UAE students report second biggest math fear worldwide: survey

According to a survey, students in the United Arab Emirates are more concerned about math than those in any other country except the UK.

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Mathematics causes anxiety in 25 percent of UAE students, according to the survey, with female students being more stressed than males.

In the UK, 26 percent of students reported feeling anxious about their numerical literacy, while US students were the third most anxious at 23 percent.

The survey of 1,783 students in 20 countries was conducted by: education technology company Cuemath.

Longer hours could potentially be a factor in reports of anxiety levels.

Young people in the UAE study longer than those in 78 other high- and middle-income countries, according to a comprehensive 2018 report.

The Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) survey tested between 4,000 and 8,000 students from 79 countries.

Despite studying the longest hours, students in the United Arab Emirates fell just below average for math scores.

In the OECD survey, UAE students scored 435 out of 600 for math, while the overall average was 489.

In the Cuemath survey, girls worldwide reported having more math-related anxiety than boys, with a quarter of girls reporting stress compared to a fifth of boys.

Anxiety peaked in grade nine, where the median age is typically 14 years old.

“These statistics should be a major concern for parents and children in the UAE,” Cuemath chairman Manan Khurma said in a statement.

Khurma believes the fear is largely due to the way mathematics is traditionally taught.

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