Anatomy! in 8 weeks!!!

Students Pre-Nursing


So here's my dilemma and I'm wondering if anybody else has had the same issue...I am taking a 4 hour anatomy course this summer. Our first exam is in 3 days. I feel like I am nowhere near prepared. I am commuting to take it so study groups are out. I am at a loss as to how to study. The will have covered 350 Powerpoint slides by the time we have our last class tomorrow (before the exam on Thursday). We take quizzes, pre and post, but I don't seem to see the parallels between the book questions, the exam questions, and so on. I feel like I am hurtling towards disaster on this first test. Anybody have a similar experience and how did you study?


161 Posts

I took it during a 10-wk quarter. To prepare for exams I reviewed my notes, referred to the book for explanation on concepts that weren't all that clear to me from the notes, and I utilized the course book's website for supplemental learning materials. Going thru the lab book also helped. I passed the class with an A. I don't know how many chapters are on your test in 3 days, but it's still possible to study thoroughly for it. Try to set aside at least an hour or so for each chapter and really pay attention to the info. Keep reading thru it until it sticks and makes sense to you and you could explain to someone else if you had to. Putting things in my own terms instead of all the technical terms really helped me. But be sure to remember the technical terms for the exams :-) Also, I used mnemonics to help me remember things like the different tissues/cartilage and the cranial nerves.


112 Posts

I'm taking a 5 week course, it's intense but flash cards seem to help


159 Posts

I'm taking both my A&P I and II classes in 8 weeks come this fall and I know it's a very difficult class. From what I gathered in your post it seems that you're overwhelmed with the amount of material that is going to be on the test. For starters I just want to let you know DON'T FREAK OUT. If you freak yourself out and doubt your capabilities then you will get no where. Since you do have 3 days to study I would recommend allotting about 4 hours EACH day prior to the test to just re-reading the chapters. I would also recommend probably taking some notes and reviewing them throughout the day. Usually books bold and italicize the MAIN points. I would really focus on learning the diagrams too b/c if you learn and memorize diagrams you usually have a better understanding of a whole process. Once you have re-read and taken notes on the chapters I would say sit down and maybe have a significant other (or relative) test you on what you've read. A really good note taking strategy for this I've used my whole high school career is Cornell notes. (Google them, but basically it's where you put questions/important terms on the left hand margin and all the info about those terms in the right hand side. )The key thing is to NOT get too overwhelmed in this situation. I have faith that you'll be completely fine if you read and review the chapters that plan to be on the test. Also, I would recommend studying an hour/taking a break and alternating between the two every hour. If you sit down for four hours straight you'll just be cramming and that's going to do you NO good. Best of luck and I hope my studying tips help :)


21 Posts

I've been doing the flashcards and I have found them somewhat helpful. What I don't get is this: how do you know if you are learning the material at the level you need to be? I think probably the most frustrating thing is, for example, knowing what osteo-clasts,blasts,cytes, etc are - but having no clue how I will be tested on them. If it's just characteristics or something harder? Really not sure... I'm concerned that I am still refining my study methods 3 days before the test...


370 Posts

Specializes in Oncology/Hematology.

Hey! I took a 9 week course (I might have actually been 7 weeks) last summer. You said you have powerpoints? Those were my LIFE. We had two tests a week and I literally read through the powerpoints word for word over and over and over until I could almost recite them to you. I didn't find flash cards helpful, but I did find the short-term class a good idea for me. Why? Because we got tested on everything we had JUST learned. We didn't have weeks and weeks to forget everything we learned before a test.

I wish you the best of luck. It's difficult. But possible.


19 Posts

I've done it and it's not that bad, just like bluechick I prefer the 8 wk courses, get it done quick and fast, no time to procrastinate, if given the time I would.. I am horrible at that. I looked over my notes and studied from them, if there was a concept I didn't remember or quite understand I'd read the section from the book. Flashcards not good for me, I used a diagram and mapped everything out so that I could understand the differences in structure (i.e. stratified squamous, cuboidal, transitional etc), concepts or systems so the information didn't seem so overwhelming for me. Instead of a thick stack of flashcards I had everything on one page, separated by topic.. I know I am completely OCD when it comes to organizing info, but I found the more time I spent organizing, the more I learned during.

Hopefully this helps.


370 Posts

Specializes in Oncology/Hematology.

I absolutely, 100% agree that flash cards were no good for me. Especially in Physio. There's just too many things (bones, muscles, etc.) to have flash cards for. Really. You'd spend way too much time making the flash cards when that valuable time could be used for studying!

I wanted to quickly mention that MNEUMONICS are and were an ABSOLUTE LIFE SAVER in getting my pre-reqs completed. I'd make mneumonics for the bones in the hands and feet and the muscles and basically EVERYTHING. I still remember nearly 75% of them because I made most of them relate directly to the thing I was memorizing. I spread my tactic through to the rest of the class and soon EVERYONE was using mneumonics for their studying! :)


21 Posts

Well, for better or worse, I have been using the notecards. But, I've been typing them in MS word; key words on the left, tab to the right for the definition; print, cut, tape to cards. Believe it or not, it doesn't take very long at all. But in making them from powerpoint slides, their value is a function of the quality of the slides. Therein is the rub.

I dunno. I am reviewing the chapter, making my own outlines, etc. I guess I'll see if it's going to work. The first test is Thursday. What is interesting is that I've already taken Chem I & II, Organic Chem I & II, physiology (which was admittedly watered down), and yet this class is the hardest one - not because of the volume of information, but rather because of the shotgun style approach to what it is you are supposed to know. In Organic, it wasn't that bad because we just learned rxns all day and if you could do those, you'd probably be fine. But I'd have to say that I am very concerned about this class.


287 Posts

Specializes in Telemetry and Psych.

I took A&P 1 last summer for an 8 week class. It was very difficult and I used everything I could to help me through the class. One thing that I noticed that helped me tremendously were online guide for the class.

If you type in Anatomy and physiology on google, there are many free sites.

At the time I was taking the class, i worked between 50 to 60 hour weeks. Study when you have free time alone. I did a lot of writing over and over, reading, and some flash cards. To be honest, the flash cards didn't help much but it was good to test with. I definitely followed along with the power points. That usually where all the test questions come from.

I wish you the best of luck this summer. Hang in there and do the best you can!


370 Posts

Specializes in Oncology/Hematology.

Allie just reminded me of something that might help anyone who's taking Anatomy.

My teacher (who was absolutely excellent, by the way, and literally dedicated her life to teaching Anatomy) made YouTube videos of models (muscles, the heart, layers of skin, etc.) where she took a model and pointed out everything on it and what it was and how it worked. It was a LIFE SAVER and I know people who weren't even in her class used those videos and it saved them, too.

Go to and type in "Anatomy Dixon" and you'll get a bunch of videos including the Lymphatic System, a nerve cell, the heart, brain, spinal cord, etc.

They REALLY helped me and I hope they help everyone else!


91 Posts

I am so relieved that I am not the only one overwhelmed with the amount of information to learn for A&P I in an 7 week class!!! I am doing this online and feel I have made a big mistake and should of waited until the Fall semester..but there is no turning back now...

I am in week two and think to myself , how am I going to do this? The most frustrating thing is that you dont know what to expect on the quizzes and tests, which are every week, I have already taken three and feel like I am just getting by and not really getting a good understanding of the info. Then I think to myself ,it must be me, because why would they offer these courses online and in a shortened timeframe if it was not working for the students? I guess I just need to adjust to this method and the material and figure what works best for me. I hope I can do that before the class is over!

Wish me luck! and good luck to everyone else who dared to do it!

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