Know your equations.
Up to a couple of years ago it was not necessary to remember equations in Physics as students would be given a sheet during the exam that contained all the equations they might need. Times have changed! There is now an expectation that students will remember over 20 different equations. The requirements are published by the examination boards – for example, this link will take you to the Edexcel required equations sheet.
So how do you learn so many equations? In my last blog post I described how flash cards can be used as an effective revision tool, and they are particularly good for assisting with equation memorisation. On one side describe the equation required – for example ‘what equation links together frequency, wave speed and wavelength’ – and on the reverse put the solution. The cards can then be referred to whenever you’ve got a moment – in the car, on the bus, standing in a queue (!).
Another way is one that my eldest daughter frequently used when she was revising for her exams. She would get lots of A4 paper and coloured pens, and she would write down in big and bold letters the various equations. She would then stick them on walls around the house, so wherever she went there were reminders of what she needed to learn. The ceiling of her bedroom was covered in A4 sheets, and she would lie on the bed with Charlie, her dog, and just let everything sink in.
The walls were literally covered in A4 sheets, including in the toilet, and it meant that I didn’t have to decorate for several months! This technique really is effective – why not give it a go?
Lastly, you need to know how to re-arrange equations. For years we have advocated using the ‘equation triangles’ as a way of working out the various re-arrangements, and I still believe that they are very effective. Recently some teachers and examiners have tried to steer students away from triangles, so they didn’t become too reliant on them, but as far as I am concerned, they work, so why not stick with the tried and trusted?
Good luck with remembering your equations, and don’t forget to book ‘self-care’ into your revision timetables and look after yourself.