Mathematics Anxiety Rating Scale (MARS 30-item)

The Mathematics Anxiety Rating Scale (MARS 30-item) is a shorter version of the full MARS scale (Richardson & Suinn, 1972) to measure feelings of tension and anxiety experienced when faced with math testing or problem solving. The scale has two sub-dimensions, mathematics test anxiety and numerical anxiety.


Geographies Tested: United States of America

Populations Included: Female, Male

Age Range: Adolescents, Adults


1. Taking an examination (final) in a mathematics course.
2. Thinking about an upcoming mathematics test one week before.
3. Thinking about an upcoming mathematics test one day before.
4. Thinking about an upcoming mathematics test one hour before.
5. Thinking about an upcoming mathematics test five minutes before.
6. Waiting to get a mathematics test returned in which you expected to do well.
7. Receiving your final mathematics grade in the mail.
8. Realizing that you have to take a number of mathematics classes to fulfill the requirements in your major.
9. Being given a "pop" quiz in a mathematics class.
10. Studying for a mathematics test.
11. Taking the mathematics section of a college entrance examination.
12. Taking an examination (quiz) in a mathematics course.
13. Picking up the mathematics textbook to begin working on a homework assignment.
14. Being given a homework assignment of many difficult problems which is due the next class meeting.
15. Getting ready to study for a mathematics test.
16. Dividing a five digit number by a two digit number in private with pencil and paper.
17. Adding 976 + 777 on paper.
18. Reading a cash register receipt.
19. Figuring the sales tax on a purchase that costs more than $1.00.
20. Figuring out your monthly budget.
21. Being given a set of numerical problems involving addition to solve on paper.
22. Having someone watch you as you total up a column of figures.
23. Totaling up a dinner bill that you think overcharged you.
24. Being responsible for collecting dues for an organization and keeping track of the amount.
25. Studying for a driver's license test and memorizing the figures involved, such as the distances it takes to stop a car going at different speeds.
26. Totaling up the dues received and the expenses of a club you belong to.
27. Watching someone work with a calculator.
28. Being given a set of division problems to solve.
29. Being given a set of subtraction problems to solve.
30. Being given a set of multiplication problems to solve.

Response Options:
5-point Likert scale
Not at all - 1
Very much - 5

Scoring Procedures

Not Available

Original Citation

Suinn, R. M., & Winston, E. H. (2003). The Mathematics Anxiety Rating Scale, a brief version: Psychometric data. Psychological Reports, 92, 167-173.

Psychometric Score

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Scoring breakdown

Formative Research

Qualitative Research

Existing Literature/Theoretical Framework

Field Expert Input

Cognitive Interviews / Pilot Testing








Criterion (gold-standard)



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