1. Get yourself a good Atlas.
I would recommend you to go for Netter’s Atlas of Human Anatomy. Before the dissection, go through that particular part in the Atlas. This will help you get an overview. After learning a portion, say arm, go through the pictures in the atlas as often as you can. In time, photographic memory builds up.
2. Follow the dissection
. Even if you are a lazy person and doesn’t like dissecting at all, make sure you look at the structures at the end of the dissection. Take a little time to go through your text and try to understand at least a little bit of it. Then you can discuss movies or trips or whatever that pops up
3. Ask your friends and teachers.
If you’re having trouble understanding a portion, ask someone else. They might be able to explain it in a manner that would be much clearer than that in your textbook. Besides you are likely to remember that conversation if you had been paying attention.
Yup. Never lose an opportunity to teach your friends. You might not be the best person in that but try. Only if you have understood a topic can you teach it someone else. If you have a lot to learn, split the topics among your friends. Each person will learn that part and teach the rest.
5. Ask yourself questions
during learning. Instead of simply reading a topic, as yourself Why? What is the use of that structure placed there? What would happen if it weren’t there? Clinical anatomy?… Of course you might not find answers to everything, but it keeps your brain active; sort of thirsty for knowledge.
6. Draw diagrams.
Anatomy is all about diagrams. Try to draw diagrams based on what you have read, then look at the diagram in the text, then correct yours, redraw, redraw and redraw till you get it right. Yes it is time consuming but you’ll be pleased with the results.
7. Make notes.
Try to make your own notes. Keep them for occasional reference. Add points from other texts (Based on what your teachers or friends might say. Textbooks might have mistakes in them).
8. And finally, Repetition.
Anatomy is literally a very volatile subject. You cannot master it without repetition. Read as many times as you can. Again this takes time, but is essential to solidify your memory.
Most of the techniques mentioned above SHOULDN’T BE APPLIED ON THE NIGHT BEFORE YOUR EXAM. They take time. But if you have been doing it properly as you learn along, revision before the exams would be much easier and faster. It wouldn’t be as if you are learning it for the first time.
Don’t try to mug up everything in the textbook. Anatomy is a core subject that requires understanding. Remember that the human body is no toy.
Don’t stress too much. Take time off to unwind yourself. Have fun. Afterall, you shouldn’t be spending 24×7 studying. Sleep well. Study during your prime time. Have faith in yourself.
All the best