I work in a health centre as a healthcare assistant in the diabetes care team in Brighton. As part of my training I had to take my Care Certificate, in which there is a compulsory numeracy module.
When I found out about the maths requirement I was mortified. I felt petrified of it and I knew that maths wasn’t my strong point.
I logged on to the National Numeracy Challenge and looked at some of the questions. Straight away I thought that I was going to struggle.
At first I scored 34 and I needed 80 for the Care Certificate. I buried my head in the sand and with the pressure of having to work and complete the other Care Certificate requirements I kept putting the Challenge off.
I knew though that eventually I would have to face up to it. I worked hard to try and complete it but still I wasn’t getting the score I wanted. It was so frustrating but I did keep trying.
At first I was ashamed to ask for help while I was finding it difficult but I did find the courage to seek support from colleagues and my manager and my score was improving. I got up to 73, but it still wasn’t enough to complete the Care Certificate.
I really thought that I wasn’t going to be able to do it, I thought I’d never get to the Essentials of Numeracy but I kept trying and trying on the Check-Up. It was hard to keep going and not be put off maths. But I still didn’t give up.
I used some resources from National Numeracy on the areas I was struggling with. They were really helpful and the resources that I had needed all along.
Even when I was doing the Check-Up again I still thought I wasn’t going to get the score I needed but when the results came up I had got 81.
I was over the moon! I was so happy and proud of myself that I kept trying and finally managed to pass. It felt so good to know that I didn’t need to stress about maths anymore.
I actually cried when I realised I had done it – it was such a huge sense of achievement.
I know now that I should not be ashamed to ask for help and not to be stressed out by maths. I wish I had asked for help at the very beginning instead of suffering in silence.
The Challenge has given me the confidence to know that I can get where I want as long as I am not afraid to ask and keep doing the maths. If I keep practicing the maths and keep my skills up I would be interested in doing a Level 2 qualification.
Start improving your numeracy – register on the National Numeracy Challenge now!
National Numeracy has developed an online tool to help you improve your numeracy and boost your confidence. This interactive website is free to use at home, at work or on the move. You can assess your current level of numeracy – completely anonymously – and then begin an online journey to getting the Essentials of Numeracy.
Find out more about maths anxiety
What is a fear of maths, how does it affect people and their lives, and what can you do to help? National Numeracy has collected a variety of research, stories from real people, and advice about maths anxiety.