EN | DE | PT Contact How to study Login Register

Learn the circle of Willis with quizzes and unlabeled diagrams

So, you need to learn about the circle of Willis. Eek! Neuroanatomy is certainly not the most straightforward topic to learn, but with the tips and tricks covered in this article, we’ll break this topic down for you in no time. Ready to learn? Great. Let’s jump in.

Test your knowledge of the circle of willis with our unlabeled diagram: Download below!

What is the circle of Willis?

First thing’s first: what is the circle of Willis? Simply(ish) put, the circle of Willis is a circulatory anastomosis supplying blood to the brain and neighboring structures. These arteries are located at the base of the brain, close to the optic chiasm. 

Circle of Willis arteries

The circle of Willis, also known as the cerebral arterial circle, is formed by anterior and posterior arterial pathways. 

The arteries of the circle of Willis include:

  • One anterior communicating artery
  • Two anterior cerebral arteries (left and right)
  • Two internal carotid arteries (left and right)
  • Two posterior communicating arteries (left and right)
  • Two posterior cerebral arteries (left and right)
  • One basilar artery 

As such a tricky topic, it might be beneficial to try drawing the structures of the circle of Willis to help consolidate your memory. Here's the ultimate drawing reference. 

Next we’re going to look at how you can continue learning and building upon your knowledge with some circle of Willis Quizzes. But first, you might like to watch our videos on the arteries of the brain. This will give you a bit more detail about the arteries comprising the circle of Willis. You can even follow along with the transcript!

Recommended video: Arteries of the brain II
Arteries of the brain seen from the inferior view of the brain.

Labeled and unlabeled diagrams

One of the best ways to get familiar with the anatomy of a structure is to study a labeled diagram. Have a look at the circle of Willis diagram below, which lists the main arteries.

Labeled diagram showing the circle of Willis

Once you think you’ve memorized the name and location of each artery on the diagram, try labeling them for yourself using the free circle of Willis (unlabeled) PDF below. If you want to make some notes as you study, you can download the labeled circle of Willis diagram, too. 

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

Circle of Willis quiz

We’ve talked about the benefits of using labeled diagrams to learn a topic. But the best way to continue improving and solidifying your knowledge is with quizzes! 

At Kenhub, we have several types of anatomy quizzes that you can use to study anatomy. From basic to advanced identification, muscle facts to clinical question banks, there’s something for every stage of your learning journey. 

Not only can you use our quizzes to test your existing knowledge levels - you can even use them to learn a topic from scratch. What are you waiting for? Get quizzing with our circle of willis quiz (arteries of the brain) below! On this circle of Willis quiz, you can choose from basic identification, advanced identification, clinical question banks and even intelligent mix - a personalised mix of all three. 

Keep learning with flashcards

Cover of the flashcard eBook: Meninges & blood vessels of the brainLooking for learning tools you can use on-the-go? Our flashcard eBooks are the ideal solution. They don’t require an internet connection, so you can use them wherever and whenever you are. Perfect for a quick study session on the bus or revision before class!

Check out our meninges and blood vessels of the brain flashcard pack below:

Meninges & Blood Vessels of the Brain:
Available on Kindle and iTunes

We have flashcard eBooks available for several anatomy topics. Browse the full range in our eBook library. 

If you enjoyed using these labeled diagrams and quizzes, why not check out our anatomy practice quizzes and diagrams on every topic?

Show references

Authors: Molly Smith, Declan Tempany

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.

Related diagrams and images

Continue your learning

Read more articles

Show 4 more articles

Watch videos

Take a quiz

Browse atlas

Well done!

Register now and grab your free ultimate anatomy study guide!