Physics formulas GCSE Watch

addywbu
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I have to learn 30 physics formulas for my exams!!! Does anyone have any tips for how to memorise them?
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Old_Microbials
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Is it really 30, or do some of them count as rearrangements? F=MA Is the same as A = F/M is the same as M = F/A for example?

Anyway!

The trick to physics is that they usually (well they did 10 years ago) have the answer place as <Blank> (Required units) so _______ms^-1

In order for you to the solve the question, each part will have a unit.
So Distance = m
Time = s
Speed (which they would be wanting in this case) ms^-1

It takes 20 seconds to travel 40 metres.
What speed did I travel?

You are given s and m. The answer will say _________ms-1

So you know that you achieve this by taking m and dividing by s.
Speed = Distance / time
ms^-1 = m / s

While this is a trivial example, look at your questions, you will see that you can work out what is required, based on the required units of the answer.


This is the technique I applied to short cut questions, hopefully this is useful advice for you. =)
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SDrew33
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I'd make lots of flash cards with each one on, then you can test yourself and practice.

Another way to approach it is learn definitions of quantites in terms of words like: speed is how far you go in a certain time so you then know it is distnace/time

Don't know if that helps at all, but hope it does!
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Sinnoh
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Here's how I've progressively learnt every formula I needed:
Just write them down for every question. Every single time. Write V = IR every time. Write F = BIL every time. E = VQ. Every single time you do the question, write out the formula.
You'll get sick at the sight of them, but you'll remember them.
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optalk
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Writing them down for every practice question is good advice. But also, you should try and learn what units are. That would help you the most and will also impress your teachers since you're only doing GCSEs now.
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Anthos
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Yeah, you should also remember the units like optalk said. In a calculation question, along with the answer, they may ask you the unit of an "obscure" measurement like spring constant (which is N/m), moment (Nm), density, specific heat capacity, momentum (kg m/s), etc.
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optalk
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(Original post by Anthos)
Yeah, you should also remember the units like optalk said. In a calculation question, along with the answer, they may ask you the unit of an "obscure" measurement like spring constant (which is N/m), moment (Nm), density, specific heat capacity, momentum (kg m/s), etc.
I thought they only asked questions on base units for A - Level but that's even more of a reason to learn units. Two birds with one stone.
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Anthos
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(Original post by optalk)
I thought they only asked questions on base units for A - Level but that's even more of a reason to learn units. Two birds with one stone.
Not sure about A Level. In the 2018 AQA Physics P2, they asked you to provide the unit for pressure (which I think was Pa, but N/m^2 was also accepted).
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optalk
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(Original post by Anthos)
Not sure about A Level. In the 2018 AQA Physics P2, they asked you to provide the unit for pressure (which I think was Pa, but N/m^2 was also accepted).
For the first two pages of my textbook (OCR) cover base and derived units. They forced us to learn it but it's actually really helpful.
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_gcx
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(Original post by Anthos)
Yeah, you should also remember the units like optalk said. In a calculation question, along with the answer, they may ask you the unit of an "obscure" measurement like spring constant (which is N/m), moment (Nm), density, specific heat capacity, momentum (kg m/s), etc.
I don't see why you'd need to specifically revise the units. If they know the formulas, they can just get the units from them. In my view that's a lot easier.
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optalk
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(Original post by _gcx)
I don't see why you'd need to specifically revise the units. If they know the formulas, they can just get the units from them. In my view that's a lot easier.
It's compulsory with OCR. You can pick up marks for deriving units.
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_gcx
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(Original post by optalk)
It's compulsory with OCR. You can pick up marks for deriving units.
Oh, I thought it was being suggested that you should learn all of the units, instead of how to get them from formulas. That's fair enough, and it's a good habit to get into if you want to take physics further since missing units would lose you marks at A-level! (I seem to remember units mostly being given to you at GCSE but sometimes they'd make you fill it in. At A-level you don't get a similar prompts)
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carxlinefxrbes_
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For me personally flash cards do not work in helping me memorise formulae. Whilst it is still useful to have them and look at them at time when your brain has a better chance at remembering them e.g. right before you go to sleep and them once again in the morning , I would suggest other methods alongside it.

Firstly before an exam, you could attempt lots of practise questions and always write down the formulas when you use them. Also, you could write them down and try to rearrange them to see which format you best remember them. (You could remember them best as formula triangles)

Right before an exam (for short term memory) you could keep writing down the formulas on a sheet of paper over and over again so when you get into the exam you can turn your paper to the back and write them all down whilst they're in your head.

Whilst in an exam you may get a formula question where you are given some information such as the units for the answer. In most cases the units are the formula! For example the formula for density=mass/volume and the units are g/cm3 or kg/m3 (the / standing for divide if you use this technique).

Another thing in the exam, if you are really struggling to remember an equation, is that in most formulas for energy everything on the other side is multiplied. E.g. KE= 0.5 x m x v^2. And GPE= m x g x h.

Hope this helps!
(Original post by addywbu)
I have to learn 30 physics formulas for my exams!!! Does anyone have any tips for how to memorise them?
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Callicious
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Practice writing and deriving them all.

A good way to live is to not accept a formula unless you can derive it, even in the simplest case. If it's beyond what you know at the moment, just look at the derivation, that usually helps you recollect where stuff comes from and helps you memorise them.

Honestly just repetition is the best way.
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Jamal77
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do we need to know the specific heat capacities for certain materials
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_gcx
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(Original post by Jamal77)
do we need to know the specific heat capacities for certain materials
No, even at A-level you are given the specific heat capacity of a material when required.
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addywbu
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(Original post by Jamal77)
do we need to know the specific heat capacities for certain materials
What exam board are you on?
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