Whenever I see a problem I get very nervous and my brain doesn't work. Can anyone please give me some advice on this.

  • M0

    Hello. I am a student studying in grade 10. I love math and used to be very good at math. I want to get a carrer in mathemiatics. But nowadays, whenever I see a problem I get very nervous and my brain doesn't work.
    Can I ask you how do you think when you face a problem? Does it look very hard to you? Do you get nervous like me? What you do when you don't know where to start and where to go? How do you break dow the problem?
    Please kindly can anyone reply to this? From 1 year, I am having this trouble? Am I the only one?
    Lastly, what should I do to be a very good problem solver so that at least I can be on track?

  • M2 M3 M4★

    @fabulousgrizzly Hello! I'm sorry that you feel this way. I used to be a bit of the opposite; I was "good" at math but didn't enjoy it at all. Now, I am working towards finding a passion for it and at least making it less overwhelming and difficult to focus on.

    It's okay if you feel nervous when facing a problem, just think about the first step that you would take. Divide the two integers with a common denominator? Solve the equation to find x? Either way, break the problem down into tiny pieces that you can comprehend. What I usually do is find the important information, make a table/graph and write down my thinking clearly. When I can see my train of thought easily, it helps me use the information that I have gathered and mold it into something closer to finding the answer.

    If I am taking a test like the AMC10/12 or the SSAT, I do get nervous, but I tell myself to "just do it"; just take the first step forward and focus on one problem at a time. There are a LOT of problems that I will not understand, but if I give up then I would never even get close to the answer, correct?

    You are not the only one having this trouble. Everyone meets hard problems, but what's different about each person is how they face it. If you want to be a strong mathlete, practice more problems and work on keeping a good mindset. The more questions you've seen, the more well-rounded you'll be. Then not one question on the test will be able to stop you!! 🙂

    Thank you very much for sharing your experience and looking for help. I am also still paving the path and will be caught up easily, but I hope this helped!

  • M0★ M1★ M2★ M3★ M4 M5

    First of all, I know just saying inspirational things isn't going to help; there's millions of people who can do that.
    What types of problems do you get nervous on? For me, it's only the hard ones that make a difference, say a hard math test.
    Everyone gets nervous on some problems, and the effects can multiply depending on many factors.
    I'm not an expert at math, but I think if you do more questions and triumph or struggle over them -- it doesn't matter -- your nervousness will slowly fade away. You may need to look back at problems again. Everyone has those deep points where it seems like nothing is going well.
    Many questions don't have one way of solving it; sometimes, look at it from a different perspective. Does this piece of data really matter? What may these pieces of info be trying to show? There's no such thing as a good problem solver -- there's only the ones who solved and the ones who haven't, yet.
    Lastly, @sqwishy gave a pretty good explanation. You can check that out too. One of my rules to live by is that if you want to do something, the only way you can do it, is to do it. Simple, yet so many of us spend time talking about something then doing it.
    I wish you the best of luck and a great day.

  • M2 M3 M4★

    @The-Darkin-Blade @fabulousgrizzly So basically what we're trying to say is (LOL i know that our "explanations" are pretty overwhelming xD); keep going! Do more problems, and let your nervousness be! Nothing is permanent, all of your anxiety will fade away. Push yourself everyday to be the best that you can be by doing maybe just one more problem at a time. I promise that you will improve in no time!! And, I know that "saying inspirational things isn't going to help -- @The-Darkin-Blade " but you are amazing and a great role model! Lots of people don't even have a solid goal to work towards, yet you are already there! Always be a risk taker and just jump into the problem. What's the worst thing that could happen?

    (Also, I know that you are probably looking for some practical advice so let me quote my strategy again; find the important information, make a table/graph and write down your thinking clearly.)

    Thanks!!!

  • M0★ M1★ M2★ M3★ M4 M5

    @sqwishy That was nice.

  • M2 M3 M4★

    @The-Darkin-Blade haha, thank you 🌸

  • MOD

    Hey @fabulousgrizzly!

    It's great that you're open to discussing your troubles with others instead of trying to solve them by yourself!

    To begin with, think of what is making you nervous and why you weren't nervous before. In other words - try to analyze yourself first. I assume that you're getting nervous when you see a problem, because you think that if you don't solve it, you will not be as good as you think you are or others will think this way about you. And you're afraid of it. Don't be! Do you hear me? Do not be afraid to make a mistake! It's totally normal! Forget about others! It's only you and your problem. Just focus on it. Enjoy yourself! Enjoy the process of doing math, solving the problems, and trying different ideas.

    Isn't it even more interesting if you don't know how to solve the problem at first sight? Math is infinite! There are tons of problems and ways to solve them. Enjoy finding your own ways to solve them!

    How do I face math problems? Do I usually know what the solution is immediately? No! I don't. But I keep trying to solve it. I read the question statement, maybe twice, until I get the whole picture of what is going on in the problem. I draw diagrams. Lots of them! When you are solving a problem, don't stay in one place and get hung up on one idea - try different ones. Try to find a simpler similar problem that you've seen before and know how to solve. Consider special cases, try to find a pattern and generalize it.

    So, I want to repeat once again, enjoy doing math and never give up!

  • M0

    Thank you @nastya and everone else very much. This really inspired me. I am looking towards to face hard problems with courage.
    Again thank you! 🙂

  • M2 M3 M4★