Why is mathematics a scary subject for high school students?

In this article, I have explained the reasons why mathematics is considered a scary subject and the ways to overcome the fear. They should practice the subject rigorously because it cannot be memorized. They should do both hard and smart work to score better in math.

When students reach VIII grade, they should deeply study every subject. They should study several concepts in a subject and so the students should become more devoted towards their studies. But the students are scared of mathematics. For many students, mathematics is a scary subject and the students do not even sleep properly on the previous day of Mathematics exam. In the movie 'Taare Zameen Par', the little boy is so scared of numbers that he visualizes reptiles moving from the numbers. In this way, many students are so scared of mathematics that they simply freeze when they see several numbers written on the paper. But they should get rid of the fear because they have to pass their X grade examination. The students who are not interested in mathematics can opt for other subjects in the future, but at least until class 10, they need to develop interest.

Reasons why the students are scared of Mathematics

Mathematics is a subject that cannot be memorized. In every other subject, students can memorize the answers. The students have to understand every concept in mathematics and learn the techniques of solving the problems. In higher secondary classes, some of them develop fear for this subject because the problems are tedious. The process of solving the problem is lengthier and they encounter problems with complicated calculations. They have to calculate complex numbers with decimals, etc. They have to derive cube roots, square roots, LCM, HCF from complex numbers with decimals. In geometry, they study some of the complex figures such as pentagon, hexagon, etc. The students have to draw some complex constructions. In Algebra, they have to learn some tough expressions and derivations. So, the students have to study new concepts that they have never studied in their previous classes. Some of the chapters are studied even deeply. So, the students develop fear for the subject.

How to overcome the fear

When the students reach the higher secondary classes, they should remember that they should practice as many problems as possible. They should regularly practice them. They should not just read the problems, but practically solve them. They can download worksheets from the system and solve them because they are really engaging. The students should remember that the teachers do not ask too many tricky questions in the paper. Most of the problems appear from the assignments provided to them. The examiner may ask just some tricky questions that are not provided in the exercise. So, they should solve all the problems as mentioned in the exercise. The students should convert their anxiety into hard work. They should also understand the concept of each chapter. They should understand how the formula is derived. For example, why the formula of Simple Interest is Principal x Time x Rate/100? If the amount invested is xxx at x %, then after xx years, what is the amount the investor can get? The parents should explain to the child, the practical applications. In geometry, they should learn some complex designs. So, in real life, the students can pick their favorite objects such as flower pots, crystals, gemstones, etc and study their structure. If they are unable to solve the complex problems that are taught during the year, then they should solve the simpler problems of that chapter. They can even recall the sums solved in their previous classes. Most of the concepts that the students study are derived from the previous classes only. They should solve simple problems earlier and then solve the complex ones. Many students cannot visualize the numbers and hence they are not able to calculate properly. Their mind cannot visualize that 2 + 2 + 2 +......= xxx. They have not mastered the techniques of skip counting in their previous classes. So the students can join abacus classes or even prepare the study techniques at home. This way they can improve their power of visualization and remove their fear.

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Author: Umesh26 Jul 2020 Member Level: Diamond   Points : 7

This is an interesting article. It is true that many students get scared of subjects like Mathematics, Science, Geography etc and start avoiding them. This is a very common sight and there is nothing to worry but we have to find ways and means to bring the child back to them with interest. Until interest and liking are generated in him it is not possible to inculcate a wish to study these subjects in his or her mind. How to generate interest in the tender minds of these children is a matter of psychological research but from common sense, we can say that if we engage them in some games and riddles where they can learn some basic concepts, then slowly it is possible that they may start taking interest in the main course also. It actually requires a lot of patience on the part of the parents as well as the teachers who have to slowly bring the dull children to the mainstream of education.

One important thing that we have to keep in mind is that academics is not the only thing to rise in one's life. There are many other career options based on one's inclination and passion. Even school dropouts have become great writers. So, just because a child is fearing Mathematics does not mean that his career is doomed. We have to help and facilitate him in the area of his liking and inclination. Let him show the excellence there.

Author: DR.N.V. Srinivasa Rao03 Aug 2020 Member Level: Platinum   Points : 3

Mathematics is a beautiful subject and we can understand the same easily if we have an interest in the subject. If the student is not having interest in a subject he will never do good in that subject. But there is no flexibility for the student to go for some other subject and to avoid the subject in which he is not interested. Probably the NEP 2020 will address this problem. There is a flexibility to the student for selecting the streams.
The best thing is to keep focusing on the subject and try to understand the basics. Once we understand the basics properly we can understand the advanced portions also. But many people will forget the basics and try to learn the advanced portions. Therefrom the problem starts. So parents should concentrate on the education of the kid from the beginning and see that where the kid is feeling the inconvenience and support him in that subject. Then he can improve on that subject also. But if the kid is not progressing even after doing that it is better to see an alternative subject and he may do well in that subject.

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