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Cranial nerves quizzes and labeling exercises

If you’re anything like most students, the mere thought of the 12 cranial nerves is enough to make you audibly groan. It’s true that they are certainly one of the trickier topics to understand when it comes to learning anatomy. But, don’t fear - it can be done! 

In this article, we’ll be walking you through what the 12 cranial nerves are, and how you can go about learning them step by step. Ready? Let’s jump in.

Test your knowledge of the cranial nerves with our unlabeled diagram: Download below!

List of cranial nerves

So first of all, what are the cranial nerves? The cranial nerves comprise 12 nerves of the peripheral nervous system which originate from brain nuclei and exit from the foramina and fissures of the cranium. This location of exit, rostral to caudal, is what determines their numerical order (1-12). But what are their names and functions? Let’s look at that now. 

Want to learn the cranial nerves in more detail? With our video tutorials, you can learn a topic in less than 30 minutes. 

The best way to visualize the cranial nerves is with an overview diagram. Have a look at the one below.

Overview image showing the 12 cranial nerves

Free labeling quiz 

Try to understand and memorize what you can from the labeled diagram, then, try to label the cranial nerves yourself with our cranial nerves labeling quiz exercise available to download below. 

This is a great way to start to get the cogs turning and warm up your memory before you take our other cranial nerve quizzes (but one thing at a time - more on those next!). If it’s helpful for you, you can also download the labeled cranial nerves diagram and use it to make notes. 

Download PDF Worksheet (blank) Download PDF Worksheet (labeled)


Now let’s look at some different type of cranial nerve quizzes you can take. 

Interactive quizzes

There are several types of quizzes available at Kenhub, including basic and advanced identification, muscle facts, clinical question banks and even customizable quizzes. When it comes to the cranial nerve quizzes, basic and advanced identification are the perfect way to hone your recognition skills. 

Thanks to our spaced repetition algorithm, you’ll find that learning and memorizing each nerve and its related anatomy and functions takes no time at all.

You can browse all of our cranial nerve quizzes below. Which one will you take first?

Learn on-the-go with flashcards

Cranial nerves eBook coverGiven that the cranial nerves are such a tricky topic, you’re likely to forget important details if you don’t regularly revise your knowledge. 

Flashcards are the perfect solution. Cheap, fuss-free and available to use without an internet connection, you can use them to brush up your knowledge in between classes or while you’re traveling. What are you waiting for? Get your cranial nerves flashcard eBook below! 

Cranial nerves: available via Kindle | iTunes

Looking for more anatomy eBooks? Click here to browse the full range.

If you enjoy learning with quizzes and labeled diagrams, be sure to check out our anatomy practice quizzes and diagrams on every anatomy topic

Show references

Author: Molly Smith

Layout: Niels Hapke

© Unless stated otherwise, all content, including illustrations are exclusive property of Kenhub GmbH, and are protected by German and international copyright laws. All rights reserved.

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