Memorizing formulas may get a bit tricky when you have such a vast syllabus to study. Many times you have to go back to some old books for old formulas you might have forgotten. So, here is what you can do to memorize formulas in Physics, Chemistry, and Math.
Tips To Memorize Formulas
Firstly, why do we forget formulas?
There may be a few general reasons like lack of concentration (focus), less time and too much to grasp, or difficulty in relating which formula is used for which problem. Working on such issues is the priority, else you may end up forgetting some really important formulas. You must know one thing for sure, that all formulas are important and easy to master.
So, let’s learn how to remember formulas for each of the subject:
1. Scan through and familiarize
In Physics, there are variables which are repeated, like ‘r’ or ‘R’ is used for radius and it is common in most of the formulas. So first make a list and study which variable is for what, this is how you get familiar with them. Simply scan through them first and try and remember which formula belongs to which chapter and what the variables indicate. Do not simply mug up. You must learn by writing formulas at least 5 times for each chapter, and repeat this for at least a week, one hour daily. This will help you get used to them and it will be less difficult since our eyes capture the picture of what we see so writing them can be beneficial.
2. Apply and practice solving
Practising will help you learn to apply the formulas in the right manner and in the right sequence at the same time. When you solve problems based on a formula you will understand how to use it and where to use which formula. Plus as you solve problems you will automatically remember the formulas.
3. Learn to derive formulas
You can’t remember everything. Therefore, you need to reduce the load of memorizing hundreds of formulas together. The best way to do that is to derive the formula. There are formulas which can be derived from other formulas and this make the process of memorizing very easy. A short list of formulas in the Circular Motion chapter or any other chapter in Physics will help you derive many other formulas as shown below:
- a. d (diameter of the circle in meters(m)) = 2r ( is the radius of the circle in m)
- b. v (is the speed of motion in m/s) = ωr
- c. a (magnitude of the acceleration of motion in m/s2)= ωv
- d. ω (angular frequency s-1) = 2πf
- e. T (length of time of a revolution in seconds) =1/f (number of revolutions per unit time in s-1 /Hz)
- f. C (circumference of the circle in m) = 2πr
v = ωr and a=ωv
can give you a relation between a and r
a=ω2r so from two basic formulas you can derive another formula which you need not memorize.
4. Understanding the structure and units of a formula
Here force is on the top as you need force to move the object quickly so it has an upper hand while mass has to be moved with a force so you need force to accelerate the mass.
The unit of acceleration is a=m/s2 (since a =vω, ω =1/s and v=m/s ∴ a=m/s2 )
So when you solve the units of F and m you must get the unit of acceleration.
F=kg.m/s2 or Newton and m (mass)=kg
5. Take notes
Make notes with the important formulas and stick it up your wall or cupboard or just beside the mirror. This will help you glance through and not forget the formulas.
6. Visualize and test yourself
Select a couple of problems and write the formula you will use for each of the problems. In case, you come across a problem where you don’t remember the formula, mark it red on the list you made so you do not forget it again. Take a test on Embibe and see if you can apply the formulas. Also do not use the formula list while solving problems.
Math has a lot of formulas as compared to any other subjects and hence you have to master in the right manner. You wouldn’t want to lose your marks because of a few formulas.
1. Familiarize with the list of mathematical symbols
Make a list of all the formulas chapter-wise so you can glance through it anytime you need it. After the list of formulas is ready, you can go through all the new unknown symbols you come across. Try and make a list of these unknown mathematical symbols and understand them.
2. Structure of the formulas and how they can be derived
Understand the formulas and how they work how they are structured and learn to derive them:
sin(A+B)=sin A cos B + cos A sin B
sin(A-B)=sin A cos B – cos A sin B
cos(A+B)=cos A cos B – sin A sin B
cos(A-B)=cos A cos B + sin A sin B
In the above list of four formulas, sin has sin cos on the other side of the equal sign, whereas cos has cos cos on the other side. The sign in sin formula is always the same i.e. if + is on the LHS then + is the RHS as well. Whereas in cos the sign changes + on LHS becomes – and vice versa. Obviously we have proof for the above formulas that’s when you substitute values for A and B you will know if the LHS and RHS match or not.
Now what can be derived,
if you add cos(A+B)+cos(A-B)= 2 cos A cos B and this is another formula which you need not by heart.
Similarly you have, sin (A+B)+sin(A-B), cos(A+B)-cos(A-B), sin (A+B)-sin (A-B) so this is how you can simplify the formulas.
Write the formula at least for three times for each chapter after which you can start solving. Solving sums is a must as Math is all about solving problems. The more you solve the more you will love it and the more you will be a perfectionist at solving. You can also call your friend over and compete with each other over a piece of cake during your study time. This will encourage you and you will retain the formulas for a longer time.
4. Use flash cards, revise and test yourself
You can use flash cards (short notes to glance through) for formulas in Math it will help you memorize them. Then recite them out loud with your friend or while watching a video or if you are shopping with your friends. You can try on a new outfit and then look at yourself and say the formula out loud especially the difficult ones. After about 3 months, go through the list and again highlight those formulas with red which you still can’t remember and practice problems related to those formulas. Also pick random problems and try solving them once you are done with learning the formulas for at least 5 chapters. If you get stuck, that means you still need to practice more.
Chemical formulas are shorthand ways to represent the details of a compound as in what type of compound it is, its molecular formula and atomic number etc. So here’s how to make Chemistry more fun and interesting.
1. Listing down the important ones
First make a chart of the periodic table which you can access anytime anywhere. Then acquaint yourself with the chemical symbol most easily found on the periodic table which includes both the full name of the symbol and the full name of each element such as C for Carbon and He for helium and H for hydrogen and Cl for Chlorine. Some are easy to remember, but some of them are difficult for example Na for sodium since its symbol is different from the name. The Na symbol is derived from natrium, the Latin word for sodium. Remember the periodic table is mostly for reference so analyze it well. Also, make a list of other formulas in thermodynamics and other such chapters since these formulas are directly applied while solving. Understand the uses of the symbols how they are used in a particular formula.
2. Identifying the symbols in a compound
You must know to identify which symbol is to be used for which compound. For example, salt is sodium chloride which is NaCl. Na for sodium and Cl for chloride. Identifying some important prefixes is also necessary. Carbon dioxide, dioxide means two atoms of oxygen, therefore it is written as CO2. You should not only understand from the periodic table how to check for the atoms of a compound but even identify the valence, balance the charges etc.
3. Relate and solve
Stick the list of formulas on the wall so you can watch it. But do not refer to it while solving. Solve at least 3 problems for each formula in each chapter so one chapter for one week. If you aren’t able to solve a problem or you can’t remember the formulas again highlight it in red and stick it on the wall.
4. Pick random problems and minimize the references
Last but not the least pick random problems and solve. If you aren’t able to do that, write that formula at least 5 times for that week. As and when you start solving and mastering the formula try and use them without referring to the formula list. If you are solving problems randomly and you can’t remember the formula again you need to write it down.
Other general things you need to keep in mind:
Every night when you go to sleep glance once through the list of formulas on the wall after which you can close your eyes and try to recollect the hard ones. It’s during the rapid eye movement during sleep that we rehearse all new skills learned each day and when you get up in the morning and again revise. This will help you will remember all the formulas
Health is wealth
It may seem as a waste of time, but exercise is one important factor that a person requires relaxing his/her body and mind, it allows oxygen to flow to the brain will refresh your mind. And this will help you concentrate more on the task give to you
So start your JEE preparation with the list of formulas. And if you want to practice, Embibe is the right platform for you. With its test, practice and a vast range of questions, you will surely master all the formulas. Also, you can make notes, use bookmarks on Embibe to help you remember the formulas you weren’t able to use while solving. So start with Chemistry, Math and then Physics – this sequence will help you finish faster. All the best!