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BIO 235 & 236 - Anatomy & Physiology I and II Study Tips

Learning Strategies: Mnemonics


Mnemonics are strategies that help you remember large concepts or ideas. There are different types of mnemonics, and each can be helpful in storing and recalling different kinds of information. Mnemonics are great to include on flash cards, too.


Here are some examples of mnemonics, and how you could use them for different concepts from your A&P course.


Name Mnemonic: Use the first letter in a list of items to create a name or word.

Concept: Cranial bones
Mnemonic: PEST OF (Parietal, Ethmoid, Sphenoid, Temporal, Occipital, Frontal)


Expression Mnemonic: Use the first letter in a list of items to create a phrase or expression.

Concept: Bones of the hand in order from fingertips to wrist
Mnemonic: Please Make Cookies (Phalanges, Metacarpal, Carpal)


Rhyming or Alliteration Mnemonic: Use rhyming words, or words that start with the same sound, to remember a term or concept.

Concept: Nerve root supply of phrenic nerve
Mnemonic: C3, 5, and 5 keeps the diaphragm alive.


Chunking: Break up larger concepts into smaller groups or categories

Concept: Common antibiotics
Mnemonic: Create subgroups: antibacterial, antifungal, antiviral, antiparasitic; list terms in the appropriate group


Method of Loci (sometimes called Mental Walk or Memory Palace): Visualize a space you know very well, and then connect different items to different terms or concepts.


Music Mnemonics

Using music and songs to remember facts and concepts is a mnemonic strategy that you've probably used before. Catchy songs are often created to help students learn the alphabet, U.S. states and capitals, or the order of past U.S. presidents. While songs and jingles might seem silly, music activates a part of your brain that helps create long-term memories and make it easier to recall what you've learned.

There are great YouTube channels and videos full of songs about anatomy and physiology, and other health science topics. Here are a few examples.