Table of Content
|2.||How to Overcome Math Phobia?|
|3.||A Note to Parents|
|4.||Pause to take a break|
Maths board examinations are around the corner and I understand that you might be nervous about it. While it is natural to feel anxious about how maths exam may affect your overall performance, you must remember that you have worked hard throughout the year and are capable of acing these exams!
As you sit for your first maths board examination, we bring to you ‘Math Fit’ a handbook to help you and your parents understand the math-associated stressors along with some practical tips to cope with these stressors to better manage your maths exam preparation. This handbook also includes tips to approach maths paper in easy ways and offers relaxation techniques that can help you improve your mental well-being during the exam season. Do share these tips with your friends who could benefit from it.
Most importantly, believe in yourself and your abilities. Don't let fear or self-doubt hold you back from achieving your goals. You are unique and capable of greatness!
Wishing you all the best for your examinations!
Manan Khurma; ... in service of the students!
How to Overcome Math Phobia?
What is Math Phobia?
“How do I deal with maths exam-related stress?”, “What if I do badly in maths exam?”, “How will my parents react if my maths results are not good?” and “Does my fear of maths impact my overall performance?” - These are some of the most common questions that students have in their minds while appearing for the maths examination. This feeling of tension or apprehension is known as Math Phobia. Owing to this impending fear, many of them give up the idea of really understanding maths and the logic behind it.
Common signs of Math Phobia
- Lack of motivation to study and understand mathematical problems
- Improper study schedule
- Lack of self-belief and negative self-talk approaching math problems
- Procrastinating maths problems and homework
- Relying more on cramming solutions rather than learning concepts
- Difficulty in remembering mathematical concepts
Factors that contribute to Math Phobia
Mathematics is tough - Many children find maths difficult to understand and start fearing maths. This leads to developing a reluctance towards studying the subject, eventually resulting in Math Phobia
Poor maths foundation - Feeling lost or depressed while solving mathematical problems and lack of accuracy often leads to demotivation and Math Phobia. Students can master maths with practice and not by being demotivated
Abstract ways of teaching maths - Poor teaching methods are the primary reason why many students fail to understand the fundamentals of mathematics. This lack of fundamentals during the formative years is a key factor leading to Math Phobia.
Tips to Overcome Math Phobia
- The first and very important tip to overcome Math Phobia is to acknowledge the fear of maths. As human beings, all of us have different capabilities, while some are inherently good at solving mathematical problems, others may require more time to process them. Restricting yourself from solving complex maths problems or shying away from clarifying your doubts will only make maths learning more difficult for you. Challenge your fear with conviction and the mindset to learn maths to overcome Math Phobia.
- Practice is the only mantra to achieve success in mathematics. Follow LPAR - Learning, Practice, Assessment and Revision. Solve enough previous year’s question papers to become familiar with the exam pattern, and avoid any surprises - especially for topics like trigonometry, geometry, calculus, statistics & probability. Additionally, you can create a formula sheet for a quick glance and a revision plan to keep you on track.
- Hours are spent mugging up concepts and formulas right before the exam. This is not only confusing but can result in forgetting the response while attempting the examination. Try to avoid rote memorization - instead dedicate time to understanding concepts and practice enough questions. Always try to focus on the ‘why’ behind the concepts and confidently apply the same to solve questions - during practice and the actual examination.
- The aim is to attempt the maximum number of questions correctly in three hours. Students who time themselves during preparation, usually perform better on the examination day. Therefore, preparation with an exam mindset helps improve efficiency and manage time to navigate between tough and easier sections.
How to approach the maths paper
- Analyze the question paper and prioritize them based on your familiarity. Attempt the ones that you are most comfortable with first and keep the toughest questions for last. This way you will efficiently manage your time during the exam and will have ample time to re-check your answers.
- Draw a rough diagram for questions related to geometry and construction, label all the parts and write the measurements on it according to the given question. By doing so, you will remember the exact concepts you can use to solve those questions and will be able to visually understand them.
- A smart way to remember the key trigonometric values: sine, cosine and tangent of standard angles (0, 30, 45, 60 and 90) is by creating a table and writing them on the side of your answer sheet. This will help you avoid forgetting these key concepts and you can cut the amount of time spent in remembering them.
- Avoid excessive overwriting or cutting as it discourages the evaluator from reading through your answer sheet, and they may even deduct your marks based on the poor presentation. Make sure that everything you are writing and explaining is readable and understandable for the evaluator.
A Note to Parents:
“My biggest personal achievement has been to guide parents to help their children fall in love with maths.” Manan Khurma
Parental support during maths exams can play an important role in their child’s preparation routine. Parents can do this easily by following these simple strategies:
"I was not good at maths" and "I never scored well in maths exams," Don’t inadvertently pass your own maths anxiety to children with such remarks.
As parents, you must encourage your child to embrace and learn from their errors and allow them to explain their thinking while solving problems (even when answers are incorrect).
Penalizing for poor grades is a big NO! It can have a significant impact on their mindset and make them different.
Remember, your words of positivity and motivation are critical for your child’s success
Pause to take a break
Remember what Aamir Khan said in 3 Idiots - “All is well”
Things to do a day before the exam
- Avoid all-nighters and hit the bed on time - get at least 8 hours of sleep!
- Trust yourself, keep calm and believe that you can do well
- Relax - Meditate, spend time with your family, indulge in hobbies, and other activities to rejuvenate
- Attempt a mock test and try to complete it in 2.5 hrs instead of 3hrs
On The Day of the Exam
- Revise key concepts: avoid last-minute cramming
- Visualize yourself in a positive exam scenario
*Remember to reach the examination centre well on time with a positive mindset to make the most of the 3 hours! Carry your pencil box and water bottle along with your admit card!
Post-exam stress is real and you may feel nervous. Fretting about what you have missed or could have written differently will only add to your stress and can affect your concentration for the remaining exams. After the examination, relax before you resume preparation for the next subject.
About Manan Khurma, Founder, Cuemath
Manan Khurma has been a Mathematics educator since his college days. He started his career in 2007 as the founder of Locus Education where he worked on creating maths learning programs and trained over ten thousand students preparing for the IIT-JEE entrance exam. This experience made him realize that the combination of learning maths through rote culture and the lack of a strong foundation from a young age led most students to fear maths. Manan wanted to find a way to help children overcome this fear and learn maths as a life skill and not just another academic subject. This was also the genesis of Cuemath – an engaging platform that not only helps children master the subject, but also fall in love with it. Founded in 2013, Cuemath is steadily challenging the conventional way students have been taught maths and is also inculcating a strong base of maths foundational skills in children.
With Cuemath, Manan envisions to nurture #1bnmathminds who will go on to become the invincible problem solvers of tomorrow. He believes that changing the world needs inventive geniuses who will someday find solutions to the major problems faced by the modern world. This is why it is important to build a strong maths foundation in our children and help them visualize maths. His passion for mathematics reflects in his everyday life, where he chooses to spend time on building maths content and programs apart from regular training.
Follow Manan on LinkedIn, Twitter, Youtube
Founded in 2013, Cuemath is an after-school online Maths program for KG to 12th-grade students. They tap into every child’s natural maths power, amplifying achievement and skyrocketing their confidence. Cuemath is backed by Lightrock, Alpha Wave Incubation, Sequoia Capital India, CapitalG (formerly Google Capital), and Manta Ray and is present in over 80+ countries. They are certified by Grant Thornton and the curriculum is also STEM and Google for Education-accredited. Their teaching methodology has a unique approach that combines 1:1 group instruction with engaging puzzles, interactive visuals to teach maths as intuitive logic and has a self-paced curriculum keeping the learning pace of students in mind. Visit the Cuemath page to know more.