Thursday, January 20, 2011

Painless memorization with Quizlet

Understanding anatomy and physiology often begins with building a foundation of basic terminology and identification of structures by name and location.  Yikes, that means memorization.  

A lot of folks dread memorization tasks because they simply don't know how to do it in a quick, pain-free manner. Once you know the tricks of memorization, it's not that bad.

The essential trick is to practice, practice, practice. 

That means every day, several times a day, if possible.

However, this will only work if you spend just a few minutes at a time practicing.  If you try to get in all in one long session, it won't work . . . or at least least is won't work very well.  In fact, the "long session approach" can sometimes burn you out so badly, it'll be hard to make yourself study the same topic again.

One of the easiest ways to practice painlessly is to make and use flashcards.  I have a previous blog post and a study tip web page and even a YouTube video devoted to methods of using flashcards to study A&P effectively.

My friend Monica Hall-Woods (another A&P professor) reminded me recently of a website called where you can easily make a set of flashcards online (for FREE) and use it to study and to quiz yourself.  In fact, gives you some alternative methods to quiz yourself, including some fun, game-like activities.

The more practice sessions you do on, the more you'll almost effortlessly pick up the basic facts that you are trying to learn. helps you keep track of what you've studied and how you are doing.

You can also upload photos from . . . which means that you can take photos of your lab specimens with your smartphone, then upload the images into a set of flashcards!

Another great feature of is that you can form study groups.  This allows one or more users to post and share sets of flashcards related to a particular topic. also lets you use flashcard stacks that others have created.  (Warning: be careful those you use are accurate before using them to study.)  Here's a stack of cards that I created simply by cutting and pasting a list I already had into the editor:

Try it!  Use different options for quizzing yourself and playing games. I think you'll have fun with it. Which is the point . . . the less pain, the more gain.  At least in this case.

Let me know what you think!  And use the comment feature (below this blog article) to post your favorite sets you've made or found . . . so other A&P students can benefit.