Math is a subject that is needed more than one may think. However, when the subject of mathematics is brought up it induces anxiety. It brings about more anxiety than any other subject does. Math anxiety is a common form of anxiety that is experienced by most students. According to an article in Encyclopedia Encarta, anxiety is defined as " emotional state in which people feel uneasy, apprehensive, or fearful." Several different things can bring on anxiety. Such as fear, one's feeling of not being able to accomplish a particular task, or by instructors who show insensitivity to students, either because of age and/or sex, and because the student lacks self-confidence. Throughout this paper I will discuss and try to explain why students suffer from such an anxiety that is brought on by fear of the subject, insensitivity and lack of self-confidence. I will also discuss some ways in which one can overcome math anxiety.
The word "fear" in relation to math has many different connotations. Often when a student realizes they need to take a math course, whether its basic math or calculus, most students begin to assume they can't do it. Fear is also brought on by embarrassment. "One thing that may contribute to a student's passivity is the fear of making mistakes in mathematics." Tobias. Overcoming Math anxiety. (52). Embarrassment can be induced when a student is asked to go to the chalkboard and solve a problem they do not understand. Some teachers influence this sort of fear by rewarding accuracy and treating errors as an occasion for shame. The student starts to feel inferior to the teacher or even fellow classmates. For most students the mathematical language becomes ambiguous because of their fear. "But fearing math makes us wary of activities that may involves ratios,