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Confessions of an Adult Apprentice - How to beat those Functional Skills Anxieties.

Confessions of an Adult Apprentice….. 

Completing a Level 2 Functional Skills in mathematics can be an anxiety-inducing journey for many individuals. I know this only too well.  

I am currently studying my Level 7 Business Scale Up Leadership degree apprenticeship. Whilst the course is fantastic (big up to Liverpool John Moore University and my employers Open Awards) in order to complete, I need to achieve my Level 2 Maths Functional Skills. I was hopeless at Maths back in school and I am still hopeless now. 

My anxieties stem from a variety of sources, including the fear of math, past negative experiences, self-doubt, and the pressure that I put on myself to meet educational and career goals.  

I thought it would be fun to explore some of the common anxieties associated with completing Level 2 Functional Skills in maths in a bid to make myself feel better and hopefully alleviate anyone else’s anxiety too! I do refer to some most commonly used coping mechanisms at the end of the article so head straight there if you need to: 

Maths Anxiety: 

For those pursuing Level 2 Functional Skills in maths, the fear of math can be paralyzing. This anxiety can lead to feelings of inadequacy, self-doubt, and even physical symptoms like sweaty palms and a racing heart when faced with math-related tasks.

Fear of Failure: 

There is often immense pressure to succeed in Level 2 Functional Skills in maths, as these qualifications can be crucial for career advancement or further education. The fear of failing, not meeting expectations, or not achieving the required level can cause a significant amount of stress. 

Past Negative Experiences: 

Previous experiences with math, especially negative ones, can be a significant source of anxiety. Individuals who struggled with math in school (like many of us!) may carry those negative emotions into their Level 2 Functional Skills journey, making it challenging to approach the subject with confidence. 

Time Constraints: 

Many people pursuing Level 2 Functional Skills in maths are balancing their studies with other responsibilities, such as work and family commitments. The pressure to find time to study and complete coursework can enhance anxiety. 

Complex Concepts: 

Level 2 mathematics can involve more complex and abstract concepts, which can be intimidating for those who are not mathematically inclined. Learning and applying these concepts can be challenging, leading to anxiety. 

Coping Strategies: 

It's important to acknowledge these anxieties and take proactive steps to address them. Here are some coping strategies: 

  1. Seek Support: Reach out to educators, tutors, or support networks to get the assistance you need. Don't hesitate to ask questions or seek clarification on challenging topics. 
  2. Manage Your Time: Plan your study schedule and allocate specific time slots for coursework. Breaking the learning process into manageable chunks can reduce anxiety related to time constraints. 
  3. Positive Mindset: Practice self-compassion and focus on your achievements and progress rather than dwelling on perceived failures. A positive mindset can boost your confidence. 
  4. Practical Application: Apply math to real-life situations to make it more relatable and less abstract. This can help demystify complex concepts. I like work our percentages based on real life scenarios i.e. there is 35% off this dress. How much would you pay? 
  5. Breathing and Relaxation Techniques: When anxiety strikes, employ deep breathing exercises and relaxation techniques to calm your nerves. 

If you remember anything form this article, please remember this - Learning is a process. Don't rush and take one step at a time. Celebrate your small victories and congratulate yourself for undertaking such a big step to develop your knowledge and skills! 

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