Anatomy and Physiology

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Anatomy is an event which tests students' knowledge about the anatomy of a human body. Division B will typically concentrate on two predetermined systems, whereas Division C will typically concentrate on three systems. Topics may include diseases in those systems as well as the general anatomy and function of each system from the cellular to the holistic scale.

Check the General Anatomy page for information concerning basic topics of anatomy.

The event can be run in stations or be administered as one test packet.

2015 Body Systems

Circulatory Integumentary Immune

Note: BOTH divisions have all three systems this year.

Past Body Systems

Nervous Endocrine Muscular Respiratory Skeletal Digestive Excretory

The Stations

If there are stations, there may be 10-20 of them. There will be sections in your test corresponding to each of the stations with questions (the format of which is decided by the tester, and can vary widely from tester to tester). Students typically have a time limit at stations (i.e. 5 minutes per station, then rotate).

There may also be a different type of testing, where students are given a time limit to look at a PowerPoint slide and answer the question/questions on that slide. With this format, the whole group will be tested at once.

Students must note that in tests there is a strong possibility that a model would be used. For example, the event writer could use a model of the entire body or a specific organ to base questions off of. To do well on an identification station like this, make sure you know your labeling, and be prepared to find numbers on the model quickly. Sometimes it's hard to find certain numbers, so just look very hard, and eventually you will find it. If you really can't find one of the numbers just move on.

The Test

The test will have pages/sections corresponding to the individual stations (if there aren't stations then it will be a normal test). It will have blank lines for you to record your answer. If there are stations, there may be no questions/diagrams in the packet, so all work must be done at the corresponding station. All answers must be recorded in the packet. Spelling usually will count unless you have a very lax judge, so be absolutely certain everything is spelled to perfection. Points may also be taken away if the packet is not neat or legible. As you record your answers, make sure that you are recording on the right page/section/question. This may save you time and effort.

Please note that there may be lines for your team name, team number, or the participants' names on each page. No matter what, ALWAYS make sure you fill out that information on each page, for if you don't, they can take off points. In addition, if you don't identify yourself on your test, they will have a hard time finding you and letting you know about your results. Even if you got every question right, some judges will disqualify you for not filling out every field on your test on competition day.

There may be as many as 60 questions on the test. The test may include diagrams to label, math problems, or general knowledge questions.


The only materials to bring are writing utensils along with a good eraser, two non-programmable calculators, and one double-sided page of notes containing information in any form from any source (i.e pictures, diagrams, handwritten notes, typed notes...). No other resources are allowed. Make sure you print the guide to this event in the event info on

Preparing for This Event

Make a binder! This will help you tremendously in preparing for this event. Even though you can't bring it in, it's a great way to keep all your information in the same place and to remember it. The binder should include material about anything that the Anatomy rules say might be on the test. Review your notes when you wake up and right before you go to sleep every day. The small minutes of studying really add up.

Remember your charts and diagrams. They are very important in this event. They will account for a majority of the questions on the test. They can be used in the testing room. Simple diagrams often help with studying more the complicated ones do.

Flash cards can be a useful resource for studying the skeletal and muscular system, whether you create them yourself or buy them. A good study technique is to print out pictures of the muscles to study and put them on index cards. Also, you can make online flashcards on It is also very helpful to type up a table or list of information about the diseases, so you have a quick reference sheet to study off of (whether weeks before competition, or right before it).

A useful studying book is the Complete Gray's Anatomy. However, it can get complicated, so using a high school, college, or high-level middle school textbook will greatly assist you in preparing for this event.

It is also very helpful to practice, because the type of questions can vary widely from test to test.

Study as much as you can and cover a wide range of material. Even if the rules don't specifically mention an area of a system to study, a good rule to keep in mind is better safe than sorry! The level of complexity of the tests will vary at each level, state, and from year to year. Better to study that one area in more detail than be unprepared for the test!

Making the Note Sheet

What to include on your note sheet :

Use diagrams often to maximize your note sheet. Try to find ones with big font, so you can minimize it using image processing programs such as paint to make it smaller, but still readable. Also, colored diagrams are easier to use, making it faster to find the information you want. Overall diagrams are very useful, as are ones that specify in a particular function/part. Here is a good example. The diagram is colored, the font is big and it has information on most parts of the digestive system.

File:Digestive system diagram.PNG
A diagram of the digestive system's organs.

Listing the steps to gas exchange would be a life saver if you add it to your note sheet. Gas exchange questions are very common, so be prepared. The same goes for the digestive system. Understand the route food goes through, from your mouth to your large intestine.


  • Use as small of a font as you can. Go as small as you can, but make sure to 'keep it readable'. There's no point in having volumes of information if you can't even interpret it.
  • Make your own diagrams, either by hand or with an image manipulation program. The example below was made by aubrey048. Examples of image manipulation programs are GIMP and MS Paint.
An example of some muscle diagrams to use for your note sheet.
  • Color code. Use a different (readable) color for notes on each system. This will make things easy to find at competition day. Also color-code your diagrams if you can for maximum efficiency (as seen in the picture above). It's much easier to find a bright orange muscle than one outlined lightly in black. Keep the coding consistent so that by the end of the season you automatically associate a color to a type of information (ex: pink = muscles; blue = respiratory; green = endocrine and etc.) Highlighting will save you a LOT of time at competition. Each system can have color-coded subdivisions (diseases, functions of parts, etc.)
  • Type your sheet up, then hand-write extra notes in the margins. You can write in places where the printer might not be able to print. This is time consuming but well worth the time spent.
  • Source-check before doing anything. The last thing you need is to realize you put incorrect info on your note sheet, then have to do it all over again.
  • Use space efficiently by prioritizing. Include the things you have the most trouble remembering first. Extra information can be added later if you have room.
  • Use charts, like the hormones and Muscle Lists. Both (if minimized to fit your paper) are life-savers. Or make your own chart with specific information you need - the simple act of making a chart can help tremendously.
  • Laser printers are recommended if your font is that small. Font sizes can be reduced manually if you treat text like a picture (by typing it onto an image manipulation program and then shrinking the image), though this may reduce the readability of your notes.
  • After you print your note sheet, use a pen(cil) to write along the margins. This is a great way to fill up your note sheet, as the printer cannot print on the border off the paper. Remember not to write so small that you cannot see it.
  • Communicate with your partner (if you have one). This is vital in EVERY event. You do not want to be the only person on your team who knows how the sheet is laid out - if this happens, during the test your partner will be asking you continuously where things are, which can be distracting. If you don't trust your partner enough to make the resource sheet, at least show it to them/take a practice test with it so they can familiarize themselves with it.
  • Include formulas! Some tests will have you calculate the dead space in lungs, lung volume, blood pressure, and other anatomical formulas. Make sure you have the appropriate formulas for each system.

Sample Exercises

Check the Test Exchange for Anatomy tests!


1. If people were injected with ghrelin, we would expect that they would ______.

A) feel sleepy
B) eat more
C) lose weight
D) stop growing
E) sweat more

2. Describe the three types of hormones and provide examples of each.

3. What is the location for the receptor for water-soluble hormones? What is the location for the receptor for fat-soluble hormones? Why is there a difference in the location of the two receptors?

4. What is a goiter? How can it be prevented?

5. What is the difference between an endocrine gland and an exocrine gland?

6. What is the effect of hyposecretion of estradiol?


1. List the location, origin and insertion of the latissimus dorsi, rectus abdominis, and gastrocnemius.

2. How does exercise affect the muscular system?

3. List the steps of muscle contraction in order.


1. Describe the function of the respiratory system.

2. What is a potential cause of emphysema?

3. List the steps of gas exchange in order.

Nervous (2013-2014)

1. Describe poliomyelitus and list the different types and respective treatments.


1. Which of these is not a part of the small intestine?


2. Which of these is not a salivary gland?

A)Subpharyngeal Gland
B)Parotid Gland
C)Submandibular Gland
D)Sublingual Gland

3. What does gastric juice do?

4. What is the difference between mechanical digestion and chemical digestion? Give and example of each.

5. What is the function of the liver in the digestive system?

6. Name the parts of the large intestine.

7. What is the appendix? What is its role?


1. What are the functions of the excretory system as a whole?

2. What is urea?

Integumentary (2013-2014)

1. What are the five layers of the epidermis?

2. Name the four types of mechanoreceptors.

3. How might one treat athlete's foot?

Cardiovascular (2014-2015)

1. What main blood vessels connect to the right atrium?

2. What is the interventricular septum?

3. a. Why doesn't oxygen simply diffuse through the body?

b. How does hemoglobin bind to oxygen?

Practice Tests

See the Test Exchange for Anatomy (& Physiology) tests. You can also try the Quizzing page.

Useful links

Whopper's Anatomy Notes

File:2011 ANATOMY 8-10.ppt

See Also