Math is unlike other subjects in that it builds upon itself and you need a strong foundation to keep learning. Many students don’t realize that they need math tutoring until their grades reflect that they’re struggling. Once your grades are low, it can be hard to catch up on content and improve your grade. So what signs can you look out for before getting your semester grade? Here’s how to know when you need math help.

**Missing Building Blocks**

One of the biggest reasons that students need math help is that they’re missing pre-requisite information vital to their current class. For example, without a strong understanding of addition, it will be incredibly challenging to learn multiplication. Because math is cumulative in nature, missing building blocks will cause challenges.

So the first sign that you need math help is that you’re missing foundational knowledge needed to move forward in the content. Are there things in class that “everyone else” seems to know without it being explained? Does the teacher refer to unknown concepts that “should’ve been taught last year” or “from a chapter you covered last semester?” Missing building blocks is a sign you may need math help.

**Math Facts and Mental Math Challenges **

The next sign that you may need math help is if you’re struggling with math facts and mental math. The purpose of learning math facts and practicing mental math strategies is to increase the pace and accuracy with which math problems can be solved.

If you’re unable to quickly recall simple math facts or solve simple math problems in your head, your math work may take longer. You may also have math fact errors within a more complex problem that cause you to come to the incorrect answer. If math facts and mental math are challenging for you, you may need math help.

**Unable to Apply Strategies **

Sometimes in math, it is possible to understand the logic behind a formula or a strategy, yet still be unable to apply it to solve a problem. If this is the case for you, it’s another sign that you may need math help. It can also be challenging to apply knowledge to real life scenarios. For example, being able to add and subtract with decimals, but unable to apply that to figuring out how much change you should get back at the grocery store.

The use and application of formulas and strategies only grows as math continues to build upon itself. Recognizing the signs of needing math help early can help to combat future challenges in understanding, applying, and utilizing math skills.

**Math Anxiety **

Another sign that you may need math help is experiencing math anxiety. Anxiety around math could present as talking negatively to yourself about math, avoidance of math work, high amounts of nervousness surrounding math assignments, and physical signs of anxiety such as upset stomach, clammy hands, and the feeling of wanting to cry.

Math anxiety can prevent you from being able to perform at your best on assignments, quizzes and tests and the anxiety is often tied to a lack of understanding of the content. If you’re experiencing math anxiety, you may need math help.

**Decrease in Grades**

The last, and likely the most clear sign that you need math help is a decrease in performance or grades. If you’re noticing a dip in your grades, or you’re not receiving the scores you’d like, it may be time to look into some form of math help.

If any of these signs sound or feel familiar to you, you might be in need of math help. Consider talking to your teacher, joining a study group, or hiring a tutor.

Atlanta Tutors offers private math tutoring for all math subjects, ages Kindergarten-12th Grade and College.