## How to Become a Math Guru – Overcoming the Fear of Mathematics

Are you afraid of Math? Are your grades in Math suffering? Do you think that you are not cut out for Math and there is nothing you or anyone can do about it? You are not alone. Most students consider mathematics as one of the hardest, most complicated and boring subjects. Well, the truth is Mathematics is not a set of confusing characters designed by some evil conspiracy to torture school children and university students. In this post, we’ll show you how to become a math guru as well as what to do to overcome the fear of mathematics.

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**What is Math Anxiety, Fear of Mathematics?**

Sadly enough, many learners develop the fear of mathematics at one point of their academic pursuit or another. **Math anxiety**, according to Mark H. Ashcraft, is defined as “a feeling of tension, apprehension, or fear that interferes with math performance” (2002, p. 1). This is referred to as * mathemaphobia – the fear of maths *or

*th*

**arithmophobia**–*e*fear of Specific Numbers.

**How to Become a Math Guru – Overcoming Mathemaphobia**

Mathematics is one of the subjects that each student has to study at one level of their school life and it becomes applicable in our daily lives in one way or the other.

Well I can tell you that Mathematics can be one of the easiest and the most interesting subjects, if learnt and practiced the right way.

Here I have enlisted some expert tips that have helped millions of young people around the world to become Math gurus.

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**Have the Right Mentality**

One of the first things anyone trying to be a mathematics guru needs to do is to develop the right mind set. Many who try practice mathematics for the first time or a couple of times and have come out poorly give up feeling that they are not cut out for maths. They resort to the claim that mathematics is not for them.

One of the major hindrances in understanding mathematics is having a negative attitude towards the subject. To become successful in becoming a mathematics guru then putting away your negative attitude is surely the first things to overcome.

*Most students dislike Math for two major reasons:*

- The belief that Math is hard.
- Thinking that Math is irrelevant in their lives. Why should we study it anyway?

Truthfully not everyone would have the same flair for maths and so learning mathematics for the first time could come easily for some but won’t for others. However, you need to treat learning mathematics as you would treat any other thing like a language, an instrument or a skill.

Like anything that involves first time learning you need to take your time to perfect it. That will involve a lot of practice and patience to learn.

Take your time to learn each step at a time, from the basics until you get to the top. Now, making out such time and effort will surely be worth the time.

In the real world, most problems are solved using mathematical concepts, therefore Math is important for everyone regardless of your specialization.

So get that fear that says, “You’re not a mathematics person”, off your mind and take that journey through the road that leads to all of opportunities.

**Understand the Basics**

Like any other language or skill mathematics is built on rules. In the same way we learn any language, we must learn the alphabet and the rules used if we are to have any success in expressing our ideas or understanding others using the language of mathematics.

Mathematics tools include formulas, equations, principles, properties and method. When you take your time to learn and master the basics, moving on to complex concepts will be easier since they are based on such simple basics.

Sometimes you might need to memorize some formulas, but the most important thing is that you ensure that you understand each concept and the logic behind it, so that you can easily tell where and how to apply them. Be keen to note different symbols and notations used.

For instance, in interval notation, which is simply a representation of a set of real numbers, a simple notation can make a very big difference. If you were to represent the real numbers between -1 and 3 it can be inclusive of the two intervals or one of the intervals or exclusive of both. You may use different notations or methods to represent this. Essentially, the difference is in the notation.

**Practice Tirelessly**

Math is not a reading, or a subject you learn by listening or cramming.

For you to be successful in becoming a math expert then you need to take out time and solve a lot of questions.That is practice, practice and practice. As you do, learn how to tackle a single problem in different ways.

Always ensure that you complete your homework on your own and use your free time to do extra questions.

If you are finding difficulty with any problem humbly consult any other student or expert who can help you. That way you are on your way to become a math guru.

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**Consult Widely**

At this point we want to stress the importance of consulting others when studying mathematics.

You cannot do well in mathematics by yourself. You can find a study partner or a study group so that you can get help when you are stuck.

Ask your peers who are good at it to assist you, or even request your teacher or after-school tutor for extra assistance.

**Participate In Your Own Learning**

Do not sit back in class and only listen to the teacher and other students. Be an active learner; asking for clarifications and answering questions when you can. Participate in class discussions and find the time to teach others if you have grasped the concept. This way, you will gain confidence and find it fun and interesting to learn the stereotyped subject.

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**Conclusion**

So if you take your fears away, develop a positive attitude with patience and practice you will come off better as a math guru one day. Like every skill you must continually hone your skills time and again. That way you won’t lose your touch with Mathematics and you will be confident of your math skills.

## Dr. Godwin Pius

Dr. Godwin Pius Ekpo is an academia, edtech advocate and e-learning software provider. Discovering better ways of improving teaching and learning through the right application of innovative technologies is his passion. A proud and confident teacher; a Certified Microsoft Innovative Educator and Trainer!