Midterm Madness–And what to expect for A&P I

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Hello, everyone! To my fellow college students, we have hit the midpoint in the semester, which means that we’re halfway through another chunk of school…but also that we’re enduring the utter madness that can be midterm exams. But stay strong and push through! (Easier said than done, I know, but I believe in each and every one of you!) Separate all of your study material into manageable sections and spread them across each day. Take breaks as needed–but definitely after an hour or more of continuous studying, even if it’s just to walk around a bit. (Sitting and studying for hours without periodic breaks puts a considerable amount of stress on not only your mind but your entire body–muscles and deeper.) And remember that even if you don’t do as well as you’d hoped (though I know it’s still painful), you can use this experience as an opportunity to better prepare and adjust your study habits for the next exam! And at the very least, you have one less exam to concern yourself with.

Now, for all of you who haven’t taken  Anatomy and Physiology I yet but will eventually, I can give you an idea of what to expect. However, keep in mind that I cannot disclose explicit details of the actual content of the exam. Additionally, I am taking Dr. Daniel Holt for Anatomy and Physiology I (and who I already strongly recommend if you can take his course) for the fall 2019 semester, so what I describe may not completely match future lab midterm exams for Dr. Holt or may not match lab midterm exams given by other professors.

So… What can you know? Well, for the exam, which was held at our usual lab time on Fridays, we rotated through approximately 23 stations, each with three questions related to a certain lab subject (so, 69 questions total). At the end, we also had three bonus questions, with each equaling an extra point. For each station, we were given two-and-a-half minutes to answer the questions before a bell sounded, forcing us to move to the next one. This meant that in total, the exam took a little over an hour–so, less than the typical lab time–and each person finished at relatively the same time. The track for the stations followed the arrangement of tables (with a chair at each station) to the back of the lab, where the final setups were arranged on the tabletop. However, if you became disoriented, other students, the professor, and the letters at each station would guide you to the right one. 

As for the general formatting of the questions, everything was fill-in-the-blank/write-in. What does this mean for you as the student? Well, not only do you have to be familiar with the words of the structures or objects that you’re looking at as well as any associated functions, locations, or processes, but you also have to know the exact spelling. (If you’re someone who struggles with this, I recommend coming up with a way to reinforce the spellings of these terms.)

But what about the nitty gritty details of the exam…? Well, again, I can’t reveal any specific questions or allude to specific areas of content. But what I can do is list out the general lab subjects that we covered. For our lab midterm, we encountered questions for basic anatomical language, the microscope, the cell, histology, the integumentary system, and the skeleton (both bones and cartilages). Sounds like a lot, right? Well, that’s A&P for you. It feels like an overload–and it pretty much is–but as long as you study it day-by-day, you can pass the exams with little issue! (And if this is something you’re truly passionate about, it can actually be a lot of fun to study and discuss with others!) In general, I felt proud of myself throughout and after the exam–though I did chastise myself for questions I knew I’d missed for simple mistakes. And most of the class seemed to mirror those feelings. So, yes, the exam required an extensive amount of work–several hours of studying and visiting the lab on weekends–but that work definitely paid off.

Hopefully, you’re making it through this midterm period, and hopefully, my summary of my A&P lab midterm experience was helpful to you in some way. But if not, I wish the best for you, and know that you have the ability to succeed–you just have to acknowledge it and work with it. Also, if you’re interested in hearing more about my perspective on A&P I with Dr. Holt, I’ll be writing a post on my overall experience at the end of this semester. So, be on the lookout when that time draws near!


I send you all strength and courage.

Let’s do this: Nursing students unite!