Mathematics anxiety is defined as a feeling of tension and apprehension that interferes with the ability to perform mathematics, manipulate numbers and solve mathematical problems in a wide variety of academic and everyday life situations. Mathematics is a necessary skill that people use throughout their lives, for example, when traveling, spending money, or keeping track of time. Therefore, mathematics is an important skill that must be learned in school. Unfortunately, many children and adults feel stressed and anxious when they have to do mathematical calculations.

People who experience feelings of stress when faced with math-related situations may be experiencing what's called “math anxiety.” Math anxiety affects many people and is related to poor math ability in school and, later, during adulthood. Researchers have studied how math anxiety first appears, what happens in the brain when people suffer from math anxiety, and how best to help people with it. Math anxiety, also known as math phobia, is anxiety about a person's ability to do math. The deadlines imposed by timed tests on students make them feel anxious.

This leads them to forget concepts that they have no problem remembering at home. Since these tests can have a negative impact on grades, the student's fear of failing is confirmed. This creates a vicious cycle that can be difficult to break.