As I mentioned in my last post, I’m currently taking an anatomy and physiology course at CityLit. We’re on week 5, I think, of 7 so we only have a couple of sessions left to cram in the rest of the course. It’s really a beginner level overview of the system that will then enable us (the students) to take it forward to another subject, such as massage or holistic therapies.
Aside from my yoga TT in 2012, the last time I really studied was in 2001 when I was 18 and finishing my A-levels in Kent, my home until the age of 24. My revision style back then was to leave everything until the last minute i.e. the night before coursework is due or deadlines were set. As you can imagine, this was not a very effective way to manage my time or studies! I somehow managed to wing it and passed my exams but hindsight (ain’t it wonderful!) tells me if I had applied myself then I would have gained better grades.
So, after 15 years out of the school system I find myself back in the classroom, trying to absorb a lot of very fascinating information in a short period of time. Learning anatomy and physiology is like learning another language and not only that, but different disciplines will call things by different names. You can imagine my brain box is melting a little!
This time around, I’m trying to take a different approach to revising. This is far from being a perfected skill as I am the queen of procrastination (Facebook, you devil of a distraction you!) but here are a few (probably extremely obvious!) tips:
Make it short but sweet
Revising for 20 minutes a day is much more effective than 5 hours in one sitting! Spreading it out over a longer period makes it seem like a much less gargantuan task and much more enjoyable, to be frank. Of course, this depends on the time you have available however in my current situation, this is working well for me.
Make it visual
I’m very much a visual learner. I struggle to absorb information through reading alone so I need visual aids or interactive play. For a&p, there are plenty of interactive resources online such as the BBC website, or my favourite Anatomy Arcade where you can play games like Whack a Bone! Youtube has a ton of great videos, some by National Geographic especially “Inside the Living Body”.
Get someone to test you
After every lesson or revision session, my housemate asks me to tell her something I’ve learnt that day. It encourages my mind to store information and recall it when she asks me a question. I find this really helpful, and am also grateful that I have a friend who is willing to do this!
Drink lots of water
This may sound silly or obvious, but drinking lots of water and staying hydrated really helps with concentration levels.
I hope these tips are helpful in some way or another. Now, I’m off to study….