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10 Tips to Memorise Complex Mathematical Formulas
Here are some tips to help you remember mathematical formulas for a long time:
1. Understand the Derivation of the Formulas
You will probably find a definition and derivation for every important mathematical formula in your books. They won’t just mention the formula without discussing its application and concept. So, read the explanation carefully, and if you have difficulties understanding the derivation and explanation of the formulas, you can consult your professor. You can also plug in values in every formula to understand its working and implementation.
You can memorise a formula without understanding it. However, during exams, you might implement it in the wrong way and ruin your answer, despite remembering the formula correctly. So, make sure you fully understand it.
2. Don’t Learn Multiple Formulas at Once
While panic studying (which we don’t recommend), students try memorising multiple formulas simultaneously. They prepare a list and spend multiple hours committing them to memory instead of solving questions. Ultimately, during the exam, they mix everything up. If you get the formula wrong, your ruin the whole question. Your answers and the steps to achieve it will be wrong as well. Ultimately, you’ll score nothing on that question. Therefore, pick one formula at a time, and learn how it works by putting in values. This is how you will be able to understand and remember it properly.
3. Practice and Implement Those Formulas in Questions
You cannot enter a mathematics or physics exam without practising the numeric questions and problems. Without proper training, you’ll surely fail your math or physics exam. So, before your exam, make sure you have implemented every formula in the most difficult question of your book. If you have solved all questions in your book and still have some time left, solve some older question papers. You can also find many others online. Remember, the more complex problems you’ll solve, the better you’ll be in implementing your mathematical formulas. But, if you get an easier question in the exam, don’t overthink it. Read the question carefully and solve it properly.
4. Create a Chart of Mathematical Symbols and Variables for Revision
A formula normally contains many variables and symbols. If you have to understand a formula properly and use it correctly in a question, you should know the name and purpose of the variables. So, create a chart and list all symbols and variables used in your formulas and equations. Then, write the definition and purpose of every one of them. If necessary, you can also list formulas in the chart. This will help you in last-minute revision.
5. Create Flashcards
This is a tried-and-tested tip. While we recommend memorising all equations by practising them, there’s a chance you may still forget them right before the exam. There’s so much pressure that students start forgetting or mixing formulas right before the exam, despite hours of practice. So, if you want to remember formulas, you should create multiple flashcards. For example, create a card, write a formula, define its variables, and write its purpose. Create multiple flashcards and go through them before your exam.
6. Familiarise Yourself with the Formulas
Every formula is related to a certain topic. If you haven’t read the topic carefully, you will never be able to understand the formulas in it. Therefore, before memorising them, read and understand the topic first. Once your concepts are clear, you can easily memorise even the toughest formulas. But, if you rote them without familiarising yourself with the concept, you will mess up the implementation while solving questions in your exam or assignment. Therefore, we recommend you go through every chapter to revise the concepts the night before exams.
7. Stay Focused
Stay away from social media websites, games, video streaming platforms, or any other distractions while studying for your math exam. You just have a few days to cover a massive syllabus with dozens of formulas. You can take breaks, but when you’re studying, focus on your work. Be as productive as possible to cover more topics in fewer hours. If you are addicted to your smartphone or any other gadget, keep it out of your reach, especially while studying. Then, after making a fair amount of progress, you can take a break and relax.
8. Use Different Memorisation Methods
There are many memorisation techniques you can use to remember mathematical formulas:
- Sometimes, we remember some details related to an event. For example, Jack remembers the date of his break-up with his girlfriend because it happened on his birthday (Ouch!). So, relate it to an event whenever you’re learning a formula.
- You can revise your formulas just before napping. If you drift off to sleep while revising formulas, there’s a high chance that you might remember some of them for long.
- Write the formulas multiple times on paper.
- Divide the formulas and memorise one section at a time.
9. Sleep Well
The biggest mistake many students make before their math exam is avoiding sleeping to get more time to cover all topics. This is a horrible studying tactic; stop now if you’re doing it! Avoiding sleep will only worsen your preparation and memory. No matter how much you’ve prepared, you won’t be able to focus properly during your exam. You will not read the question properly and will most certainly mix up different formulas. Instead, you should manage your time properly and get at least 8 hours of sleep daily. This will also help you manage performance pressure and stress before the exam.
10. Live a Healthy Lifestyle
The kind of food you consume has a massive impact on your memorisation skills. If you don’t eat well and are healthy, you will have issues remembering formulas even after solving related questions multiple times. Some of the best memory-boosting food items include:
- Dark Chocolate
- Fatty Fish
Make sure you have a healthy meal before appearing for exams. Otherwise, you’ll feel fatigued. Also, hydrate as much as possible to keep your brain working actively.
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