Student Tips for Success in Anatomy & Physiology

These tips for success are modified from tips submitted by Students
in the CCBC-Catonsville Anatomy & Physiology II Classes Spring 2002

I. Summary of Tips

  1. Study with other students/form a study group.
  2. Create and use flashcards (you can also buy them but this is more expensive and probably not as helpful).
  3. Rewrite your notes in your own words as soon after the lecture as possible.
  4. Review material as often as possible; cramming for exams is a really bad idea. Instead, study a lot over many days before the exam; then relax the day of the exam.
  5. Take advantage of the CD-ROM that came with the textbook and the website available through the textbook company.
  6. Read and outline each chapter of the text and answer the relevant review questions at the end of each chapter. The text is a major source for the "canned" exam questions (multiple choice questions from the test bank).
  7. Tape the lectures and listen again (and again) later. This is especially helpful for students who are "auditory" learners.
  8. Use the objectives provided as a study tool.
  9. Use a coloring book (e.g., the one by Elaine Marieb) to help you study anatomical structures.
  10. Use acronyms that you make up to help you learn series of names (e.g., cranial nerves).
  11. Use the models available in the CCBC - Catonsville Library. Not all models are available, but take advantage of the ones that are.
  12. Ask for help from the instructor(s). Any of the Anatomy & Physiology faculty are ready and willing to help you with Biology 220 (A&P I) or Biology 221 (A&P II).

II. Real Tips from Real Students

  1. My strategies for passing A&P I were 1) to study with a lot of people in a study group; 2) to read a whole lot, 3) and try to use the A.D.A.M CD-ROM.
  2. One strategy used for A&P I was flashcards. A second strategy was repeating, I would read things and repeat them over and over again out loud to hear it and understand it.
  3. I reviewed class material every day. I used the A&P CD-ROM diskthat came with my textbook, and that had a A&P website to access; it is free for the first 18 months. I had a study group weekly at my house. I used index cards as flash cards. I even used my husband and son for practice for anatomical position, the different planes, muscles, skeleton, etc. This class is a family affair!!
  4. a) I organized study sessions with serval classmates. We studied together before every exam and practical. We shared ideas about what we though the most important concepts were and quized one another. b) I taped the lectures and then listened to the tape at home while I reveiwed my notes. This helped to reinforce the vocabulary and important topics.
  5. Brute force memorization. Study, study, study!
  6. Study in groups. Study at least 1 1/2 hours each day reviewing materials covered in previous classes.
  7. 1) Answer the objective questions thoroughly following lecture, with the aid of the PowerPoint slides and notes from lecture. 2) Use an anatomy coloring book (Elaine Marieb - author of your textbook - has one available from the CCBC-Catonsville BookStore). I usually completed the corresponding section following lab.
  8. For A&P I, I would come home that night and rewrite my notes. I would add extra notes while reading through the text and referring back to the objectives. Every night I would re-read my notes 2 to 3 times, memorizing more and more things each time I read it.
  9. The strategies I used to get through A&P I were 1) taking good notes in class; 2) reviewing the PowerPoints; and 3) having a study partner.
  10. Getting together with other students for study groups helped a lot because other students may have a way of studying that may help you also. Another reason is that discussing questions helps you to remember and understand questions and answer better. "Never" study the night before the test because there is "too" much info. to study in one night. So, try studying after lecture and make notes on flash cards to better study because writing down answers and questions helps you to remember them better.
  11. The strategies I used were 1) using notecards; and 2) studying the material on the CD-ROM that came with the textbook.
  12. Two strategies that helped me were: 1) use of notecards, and 2) constant review of new and old course materials.
  13. I studied with other classmates and took 1/2 day off the day of the exams to get a chance to relatx my mind and body before the test. Using the CD that came with the lecture workbook also helped.
  14. I use a lot of mneumonics. You should never study 1 hour prior to the exam because you are more apt to remember more of the information studied within the hour and some of the long term studying is forgotten (masked).
  15. To pass A&P I, I read and outlined each chapter of the text. I also answered the relevant review questions at the end of each chapter. I focused on the text because I assume it is a major source for the "canned" exam questions and because it is the text that will be sitting in my book case for my future reference into perpetuity.
  16. I made mnemonics out of the hard-to-spell words, including rhymes and songs. I also brought along my mini-recorder and was able to listen to it nightly. I had my sister help me along the way as well. Of course, the instructor was a big reason, too, that has enabled me to progress further along the way!
  17. The primary method I used to pass A&P I was to devote at least an hour a day to reviewing anatomy pictures and memorizing at least 5 terms a day. I would carry the terms around with me and look at them at work or wherever and quiz myself at the end of the week. Because I was able to match terms with pictures, it was easier to remember what each picture's purpose was. Secondly, I made my own vocabulary quizzes and re-wrote my note when time allowed.

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last updated 13 February 2002, ELD