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Getting a Handle on Academic Anxiety

P6300072Do math tutors ever suffer math anxiety?

Sometimes I feel anxious when I’m going to have to tutor a topic that is hard for me. (Yes, even tutors and teachers find certain topics difficult!)

Here’s how I cope:

  • I begin reviewing well in advance. Cramming makes me even more anxious, so I start reviewing early, when the pressure is off.
  • I use multiple sources. I like watching the videos on Khan Academy because I can just let them roll while I passively absorb some of the material. And I can watch as many times as I want (I “get” more with every viewing). I also read my textbook. Multiple explanations of the same material helps me understand it better.
  • I go for understanding, not just rote learning. If I can really wrap my brain around this stuff and “own it,” I’m going to feel much more confident than if I just learn to plug numbers into some formulas.
  • I take breaks. This allows the material I just studied to sink in, and it gives me a chance to settle down and let my anxiety level come back to normal.
  • I deal with my anxiety. When I feel anxiety rising, I stop studying and take some slow, deep breaths. Or I stretch, or take a walk to the mailbox.
  • I take care of myself. I drink plenty of water, and I eat healthy foods to fuel my brain. Skipping meals can dull thinking and produce headaches, while sugary foods can cause energy spikes and crashes that make anxiety worse.

Do you have any tips for handling academic anxiety? Please write in and share!
Getting a Handle on Academic Anxiety

Leigh Pretnar Cousins, MS

Leigh Pretnar Cousins, MS is an educator, counselor, writer and speaker. She's been a tutor, test prep coach and home school teacher for over thirty years. Click HERE to visit Leigh's website and to subscribe to her newsletter, "Learning Something New."


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APA Reference
Cousins, L. (2015). Getting a Handle on Academic Anxiety. Psych Central. Retrieved on December 14, 2018, from https://blogs.psychcentral.com/always-learning/2015/06/getting-a-handle-on-academic-anxiety/

 

Last updated: 14 Jun 2015
Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 14 Jun 2015
Published on PsychCentral.com. All rights reserved.