2nd year

Page created on October 28, 2020. Last updated on October 30, 2020 at 14:41

I think most students of POTE would agree that second year is the worst. On the fall semester you have annoying physio labs, biochemistry 1, not to mention histo and embryo 2. On the spring semester you have neuroanatomy, the Hitler of subjects, as well as biochemistry 2.

Knowing what and how to study helps.

Fall semester

Anatomy 2 is, perhaps tied with physio 1, the easiest subject of the 3rd semester. However, people tend to spend a lot of time studying it instead of other subjects during the semester, which in my opinion is not the best prioritization (not judging, as I did the exact same mistake). A common problem of the third semester is that you don’t have enough time in the exam period to finish all the exams, because you have to start biochemistry from scratch, and don’t know histology and embryology well, needing many weeks of the exam period to learn it.

I’d recommend making histology and embryology 2 the main subject you study during the third semester, with anatomy 2 taking second place. I’d also recommend beginning to study biochemistry during the semester, not postponing all of it until the exam period. I wouldn’t read any physiology except for the 2 weeks before the midterm.

In the exam period, I’d definitely do histology and embryology 2 first, as I think that’s the most difficult one. Then I’d do anatomy, physiology, and biochemistry in that order.

This being POTE, you should kind of plan for the worst case, failing the year. The most important subjects to pass are anatomy and histology, as without them you can’t take neuroanatomy next semester. The third most important subject to pass is physiology, without which you can’t take physiology 2, but you can’t take physiology 2 without passing anatomy 2 and histo 2 in the first place. Biochemistry 1 is only a prerequisite for biochemistry 2, so of the four it should ideally be the last exam you take. But, you should go for passing all exams, of course.

Then you have public health 3 and basics of human genetics, which are much smaller subjects you can study for a few days in the exam period and pass.

Anatomy 2

A close friend of mine, Hatem, made really good notes in anatomy 2. People call them Abo notes for some reason. I have his permission to share them here, so you’ll have easy access to them.

Histology and Embryology 2

When I had histo 2, we used something called David notes, made by one David A. T. Werner, whom I don’t know. I don’t have his contact information so I can’t ask for his permission to upload them, but I’ll do it anyway. If you know him, please contact me so I can contact him.

A friend of mine, Sebastian, has also made histo 2 notes. I have his permission to share them here.

You should of course use the material on an-server, too.

I’m not aware of any embryology 2 notes, but the embryo topics I wrote for neuro include most embryology 2 topics, so they might help. I’d recommend using the Langman’s book as little as possible, as it’s terrible at explaining, has mistakes, and makes relatively simple concepts really difficult to understand.


When I had physiology people really struggled with the subject, not knowing what to study, often barely passing just by using the so-called green slides. Then, some Japanese students wrote notes based on many private classes with the best teacher at the physiology department, Kristóf Lászlo. Those notes, now known as Kristof notes, drastically improved the pass rate of physiology, now making it one of the easier exams to pass in the third semester. These notes are spot on with what gets asked on the exam.

The problem with the third semester is that most of the time has to be spent studying anatomy, histology, and embryology, as these are the biggest exams. Another problem is that the physiology education is poor and very crammed. This is unfortunate because physiology is by far the most important subject in the basic module for medical students, but students generally don’t understand it well.

My recommendation is to read through my physio notes for a good understanding of physio, and then repeat for the exam with Kristof notes to make sure you remember all the details they’ll ask on the exam.

Unfortunately, I don’t know who wrote the Kristof notes, so I can’t ask their permission, but I’ll upload it anyway. If you know who wrote them, please contact me so I can contact them and ask permission.


I’m not aware of any other good biochemistry notes than my own, and I couldn’t recommend you to use anything else for the subject.

Public health 3

Public health 3 is a smaller subject, but when I had it it used to be a written exam; it’s oral now. I think the notes I’ve written for public health 6 should cover most of the public health 3 topics. Don’t study this subject until the exam period; it would be a waste of time.

Basics of human genetics

I’d almost forgotten that this subject exists. I’m not aware of any notes, so you’re unfortunately stuck with reading lectures for it. I’m sure Amboss can be a good resource, as it is for all subjects. I think genetics has preschedule exam in August, but I’m not 100% on that. If that’s the case, you should do it last.

Spring semester

The spring semester is characterised by only one thing: neuroanatomy. It’s what you’ll spend the whole semester studying. You should study physiology 2 for 1 – 2 weeks before the midterm.

You should aim to have the neuroanatomy exam in the first week of exam period, preferably in the first days. Your second exam should be physiology 2. Biochemistry 2 and immunology have so-called preschedule exams, meaning that if you fail them during the exam period of the spring semester, you have another chance in August before the next semester starts. For this reason, you should leave those for last. Because biochem 2 is much more difficult than immunology, you should do it first of the two.


Neuroanatomy is, in my opinion, and in the opinion of many others, the worst exam at POTE. The subject itself isn’t that bad in my opinion, but because the exam contains all anatomy, histology, and embryology subjects, it’s a literal nightmare.

Two good friends of mine, Magnus-André and Milica, have their own website called jugularis.net. There they’ve uploaded very good notes for the neuroanatomy 1 and 2 topics.

I’m not aware of any notes for the neurohistology topics, but an-server is at least a good place to start, if not good enough alone.

Many people have written neuroembryology notes, but after looking at them I can’t recommend them over mine. I’ve used Langman’s as my main source, as well as the lectures, and I’ve tried to explain things as simply as possible.

Physiology 2

Actually called “medical” physiology, physiology 2 is perhaps the easiest exam in second year. There is a lot of overlap between it and neuroanatomy, and the questions asked from both physiology 2 and 1 on the exam are relatively simple.

Kristof notes includes physiology 2 as well, so I can recommend using it. Physiology 2 is a much less important subject than physiology 1 for us; the only part of physiology 2 which I consider important is endocrinology.


Immunology is important, but the subject is not taught well, and students generally don’t have a good understanding of immunology even after having passed the exam.

My notes in immunology haven’t aged well, but I don’t know of any better alternatives, so I recommend you use them. The exam isn’t super difficult, either.

Biochemistry 2

Actually called “medical” biochemistry, this exam is the second hardest in the spring semester. I think most people agree that the exam in biochem 2 is easier than that of biochem 1, but it is still the second most difficult exam of this semester.

As before, I can’t recommend any other notes in this subject than my own.

Behavioural science 3

This is another subject I’d forgotten existed. I don’t remember anything about it actually, so I can’t be of much help. Sorry.

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3rd year

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What to study

4 thoughts on “2nd year”

  1. Biochemistry exam includes curriculum from medical chemistry and introduction to biochemistry also.
    The department introduced new exam system this year.
    Be careful and good luck

  2. Does Biochemistry exam include all the portions of the previous two semesters or is that only occurring in the medical chemistry final exam?
    I was told that one of the chemistry topics would include the previous two subjects and Im not sure which one it is.

    1. The biochemistry exam of fall semester 2nd year does not include curriculum from the first year chemistry subjects. The final exam in the spring semester of 2nd year does, to some extent.

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