Prevalence of Math Anxiety among Upper Secondary Students at a Private School in Suburban Kuala Lumpur
Kebimbangan Matematik Dari Kalangan Pelajar Menengah Atas di Sekolah Swasta di Pinggir Bandar Kuala Lumpur
Keywords:math anxiety, fear of Mathematics, learning of Mathematics, gender differences, suburban upper secondary students
This study examined the prevalence of Math anxiety among upper secondary students at a suburban private school in Kuala Lumpur. It also aimed to establish whether students’ Math anxiety would differ significantly by gender and level of study. The sample comprised 138 Form Four and Form Five students who filled out an online questionnaire containing nine (9) Likert-type statements suggesting fear and discomfort towards various aspects of learning Mathematics. The data were analysed descriptively using frequencies, percentages, means and standard deviations, as well as inferentially using independent samples t-tests. Overall, the study found that less than one-third of the respondents reported experiencing Math anxiety, while the remaining two-thirds did not indicate so or were uncertain. The patterns of responses suggest that most upper form students at the suburban private school are not affected by Math anxiety. The t-test results also produced no statistically significant effects of gender and level of study. Girls reported slightly higher levels of anxiety towards Mathematics than did boys, but the gender difference did not account for any statistical significance, while Form Four and Form Five students had very similar reports of anxiety. The study recommended amending the Likert categories utilized for assessing Math anxiety so that the measure would be a more accurate representation of its prevalence among student groups.
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