How to Learn Physics Formulas

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In physics, scientific elements are quantified and students learn how to calculate everything from speed to momentum through the use of proven formulas. One of the most difficult aspects of learning physics is committing the series of complex formulas to memory and learning how to use the formulas correctly. When learning physics, you can overcome this hurdle easily by engaging in some formula memorization activities. These activities help you memorize the formulas that you will use throughout your study of physics.

  • Keep all of your formulas in one, easy-to-find location by creating a cheat sheet of physics formulas. As you learn new physics formulas, record them not only in your notes, but also on a separate sheet of notebook paper. By doing this, you enable yourself to easily find any formula you need without having to flip through pages of notes to search for it.

  • Create a list of constants. Many physics formulas require the use of constants. As you learn new physics constants, create a list so that you can reference the constants as necessary. Place this list on the back of your list of formulas, so that you have one, easy to use, physics reference guide.

  • Draw formula pictures. You can make formulas concrete by drawing a picture. For example, you could draw a picture of an apple falling from a tree, and use arrows to record information about this movement so that you can better understand how a physics formula could be used to gather information about the apple's trip to the ground.

  • Make flash-cards. The traditional study practice of creating and using flashcards works wonderfully with formulas. Write the name of the formula on the front of the card, and the formula itself on the back. Quiz yourself by looking at the front of the card, then saying the formula, before flipping the card over to check your answer. If you get the formula right, place the card in one pile. If you get it wrong, place it in another. Continue to practice with the cards in the wrong pile to review the formulas with which you struggle.

  • Practice using the formulas frequently. The more you use physics formulas, the more adept you will become at using them correctly. Your physics teacher will likely give you practice activities. If you need more, look through your physics book and complete extra problems to cement your understanding.

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