Tutor Icon  Request A Tutor

How to memorise formulae – Maths and Science Exams

Memorising mathematic formulas can be a crucial element to your GCSE and A-level exams, so mastering the skill can be essential.

Since the GCSE and A-level specifications changed in 2015, formula booklets are no longer provided for most maths and science examinations. This means you’ll need to know the important formulas off by heart.

There’s no point only loosely knowing them, as this may mean that you’ll get them wrong in your exam which could easily lose you some vital marks.

This applies to all examination boards whether you’re sitting your maths GCSE with AQA, Edexcel or a different exam board. And could appear in any of your maths exams, whether they require the use of a calculator or not.

If you’re trying to find which formulae you need to know, you can read through our article ‘Maths GCSE Need-to-know formulae’ or look on the website for your exam board.

We know that trying to learn endless formulascan be a chore – if you’re bored of standard revision methods and want something new, why not try our alternatives? Tavistock Tutors have compiled a list of tips to help improve your memory and help you excel.

  1. Don’t try to learn them all at once

Trying to learn formulas can be hard enough as it is without overloading yourself with them all at once!

To get yourself started, try and choose 2 or 3 at a time to work on. Trying to memorize too many will be difficult and you’re likely to get them mixed up. You won’t be able to learn all of the necessary formulas in an hour’s session – so start earlyand work through them gradually.

  1. Go post-it note crazy

Want gentle reminders of formula without actively trying to learn them? Using post-it notes can be a great way to learn them over a longer period of time – this should ensure that they stay in your long-term memory!

You firstly write down your formula down on a post-it note.Try and also draw a diagram if it relates to a shape as this will help you visualise the formula!

You could even try and colour co-ordinate your post-it notes, for example having a different colour for a different theme, such as blue for area and yellow trigonometry!

Keep writing down your formulasonto post-it notes, and then take all these different notes and stick them about your house. You can put them anywhere and everywhere, all around the house. For example, on cupboard doors, in your drawers, mirrors, windows and the fridge (Make sure you get permission first!)

When you next reach for a quick revision snack, you’ll be reminded of the formula. If you really want to push yourself with memorising them, you could walk around the room and try and read them aloud from memory before having a look!

  1. Set a picture of the formula as your phone background

If like the rest of the world you’re constantly on your phone or tablet, it might be a good idea to set your wallpaper to a formula. You may find yourself subconsciously learning it as you check the time or your notifications.

  1. Visualize!

If you know that you’re a visual learner, then why not use this to your advantage?

Repeatedly scrawling notes in the same black pen is exciting for nobody – why not introduce some variety or infuse some colour!

Create a mind-map, perhaps based on trigonometry, and then try writing all of your formulae around it. This visual image is more likely to stay in your mind, and you could even try and write it out from scratch to test yourself!

It doesn’t matter if it’s not a masterpiece – it will help you visualise the formula in your mind and that will help aid you in your exams!

  1. Index/ Flashcards

Whatever you call them, flash cards are an age-old tool which are helpful for remembering small pieces of information. All you need to do is cut up some paper or card into palm cards and write each of your formulae on an individual card.

On one side, write the name of the formula such as ‘area of a rectangle’. On the other side of the card, write out the formula with a diagram if possible.

First, read the formula several times aloud with it still in front of you. Then flip the card over and try to repeat the formula from memory.

You can grab index cards in different colours which could work with your colour co-ordination, and they’re small and portable so you can try and learn the formulae anywhere – even on the bus to school!

  1. Record them

Here at Tavistock Tutors, we recognise that everyone hates the sound of their own voice – but saying things aloud and then listening to them again has been scientifically proven to improve your memory!

Most phones and computers have a microphone or memo function. You can record yourself saying the formula aloud and then play the recording over again whenever you have a few spare minutes. Hearing them, mouthing the words along with yourself or saying them out loud can all help.

It can be a really easy and passive way to learn, whilst maybe doing something else – Some people even listen to them as they’re falling asleep!

If you find that you really find listening helpful, then maybe consider making your formulae into a song which could make them even easier to recall.



  1. Quizzing and teaching

Another uncommon way to learn small snippets of informationis by working with other people and speaking them aloud. Many people underestimate the power of talking as a useful way of remembering things.

If you’re in a group, or just at home – you could ask someone to go through your revision resources with you. By trying to teach someone else some information, you will simultaneously be strengthening your own knowledge of the topic.

Try and explain how the formula works to someone (maybe even to your dog or a wall if you can’t find someone) and then this will help you to understand it and memorise it better.

You could even produce a small presentation with your formula on. This could include practice questions in which you demonstrate how you would apply the specific formula to the question – this is sure to remain in your memory if you’ve been teaching other people using your presentation.


  1. Online resources

If you fancy something a little different, without using pen and paper – then there’s plenty of resourcesonline to help you learn things quickly!

Websites such as Memrise (https://www.memrise.com) and Quizlet (https://quizlet.com/en-gb) are very popular as language-learning tools – but that’s not all they are good for!

You can create your own sets and courses, similar to an online pack of index-cards. These websites then use different types of activities and games to help make learning more fun.

You can even download an app so that you can memorise formulas on the go!

  1. Put them into practice

As the old saying goes, practice makes perfect! One of the easiest ways to try and remember your essential formulae, is to use them repeatedly.

The more you use them within your own workings, the more likely you are to remember them when completing a similar question in your exam. You could use textbooks, worksheets or past papers for this practice.

If you want to find some past papers for your exam paper, read our article ‘Maths GCSE Past Papers’ which has a full resource bank and discusses some of the benefits of practicing with past papers.


Don’t Panic!

We know that ‘formula’ might not even sound like a real word at this point, but don’t get bogged down – try to give yourself plenty of time to get them into your long-term memory before your exams.

Overall, how you study and memorise formulae is entirely up to you – just do whatever works best (remember that everyone learns differently) and maybe even try some different methods together.

If you’re giving yourself little reminders to help you remember the formulae, don’t become too reliant on this help as you will need to know them off by heart in your exam with no hints to help you!

We Are Here To Help

We have hundreds of tutors available right now to help you improve and succeed. From a one hour session online to a full academic
year of face to face lessons, all it takes is five minutes for us to take down your information. We can then find you the most suitable tutors.

Sophia Simmons
Sophia Simmons
13:20 30 Apr 20
Very helpful and really aided my understanding of Rstudio, answered emails out of hours aswell. Really happy thanks a lot!
Rumina Begum
Rumina Begum
19:43 03 Apr 20
The customer service here is impeccable! From the moment you get in touch, you know your request will be dealt with and the team are super friendly and helpful. I’m writing my dissertation and need help with it, so I got in touch with Siama and Rosie at Tavistock and they gave me an option of tutors to choose from (factoring in my price range etc.) and I chose Chris. I went into this a bit nervous but they reassured me that it will be great and after my first session with Chris, they were definitely right! It went as smooth as can be and I’m actually excited to write my dissertation. Chris is great and super organised, I trust him already and we’ve only spoken once. He knows what he’s doing, friendly and is eager for me to do well too. I felt comfortable straight away! I would recommend Tavistock Tutors to everyone, a great investment and you can never go wrong with a bit of extra help. A great team to work with and a great service all round. I can’t wait to see what the future holds!read more
Eyup Ozcan
Eyup Ozcan
14:43 24 Feb 20
In the beginning of university terms I was struggling with a few assignments (statistics and research methods specifically). I had contacted many tutoring companies but non of them were able to meet my requirements i.e. some of them were just looking to get their money, some had conditions of how many session you could book and some didn't have the necessary qualifications that were suited for my needs. I had then found Tavistock tutors, they put me through with one of their best statistical tutors they had. I got an email straight away from her and we started working on the assignment and in a few sessions, the assignment was all up to date and I was ready to submit it with great confidence. Tavistock tutors is an amazing company that is worth the investment, they provide you with top class tutors, continuous support outside your lessons as well as being able to match you up with the correct tutor. whenever I need a tutor, all I do is message them on WhatsApp with my requirements and in a day or two, they've found me a perfect tutor. So far I've had great success with tutors in the fields of statistics and research methods as well as medicine related. Really happy with the services I've been given, don't be put of by the membership price, its worth it ;).read more
Muna Ali
Muna Ali
11:48 29 Jan 20
Great service, friendly staff and prompt customer service. Highly qualified selection of tutors and decent price for security and piece of mind.
natalie kanfer
natalie kanfer
15:32 21 Jan 20
By far the best tutoring agency I have ever worked with!
Elena Serena Piccardi
Elena Serena Piccardi
11:26 19 Oct 19
I have been working with Tavistock Tutors for 3 years. I tutor undergraduate and postgraduate students disciplines such as research methods/advanced research methods, SPSS, data analysis, psychology and I also offer support to clients interested in pursuing an academic career (cv and interview preparation). My experience with Tavistock Tutors has been exceptionally good since the very beginning. Each member of the team is striving to provide the best and most personalised service to both students and tutors. This approach helps students achieve their goals and be inspired by tutors, whilst supporting tutors' growth and development of teaching/tutoring skills. Each member of the Tavistock Tutors team is exceptionally passionate about the incredible work they do to help students succeed. Their organisation is fantastic across all the stages of the process: from informing tutors about potential tutoring requests, to communicating any additional personalised requests students might have, to dealing with requests from tutors themselves. Further, their communication is always so friendly and positive: I love interacting with each of them! 😊 Overall, I believe this is the finest tutoring agency in London (and probably beyond London!). The tutors are exceptionally talented and a true inspiration for students! As one of the tutors, I cannot be happier I made the decision to join the team a few years ago! They truly made me a better person and supported my personal growth as an individual and as an educator.read more
Melodie Argi
Melodie Argi
08:14 18 Oct 19
Tavistock tutors is by far the best tutor agency is London. The tutor selection is of the highest quality. Handpicked from the British intellectual elite in all sorts of disciplines. The staff is wonderfully helpful as well as being extremely attentive to feedback.read more
Henry Smith
Henry Smith
22:27 17 Oct 19
I have been employed as a tutor with Tavistock Tutors for over 5 years. I tutor mathematics and also help people with job preparation for different career routes (cv, cover letter, interview preparation and online test prep). They are simply a wonderful team of individuals who work collectively and strive to deliver the best possible service to both clients and their tutors. They work doggedly to achieve results. They are particularly honest and their feedback to tutors on how to improve is tailored, concise and always highly constructive. Even after 5 yrs, they only put me forward as a tutor if they think I am the absolute best they can find otherwise they are honest with me and explain why I was not put forward. I think this transparency is a huge reason for their success and keeps the best tutors on their books for years. Their communication on what a client wants is also clinically precise and effective and the team go out of their way to provide potential interests/passions of the client to help the tutor prepare accordingly for the lessons and nurture that interaction. Simply the finest agency and I have tutored with some of the best. World-class tutors and utmost confidentiality with respect to their clientele. I cannot be happier to work for them, a dream job with a team whose capacity for kindness, empathy and boundless intellect never ceases to amaze me. Their work ethic inspires me to relentlessly push myself to be a better tutor with their encouragement and constructive feedback.read more
Albert Tam
Albert Tam
20:50 17 Oct 19
Best tutors in London! Great experience and amazing customer service. Highly recommend, my tutors were all fantastic and a huge help. Really recommend Tavistock Tutors as I never had to worry about not getting the highest quality tutors unlike other agencies and online tutors.read more
16:13 17 Oct 19
I’ve used Tavistock multiple times and they never disappoint! I used them for myself secondary school, whilst at university and even now whilst working. Their service is second to none as are their tutors. I highly recommend them to anyone looking to better themselves academically or personally.read more
13:22 06 Oct 19
Why most reviewers have one contribution, namely to the Tavistock Tutors? High standards ? Mate get a real job rather than living off other's qualifications. Reality Check (See photos attached - that is the owner “looking for me” 1.5 years after leaving London and while my name and photo was on first page of Tavistock Tutor website...)read more
Jonathan Aaron
Jonathan Aaron
16:39 01 Aug 19
Amazing experience, the tutor was reliable, knowledgeable and reasonably priced and the company was both professional and reliable. Definitely will be using them again!read more
David T
David T
16:34 01 Aug 19
I used Tavistock for some Corporate Finance and Financial Modelling training at my firm. They were extremely helpful and the trainer, Simon, was of top quality, experience and charged a fair price. Thank you!read more
Olivia Pluss
Olivia Pluss
11:05 13 Jun 19
I had a fantastic experience with my tutor Elena and Tavistock Tutors. They were very well organized and made the entire experience so seamless and easy for me. I passed my assignment with great marks and the experience was much less stressful than if I had tried to complete the assignment without Elena's help.read more
J Mathews
J Mathews
11:27 22 May 19
My child used Glenda for HL biology. Glenda was outstanding. I would not hesitate to recommend her. Extremely intelligent, always prepared, knows how to teach/very helpful, and also just a nice person. Also, I would use Tavistock again for sure because we had such success with Glenda.read more
Alan Radford
Alan Radford
09:34 09 May 19
Tavistock Tutors were a delight to deal with, and highly professional at all times. They provided my daughter with an excellent tutor at very short notice - after my having approached them on a Thursday urgently requesting a tutor for that weekend. Tavistock Tutors immediately gave the matter their attention; they appreciated the urgency and responded quickly and efficiently, and helped to set my daughter up with exactly the right sort of tutor. Fantastic!read more
Sophie Taieb
Sophie Taieb
12:55 29 Mar 19
Very happy with Tavistock tutors services. They provide a wide range of tutors, from all backgrounds and for all types of needs. My uni son needed some help in research and methodology. We found a perfectly suited tutor in less than 3 days. He is very knowledgeable, punctual, open minded and brings the support needed to my son. I would definitely recommend Tavistock tutorsread more
Next Reviews

English Resources – Great for GCSE and A-level

There are plenty of resources out there which can help you excel and improve your English Grade. Whether you want some comprehensive guidance on texts or maybe just some tips on how to improve your...

Maths GCSE Video Resources

Struggling to revise for your GSCE Maths exam by looking through your textbook? Tavistock Tutors are here to help! We know that there's plenty to learn for your maths exam, and it can seem even ...

Maths GCSE Exam – the night before

We know that exam period can be tense, and the night before an exam your mind starts to switch to panic mode. If you're just a few days away from your exams, you will have done most of the hard wor...