Math anxiety is real and quite common. Many graduate students dread their Statistics class or shy away from data-driven projects. In the short-term, this may work for you, but in the long run, it could be problematic, especially if you go into a field like public health, where many journal articles rely on data to prove their points and studies rely on data for funding. Math anxiety may stem from bad experiences you’ve had in the past with math classes, or you may be the kind of learner who finds it confusing. Whatever the origins, you can deal with math anxiety. Just because it may have been challenging for you in the past, doesn’t mean you can’t face your fears or discomfort with the subject matter and eventually become more comfortable with it. Here are some tips.
- Review and learn basic math concepts. This sounds obvious, but for many people, anxiety can get in the way of learning the fundamentals. Reviewing them and learning the basics now can provide a stronger foundation and help decrease your anxiety.
- Practice positive self-talk. Yes, really. Negative self-talk can feed anxiety and quickly spiral into panic. Positively reframing situations can help you remain calm, allowing you to think clearly about the challenge in front of you.
- Don’t just memorize math rules or concepts; try to understand the “why” behind it. Short-term memory is affected by stress. If you simply memorize things, you’re more likely to forget it when stressed – but if you really understand the “why” behind the concepts and have a deeper understanding of what you’re doing, you’re less likely to become tripped up.
- Practice, practice, practice – and get involved. The more you do something, the less anxious you’ll be and the more familiar it will be to you. Talk with your professor and ask for some extra work, or go find a workbook that covers the basics that you need a refresher on. Read over the chapters an extra time or two and take good notes on the textbook and in class. Ask questions if there’s something you don’t understand and attend review sessions or study groups.
- Seek help if necessary. Many schools have tutoring centers, or you might have a TA who holds review sessions throughout the semester. Find a tutor or join a study group – don’t be shy about asking for help. Dissertation Editor can also provide professional assistance and tutoring, no matter what you’re working on.
Here at Dissertation Editor, we know that math doesn’t come easy to everyone – which is why our stats team is ready to assist you with whatever project comes your way. Although we can’t do all the work for you, we can help guide you through the process and help you understand the concepts behind the data analysis, including explaining what the numbers mean and how the results fit in with your work. Contact us today to learn more about our stats team and to see how we can help you achieve your goals.