need some encourgement

  1. Today, I had a test in Foundations and failed again for the second time. I got a 70% on this test and a 72% on the last one. I just don't get this. I am passing all my other classes, in fact, most people are having trouble in Patho and I'm passing that class with flying colors. I stayed up until 4:30 this morning studying and I spent all w/e studying for atleast 4 hours a day. In Patho, I had the application down, but in Foundations, for some reason, my critical thinking skills are not up to par. I understand the material, but if given the choice between the right and wrong answers, I always pick the wrong answer. I'm on scholarship and I have a son depending on me to succeed. For the next test, I must get at least an 86% to maintain the 75% average and then I must get at least a 94% on our skills validation in order to get a B in the class. And I must get at least a B in the class to maintain my scholarship. I've already passed my drug cal test. I just don't feel confident. I have to go into a test feeling confident and it makes me on edge to know that I "have" to get a certain grade in order to pass. It's the the pressure that is eating me alive. I've got my family, friends, and co-workers all depending on me. I KNOW I can do this. I've passed Assessment with a B. I feel like I really want to give up and go back to the corporate world. Any suggestions?
    Last edit by shoegalRN on Apr 3, '07 : Reason: error
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  2. 6 Comments

  3. by   GingerSue
    stick with it
    give it your best
    (I would organize my time, studying, activities, etc)

    do practice questions (the ones that provide the answer with explanation)

    don't let these exams undermine your self-confidence
  4. by   donsterRN
    I'm a big supporter of classroom preparation, and I'm hoping that you're pre-reading the material before you get to class. That's always helped me. This way, when I'm in lecture, I can hear the same information again and REALLY listen to it. If, during the pre-read, I have questions about something or am just not getting a concept, I'll write it in my notebook, intending to ask it during the lecture. It's often not necessary, because the instructor will cover it during her lecture. Also, it's helpful to me to do the review questions at the end of the chapter; often times, the test questions come directly from those. Also, if your textbook has an accompanying CD-ROM, take a look at that; we had instructors who would use those questions on tests as well. Sometimes, successfully passing a test is as easy as knowing the instructors questioning style. They differ from instructor to instructor. And then there's always study groups. Get together with three or four of your classmates and go over the material. In our study group, everybody is required to bring at least 10 questions written on index cars (answers on the back) and we ask them to each other in a round-robin style. It's very successful.

    I wish you much good luck and success. :spin:
  5. by   NorfolkRN
    First off make sure that you take care of yourself first. Are you staying tired all the time? In nursing school i found that when i was having trouble with something and would step away from it for awhile and then return to it rested and refreshed I would do better with it. Sometimes when you think about something too much you get "paralysis by analysis"
    I would also think about talking to my instructor about concepts you are having difficulty applying when it comes to test questions.
    Take heart; nursing school is much harder than the preparation for most careers. My sister just graduated with a degree in psychology and she didn't have to work half as hard as i did to get my nursing diploma. If you know you were meant to be a nurse, you can do it!!!!!
    Keep your chin up and take care. :roll
  6. by   Soup Turtle
    I just took my first foundations test and did well, but the questions were tricky. The two things that helped me the most were taking a more general approach to the material and doing the NCLEX style questions.

    In my classes before, I skimmed and went by my notes. In my fundamentals class, it seems like it's better to have a general overview even if you sacrifice knowing every detail. I don't take many notes in class. I just scribble a few words or concepts that aren't clear down so I can look them up later. I've also found it helps to have the afternoon after a lecture free so the material can "soak" in. If I go to work on a school day, my mind shifts and I start focusing on what I'm doing there instead of what I learned that day.

    The NCLEX review book and the workbook that goes with the text book have been great, too. I skip over everything in the workbook that isn't NCLEX style, though. If I miss a question, I read it and see if I understand why. If I don't understand, then I read that section of the book for clarification.

    I had a 100 average in pathology and never did anything special but memorize everything and spell it correctly. I usually did my memorizing the day of the exam or lab.

    Start feeling confident and get going! Lots of other people make it and we can, too.
  7. by   santhony44
    Don't stay up until 4:30 AM studying!! You were probably too tired to think straight by the time you took the test. Get some rest! Going into a test with way too much sleep is a very bad idea. You might not even realize how much it slows you down mentally. Frankly, if you don't know the material by the night before the test, "cramming" all night won't help much. Plus, it sounds as if you probably do know the material well enough, fact-wise, but aren't able to think things out well.

    Then, are you overthinking the questions? Do you change answers? If so, you are probably hurting yourself there. Answer the question with your first impulse answer. Don't change it unless an epiphany occurs!! Answer questions from the text and your class notes, not your personal experiences.

    Can you get a classmate who is doing better to help you with the material? Maybe offer to help that person out with patho. Maybe a classmate can give you insight into why you're struggling. Also, talk with the instructor. Maybe he or she can help you see why you're having so much trouble. If you're working with nurses, get them to help you out whenever possible. Have them explain why, in a certain situation, you have choices A, B, C, and D, but one is better than the others.

    Consider getting an NCLEX review book or CD and going through the questions there that pertain to the material you're studying. Usually those books will give a rationale why a certain answer is better than anything else; maybe that will help you start to understand and think more critically.

    Good luck to you; I hope some of this helps!
  8. by   Blessed2BeMommy
    1) Get some rest! You can't think when you're exhausted.
    2) Did your foundations book come with a CD? If so, many of them have NCLEX style questions with rationales that you can practice for each chapter and learn more about how the questions want you to think.
    3) It's time for a sit down with your instructor. Find out if she has time to sit down with you and go over the exams you've already had. Have her explain to you WHY each question is answered the way it is. If she doesn't have time, find out if she will let you and a student who aced the exam sit in her office and go over the material. Sometimes it's just a matter of learning HOW the questios want you to think.
    4) Get a good NCLEX book and practice the NCLEX style questions from the chapters that correspond with what you're studying.

    There is an art and a science to answering NCLEX style questions. You can learn it.

    Best of luck to you.... !!!!

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