STEM Education

Most Students Fearful of Math

Fear of math increases as students transition from middle school to high school. According to a new survey, confidence in math drops 9% between grades 7 and 10. And overall, less than 20% of students in grades 7–10 are confident in their math ability.

The survey was conducted among 900 students in the United States by math and coding tutoring service Cuemath. (Respondents to the survey were non-Cuemath users.)

According to the survey, for girls, negative perceptions of math increase 11% between grades 7 and 8. For boys moving from grade 8 to 9, negative perceptions increase by 20%.

Aside from attitudes toward math, proficiency declines as well, according to Cuemath. "Math proficiency decreases in higher-grade classes: Well over half of students in Grade 7 seem to be proficient in basic math concepts such as numbers, applied math, algebra, geometry and mensuration. However, this drops down to just over a quarter of all students in Grade 9."

Cuemath is making its math curriculum free for students who qualify. Details and a signup for the free program can be found at

About the Author

David Nagel is editorial director of 1105 Media's Education Technology Group and editor-in-chief of THE Journal and STEAM Universe. A 29-year publishing veteran, Nagel has led or contributed to dozens of technology, art and business publications.

He can be reached at [email protected]. You can also connect with him on LinkedIn at or follow him on Twitter at @THEDavidNagel (K-12) or @CampusTechDave (higher education).