Abbreviated Version of the Mathematics Anxiety Rating Scale (A-MARS)

This is an abbreviated (25-item version) of the original Mathematics Anxiety Rating Scale (MARS) instrument developed by Richardson and Suinn (for reference- see comments).The purpose of the study was to develop abbreviated version of MARS, and to find whether certain specific backgrounds (gender, socio-economic status) and academic variables can predict math anxiety.

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Supplemental Information:


Assessment Type:

Self-administered questionnaire


5-point Likert scale

Publication Date:

Apr 27, 2012


517 college students in lower level psychology class.

Domain(s) Evaluated:

Attitude / Behavior, Competence

Sample items:

Please indicate your level of anxiety in the following situations. Please choose one box on each line.
Not at all A little A fair amount Much Very much
1 Studying for a math test
2 Taking the math section of a college entrance exam


Internal reliability = 0.96 | test-retest reliability = 0.90


High correlation = 0.92



Administration time:

20 minutes

Requires a Computer:


Requires Internet Access:


Primary reference:

Alexander, L., & Martray, C. (1989). The Development of an Abbreviated Version of the Mathematics Anxiety Rating Scale. Measurement And Evaluation In Counseling And Development, 22(3), 143-50.


Original 98-item MARS was developed by Richardson and Suinn:
Richardson, F., & Suinn, R. M. (1972). The Mathematics Anxiety Rating Scale: Psychometric Data. Journal of Counseling Psychology, 19(6), 138-149.

Other subsequent studies also developed short versions:
Plake, B., & Parker, C. (1982). The development and validation of a revised version of the Mathematics Anxiety Rating Scale. Education and Psychological Measurement, 42(2), 551- 557.

Suinn, M., Winston, H.(2003). The Mathematics Anxiety Rating Scale, a brief version: psychometric data. Psychological Reports, 92(1), 167-173.

There is also a MARS-R version:
Hopko, D. R. (2003). Confirmatory factor analysis of the math anxiety rating scale - revised. Educational and Psychological Measurement, 63(2), 336-351.

A recent study used the original Richardson & Suinn scale to measure mathematics teachers' anxiety:
Hadley, K. M & Dorward, J.(2011). The Relationship among Elementary Teachers' Mathematics Anxiety, Mathematics Instructional Practices, and Student Mathematics Achievement. Journal of Curriculum and Instruction (JoCI), 5(2), 27-44.

Other References:
Beasley, T. M., Long, J. D. Natali, M. (2001). A confirmatory Factor analysis of the Mathematics Anxiety Scale for Children. Measurement and Evaluation in Counselling and Development, 34, 14-26

By using confirmatory factor analysis article suggested that MARS measures an internally consistent, unidimensional construct. Construct validity was seen. MARS-R (Math Anxiety rating scale revised) and MARS-SV (Math Anxiety rating scale short version) seem to be used in more research, possible suggestion to switch the current one to either of them.

Soni, A. & Kumari, S. (2015). The Role of Parental Math Anxiety and Math Attitude in their Children's Math Achievement. International Journal od Science and Math Education, 1-17.

For example this researcher used 3 revised forms of MARS and instead of using A-MARS, the MARS-SV was preferred. The rationale for using MARS-SV was given via component analysis with an oblique rotation. It was shown that MARS-SV has high correlation (r = 0.92) with the original MARS, high internal reliability (0.96) and test-retest reliability (r = 0.90) at 1-week intervals.

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Livingston Alexander, PhD
President, University of Pittsburgh at Bradford
300 Campus Drive Bradford, PA 16701