Every student wants to perform well in exams. However, for different students, different aspects of various subjects might feel burdensome. Subjects like Mathematics and Science are pretty scoring subjects. However, for these subjects, you will have to learn additional new information like formulas, derivations, and theorems.
If you plan to excel in your exams, you need to understand and memorize the important formulas in various subjects. They form a major chunk of Mathematics, Physics, and Chemistry. However, formulas can often be a pain to memorize. If you get a formula wrong, you will end up jeopardizing the entire question. As you progress to higher grades, the formulas that you come across will increase in number as well as in the difficulty level. For example, if you plan to appear for competitive exams like JEE Main, you need to memorize over 1200 formulas. Now wouldn’t you love to look for ways to memorize them efficiently? You are probably already looking for ways to efficiently memorize the formulas and not forget them in exams. So here we are with some neat tricks to help you.
Before you begin memorizing the formulas, make sure that you understand the fundamental concepts behind the formula. Rote memorization will not help you in the long run. The brain cannot comprehend what you have learned well if it doesn’t understand the logic behind it. As a result, that information will soon be lost. When you understand a piece of information and then memorize it, your brain retains it better and longer.
1. The traditional way:
The traditional method to memorize the formulas is to learn a particular formula and write it on a piece of paper 15-20 times. The practice you get from writing a specific formula multiple times will help you learn the formula easily. You will also remember this formula for a long time since you have had written practice.
This is an important technique that teachers and students use all around the world to remember formulas. Mnemonics is basically the technique to learn important details using a phrase for the pattern of letters or numbers in a particular formula. Most of you must be aware of the famous Mnemonics used in trigonometry called “sohcahtoa” which stands for
CAH: Cos=Adjacent / Hypotenuse
TOA: Tan= Opposite/ Adjacent
Let us look at another example for remembering Physics formulas using mnemonics
The formula to find the weight is mass multiplied by gravitational strength. Here is how you can learn this formula with the help of mnemonics
W= m X g
Where is Mr. Gavin?
You can find several popular mnemonics on the internet for a variety of formulas or you can even make your own.
Just like mnemonics you can even create stories around formulas to aid in memorization. For example, let us look at the formula for Kinetic Energy:
Ek = 0.5 m v2
One day a very Keen Einstein thought to have half of a mighty plate of venison vermicelli.
Now, these stories and mnemonics do not need to make sense to anyone but you. These may be as weird and funny as you like. These should be such that they are easily memorable for you and do not need to make perfect sense.
Use visual aids:
Another important aspect of learning formulas is to keep looking at them frequently. The more you see these formulas the more likely it is that you will remember them. So you can write the formula on colour-coded post-its with different coloured pens and stick it in various places in your room. Research has shown that colour-coded notes help you remember better. You can also use flashcards for the same purpose. Use flashcards with large fonts and glance at them often even when you are not studying. You can even refer to animated videos on the internet to help your brain remember these formulas well.
Practice at regular intervals:
Practice writing and referring to the formulas often. Your brain will keep important information safely for longer. The more you go back to these formulas at regular intervals, the more your brain comprehends it as an important piece of information and holds it in for a long period. So after every couple of days write the formulas you have learned this week. You can keep on adding new formulas to this list but do not stop practising the old formulas as well.
Read before sleeping:
Put all the formulas you have learned in one neat notebook and look at it and casually read it right before sleeping. Research has shown that people who read before bedtime have a higher ability to memorize and better recall. Some scientists even suggest that bedtime is the perfect time to study any subject.
Apply the formulas to various problems:
If you do not apply the formulas you have learned to your daily studies, chances are that you are soon going to forget them no matter how much you memorized them. When you apply the formulas learned to new problems, your brain makes important neurological connections, and consequently, that formula will be ingrained in your brain for a long time. What you can do is keep a neat list of all the formulas you have memorized in front of you as you start solving questions. Read the question well, think which formula you need to apply to this question, refer to the list in front of you and look at the formula for 4-5 seconds with all the focus you have got. As you go on solving problems and refer to several formulas daily, they will be etched in your brain perfectly.
These tips are going to help you improve in subjects like Mathematics, Physics, and Chemistry. In fact, these scientifically backed techniques can be applied to enhance your learning skills in a variety of other subjects as well. The main thing is that you must put in your time and effort to follow these tips and techniques. Nothing comes for free in life. So if you aim to excel in your studies, you will have to be determined and persevere a lot.