A & P Study Guides Page
How to Survive in Anatomy & Physiology
Studentís who are successful in this class:
|Turn in all of their homework. Even small assignments add up
quick. Not turning in homework is a sure way to fail.|
|Follow all of the instructions on the assignments. They go back
over the assignment to make sure they have covered all of the requirements.|
|Attend all lectures and lab. Attendance is worth points so
absences hurt your grade. Grades can also be lowered significantly because
of absences. In addition, it is easy to get behind in A & P. The material is
difficult and just copying the notes will not help you on the test. Make
sure that you have a back-up babysitter if your kids are sick and backup
transportation. Be prepared for any emergency. |
|Ask questions. It is always okay to ask a question about what
you do not understand.|
|Spend extra time in the lab and computer room when the
rooms are open. You need to spend extra time in both places. Put extra lab
time in your weekly schedule. Lisa is a great resource ask her for help|
|Use the web-site. There are study guides, notes, puzzles, etc. I
have spent hundreds of hours assembling the website for a reason|
|Work in groups. Talking problems out helps but be careful that
you do not work on labs together.|
|Do not give up. Do not take it for granted that you can pass. At
the same time do not think that one or two low grades will result in your
Here are some ideas that may help you study for this
I). SUPPLIES THAT YOU NEED
A). Three-Ring Binder
This makes it easier for you to copy all of
your notes. In addition, combined with a hole-punch it allows you to
insert computer printouts with your notes. Organizing yourself is
essential for you to understand your material. You must keep track of
all your notes, handouts, papers, and labs. This can get overwhelming.
B). Calendar & A Daily Planner
You are responsible for turning material in on
time. Everyday that an assignment is late the grade drops 5 points. That
can be the difference between passing this course and having to repeat
C). A Good Medical Dictionary
The vocabulary is difficult being able to look
up terms makes the difference between reading the material and
D). Study Guides, Anatomy Coloring Book, & Any Other A
& P Material That You Can Find.
I write lectures with 3 or 4 books open. Some
sources of information are better than others. So surround yourself with
material that you can quiz from or study from. We have extra textbooks
and AP study material upstairs and webl inks on the web site. Look
E). Index Cards
Index cards are a great way to memorize
material. Put a bunch on a key ring and take them wherever you go.
F). Colored Pencils
Colored drawings help you to see structures
and relationships better. Take your time working on slides and try your
hand at drawing structures. This is not an art class the final product
does not always matter.
II). UNDERSTANDING THE LAYOUT OF THE LECTURE
A). The outline of the lecture can be found on the
Print out the notes from the website, that is
what they are there for. Not all of the notes are posted but the outline
contains graphics that may help you understand the material. Do not
print out all of the notes in the beginning of the semester. Print them
out a week at a time. It will help you to keep up particularly if you
feel you are falling behind. It amazes me how many people do not bother
with the web notes.
B). My lecture is in outline format
I try to keep the outline straight but
sometimes I fail. If you are missing a letter or a number in a series
tell me. One of us may have skipped something.
C). Every lecture starts with a small review
It allows me to connect the old and new
material together, and I think it helps the students stay on track.
D). Lecture Presentation
I try to work with different learning styles.
|I cover what is on a slide before it is presented. |
|I click the information on and I repeat it. |
|At which point you need to include it in your notes.|
|After which I may include an analogy or sometime of comparison to
help you remember|
|Do not worry if you do not catch everything I say since I am
E). I cover a lot of material on the sides.
Most of the material on the slides can also be
found in the book and the lecture stays close to the slides and the
computer notes. However, the computer notes can be slightly out of order
if I make a last minute change. DO NOT TRY TO COPY THE LECTURE
NOTES WORD FOR WORD. I write slides in complete
sentences because it helps me to remember what I want to say, and I
think it keeps the lecture more organized. Summarize the slide or just
copy the important points.
F). I always ask before I move a slide. Speak up if
you need more time.
G). You can ask me to repeat anything that you did not
I talk fast and I cover a great deal of
material, because there is a great deal of material that needs to be
covered. I do not mind repeating something. If you cannot hear because
someone is talking please tell me it is to loud where you sit. I will
gladly ask the talkers to leave class. No one has the right to make this
more difficult for you than what it already is.
H). Ask questions
If you do not understand something there is a good
chance 95% of the class does not understand it either. You can ask me to
explain specific material or you can ask me a direct question. I will
respond in one of several ways:
|I will answer right away.|
|I will ask you to wait a minute because I am going to cover that soon
and I do not want to break the rhythm of the lecture.|
|I will ask you a series of questions so that you can answer your own
|In lab I may just tell you to look it up.|
|I may just tell you I do not know the answer and I need to look it up
I will never refer to a question as being stupid.
III). TAKING NOTESóTaking notes is a skill that
students need to practice and become good at.
A). Use the web site.
The web site has a basic outline of all of the
notes and it contains a large number of graphics and puzzles. It does
not always match up identically to the lecture but if you are a slow
note taker use the website. Take advantage of this resource. Print
out the notes before class and add to them. Also use the website from
your book. You have paid for the technical material that goes with
the book. Use it
B). Use key words.
You will miss a lot if you try to write every
word that I say and that I put up on the screen. Just because I write
out complete sentences does not mean that you need to.
C). Use short-hand & symbols
Arrows and & signs save you a lot of time. So
do abbreviations like CV for cardiovascular. Just make sure that you
write a key so that you do not forget what your symbols mean.
D). Draw pictures & make flow charts
I am not talking about artistic pictures but
sometimes a drawing will help you understand and visualize material
(potassium) K+ŗ in out
You can also make a map or a flow chart: Glucose
‚ Insulin Š
Simple line drawings will make a major difference.
E). Label & date all notes
There is nothing more depressing that dropping
a large number of notes and not knowing how to reorganize them. This is
a great time saver.
F). Make a note if you are lost
If you do not understand something in your
notes mark it with a question mark and than bring it to me and I will
G). Adequately space your notes
Paper is cheap. Leave yourself space to insert
material from other sources. It is very difficult to read pages that are
crammed with notes.
H). Do not highlight your book the first time through
it and do not take your notes exclusively in your textbook during lecture
This practice becomes chaotic during test
time. You will tend to mark the unimportant stuff first. If it is
important put it in your notes. In addition, people who highlight their
books tend to just look over highlighted material and they tend not to
connect the material together as well.
IV). Instructor Supported Study Assistance
A). Lecture review
I review the previous lecture material in the
beginning of each class. It helps you to fit the new material in.
B). Review sheets & study guides
I give 2 types of review sheets. Study guides
on the website function to summarize important material (ie. the anatomy
of the muscular system). I also supply review sheets before tests which
are also on the website. Many students assume that the questions on the
review sheets are the exact questions that are on the tests. That would
be silly. The review sheets are to give you a way to review the
material. Each question on the review sheet requires a detailed answer
if you are to apply that knowledge to the tests. The review sheet
should not be your exclusive tool for studying. It should be a guide and
C). Office hours
People claim I live in my office. Come and
visit I get lonely.
D). Open lab and resource (computer) room
The lab is open on Fridayís come in and work
with the models. If asked in advance Lisa or I can remove some of the
models from the lab and put them in the computer room. In addition,
there are a lot of AP books and videos that you can review. Plan to
spend time in both rooms. Schedule it in every week. Lisa is a great
resource-ask her for help.
E). The Web-Site www.octc.kctcs.edu/gcaplan
The website is huge and contains links to all
kinds of cool things. Take some time and explore it. I actually get hits
from all over the world.
V). TIPS FOR STUDYING
Anatomy and Physiology requires 2 different types
of learning. The anatomy can be memorized but the physiology flows like a
road map and cannot be memorized it has to be understood. Keep this in mind
while you study.
A). Review something every night
I know you have a life and even though 16
weeks seems like forever it is not. If you stop reviewing you will get
behind in just a couple of days. Reread your notes, look at the website,
or look at the chapter summary. Just do something every night.
B). Find a study group
Most of the students are going into similar
professions. Start a study group that may last through your future
classes. Knowing that you are not the only one lost and confused is
reassuring. Older students with kids can get together for weekends, and
have one spouse or family member baby-sit the kids while the group
works. In addition, swap phone numbers so that you can get notes or a
ride if your car breaks
C). Rewrite your notes
This is not busy work. Rewriting your notes is
probably the best thing that you can do. This forces you to go through
the material again and reorganize it. You can also add additional book
notes or diagrams to your notes. There is something about the physical
processes of writing (as oppose to blankly staring at) your notes that
helps it get in to your memory better. It also cleans up your notes so
that they make more sense. You should rewrite your notes as soon after
lecture as you can.
D). Do your reading
I will not assign specific pages, this up to
you. You cannot read youíre A& P book like a novel, you will get lost
right away. Instead break the chapters up into little subunits and try
|Skim the chapter by reading the headings, and the captions under the
diagrams. (It is likely reading the end of the novel)|
|Read the summary at the end of the chapter. This will help direct
|Read each section. Add notes from the book to your lecture notes
before you highlight the material. Note taking keeps you focused and
most people tend to skim over highlighted material.|
|Do not read the entire chapter at once. You will daze out and forget
what you are reading. Learn one section and then move on.|
|Answer the Objectives at the beginning of the chapter and the
questions at the end of the chapters.|
E). Use flash cards
The best way to memorize terms and anatomy is
by using note cards. Put them on some type o f king ring so that they do
not scatter and carry them with you. Anytime you have a few free minutes
flip through them
F). Make flow charts
You cannot memorize all of the physiology. You
need to visualize it and see it happening in your mind. You need to
approach it differently. Flow charts are the best way. You can even put
the factors on post-it-notes on the wall. This way you can move things
around when you need to.
i.e.) low glucose --> releases glycogen
--> raises glucose
insulin --->lowers glycogen ---> lowers
glucose (which raises glycogen)
G). Reread your notes before each class
This will keep you up to date and keeps the
H). Use the on-line material that goes with the book
The publisher has a great site designed for
your book. It is part of the price you pay for the book. Use it. I have
also moved some of their material to BlackBoard. Play with it.
I). Do not put off studying until the last minute
If you are cramming for the test the night
before you will not be successful in this class. Do not attempt to take
a test or a practical without studying. Many students tell me they
studied for 5 hours the night before a test. That is not enough. You
need to study some of the material every day
J). Find a quiet corner to do your studying
I know with kids, family, and significant
others it seems impossible. Make arrangements with a friend or family
member to watch your kids several times a week. You can also plan on
spending sometime in the library before or after class. Try turning off
the radio and t.v. that will help too.
K). Try to apply this material to your real life or
I give you both biological and non biological
examples for a reason. There is a reason I tell you stories about
my family. Apply your hobbies, art people should draw, mechanical people
should make models, musical people should make songs and poems, etc.
L). Take pictures
Use a digital camera and the paint program
that comes with windows and take pictures of the tissues and models and
label them. Take pictures of friends and family and label the regions,
bones muscles etc.
M). Ask your friends & family for help
This is anatomy and a living, breathing model
works best. Use your boyfriend, girlfriend, husband, wife, or kids as
|Use a washable marker on kids to mark muscles, bones, and regions on
their arms and legs. They may think this is great and they are helping.
|Let family members help you study note cards. You will be surprised
at how much little kids pick up. |
|Try giving little kids a back pack and a science book that they can
highlight and they will help you study.|
N). Buy sidewalk chalk
Draw cells, tissues, and trace bodies on the
sidewalk (kids love this). Label the directions, regions, vessels etc on
your body drawings. They do not have to be good but it is a great way to
visualize things and it keeps the kids busy.
O). Do anything you can to visualize the processes.
If you cannot see the systems and concepts in
your mindís eye you do not understand it. You have to be able to ask
yourself "If this happens what happens next"
P). Use the Internet
There are a lot of great sites out there with
a lot of information, quizzes, study guides, etc. I have a list on the
website but there are more out there.
Q). Find anatomy apps for your smart phone
The iPhone has some great anatomy apps. Look
them up and play with them.
P). COME AND SEE ME:
I was a student once. I can help you. I gave
you my number for a reason. The people that come in and talk to me tend
to do much better. Do not wait until the week before finals before
coming in for help. I cannot do anything for you at that point.
Finally, do not panic. This is a
difficult class but it is also fascinating and beautiful. Do not worry
if by the end of the semester you do not feel like you know everything.
Most people that turn in all of their work and do not miss class do
better than they think they will and understand much more than believe