This study compares the effectiveness of teaching the calculation of frontal plane QRS axis with the use of the classical versus the orderly electrocardiographic limb lead display. Eighty-three students from two environments were randomized into two groups and were taught to determine frontal plane axis with one of the methods. The accuracy and time to determine the axis were tested on 10 electrocardiograms. In the United States the group using the classical display achieved 4.2 (+/-2.7) correct answers, whereas those using the orderly method achieved 6.8 (+/-3.0) (p = 0.0006). The classical group used 9.2 (+/-2.8) minutes to complete the test, whereas the orderly group needed 7.2 (+/-2.0) minutes (p = 0.015). The results achieved in Sweden were similar. The use of the orderly electrocardiographic limb lead display results in greater diagnostic accuracy in less time than the classical display when determining the frontal plane QRS axis.