I Need Advice on How to Study for Anatomy

by gcerna20 (Member)

I am almost 5 weeks into my Anatomy Class. I keep getting D's on my Lab quizzes. I need at least a B in this class. I feel like a failure. I cannot afford to fail this class. I really want to do nursing. I know I should give up since it is so early in the semester but I came on here to ask any fellow pre-nursing students how they studied for these classes and any tips they have on how to be a successful pre-nursing student. Thank you.

What specifically do you find yourself struggling with? Is it that you are unable to commit it to memory? Are you having trouble recognizing structures?

Have you looked at KhanAcademy's vids on YouTube? They have great A&P videos on their channel.


3 Posts

I am having trouble with both committing to memory and recognizing structures.

The best advice I can offer is to practice. Anatomy Learning is an app that you could practice with if you are going over the musculoskeletal system. Or you can find a full page-size empty structure (such as the muscles or bones) and fill those in. Commit it to memory and then try to fill in a blank one. I hope that made sense. If not, I can try to clarify. Good luck!

Cricket183, BSN, RN

Specializes in Oncology (OCN). Has 16 years experience. 1 Article; 232 Posts

I am very much a visual/kinetic learner and I found that using an Anatomy coloring book helped me tremendously with the class. As I would color each bone, muscle group, cranial nerve, etc I would repeat it's name, function, etc over and over. When it came time for the test, quiz, lab practical I could often picture in my mind every detail down to the color I used.

Often the key to doing well in any class--especially higher learning--is discovering how you learn best an adapting your studying techniques to that style. Your university's counseling center can help you discover your learning style if you don't already know it.


5 Posts

I scrolled down and was glad to see anatomy coloring books! Very helpful to me as a visual learner,too. Can't recommend them enough.

Taking the time to understand WHY things are named what they are can be useful. For example if you know obliquus means roughly "going at an angle" it can help figuring out what is what when looking at a structure in real life. Helps to cut down on rote memorization and improves longer term learning, in my opinion.

One of the most helpful things I learned in undergrad was in a psych class called "Learning and Memory" and that is that the REPEATED RECALL of information is more important than the cramming into your brain :) How that helped me study is that I would spend more time drawing out structures like the brachial plexus, branches of the arterial system, etc and forcing recall of the names as I drew them. It really helps to focus your studying to only the things you can't recall and not waste so much time on the things you already know. At the beginning of the exam I would quickly draw out my diagrams to refer to as I took the test.

direw0lf, BSN

Has 4 years experience. 1,069 Posts

I am having trouble with both committing to memory and recognizing structures.

How many hours have you put into this class outside of it? Sometimes some of my science subjects required almost a whole days worth of studying and working through the homework.

If you're short on time I would print out pictures of the structures and label them. Then post them up everywhere around you (your desk, on the glove compartment in your car, your bathroom mirror, etc). That's what I did in A&P.


13 Posts

Make copies of the anatomy that you are working with and fill in five at a time. Then use white out tape to keep doing this until you get it. Then keep adding more once you get those 5. Before long you will remember what goes where. Do them out of order so you can train your brain to recognize the name of the body part. I also would come in a look at lab mannequin and learn that way too.


3 Posts

Thank you to all. I am debating if I should get a "W" instead. But the issue is that some schools I am looking at want "Dev Psych" which I failed and re-took and got an A- in my sophomore year and chem/chemistry lab. For chemistry my school had a series and I passed Chem 1A but failed Chem 1B with a No Pass but never took the lab so when I retook chem 1B I took lab and got A's in both since I did not want the No Pass to look bad on my transcript.

Would it affect me to get a "W" for Anatomy and then retake it when I am more focused? OR should I stick and try to pass with a "C" now? Or should I look into schools that do not need "Developmental Psychology" and just take the "W"?

I second the A&P coloring book. They are useful and in-depth, as well as lets you COLOR.