Succeeding in Math is Easier than you think


Katie Piscopio, Editor-In-Chief

You either get it or you don’t. Throughout school, I have always heard students say this about math. It’s not far from the truth: most students always find themselves struggling to find the light at the end of the tunnel of a math problem. Whether it be the numbers, formulas, or extensive steps to solving a problem, math has always been the subject that kids are unable to comprehend.

On any given day, you could walk through the halls and hear students saying how nervous they are for a math test. Better yet, go into the lunchroom, or the senior study hall, and I’m sure you’ll see students pouring over their math notes, doing last minute cramming. Math anxiety is common among many students, and can be solved by controlling negativity towards subject, rather than trying to improve math skills. Negative emotions make it hard for students to thrive in the subject, let alone focus on their work. A study conducted by the University of Chicago that was published in the journal Cerebral Cortex on October 20th, shows that increased activity in the areas of the brain that are involved with feelings and attentiveness could help students thrive in mathematics.

The study has presented many questions: Could controlling emotions help students improve their grades in math? Is performance in math really controlled by attention and anxiety?

With the use of MRI scans, researchers were able to study the various brains of students who are anxious about math, as well as those who are relaxed, and even like doing math. The scans showed that there are different activity levels in the parietal and frontal lobes: these parts of the brain control negative emotions and concentration. Students with increased activity in these specific regions of the brain performed higher on math tests, scoring above an 88, while students who had little activity got approximately 68 percent of the problems correct.

Thus, it seems the key to success in math is to relax, buckle down, and don’t get overwhelmed when you don’t understand something in math class. Students who focus all their attention on math lessons and always strive for a good outcomes on tests hold the golden ticket to succeeding in math. With a good attitude, it doesn’t matter the level of your skills; the positive energy will keep you relaxed and focused, and ultimately lead to better scores.