Anatomy and Physiology 1 was one of the most grueling classes I've taken in college. I've never seen anything like it. Anatomy and Physiology was the first class that ever stressed me out and drove me to tears. While it took me a few attempts, I've learned what works through trial and error. Here are my tips from my experiences of Anatomy and Physiology 1 from my experiences.
Pick the Right Professor
This is so crucial when it comes to AP! Picking the right professor ensures that you get the help you need and understand the material you're studying. Sites like Rate My Professor help a ton in the process. From experience, try to get an engaging teacher.
Start Learning the Material as Early as Possible
I always feel that learning the material before lecture and lab is a great way to stay successful. I've found that resources such as WyzSci and AnatomyGMC are great ways to prepare for AP1.
Organize Materials before Class
Anatomy class is a handful. From a handful of a binder with hundreds of slides (Yes, I printed out 112 slides once for a binder) and a book is very unorganized grueling on the back. Try to pack as lightly as you can for class, from later experiences, two-hybrid notebook binders, lab, and the other for the lecture part of anatomy with three slides per page! I brought tabs to label the pages I needed for the lecture and the pages I needed for the lab. Highlighters are also handy as well. I did have binders but they stayed at home, because I stored previous slides and materials in them after I was done. Also, as soon as the new material is release retire the old material elsewhere so you don' get mixed up
DO NOT CHASE AN A
While an A is desirable, chasing after it is a very bad mistake. You'll be so stuck on getting an 'A' that you'll miss building the foundation for anatomy. I have done this before during my first attempt, and it wasn't very pleasant! I thought back before a retake that I never focused on the grade during other prereqs, just the material. When I implemented this into AP1, I was very successful.
Consider an Anatomy Atlas
This is helpful for days when you cannot make it to open lab or, if you're like me, happen to like studying outside of the open lab. Most atlases that I've come across had a CD that had quizzes very similar to the lab practical examinations that I've taken. You can get these at your college's library or through amazon. A good atlas that I've used for AP1 was Atlas of Human Anatomy (Netter Basic Science) 7th Edition
Create a Study Plan and Haven
When it comes to AP1, try to create a study plan. My study plans consisted of two 45 minute sessions (I studied 45 minutes for lecture and 45 minutes for lab). I usually studied in a coffee shop or the study spaces of my college. I was in anatomy class 3 days out of the week, two days for lecture and one day for the lab. During these days, at least 1 hour before class, I always reviewed material.
Be Familiar with the Fundamentals
The fundamentals for Anatomy are the introduction, Chemistry, cytology, and histology. These are chapters 1-4. You will be seeing them again through the remainder of AP1! From experience, try to learn as of the foundations as you can! As a heads up, histology is a good chunk of midterm (integumentary system) and the lab midterm.
Believe in Yourself and Don't Give Up
I will be honest during my previous attempts. I didn't do this. I constantly compared myself to the "achievers" of my class, which made me feel like crap. I felt defeated by the 'C(s)' I received, and the negativity surrounded the classroom got me down. I felt like I had to be competitive, and it ran me into the ground. I had a big freakout in my first attempt at Anatomy before the midterm. Also, what I've learned is that if you want something, you'll never get up on it, and you have to look at the bigger picture.
Stay Away from Classroom Drama and the Hallways
From experience, there was drama, and I let it get to me. I dealt with cliques, mean girls, gossip, and others' anxiety and self-doubt from the hallway. It's best to stay away from the drama and the hallway. Just sit out in the study area or a quiet place before the start of class. As for mean girls, what I didn't do but wish that I did was ignore them completely and just focused on my work.
Consider Forming a Study Group
Although I prefer to study by myself, groups can come in handy IF they have the right people in them. I have personally found that there are pros and cons to this. If forming a study group started by another person, I always felt that small groups were better than larger groups. Again the right people need to be in them! Be aware of users (these are people whom don't "study" but latch on to a smart person or someone doing well in the class), slackers (the people whom literally show up and contribute nothing) and talkers (they literally just talk throughout the whole study session)
Don't be Afraid to Retake
I had to retake Anatomy before, and personally, it feels as though it's bad but believe me, it's not! You learn from your mistakes and get more successful
Do NOT Take a Morning Class if You Are Not a Morning Person
I had to learn the hard way during my first attempt as a night owl who went to bed at 3, sometimes 4 am I signed up for an 8:30 am lecture, and a 7:30 am lab, and I paid for it dearly! I barely retained information, was tired, and only got 30 minutes of studying in! I switched to an afternoon/evening class and fared much better in anatomy!
If Your College Offers an Anatomy Orientation ... GO!
When going into anatomy some colleges actually offer an Anatomy orientation. It is best to go to this because you get to learn tips for the professor, what to expect out of anatomy and experiences from teachers and students. My school offered this and it helped me tremendously in being successful in anatomy
If Extra Credit is Offered ... Take It!
Extra credit will help tremendously if you are in anatomy! Whether your professor has you doing bonus questions , making a presentation or in rare cases turning in anatomy notes ... do it , it will help you in the long run!