How to Succeed (While really trying!)
1. Put in as much time in lab as possible: don t leave early, and don t just look at the material, but takes notes, make drawings, and try to learn it.
2. Be sure you have found and understood everything you are supposed to in lab. If you need help with something, ask! Don't leave lab until all your questions have been answered.
3. You are expected to learn a lot of material in this course, and this takes time, both in lab and at home. There are no miracle shortcuts.
- Come to extra lab hours when the lab is open to study; you should review all of the specimens at least twice, in addition to studying at home.
- You should spend at least several hours each week (preferably 1/2 to 1 hour at a time) reviewing the lab material: do not try to cram it all in before an exam.
4. While studying, your environment should be as free of distractions as possible: no TV, minimal music, no roommates or family members disturbing you. Avoid the use of controlled substances.
5. Focus on studying the models, slides and specimens in the lab rather than just diagrams and figures. Things don t always look like photos and you risk simply memorizing the photo or diagram rather than the actual info.
6. Use active studying/learning methods. Simply reading or highlighting and looking at models is passive and uses few brain pathways, making it more difficult to learn the material. Active study methods use more brain pathways and solidify connections, making recall easier.
- Write out notes and make outlines, label blank diagrams or make drawings, make flash cards, and quiz yourself.
- Explaining material to others and having others quiz you is an excellent way to learn material. It also gives you a better idea of how well you know the material (when you just reread material, it will be familiar, giving you a false sense of having learned it). Thus, studying with a partner can be very productive, provided both of you are serious and don't socialize.
7. Learn the terminology The first lab covers lots of basic terms that you will see repeatedly (by themselves or as parts of other names, e.g. femoral region, femur, femoral artery, etc.).
8. Learn some Latin (seriously!): learn the meanings of the roots, suffixes, and prefixes of the terms, as you will see these again and again (e.g. ante means "before", epi means "around", myo means "muscle", etc.).
- If you know what even part of the word means, you can often figure out what it refers to, or eliminate it as a choice in a multiple-choice situation.
- Learning the derivations of the words will also helps reinforce learning, and after a while all of the terminology won t seem so foreign.
- The endpapers of the lecture text have a dictionary of roots, giving their meanings: use these.
9. Try to develop mnemonics to help you memorize info -- it s OK if they re silly. Share them with the class!
10. Finally, if you are doing poorly on the weekly quizzes, that is a sure sign that you need to put in more effort and alter your study habits.