Maths anxiety (in conjunction with the SpLD service)

maths symbolsMaths anxiety can be described as “an emotion that blocks a person’s reasoning ability when confronted with a mathematical situation” and is thought to effect a large proportion of the population. Given that most students now have to study either maths or statistics as part of their course, it is important to understand the effect of maths anxiety on the brain and that there are a variety of techniques to help overcome it.

An effective strategy for reducing maths anxiety is using the support that MASH provides. We offer individual help with maths and statistics all year round if you need help with your lecture notes, coursework, revision or any aspect of your dissertation or research. In addition we work with the SLPD service to offer a maths anxiety workshop (bookable below) to help you work through the causes of maths anxiety and develop some strategies for overcoming maths anxiety.

If you are interested in discussing maths anxiety and suggested strategies further, and would rather do it in a 1:1 meeting than a workshop, please contact the MASH team. We're here to help. Alternatively why not have a look at our interactive digital maths anxiety resource. It's designed to help you understand your anxiety and develop strategies to deal with it.

As well as the workshops that we have already mentioned, below are some other resources that have been created to provide you with information on what maths anxiety is, how it can affect behaviour and learning, and strategies to help overcome it.


Are you anxious about the maths or stats needed for your course? Maths and statistics anxiety is very common and can stop you from being able to study either subject effectively. Find out what happens to the brain and how to overcome the anxiety and succeed with your course.

Student workshop:

Overcoming maths anxiety

This workshop is available to all University of Sheffield students and covers the causes, effects and impact of maths anxiety as well as strategies for overcoming anxiety and doing well in maths or statistics.

Info & booking

Staff workshop:

Identifying and reducing maths and statistics anxiety

This workshop is for staff involved in teaching and/or supporting students. Its aim is to equip you to deal with students who are anxious about using mathematics or statistics. It will provide strategies for overcoming maths anxiety and advice for signposting students with maths anxiety. It is bookable through the University's Learning Management System (LMS) in the Supporting the Supporters section.


Here are some resources that we've gathered together for you to help you with maths anxiety

What is maths anxiety?

This handout explains what maths anxiety is, what causes it and its impact on learning

Maths anxiety case study

Collaboration between MASH and the Dept for Lifelong Learning

Student strategies

This leaflet details some of the ways that you can use to help you reduce your maths anxiety. See also the workshop 'Overcoming maths anxiety'

Staff strategies

Find out how you can help your students reduce their maths anxiety. See also the staff workshop on 'Identifying and reducing maths and stats anxiety'

You are welcome to download and use the resources in any institution but please let us know.