The Impact Of Mathematical Anxiety On Academic Performance Of Students

Mathematics Education Project Material

The Impact Of Mathematical Anxiety On Academic Performance Of Students

Chapter One


1.1 Background Of Study

Nigeria hoped to achieve the position of developed country by 2020. Nigeria’s society will have evolved by then into one that is democratic, liberal, tolerant, caring, progressive, and has a competitive and dynamic economy. It is suggested that building a scientific and technical culture will build the groundwork for such a society’s realization. As a result, science, mathematics, and technology have traditionally been prioritized in national development objectives. Mathematics implies a lot of different things to different people (Maritza, 2002).

Many parts of daily life necessitate some knowledge of Mathematics, and the ability to use this knowledge is essential for pursuing many existing and newly emerging career disciplines. All college students must take some degree of Mathematics, however students’ capacity to comprehend this critical topic has been impeded by worry, as most students regard the subject to be incomprehensibly complex (Stubblefield, 2006). Students who suffer from Mathematics anxiety are less likely to enroll in and succeed in Mathematics courses (Stubblefield, 2006).

Many people suffer from mathematics anxiety. It can have a negative impact on college students, such as nervous tension, rejection dread, and stress (Truttschel, 2002).

Anxiety about Mathematics has been linked to avoidance of the subject as well as a drop in academic achievement. This type of “anxiety” was discovered in the late 1950s. Dredger and Aiken (1957) observed undergraduate students reacting emotionally to mathematics and arithmetic. Despite the fact that the reaction resembled typical exam anxiety, they determined that mathematics anxiety is a potential component in prose. They dubbed it “number anxiety,” which is often understood to be a significant amount of anxiety that hinders performance.

1.2 Statement Of The Problem

Anxiety, as described by Dredger and Aiken (1957), is relatively a permanent state of worry and nervousness occurring in a variety of mental disorders, usually accompanied by compulsive behaviour or attacks of panic. This, on the other hand, best depicts the state of students’ anxiety as it relates to achieving mathematically related subjects.

Sheffield and Hunt (2007) opined that mathematics anxiety is the feeling of anxiety that some individuals experience when facing mathematical problems. Hence, the above identified problems incited this research.

1.3 Purpose Of The Study

The main objective of this study is to examine the effect of Mathematical Anxiety on students’ academic performance.

The specific objectives include;

  1. Identify and discuss the causes of mathematical anxiety.
  2. Determine if there is a significant effect of anxiety on students’ performance in mathematics.
  3. Determine if there is any significant impact of mathematics anxiety on students’ interest in studying mathematics.

1.4 Research Hypothesis

  • Ho1: There is no significant effect of anxiety on students’ performance in mathematics
  • Ho2: There is no significant impact of mathematics anxiety on students interest to study mathematics

1.5 Significance Of The Study

The findings of this empirical study have implications for helping professionals and academia in addressing the menace of mathematics anxiety of students in mathematics education so that timely and effectively counseling and therapeutic interventions could be introduced in schools. More notably, this study will be relevant to students, researchers, teachers, lecturers and other personnel who may carry out research related to the one under review.

1.6 Scope Of The Study

This study examines the impact of anxiety on the academic performance of students in Mathematics. Hence, it is focused on identifying and discussing the causes of mathematical anxiety, determining if there is a significant effect of anxiety on students’ performance in mathematics and if there is any significant impact of mathematics anxiety on students’ interest in studying mathematics.

1.7 Limitations Of The Study

Financial constraint

Insufficient fund tends to impede the efficiency of the researcher in sourcing for the relevant materials, literature or information and in the process of data collection (internet, questionnaire and interview).

Time constraint

The researcher will simultaneously engage in this study with other academic work. This consequently will cut down on the time devoted for the research work

1.8 Definitions Of Terms

Academic Performance:

In Educational institutions, success is measured by academic performance or how well a student meets standards set out by the local government and the institution itself.


Is a kind of anxiety which is related to the impending danger from the environment of the academic institution including teacher in certain subjects like Mathematics, English etc.

Mathematical Anxiety:

This is also known as math phobia, is anxiety about one’s ability to do mathematics. It is a phenomenon that is often considered when examining students’ problems in mathematics.

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