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Should I drop A&P I?

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Hi Everbody,

I took my first practical in A&P, it was on histology mostly. I really messed up and did not identify tissues correctly and did poorly overall. I thought I was prepared and I studied but I bombed. I hope I got a passing grade. This is just the beginning should I just withdraw now before getting into skeletal and muscle systems?

I feel awful about this test and there so much ahead of me. I don't know if I can keep up the pace. There was 70 questions and 2 extra credit. I just hope I got at least 49 correct. I want to be a nurse and I know I need A&P I. I just don't know what to do.....

Before completely dropping the class.... talk to your instructor... find people who study together and join them..... be consistent studying... but first of all ask your instructor on how to pass the class with a high GPA its still possible.. if you just started...

Good luck...

Thank you for the advice hstutz86.

The lab's are a smaller part of the class, so the math says all is not lost. The real question is why did you score low? If the score is low because you just are not as good at that part of anatomy it is not a big deal. I killed myself studying for the muscle part of A&P 1 and got a low C on my practical, but I still managed an A for the course.

If it is because you don't commit enough time to study, than it is up to you to fix it. Some people need more time to study than others. I am no brainiac, so I need to study more for an exam than a lot of people.

If it is because these classes are hard and the time commitment is not worth the reward than nursing may not be for you. In my A and P class about 1/2 the people dropped before the semester ended because they saw how difficult it was and saw that they would not be able to make the grade. I am in A and P 2 now (so the people in the class had to pass A and P 1, so all of us know what we have gotten into) and on the first test 40 percent of the class got 70 or lower.

I am not trying to scare you off, just stating what my experience has been. Good luck to you whatever you decide.

The lab's are a smaller part of the class, so the math says all is not lost. The real question is why did you score low? If the score is low because you just are not as good at that part of anatomy it is not a big deal. I killed myself studying for the muscle part of A&P 1 and got a low C on my practical, but I still managed an A for the course.

If it is because you don't commit enough time to study, than it is up to you to fix it. Some people need more time to study than others. I am no brainiac, so I need to study more for an exam than a lot of people.

If it is because these classes are hard and the time commitment is not worth the reward than nursing may not be for you. In my A and P class about 1/2 the people dropped before the semester ended because they saw how difficult it was and saw that they would not be able to make the grade. I am in A and P 2 now (so the people in the class had to pass A and P 1, so all of us know what we have gotten into) and on the first test 40 percent of the class got 70 or lower.

I am not trying to scare you off, just stating what my experience has been. Good luck to you whatever you decide.

Hi Zooey72

I get what your saying. The fact is nursing is challenging and A&P I and A&P II are difficult. So I have to be willing to dedicate myself to task of studying and taking exams in order to make it. I guess I really need to focus on that and be determined to reach my goal of becoming a nurse. Thank you.

windsurfer8, BSN

Specializes in Psych/Military Nursing. Has 14 years experience.

If you want to be an RN it is simple..pass the classes with the required grade...."wanting" and "doing" are two different things.

I am confused by the statement "I don't know what to do"? You either Pass, Fail, or quit. You don't have to "do" anything.....unless you want to be an RN. Then you DO need to pass the class. Life is actually very simple.

My granddaughter has dropped remedial math classes twice now because she couldn't make the grade and she knows she must succeed to some point in math to get a degree, yet I don't see her putting forth the effort it would require for her to succeed. At least if you are satisfied that you did everything humanly possible, then you would have nothing to be ashamed of if you fail. However, I do not see that you have enough information upon which to make that decision. One test does not a failure or an A make (usually).

This kind of thing isn't for everyone. I know quite a few people who would not have a snowball's chance in hell of doing the A&P stuff no matter how hard they tried. I am not saying the OP is this type of person, just that that is possible.

That being said one bad test isn't going to make or break you. My first lab this year on the endocrine and reproductive system I got a D. The reason for that is the weekend before the test I had to fly 700 miles to settle my parent's estate (father died last year and it couldn't be avoided). As important as school is to me, my family matters come first. However my next lab I got an A. I am at a B+ overall atm, and hope to get an A in the end.

The question you should be asking yourself is 'why did I do poorly?' If it was some crazy 'life happens' kind of thing don't let it bother you. If you just did not study enough, study more. If you are unwilling to put the time in, you need to find something else. If you are unable, you should also look into something else. There is nothing wrong with not being able to do something you like. I love music but the closest I will ever come to an instrument is Rock Band.

There is one thing you may want to consider with A&P1. My experience was the start and end of the class was easiest, the middle was hard. It may be different for you, but the muscle and bone tests were killers for me. I studied like crazy and did not do as well as I would have liked on either (my prof was a very difficult one). Identifying on a cadaver is much more difficult than on a diagram or model.

The nervous system was rather easy for me (got 100 on it), and that is more at the end.

I studied hard for the histology practical and did not do well. I didn't have any emergencies or anything that week. So I hope this isn't a sign that it just isn't for me. I will study hard for the bones test and hope that it turns out better for me. I know I have to work extra hard than most because it doesn't come easy. I had to study extra hard in Microbiology and Statistics and I just got a B in those classes. It just doesn't come easy for me but I do want to be nurse. So I need to step up my game and get some tutoring. If I continue to do poorly after studying hard I guess I will just have to take the grade I earn.

There is one 'trick' I have learned in studying for lab that has helped me a ton. Take pictures. Your lab prof can't get too creative with what they will have on the practical and will use the equipment he/she has available in Lab. I would take pictures of anything they may potentially use and than make hard copy print outs of them. Once you have that, I would label them one through whatever and than on a different piece of paper have the answer key.

IMO nothing beats studying from the EXACT thing you will be tested on. In the case of the microscope questions, I would look at whatever slides that are available and try to find a match online to what most closely resembles what you see (mostly how it is presented in the slides the instructor uses), print it out, label it, study it. Diagrams in the book I would make a copy of it and do the same.

This has helped me a lot in Lab. Hope it helps you as well.

I am in A&P as well,3 exams,5 quizzes, labs and a large lab practical. Maintaining an 89 as the 2nd exam was not very good. However, all you should care about is the final grade. Realize what you need to work on, what your weaknesses are in A&P and go on from there. My class (44 people) the lab practical average was a 59, so learn from it and keep going.

First of all, I completely understand what you're going through in A&P I lab. It can be brutal! Histology was pretty difficult for me too but it can be conquered, as can bones and muscles.

Before dropping the course I urge you to check with the schools you have in mind and see how they will use dropped/withdrawn courses when considering you. For example, schools like Tarleton State in Texas that use a point system give 8 points for each pre-requisite (6 in total) as long as you made a 'C' or better. The kicker is that classes where your first attempt was a W, WF, or a Q don't count for any points.

In short, as long as you can pass with a C or better, sticking it out and doing your best could help you more than dropping it. However, its all in how the schools you want to go to do their admissions. Before making any decisions out of dissapointment or worry over your potential GPA, check with your potential schools.

Best of luck to you!!!

I appreciate the helpful comments. Thank you.

I suggest before every lab, go look at what you need to know in your lab manual and look up online or in books about those items and how they look. Pre-lab studying is awesome, imo, because you are exposed to the material early so in lab, you can focus on the details and start to remember the details instead of learning it for the first time. I agree with taking pictures too. One thing that helps also is after taking your own pictures, study your notes, then label your pictures in a PowerPoint without looking at your notes. And throughout the week, keep quizzing yourself to make sure you remember the details. It takes a lot of time and effort but hey, whatever you were doing on the first test wasn't very helpful, so might as well try a new way of learning and remembering. Some people repeat the same mistake over and over again, never realizing that maybe their way of studying doesn't work for them or work for the current class they are in. So switch it up! That and having more time to study.

I suggest before every lab, go look at what you need to know in your lab manual and look up online or in books about those items and how they look. Pre-lab studying is awesome, imo, because you are exposed to the material early so in lab, you can focus on the details and start to remember the details instead of learning it for the first time. I agree with taking pictures too. One thing that helps also is after taking your own pictures, study your notes, then label your pictures in a PowerPoint without looking at your notes. And throughout the week, keep quizzing yourself to make sure you remember the details. It takes a lot of time and effort but hey, whatever you were doing on the first test wasn't very helpful, so might as well try a new way of learning and remembering. Some people repeat the same mistake over and over again, never realizing that maybe their way of studying doesn't work for them or work for the current class they are in. So switch it up! That and having more time to study.

Thanks Honey Clover, yes maybe I need to reevaluate how I am studying because obviously the way I studied for first test did not work. I am studying for the bone practical and I printed diagrams without the name of parts and I am filing in the name of each bone, suture, depressions etc. I plan to take a picture of each bone and then load onto computer and I hope I can label them. somehow. There is so much too learn.

direw0lf, BSN

Has 3 years experience.

Was it your studying tactics or nerves? A&p I got a few colors of poster board and printed out or drew pictures of tissues, organs, etc. Just making the cards helped retain the info.

For nursing exams it's been different. There's not so much memorization as there is being able to apply that information. But I will tell you, a&p has been a big part of my fundamentals classes to understanding the rest. So if you don't learn this now and still pass the class it might come back to haunt you so really work to learn it. Use the tutoring at your school if you can or just commit the time at home.

I got 72% on the histology test, so I did score low but I passed. I will work extra hard on the bone practical to pull my grade back up. I need a 3.0 in the class but I want to do better than that. The majority of the class scored poorly on the practical according to the Professor. I will have to have a lot of hands on time with the bones I think to learn all the bone markings. Thank you all for your feedback and for listening it really helps me get through all of this.

direw0lf, BSN

Has 3 years experience.

I got 72% on the histology test, so I did score low but I passed. I will work extra hard on the bone practical to pull my grade back up. I need a 3.0 in the class but I want to do better than that. The majority of the class scored poorly on the practical according to the Professor. I will have to have a lot of hands on time with the bones I think to learn all the bone markings. Thank you all for your feedback and for listening it really helps me get through all of this.

Sounds like you'll be on top of things now! When I was doing an HEENT(head, ears, eyes, nose, throat) exam in front of my lab teacher she asked me to name the muscles of the neck and bones in the face as I was palpating lymph nodes (and naming them). I don't know how you remember it all except going over it as much as you can. Look at it in the morning as you brush your teeth and again at night before bed and every chance in between if you have to!