Ah anatomy, the class where you see bones everywhere and cadavers up close. Exam one consists of pretty much every bone in the body, along with its correct position. When it comes to memorizing the entire skeleton, it can be tough. To make things easier here are some techniques to studying bones so the exam is a breeze when you take it.

1. 4th Floor Paterno Library



This floor is the life sciences library. Here you can have access to actual bones. Instead of looking at pictures online, you can study hands on, feeling all the parts of the bone. Its good to know what the bones look like, because actual bones are used on the exam instead of just pictures. The exam will be like a practical. Make sure you go to the library days before the exam because everyone will be there right before it. It’s the weekend with the bones

2. Use the Entire Lab Time



Labs are usually two hours, but some students leave beforehand. It’s important (especially when you’re behind) to stay as long as you can. The lab has access to all the bones you will see on the exam plus lab assistants that will help you. You also have an anatomy coloring book where you color in parts of the bones. In lab, you can compare your colorings to the actual bones and see how they connect.

3. Office Hours!



If you stay the whole time but are still confused on certain parts of the bones, our lab assistants HIGHLY encourage going to office hours. They were once students in the class too so they know how to teach in the best way for you. Each assistant has there own little way of memorizing and the more time you go to office hours, the more you’ll gain those tricks and tips.

4. Draw Diagrams



It gets hard to memorize all the bones in your head, so drawing them out really helps! It gives you a nice visual and you can picture it in your mind when taking the exam. Our lab assistants like to draw diagrams during lab and highly encourage students to copy them down. It also helps to write down wordplays to help you memorize. Ever need help knowing the parts in the Sphenoid bone? Just remember the Cowboy Story.

5. Amazon Prime



Use that beautiful Amazon Prime deal Penn State gives to students and purchase a skeleton. I asked my Lab assistants and they both purchased a skull which helped them a lot for the exam. Most are just under $15 and health related majors probably will reuse that skull a lot for future studying. Just make sure to warn your roommate so they don’t walk in on you with a bunch of random bones.

With this variety of study methods, you’ll be prepared and ready to take that exam with ease. Soon, the bones in the body will always be on your mind making memorization a lot more easy. Anatomy will turn into your best friend rather than worst enemy (hopefully).




Ally Zukowski

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