The literature on how students process graphics in domains in which they are not knowledgeable suggests that they possess some general knowledge and skills on how to interpret, generate and evaluate graphics over a large variety of types and domains, what we call here graphicacy. Few studies investigated the subjective component of graphicacy, in the sense of preference and perception of self-efficacy with different types of graphics. An experimental study was conducted to investigate whether subjective evaluation of preference and effectiveness of enhanced graphics was related to performance in tasks involving the mental rotation of a 3D object. Participants studied an animated or a static version of a 3D realistic visualization displaying an anatomical structure in different orientations. The results showed that students preferred animated and realistic displays. They also reported being more effective with them. There were positive correlations between the rating of animated displays and performance to one task involving mental rotation, but no effect of conditions was found on subjective rating. These findings suggest that students’ preference and beliefs of effectiveness are somehow related to performance, but more research is needed to understand this link.