Simple ways for students to remember formulas

This article explains how to remember formulas in subjects such as mathematics and physics. The key lies not in memorizing but in deriving them. An interest in the subject is a must to learn the basic concepts and components.


Students often find subjects such as mathematics and physics very difficult. It is because these subjects require a lot of problem-solving skills. For this, students have to first analyze the given problem and then understand what formula they have to use so that they can solve it and get the result. However, many of them find it difficult to remember all the formulas. Most of them are so similar to one another that students commit silly mistakes and use the wrong formulas. The key is in understanding how the formulas are derived and then recollect them easily so that solution can be obtained. Also, subjects like physics and mathematics seem easier when a student can recollect all the formulas easily without much effort. It is because more the time they waste in remembering them, the tougher they will find the problem that needs to be solved.

Simple techniques to remember formulas

  • Never memorize formulas
    If there are just a handful of formulas then memorizing seems easy. However, when a student reaches a higher class, there will be plenty of formulas, and memorizing them will seem the most difficult task. It may happen that a student will memorize one and the next second will forget others. The key is in understanding the formula. A student has to understand the construction of the formula. There are parts to it. Each formula is derived from something such as a definition or a theorem. Thus, if a student learns the definition and practices theorem, he does not have to memorize formulas and easily recollect them whenever necessary.

  • Writing makes it perfect
    Don't orally keep repeating and memorizing formulas. Instead, write them down on a single piece of paper. Spend some time daily or as frequently as possible in writing them so that they fit into the memory. Also, writing them fixes them in subconscious memory and recollecting them becomes easy. Also, it will be more beneficial if students try to solve as many mathematical and physics problems using those formulas as possible. The more the problems are solved and the more number of times the formulas are used, it becomes easy for students to understand how a particular formula works and how it should be used to solve the problem.

  • Go through them before sleep time
    Write down the formulas on a sheet of paper or a book and then just before going to bed, go through them. This activity will help feed the formulas deeply into the brain. We all have experienced that whatever our last thought is before falling asleep is usually our first thought in the morning. Thus, why not use this simple trick to remember formulas for a long time? Also, place the list of formulas in a place where eyes often look. It can be on a dressing table or the door of a refrigerator. This way, a student can quickly go through them many times in a single day which will make formulas hard to forget.

  • Use them in daily life
    Whether it is mathematics or physics, try to learn formulas and then use them in everyday life. When the formulas are no longer confined to books but put to best use in practical life, a student will find it easy to understand and remember. Thus, using them in exams will no longer seem tricky or difficult. Also, a student can easily recollect them without much effort. He will also not fall into the trap of using the wrong formula. Try to learn the formulas using visualization techniques.

  • Develop an interest in the subjects
    If a student tries to learn the formula without any interest then he might not succeed much. He has to first develop an interest in the subject. If the mindset is that the subject is tough and boring, then he will never learn the basic concepts of it and when the components of formulas are not understood, remembering them will seem the most difficult task. Thus, a student has to begin by developing an interest in the subject. It is because only interest will spark a willingness to learn something new and exciting every day.

  • Revise regularly
    Many a time it happens that a student has a keen interest in the subject and he learns the basic concepts and how the formulas are derived from them. Thus, he understands and learns everything. However, he does not revise it from time to time. Consequently, it gets lost over after a period of time. Now he has to relearn it because most of it is wiped out from his memory. Thus, he has to make sure to devote some time regularly to revise what is learned. If he is spending 5 days in a week learning something new then he has to spend at least 2 days in a week revising the learned formulas so that he can recollect them easily.


Students can easily remember mathematics and physics formulas but first, they have to begin by developing a keen interest in these subjects. Instead of seeing them as tough and boring, they should get to the basics. If students can derive the formulas then there is no need to remember them. They can anytime and anywhere derive them without much effort. The key here is not to memorize them but understand their components and learn them. Once learned, try to revise them as frequently as possible. Try to solve as many problems using those formulas as possible to get a better understanding of how formulas are used to solve the problems.


Author: DR.N.V. Srinivasa Rao14 May 2023 Member Level: Diamond   Points : 3

Remembering formulas is a really tough task. We used to face a lot of issues in this matter. During my PG studies, we used to have reaction mechanisms. This subject was very tough as there will be many formulas and reactions in this process. As mentioned by the author. we used to understand how the formula is arrived at. Then we used to take a slate and slate pencil and go on writing on our own based on our understanding. Then we used to compare what we have written with the original formulas and correct them as required. We used to repeat this process as many times as required. Once we understand and write 3 or 4 times, we used to remember them forever. Even today also I remember some of them. We used to get up early in the morning and start doing this practice. We will have a fresh mind in the mornings and that will make us understand the subject fast.

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