I am so frustrated with Anatomy & Physiology :(


Hello everyone,

I am currently in Anatomy & Physiology 1. It is a prerequisite to the Nursing program here at my college. My current average is only a 71 (You need a 76 to pass). We get a TON of material to study and memorize (200 or so terms). Lecture is completely useless to what we do in the lab. I study for hours only to feel like I have learned nothing. We get quizzes during lab on things we need to self-teach ourselves. Honestly, I feel like the entire course is self-teaching. The professors are useless and you can tell that they really don't care. I have emailed them before and I get a vague, careless response from them.

I KNOW I am not the only one in my class who is failing. I feel like a majority of the class is. Anatomy & Physiology takes up so much of my time that all my other classes work gets put off. It has also simply made me depressed. I get so frustrated because no matter what I do I seem to barely pass/ fail the exams. I may just drop out of the program. I don't know what else I can do. I feel like I am in med-school sometimes. My school offers no study groups, extra help and even the A&P professors obviously don't care if most of their class fails or not.

I see my goal of ever becoming a nurse slowly floating away. :crying2::crying2::crying2:

- A frustrated A&P student.


74 Posts

People learn in different ways. Have you tried mixing up how you study?

I have two tricks that work for me, for example.

The first is I pretend that I'm the teacher and I try to explain what I'm studying to an invisible idiot. Yes, out loud. This forces me to talk about the subject in several different ways, which means that I end up reading deeper into the material and making connections. It's all about the connections, the vocalizing is an additional connection.

The second is that I recreate the subject on my own. At work learning a new software API, I can't do it just by reading and staring at the page. I sit down with an editor and write little tests using the API, or I type it out. Way back in bio I would not just fill in the blanks, I would draw my own charts and fill those in too.

The common denominator is that I can't just read or watch, I have to DO something with the information before it sinks in.

Maybe you learn better by hearing and listening, instead of reading. Or you are visual and diagrams and charts really work better than a pile of words. Symbolic, like me, you need connections built. I'll be where you are in pre-requisites soon, best of luck to you!


81 Posts

You can't think that way. A&P is set up to weed out those that may struggle with the program. Any lab is a lot of self learning. They give a brief rundown and its up to you to learn it. If you know a lot of students are struggling why don't you make your own study group. It really helps. And check your library to see if they have the bones and everything on reserve for you to check out. Again the hands on approach is beneficial in so many ways. Hang in there! You can do it. Just find what works for you. Remember, as hard as it is, it is only the tip of the iceburg to how fast paced the nursing program is. Finding how you learn is crucial. Good luck!


36 Posts

I'm considering dropping out of the course depending on how my next lecture exam and practical go. I am barely scraping by with a C- and over 60% of the class is failing. I plan to transfer to a community college next semester so I can take A&P there instead. I got screwed over because my professor is awful. There is another A&P professor and all of his class gets A's and B's but not my class.


91 Posts

Beware of the instructors in which everyone gets an A or B, especially in a class like A&P. The could be "dumbing down" the material to make it easy. A 50% or better fail rate is typical in A&P...it's a tough class with a tremendous amount of information to learn.

I'm taking A&P I now and have discovered that how I study for lecture exams doesn't work for practicals. Although it's the same material, it's presented in a different angle and you need to develop strategies for learning both.


81 Posts

Completely agree with snow bear. Some instructors get so caught up in their fail/pass ratio they do dumb down the material. If you get an A but don't learn basics of what you need for the program only the students are getting hurt. Imagine getting into A&P 2 and the nursing program with no basic knowledge. Ouch.

Specializes in CNA/LPN. Has 1 years experience.

If Nursing is the only career you see yourself happy in, please stick through it. Hear me and the others out, please.

Can you see yourself in any other profession happy? Does nursing make you happy? Do you have a secondary career choice?

Anatomy and Physiology is a tough one. I've got two more months left of it. I'm not doing absolutely great myself. We have to maintain a B average in the class and right now I'm at a 86, with that being said...our instructor has tests weighing out at a whopping 60% of our grade. One slip and I could be doomed, in fact...I think I made that slip today, but it's too early to tell. It was our 5th exam, and it was over hormones and blood. I just couldn't get it down pact, no matter how hard a tried. I know how you're feeling...the stress of trying to GET into the program is almost enough to make you just through in the towel and find something else. I understand that fully.

I've heard a lot of others talking about dropping the course and just quitting, or dropping it and retaking it next semester...and when we approached midterm, our class shrunk a good few. Sometimes stress can get the best of us, but how would we feel after we walked away, is what we've really got to weigh in on. Some of us would feel relieved, and I get that. Some of us would feel beaten, depressed, or as if we let ourselves down for not trying our very last efforts to pull through.

With that being said, there are many different ways you can go about raising your grade. I feel like I spend way too much time on A&P as a whole as well, but sometimes that what it takes, even if it makes us a little coo-coo or max stressed. If the school doesn't offer study groups, see if there are any others in the class that would be willing to form one with you. It couldn't hurt. Try making practice tests, purchasing an anatomy coloring book, or making flash cards. There are a lot of virtual/interactive sites you can stumble across as well, that can help you better understand systems, functions, the whole 9 yards. Utilize everything you possibly can and I know you guys can pull these grades up! If this is your dream, please don't give it up!

I've just finished the endocrine system and blood chapter...while I didn't quite get the just of all of that, I have done well in the other chapters...if you need help and wouldn't mind a little online help, message me! I'd be more than happy to help in any way I can!


36 Posts

I sat in the study room for 4 hours the other day and barely memorized the parts to the scapula and clavicle. The only assistance we get in the class is an enormous list of terms which we have to memorize. So, we get like 300 terms and we have to memorize them all only to get about 50 on the practical. We get no outlines or study guides or anything. We are just told to study harder. I feel like I study and study and memorize nothing.

I know i'm not the only person who is so frustrated in the class. I talked to a junior who did 3 AP sciences in high school and has a 3.7 GPA who has a 65 average or so in A&P. I've gotten a tutor and I have met with him for a few hours to study. I know i'm not the only one struggling with the class because most of it is failing. So, I am at my wits end. I have chosen to see how I do on the next lecture and practical and based off that grade I will choose to withdraw or not. :crying2::crying2:

I think I will just re-take the courses at a community college (I plan to transfer out of this school at the end of the semester). Then with my credits I will apply for a Nursing Major at a college. I feel like this one class has ruined my life.


81 Posts

I am curious to know why you think its going to be different at the community college? I'm at a CC 80% of our grade is exam and 20% is lecture. A 61 is the average class grade. I have a 93 because everyday even with 3 kids and 5 classes, I study for a minimum of 3 hours for my A&P lecture and lab. Weekends too. Our class,like you,gets just a couple sheets of paper to memorize. We look at the sheet and look in our lab books to identify them and get the pronunciation of the word, and the rest is up to us. Tough, hell yes! But I am learning more about myself then ever before. I keep flash cards in the car to look at at red lights. I will say it again, its a tough class. It's ment to be. But you CAN DO IT!! You just have to find what works for you. Study groups rock!


36 Posts

I also miss home (a majority of this college commutes or goes home ever weekend). I think going to a community college would just be a better option for me. I'd be able to pick and choose what classes I wanted to take rather then be shoved into all of these random courses like History and FYS. I sit here in the study room looking at the bones and then at the terms and trying my best to memorize them...nothing seems to work for me. So, i've chosen to withdraw from the class after the next two tests. I can't put myself through bouts of depression over a class.


112 Posts

Has 2 years experience.

If your library has a bone box, get a study partner and study room. Take the bone box in there and quiz one another, hold up a bone and name it. Do it until each of you know all the bones. Another thing that helped me was writing down the names of the bones, nerves, muscles whatever. Since on our practicals we had to write it all down, I had already made the connection in my brain by writing them over and over on a piece of paper.

One of our quizzes was on the 12 cranial nerves, I must have written them out 100 times one weekend. By class Monday I could write them all from memory without the use of mnemonics.

Here are some helpful websites also:




36 Posts

I think at this point there are more pros to withdrawing from the class. I'll have the option re-take Anatomy & Physiology elsewhere and I would rather have a W on my transcript then a D or F.