child can solve simple math problems; it’s just like any other subject-it takes practice to master math.

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Math Gene is a Myth, Break it Down


Facts why a kid should not be scared of maths 

Kid is fear of math

  • Math is an important life skill that your child needs, to survive in the world and perform complex calculations such as calculating the percentage of household expenses and plan budgets.

  • The primary reason behind some children being better at the subject than their peers is their internal beliefs in their mathematical abilities. 

  • The Blackboard learning system your child is exposed to every day makes it hard for them to nurture and become more confident in the subject, even if they genuinely enjoy it.

  • The way math is taught to your child in school emphasizes a one-question, one-answer policy that forces your child to mug up the answers to perform better in exams. 

  • Cuemath understands the importance of mathematics and understanding the logic behind the way a math problem is solved, by understanding the ‘Why’ behind the ‘What’ of math problems. 

  • We help your child find their answers, breaking away from the stereotype that a math problem can have a single solution to it, by helping them find innovative solutions to math problems that would otherwise have no more than one solution for them.

  • Studies have shown that the ‘math gene’ in reality is not a trait that gets passed on through generations. 

  • A Norwegian study examined the existence of the math gene by asking 70 fifth-graders to complete nine different math problems. 

  • Each of the simple math problems required the use of different mathematical concepts and the application of mathematical thinking.

  • Had the ‘math gene’ existed, individual children would have been equally correct (or equally incorrect) on all nine tasks. 

  • The research showed that children performed better in the concepts they learned in school compared to the others. 

  • No one appeared to be ‘naturally good’ or ‘naturally bad’ at solving simple math problems.

  • Math is a skill that children practice and get better at; no child is born with a ‘math gene’ that makes them better at math compared to their peers.

Reasons why early math learning is important for your child’s overall development

Predictor for later success in life:

adult who is successful learning math in the young age

Your child’s math skills can help put your child on the path to success as they grow older. In a 2007 study covering 35,000 pre-schoolers in the US, Canada, and England, researchers used three key predictors to assess later success: attention skills, school-entry academic, and social skills. They found that math at an early age came out as the strongest predictor to measure the child’s success later in life.

Creates better communicators, writers, and better readers:

Creates better communicators, writers, and better readers if you learn math

It’s surprising to know that early math learning not only helps your child develop self-confidence and the basic foundation required to succeed in math but also helps in their development of literacy. When your child is able to think mathematically and apply concepts it not only deepens their mathematical understanding but also develops their linguistic abilities.

Prepares them for a future that is built on math:

Adult being successful after he ahs the knowledge of math

The world is rapidly progressing towards an Artificial intelligence (AI) – driven world and in order to succeed in a world where a higher percentage of jobs will need critical thinking and analytical skills, it’s essential for your child to have a strong math foundation from an early age on. We at Cuemath work hard to ensure your child gets an overall math development to succeed in school and beyond.


This blog mainly focuses on how students fear of math and this blog talks about how the student should overcome the fear by knowing the facts mentioned above.

5 tips to overcome the fear of math.

  • Try explaining with practical examples

  • Practice repeatedly

  • Slow down

  • Be patience 

  • Play math games

About Cuemath

Cuemath, a student-friendly mathematics platform, conducts regular Online Live Classes for academics and skill-development and their Mental Math App, on both iOS and Android, is a one-stop solution for kids to develop multiple skills. Understand the Cuemath Fee Structure and sign up for a free trial.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why students are afraid of mathematics?

Studies at the Mangels Lab of Cognitive Neuroscience of Memory and Attention at Baruch College at the City University of New York found that when math is taught in a stressful and high-pressure atmosphere where students do not feel successful, this can lead to significant math anxiety which inhibits math performance.

What is the fear of maths called?

Well, in simple terms phobia means “fear”. One of those is Math Phobia, which is a fear of Mathematics. It may be defined as a feeling of anxiety that stops one from efficiently tackling mathematical problems. Many people think of math as an extremely tough subject that they cannot master.

Do we need math in life?

Math is incredibly important in our lives and, without realizing it, we use mathematical concepts, as well as the skills we learn from doing math problems, every day. The laws of mathematics govern everything around us, and without a good understanding of them, one can encounter significant problems in life.

External references 

To know more please click on the links below:

How to overcome a fear of maths

Math phobia: Causes and remedies

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