Math anxiety overwhelms students

By Jennifer Davis
February 1, 2007

Meghan Hurley

Pencils tap anxiously at the tick of the clock. The exams are evenly distributed amongst the students. Lost in a pool of numbers and complex annotations, one by one they chew on the end of their erasers. Math anxiety is a disabling condition causing humiliation, resentment and even panic.

According to math specialist Diane Devanney, math anxiety is very common among Cabrini College students. If properly addressed it is a barrier they can easily overcome. For about six years Devanney has contributed to the math department. In 2004 she became a part time tutor, attending to the needs of students. “Most teachers coordinate their hours with the tutoring center,” Devanney said.

Math support specialist Jacqueline Lavely is the newest edition to the math department. Tutoring privately for a number of years she returned to Cabrini for her secondary education degree. Certified in chemical engineering, she helps students with science majors as well.

For most students, taking exams are “do-or-die” challenges. Inevitably they inflame thoughts and frustration. By mastering test taking strategies and managing study habits students have the ability to thrive throughout their math experience.

Senior marketing major Becca Gallagher recommends several study habits for math. “Homework is the best study habit, also doing the end of the chapter review,” Gallagher said. The math tutoring center offers a wide variety of programs for students to enhance their math skills and clear up any misconceptions. Certified math tutors and peer tutors are available seven days a week by phone and/or email for appointments. “The best part, is it’s free,” Devanney said.

Devanney and Lavely offer “Math Mondays.” From 11:00 a.m.-1:00 p.m. students are encouraged to swing by Jazzman’s caf

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Jennifer Davis

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