Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Test taking strategies

For many of you, you are either in the midst of final exams or close to it.

Quite a few students know that performance on an exam has a lot to do with how well you understand the concepts. Duh-uh!

But did you that there are other factors, too?

Here are some factors that can impact the performance on a test:

  1. Wellness. Whether you are ill or healthy, whether you are tired or well-rested, whether you have eaten well or not, and so on, can have big effects on how well you do.
  2. Test-taking skills. Yep . . . there are certain methods to use when taking a test that help you increase your chances of doing well. For example, managing your time properly helps you respond to all the items on an exam (rather than running out of time and missing out on part of the exam).
  3. Test-preparation strategies. What you do before the exam can have a big effect on how well you do. Last-minute cramming, depending on how you do that, may actually decrease your performance on an exam . . . especially if it causes you to lose critical sleep time.
So . . . what are the particular strategies to use? Glad you asked!

Just go to the Lion Den Taking Tests page for specific, student-tested advice . . . and links to other sources!

Monday, December 1, 2008

Protect your tools!

Thinking of taking some homework along during holiday travel?

These days, one of the primary tools of students are laptops and other mobile devices. The problem is that these things are stolen faster than one per minute!

For any of us planning to take our tools along during travel over the next few weeks, here are some tips published at the PC World website:

Holiday Travel Tips: Protect Your Laptop and Privacy
Thomas Wailgum, CIO.com
Sunday, November 30, 2008

For speeding through the security line, you may want to check this out:

8 Laptop Bags That Will Help You Speed Through Airport Security
By Becky Waring
September 16, 2008 Computerworld 2008

And here's even more advice from YouTube . . .

[If you don't see the video viewer in your newsletter or feed version of this article, please go to The A&P Student blog site to view it. ]

The Lion Den?!

What is this Lion Den, anyway?

The Lion Den website is over ten years old. Back in the days it began, the web was just starting to be used by professors for their students' benefit. Our college, like most others at the time, was not prepared for extensive web publication by faculty. So instead of waiting for the college's IT department to catch up to me, I decided to just create my own website.

Because I was a lion tamer in my youth, before I became an A&P professor, I thought a good name for my website would be related to big cats. LionDen.com was available, so I used that one. You'll notice that there is a section related to circus wild-animal training at the website.

But mainly, that's where I put the learning outlines that my students needed in their A&P courses. Then, I started adding study tips. Then PowerPoint slides. Then all kinds of help for my own students.

But as the years rolled on, I found that many students from all over the world were using the material at my LionDen.com website. So now I've begun posting resources that any A&P student might be able to use. Part of my goal of starting this The A&P Student blog is to help students find those resources . . . and many others . . . so that they can learn A&P more easily.

So that's why my website for students (and circus fans) is called LionDen.com!

Go check it out . . . and comment here about what you like, what you don't like, and what else you'd like to see added!

. . . and stay tuned for a major redesign of LionDen.com coming this summer!

Sad pucker

I was recently going over some reviewers' comments as I check over the page proofs of the new edition of our Anatomy & Physiology textbook.

One of the comments criticized our description of the perimetrium of the uterus as being part of the parietal peritoneum. The reviewer erroneously thought that it should be the visceral peritoneum.

This is a common error, alas . . . to forget about the fact that some abdominopelvic organs are in fact retroperitoneal (outside the parietal peritoneum). Even the reviewer, who is an A&P professor, got this one wrong.

One easy way to remember which abdominopelvic organs are retroperitoneal is to use a mnemonic such as SAD PUCKER:
  • S = Suprarenal (adrenal) glands
  • A = Aorta/Inferior Vena Cava
  • D = Duodenum (second and third segments)

  • P = Pancreas
  • U = Ureters
  • C = Colon (ascending and descending only)
  • K = Kidneys
  • E = Esophagus
  • R = Rectum
Or instead, Ursula Uses Kids to Deliver All Lemon Pies except Sue’s Tasty Crust
  • Ureters
  • Urinary bladder
  • Kidneys
  • Duodenum
  • Adrenal glands
  • Large intestine
  • Pancreas
  • except (not retroperitoneal) Sigmoid and Transverse Colon
Have you visited Study Tips & Tools at the Lion Den website?

Here's a book on how your memory works, and how you can improve it . . .

[NOTE: the mnemonics given here are adapted from a Wikipedia entry]

Monday, November 24, 2008


It's here! A blog to help students to survive their human anatomy & physiology course!

This blog is primarily directed at users of my own textbooks in anatomy and physiology. However, you'll find plenty to help you here no matter which textbook you use in your course.

Right now, I'm just getting things set up . . . but expect some concrete tips and advice soon!

Click here for another way to say "anatomy" . . .

American Sign Language