Failed first Anatomy 1 Exam ....Depressed.


Hello guys how are you? Today, I took my first Anatomy exam on Chapters 1, Atlas A, 3 & 4. I studied for about 2-3 days (first mistake I know) . And last night, I studied from 7:30-12:a.m. I even studied this morning on my way to class. I probably made about 50 index cards with the definitions. My own study guide and all. I realized a couple mistakes. But, I was so sure, I would at least get a low B or C the most. NOT A D!!!!


1. Studying last mintue.

2. Not good studying habits. I mainly focused on certain chapters, totally skipped DNA/RNA, Plasma Membrane, & Cell cycle which was MAJORITY OF THE TEST. I focused so much on the definitions, oppose to the functions.

3. I have ADD when it comes to studying.

4.Not comphrending the material/actually going into depth.

My stomach sunk when I noticed my test score. I felt like I wasn't all so prepared, but a D. My god! I got 55 right out of 93. After, I went to my Prof's Office and he let me go over my test with the answer key, we spoke. He told me I still have a chance to get an A. However, I have no "room for anymore errors" pretty much.

However, I can't help, but feel so hopeless. I contacted some students about their studying strageties and maybe forming a study group. We have 3 more test, homework, and pretty much clicker questions. I am not so concerned about the homework or in class questions. More of the test.

Any one have any tips/advice please?



53 Posts

It sounds like you know where you went wrong. :/ I hear it's not uncommon for people to really mess up the first test. I'm taking A&P1 now too and the class average for the first test was a 67. Average! Crazy, right? I say just work on correcting the areas where you need work. A&P is not a class you can procrastinate in. You have to study every day. Study groups do help, so if you can together with a group that would be good. Does your school have a tutoring center? If so, make time to go there for help when you're not understanding something. Also, see your instructor if you're not getting something. I don't know how your instructor tests, but I know my class really focuses on HOW things work as opposed to straight definitions. Definitions are good to know but you have to go further than that. So first things first, study. A lot. :) You can do it!


1 Article; 561 Posts

I got a C on my very first A&P 1 exam.* #1 It was my first semester of college. #2 I didn't have a clue about studying. A&P 1 is different than other classes. For instance, in my introduction to psychology class I made flashcards of the terms and definitions, memorized them, and aced the tests. A&P is not about memorization (lab portion excluded).Studying terms and definitions is not going to help you. You have to learn and understand the concepts. Take DNA and RNA. If you can draw out/write out the entire process of transcription and translation to the point where you have a little movie in your mind of the process, you are good to go. I try to do that with every concept. I'm taking pathophysiology this semester, and for the first test I went through the entire process of inflammation until I could tell someone who has no clue about disease processes exactly what happens at each stage.

Take notes. Draw pictures. Watch YouTube videos. Read your book. Repeat. Repeat. Repeat. Number processes (#1 The neurotransmitter is released at the synapse. #2...). Talk it out to yourself and to others. Rewrite paragraphs of your book in your own words. Through this you will learn the material, and you won't have to break out the notecards. If you study a little each day or every other day, you won't have to cram for the test.

Unfortunately, you will really have to learn that DNA/RNA stuff and the cell cycle when you take microbiology.

*By the end of the semester I had an A in the class.



112 Posts

Hang in there!!! While A&P II seems harder for me, I definitely know where you're coming from. I found that printing black and white pictures out and coloring them helped me the most. Good luck with the rest of your class!!!


queserasera, RN

Has 5 years experience. 1 Article; 718 Posts

I always take the first test as a measure of if my studying is working for the specific class. (I have my first a&p exam tomorrow) I always give myself allowance to do poorly on the first test as long and I feel that I have studied to the best of my abilities with the skills I had.

Now you know what you did wrong, now you can fix it!



81 Posts

Just get A's on the rest of the exams. Set aside some time each day to go over certain parts, then a a day or two before the exam review everything. I've never know cramming to work for anyone, especially not with A&P.

Good luck. :]



139 Posts

Hang in there! Start focusing on location, functions, and how things work together. Memorizing definitions won't be enough. You'll need to know the definition; but, if you study the why and how, the definitions will be easy. Also, focus on the processes. Try to set aside time everyday to study the process of whatever you recently went over in class. Look over the material for the next class ahead of time. I'm sure you hear that all the time. I'm in A&P II and I'm taking microbiology and two other classes. Before this semester, I rarely opened a textbook and got A's on everything. This semester, no such luck. If you look over the material before the lecture, then actively participate in lecture, everything will stick with you a whole lot better.


Has 2 years experience. 1,163 Posts

I always go home and study whatever we learned that day. I come up with mneunomics or handy little tricks to remember things. You know that studying 2-3 days before isn't good, so chunking the info (a little every day) is the way to go. Good luck!



19 Posts

I agree with everyone here. Definitely avoid procrastinating (especially for a subject like anatomy). You will be fine. Try not to panic though! You will get through this and you will do well on the next exam. Always think positive. When I took anatomy in undergrad and in grad school, I utilized flashcards, group studying, online resources, and found models that I could mess around with to really visualize what I was learning. Reviewing is also key so be sure to do it often if this is a weak subject of yours. Good luck! :)



2 Posts

I'm taking anatomy also and we are having our first exam on Monday I am so scared but I am studying really Hardin the mist of it all. A technique I discover I go over my exam study guide with the answer and I record evey last one and when I am by myself I pull out my head phones until I get tired I have 9!pages of notes and I'm on the fourth page. U will do better on the next have faith.



180 Posts

Yep i got my first exam monday to im nervous but i just want to get it over with

Alisonisayoshi, LVN

Specializes in LTC. 547 Posts

My Anatomy professor said "more than half of you will fail the first exam". She went on to say, that that doesn't mean an F for the class, rather that we could still get A's but this first test would teach us where we needed to improve our study skills/habits. She said she seed it every semester. She emphasized studying concepts versus memorizing terms and concept mapping versus "out loud" studying and re-reading. If you are not familiar with concept mapping: start with a blank sheet if papers and map out (with lines) what each step in a process does. Example: blastocoele all the way to tissues, organs and systems. Every step in the damn process! From beginning to end. If you can do that without looking you understand the concept!!!!