Anatomy is the class that’s known to be brutal. The class itself is only a 50-minute lecture three days a week, but the amount of hours you need to study to learn the information can be a burden.

When I took Anatomy, I had my brief moments of panic when I had to learn the bones and their features plus the muscles and their locations. This panic eventually subsided and I passed Anatomy with flying colors. I earned an A for the first semester and second semester I missed an A by 2% – I haven’t gotten over it yet.

Having endured the class, I prepared survival tips to master the full year of Anatomy.

1. Study every day.

Seriously, pull out the lecture notes and look over them for a half hour every day. Go to the anatomy lab for the lab portion to use the models because it really helps.

A little bit each day will help with learning the information, and when the time comes to take the exam you won’t have to study nearly as hard the night before. After studying reward yourself with Netflix! Doctor Who is an amazing show to watch after studying.

2. Take advantage of tutoring and S2I.

Doing this will raise your chance of earning the A. You can visit Tutoring Services to find a tutor. This is free on campus so it’s silly not to take advantage of it! Tutoring Services also offers answers about S2I.

This program is also free for students, so try and make at least one session a week.

3. Learn from your mistakes.

You may fail a lab exam, and I promise it will be okay. I failed my cardiovascular/respiratory lab exam. By failing I mean I earned a 49%. Use that exam as a benchmark for improvement.

After my lab exam, I learned more of the cardiovascular system. Now I know the atrioventricular valves and the conduction system of the cardiac cycle by heart (pun fully intended).

4. Form a Study Group

Forming a study group is an awesome way of meeting new people and reviewing the material. Everyone in this class is stressed, so come together and study. The library or even the third floor of the SLC are great places to meet.

5. Don’t just memorize – learn.

Memorizing is important to a certain extent, especially when learning the bones. However, if you take the time to learn the information it will stick with you longer. That way you don’t ask yourself later, “Does the femur have trochanters or tubercles?”

6. Take the time to know your professor.

Visit during office hours and ask questions or just engage in simple conversation. Anatomy is a huge lecture classroom so your professor doesn’t have any clue that you exist. Professors have interesting study tips and can explain information in various ways so it makes sense.

Anatomy class is tough, but I promise that you can get through it. As for Exercise Science majors, Anatomy is one of the toughest classes you will take – and one of the most rewarding! Nothing feels better than acing a test you’ve been studying like crazy for.

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Mariah Kaercher

Mariah graduated in 2017 with a BS in Exercise Science and a Nutrition minor. She is from Plymouth, MN and her hobbies include reading comic books, gaming on her Xbox 360 and playing with cats.