It's the big day – you've been studying every night, getting extra help, and memorizing equations.
You sit down at your desk with your freshly sharpened pencils, a big eraser, and your math exam.
You read the first question. You know you know the material, but suddenly your mind goes blank as you glance around at your peers who are scribbling furiously on their own test papers.
You look back at your own blank test as the panic sets in.
Does this scenario sound familiar? Many dyslexic students struggle with math and feel anxious about solving difficult math problems or sitting down for a math exam.
Researchers at the University of Chicago were curious about the link between a person’s math anxiety and his math performance. From a series of brain scans performed on highly math anxious students, they found that there is in fact a strong link between math success and brain activity in the fontal and parietal lobes – the ones that are involved in controlling attention and regulating negative emotional reactions. This negative response was seen in students even at the very mention of having to solve a math problem.
So what exactly does this mean for you? While there is no substitute for studying and going for extra help, this study shows that one way you may be able to help your math scores is to calm your anxiety before sitting down to a test. So what should you do? Try taking a few deep breaths before diving into a difficult math task to help calm you down and focus on the task at hand!
To learn more about this interesting study, visit ScienceDaily.
To read more about dyslexia and mathematics, visit our Mathematics page.