A Learning Skills Foundation Sister Organisation

 

The Maths Anxiety Trust aims to eliminate anxiety about Maths

Students interviewed by Maths Anxiety Trust
What is MATHS ANXIETY?

 

Maths Anxiety affects males and females of all ages and backgrounds without discrimination.

Maths anxiety is defined by Tobias and Weissbrod (1980) as “the panic, helplessness, paralysis, and mental disorganisation which arises among some people when they are required to solve a mathematical problem” and it is thought to affect a large proportion of the population.

 

Although it has been recognised in higher academic circles for over half a century and although it affects a significant proportion of the population, it is little known either by the wider general public or the teaching profession.

 

An Ipsos MORI poll, commissioned by the Maths Anxiety Trust in the Spring of 2018 found that:

 

  • 36% of younger (15-24 year-olds) people feel anxious about maths, compared to 10% of older (65+)

 

  • 20% of adults in Great Britain have felt anxious when confronted with a mathematical problem

 

  • 23% of parents of children aged 5-15 report that their eldest child often feels anxious when attempting to solve a maths problem

 

  • 80% of adults have never heard of the term Maths Anxiety
MATHS ANXIETY QUIZ by Dr Steve Chinn

 

The twenty items below are about maths and your feelings when you have to do each one of these things.

 

I would like you to consider to each item and then decide how anxious that situation makes you feel.

 

1 = never anxious

2 = sometimes anxious

3 = often anxious

4 = always anxious

Score each item from 1-4

 

Working out the tip for the waiter in a restaurant

Working out the prices of things when you are abroad

Checking the cost of your shopping

Working out 20% off in a sale

Checking your change when shopping

Working out the cost of a holiday

Adding the four prices..£5.99 + £10.99 + £19.99 + £3.95 on a mail order form

Reading a train timetable

Working out your weekly budget

Checking which mobile phone deal is the best value

Converting your weight in stones to kilograms

Having to recall a maths fact quickly (such as 6 x 9

Understanding the odds for a bet on the Grand National

Writing a cheque

Checking the VAT amount on a builder’s bill

Working out your pay rise when you are told it will be 3.25%

Checking your credit card bill

Working out how much weed killer you need to use in a 5 litre sprayer

Remembering your maths lessons at school

Total your score. What do you have?

 

To compare your score:

 

Three hundred adults, aged from 20 to 69, from around England filled in the questionnaire.

The scores were not significantly different for either age or sex.

The average score was 34.

 

If you scored 60 or more then you would be in the top 3.3% for anxiety

 

The top 8 items for creating anxiety were:

 

Changing stones to kilograms

Understanding the odds for a bet on the Grand National

Remembering your maths lessons at school

Working out your pay rise when you are told it will be 3.25%

Working out the prices of things when you are abroad

Checking the VAT amount on a Builder’s bill

Checking which mobile phone deal is the best value

Working out how much weed killer you need to use in a 5 litre sprayer

 

© Dr Steve Chinn 2017. All Rights Reserved.


The Maths Anxiety Trust © 2022