How to Pass Anatomy and Physiology: Lecture

Hello all! Today I will be discussing the beloved Anatomy and Physiology 1 & 2 Lecture portions. I will publish a post about the lab portion experience next. So let us begin…

My university requires each freshman to enroll in A&P I during your first semester, so ideally you will continue with A&P II the following semester. At my school A&P I focuses more on a variety of topics, as well as the physiology of the muscular, skeletal and nervous system (parasympathetic/sympathetic).


Anatomy and Physiology I

My A&P I Lecture experience was quite positive, but filled with hard work. I had lecture 3 times a week (Monday, Wednesday and Fridays) for 50 minutes. My professor uploaded her PowerPoints to Blackboard and even provided us with reading guides and weekly vocab quizzes.


What did you bring to lecture with you?

  • Due to the fact that we where provided PowerPoint slides, I never brought my textbook.
  • My COMPLETED reading guides, a multi-colored pen, and notebook paper.
  • I also would recommend recording lecture whether you want to purchase an actual recorder or just use the recording app on your phone/device.

How did you prepare for lecture?

  • Read, read, read!
  • Stay on top of your assigned readings. I know it can be difficult to keep up with but you will thank yourself when you attend lecture.
  • Reading beforehand gives you an idea of what is going on in lecture, even if you were confused during your readings.
  • As I was reading I would fill out the reading guides we were provided with, because they ended up being very good resources for the exams.
  • Book notes take up a lot of time, if you do not have time do not feel pressured to take notes simply read and annotate if you own the book.
  • If you are renting the book sticky notes are great.

How did you take notes during lecture?

  • I simply printed off my professor’s PowerPoint in advance with lines beside it, and added anything my professor would say that was not on the slide.
  • I would also draw anything she drew on the board, to explain any concepts.
  • After lecture that afternoon/night, I would make sure to read over the lecture notes and would only refer to my recording if I forgot something she might have mentioned.

How did you prepare for exams?

  • Exams can be intimidating, especially when you have pretty bad test anxiety like me.
  • I found that I feel more secure when I began studying at least 2 weeks out. I would recommend not to wait until you only have 3 days left. You want time to prepare any questions you have to take to your professor’s office hours.
  • To study I would break my information up in chunks and divide that up between the the 14 days I have allotted myself.

Pro Tip: A good way to break up info is by lectures so try to number your lectures                              as you go!

  • I would study a couple lectures each night and study the portions of the reading guides relevant to the chapter/s being covered.
  • !Beware a professor may provide study guides, but never discuss something on the study guide in class! Know your content.
  • My dry erase board was my best friend for writing out the physiology or drawing out models and processes.


Anatomy and Physiology II

My A&P II lecture experience was very, very different. My professor was infamous for being challenging, sarcastic and a bit intimidating. If anyone would like a post on dealing with difficult professors please let me know. I had lecture two times a week (Monday and Wednesdays) for an hour and 15 minutes. A&P II at my school focuses on the physiology of every other system not covered in A&P I. As a result, the content was much tougher to master.

My professor did not provide any Powerpoints or resources for us all we had was the textbook, and we were NEVER on schedule with the syllabus. We also only had a grand total of 4 grades (3 exams + final). So this course was just a hot mess!


What did you bring to lecture with you?

  • My textbook, a yellow highlighter to highlight vocab words, and my trusty Pilot G-2 pen.
  • If you have a professor that does not provided you with any materials you will have to depend on your textbook and other external sources.
  • I also made sure my phone was charged up to record lecture, because he talked a mile a minute.

How did you prepare for lecture?

  • I read before lecture, because know which chapter we would be covering based on the syllabus.
  • To be honest I may not have read through all of the chapter because they were so dense, but I made sure to look at all the pictures. My professor actually recommended this because he pretty much taught us the physiology from textbook pictures.
  • I would also do my best to review the past lecture notes I had typed up.

How did you take notes during lecture?

  • I didn’t.
  • My professor spoke so fast it was impossible. I also recognized after the first lecture that his PowerPoint was a simple chronological outline of the textbook, so I would just outline what was on the Powerpoint.
  • When I returned to my dorm after lecture, I would then crack open my book again, listen to my lecture recording and type up an outline form of what I had underlined in my book.
  • I would then print these typed notes and hand write any extra thoughts or explanations to refer to in the future.
  • I would also highlight any key terms/vocab words in yellow.


How did you prepare for exams?

  • I was a bit extra with this class and would begin prepping for the exam at least 2.5 weeks in advance (maybe 3).
  • There is a lot of content when you must know the physiology and beginning early gave me time to make sure I understood.
  • I would break it up into chunks like before and review lecture notes.
  • I would also write practice test questions on Quizlet and have my professor check them (he did give us that option).
  • The practice test questions were multiple choice like all of our exams, but I made sure I would be prepared if thrown an essay question.
  • As before I would use my dry erase board to draw out physiological processes and such.

I know this is a very long post you guys but this is a very intense course, but do not be discouraged. If I could do it you can too! I want this blog to be a resource for you.

Please feel free to ask me any specific questions in the comments about anatomy I would love to blog about them!



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