Tutoring Decreases Math Anxiety


Tutor and student

Do anxiety and frustration hold your child back when it comes to math? If so, there’s help.

A recent study from Stanford University Medical Center found that one-on-one math tutoring can help reduce anxiety about doing math problems.  Once anxiety is reduced, performance improves.

Anxiety doesn’t just affect kids who struggle with math. In fact, those who already excel at math can also feel a high level of worry, which may affect students’ career choices later in life by discouraging them from following math and science career paths.

To combat anxiety, the study showed that students who received one-on-one tutoring exhibited less activity in the amygdala (the fear center in the brain) after about 8 weeks of tutoring. In contrast to methods that target other parts of the brain to control anxiety, tutoring targets the root of the problem.

Researchers are currently investigating whether tutoring can help with anxiety in subjects other than math that involve complex problem-solving. Read more about how tutoring can relieve math anxiety by changing fear circuits.