A student who has difficulty in understanding

Mathematics can be because of Math Anxiety. Math anxiety is defined as the

feeling of tension and anxiety that affect the performance of students when manipulating

numbers and solving mathematical problems whether it’s just an ordinary day or

academic situations (Sanci, 2014). It can cause the person to forget and lose self-confidence

(Tobias, 1993). Math anxiety can cause lack of self-confidence, because a

student having Math anxiety may feel unwise when comparing themselves with

other students. Embarrassment, peer pressure, high-expectations to one’s

self, and lack of self-confidence can cause students to develop tension and

nervousness that can lead them to low performance to the subject. Commonly, the

tension and nervousness that students felt during an exam may cause

mind-blocked. Thus, students suffering from Math anxiety get lower grades and

lesser achievements in Mathematics.

Researches show that pressure in timed

tests and risks of public embarrassment are some sources of unproductive

tension among many students. Imposed authority, public exposure, and time

deadlines are three factors that cause great anxiety to students. Although

these are regular part of the traditional mathematics classroom, it can still

cause a great deal of anxiety (Philips, n.d.). It seriously affects the

student’s performance and capability of understanding lectures in mathematics.

The more tense, pressure, and conscious a person to what others may think, the

more anxious the person becomes.

There

have been great variations of assumed reasons for why students develop anxiety

in mathematics. Tobias (1993) analyzed that gender plays a large role in

mathematics anxiety. Outcomes indicated that math

anxiety occurs frequently and is more likely to occur among women and students

with poor high school math backgrounds. Tobias

theorizes that, “Ironically, fear of being too smart may lead to such passivity

in the mathematics class that eventually these girls develop a conviction that

they are dumb.” (Tobias, 1993, p.63). Hembree (1990) does support her

conclusions that women experience more mathematics anxiety. Though, it seems that most students are occasionally subject

to enough anxiety to alter their performance capability.

The type of instructional method that is used in the

classroom is another factor that gives mathematics anxiety to students. Clute

(1984) analyzed how two instructional methods: discovery and expository,

related with students’ mathematics anxiety in an undergraduate mathematics

course. Clute found out that those students with higher levels of mathematics

anxiety scored higher on the achievement test if the format course is

expository while students with lower levels of mathematics anxiety did better

in the discovery format course. Clute came up with a conclusion that there is a

relation between mathematics anxiety and confidence. Students with higher

levels of anxiety would have lower levels of confidence in mathematics.

Therefore, it would be less possible for them to do well in courses where they

would need the confidence to learn the mathematics for themselves.