Out of the four GED test subjects, GED Math is the subject most feared by test-takers. A study says six out of 10 university students have math anxiety. If your parents are also afraid of math, chances are you’d be afraid of it too, according to the Association for Psychological Science.
If you fear math, this instantly reduces your chance of passing the GED math test. That’s because anxiety affects your working memory, which you need for learning and solving problems, says neurologist and former middle school teacher Dr. Judy Willis. When you feel fear while answering math problems, you’ll have distracting thoughts that uses some of your processing memory. The fear and worry take away some of your brain’s ability to solve math problems.
This is why the first step to fail-proof your GED math test is to get rid of your fear of math.
Why You’re Afraid of Math
There are various possible reasons why you fear math:
- We’ve been told again and again by our teachers, parents, and peers that math is hard and you started to believe it.
- You’ve had a bad experience in the classroom while learning math. Maybe you’ve failed math tests before or you’ve felt humiliated in class for your inability to answer a math problem correctly.
- You’ve attached math to pain because you’ve connected it with the negative feelings associated with paying debts or bills.
- Traditional methods of teaching math didn’t work for you, so you failed to develop basic math skills and struggled to catch up in class. You couldn’t forget how difficult it has been for you to keep up with the math lessons in class.
- You’re learning math in highly competitive environments. You focused way too much on comparing how well you performed at math compared to your peers.
- The timed tests made you feel anxious.
No matter what the reason for your fear math is, one thing is clear: it distracts you and decreases your brainpower for solving math problems. If you’re taking the GED math test, it’s your math anxiety that can cause you to fail, not your math skills.
Contrary to popular belief, being a “math person” can only get you so far when studying math. You need to stop saying you’re bad at math. Business Insider confirms by citing a research published in Child Development that the most important factor in improving math ability is hard work and good study habits.
Study Tips for GED Math
If you’ve always been afraid of math, it’s never too late to face that fear and get rid of it by discovering your ability to learn the subject. Yes, math can be learned. Here are tips to study math to prepare for your GED test:
- Let go of negative beliefs about math. Again, it all begins with your attitude towards math. Believe that math can be learned. If you encounter a difficult math problem, it just means you need to work harder and try harder to arrive at the right question. It means you need to understand the principles, instead of merely memorizing them.
- The study from the bottom up. Another thing about math is you need to master the basic skills and concepts before you can move on to the next. For example, you can’t progress to adding or subtracting improper fractions if you don’t understand how fractions work in the first place. You can’t move on to algebra unless you understand pre-algebra concepts like integers, one-step equations, etc. Check out GED study guides for math to know the specific topics covered by the test.
- Practice daily. Take GED math practice tests to test your understanding of concepts you have just learned. By practicing, you will be able to spot your weak areas and strengthen new skills. It will help you remember how to solve particular problems.
- Get help from a tutor or online classes. Studying math needs more than just memorizing formulas. You need to understand how to apply those formulas and math concepts. Sometimes, reading technical math words from books are not enough to make you understand how they work. This is where GED online classes will help. An instructor will be able to demonstrate how to apply mathematical concepts in a visual way. Through online classes, you’ll also be able to see the practical application of math concepts in real life.
- Time yourself when taking practice tests. The pressure of taking tests within a limited amount of time is a source of anxiety for math students and GED test-takers. The best way to manage this kind of anxiety is to time yourself when taking practice tests. You’ll be able to check your performance, see where you need to improve and gain confidence in your ability to complete the test within the time limit.
Math is difficult only because you have been repeatedly told and convinced that it is. Go out of your comfort zone and start learning math the right way. Don’t waste your mental energy on worrying about failing the subject. You’ll be amazed to discover that you can learn math and be good at it.