3 Tips for Studying Anatomy

by Christine Chadwick

The prospect of studying anatomy can induce stress in even the most confident student. Mastering these three tips for studying anatomy will benefit a student's anatomy grade and future courses. The three most important tips to ace anatomy are strong note taking skills, study skills, and time management skills. Here are twelve tips for studying anatomy.

Note Taking Skills

Use the lecture outline and assigned reading to guide note taking. The assigned reading and lectures usually complement each other. If your professor provides a lecture outline at the beginning of the semester or online, refer to those outlines to help guide your note taking during class.

Read and thoroughly review the assigned materials before the lecture. Create your own outline from the reading materials. Allow for plenty of room to add to notes after the lecture.

Skip lines to indicate transitions in ideas and thoughts. Avoid cramming all of your notes on a few pages! Leaving blank space will allow for you to add diagrams while studying.

Use the margin space for notes to yourself about areas that you might need to spend extra time reviewing. Document questions for further review with your tutor in the margin, too.

Study Skills

Anatomy is a visual course. Diagrams and images reinforce the text. Be sure to visually imagine the materials as you are reviewing the assignment.

Make flashcards with images on one side, information on the other. Practice verbalising how the image looks, where it is located, and its function.

Memories are made from association. Create acronyms to associate the steps in a system, for example, the digestive system begins in the mouth. Create an acronym to remember each organ and enzyme involved in the digestive system.

Repetition reinforces what you've learned! Brief, frequent reviews of the material and repeating, or teaching, the materials back to a study partner or tutor will reinforce your knowledge. Tutors can also ensure that you are reinforcing the material accurately!

Time Management Skills

Multi-task: Combine studying for anatomy with your workout. Be able to identify the parts of your body that are being exercised. While doing a cardiovascular workout, review the respiratory and cardiovascular systems. Repetition reinforces the knowledge!

Batch tasks: If you are trying to improve your public speaking or writing skills, combine the tasks with your anatomy lessons. Use the material from anatomy to write practice speeches. If you are working on writing skills, practice writing outlines of material and research for anatomy to boost grades in both subjects!

Schedule quizzes: In addition to scheduling time for studying, review, and reading, plan to take times quizzes to gauge your progress. Your tutor can help create self-timed quizzes based on the material being reviewed. Make your own quizzes from the vocabulary and assigned reading sub-headings.