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The AIU blog shares ideas, information and tips aimed at helping you get ahead personally and professionally, with topics ranging from online learning success to career development.

Conquering Your Math Anxiety Through Online Learning

Conquering Math Anxiety - AIURecently, you may have been thinking about going back to school. Or perhaps you just started college after some time away from school. You may be hoping to take your career to another level, and you know that a college degree may open different job opportunities. College classes can provide valuable training. You’ve done your research and decided on an online program for the accommodations it can provide to your full-time job and family obligations. In fact, you’re all set to take the plunge, but one thing is holding you back...math. If you are concerned that you will not be able to cope with the math requirements of your degree program, you should first understand that this is a common fear. Next, take heart that you can overcome math anxiety and still achieve your goals in the degree program you choose.

Background on Math Anxiety

Math anxiety is the feeling of nervousness you may get while learning math or even thinking about learning math. Fear of subjects like algebra is a real problem many students face. You are more susceptible to math anxiety if, in the past, you have not done well in the subject, but you can also experience anxiety if you have a tendency to get nervous in high-pressure situations. A great first step to dealing with your fears is by making your instructors aware so they can help boost your confidence and provide additional support throughout your math courses. You also can leverage your online studies in a way that helps you cope with your anxiety.

Safety of Online Learning

There is some safety provided by the online classroom structure that is not inherently present in a traditional classroom setting. Online classes offer you some protection against the three top triggers for math anxiety.

  • Public displays: Remember back in middle and high school when your math teacher called on you to answer a question or, worse yet, to work out a problem at the chalkboard in front of the class? Not a chance! In online classes you can do your algebra and other work in the privacy of your own home, still receiving feedback from your instructor on your assignments in areas in which you’re struggling.
  • Time restraints: Pressure to rush is about the fastest way to make you forget everything you’ve learned. In high school, you may have been racing the clock to finish your assignments by the end of the period. In an online program, you have more flexibility, so you can plan to work around your schedule. As long as you manage your time well, you can work on your math skills when you have the time and environment to concentrate without added pressures all while meeting your assignment due dates.
  • Learning Methods: In high school, everyone is expected to learn math the same way. Typically, the teacher delivers a lecture to the class and assigns a short practice assignment from your math book. Then there is homework. The problem is that not everyone learns the same way, and that may not have been the best method for you to learn math. The online approach gives you an opportunity to explore a variety of learning methods and to practice problem-solving with interactive programs that offer step-by-step explanations.

If education is the right step for you at this point in your life and career, don’t let math anxiety hold you back. The online learning environment is vastly different from the high pressure you may have faced in high school. Now, you can learn without the fear of ridicule and take advantage of novel teaching methods. Your instructors, and dedication to your studies can help you learn skills you need in your program, and even though math may still be a challenge for you, the online environment may help you cope with that challenge a little better.

This article is presented by AIU. Contact us today if you’re interested in an opportunity to develop knowledge and relevant skills with an industry-current degree program from AIU.