# 1st yr. ASN: How are your tests?

1. Hi,
I'm wondering how testing is done at other schools. I am studying for a test on the 14th (trying to get the reading done) that covers ten chapters & 5 math questions. Math will be IV rates, conversions such as grains to mg, mg/kg/day, gtts/min, etc.

We have had one half of a lecture on the math & are supposed to be self teaching. I'm lost. I know the formula for finding what you need equals what is ordered * what's available * conversions. That is it. Pass the math proficiency or we're out. Pass the ATI fundamentals or we're out. Wow.

I expected a lot of work, but I am struggling to keep up with reading plus the care plans, drug cards & research papers. I have no life other than school & that's saying a lot with four kids, a husband & a house to (not) run.

How are you doing it?? Oh, and any score below 79% is failing. The 91 I got on the last test used to be an A- in other classes. Now it's like a C. I really enjoyed all my pre-reqs, but I'm beginning to hate this...
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3. It's definately a lot of material to cover....is this your first test? Ours have been broken down in to several smaller tests, but they still cover a ton of chapters/material.

As far as the dosage goes, we're still in to what I consider some pretty basic stuff, which doesn't include drips or IV rates or anything beyond Ordered, Available, Quantity on Hand. I'm hoping we'll get further classroom instruction on those!

This is a book we used in a dosage class that was offered before we started nursing school:

Calculate with Confidence

I think it's pretty terrific and have used it for reference a number of times. If you've got someone good with numbers, or can get help in a math lab at school, I'd grab that opportunity. I haven't seen that the math is too tough yet, but does require some common sense and ability to manipulate the numbers.

All I can say is read as much of the material as you can. Peruse some of the material rather than read if you're capable of picking up info like that; I've seen a number of other posters say that works for them.

We get pretty good lecture with handouts that helps, but there's definately more material in the book (numbers, charts, tables) that isn't covered in class and needs good review.

And the one thing I tell my kids and have told other "youngins" I've been in class with -- every 5, 10, 15 minutes you've got to do a little studying may include the one answer on a test you didn't know before took the little bit of time to study.

I wish you the best of luck!! Don't get discouraged!!
4. It depends on the class. One of my classes is 3-4 chapters per exam, worth smaller points. The other is 12 chapters for more points. I prefer the first class LOL

It's our third exam & they are all worth 100 pts. First two were 12 ch. each, third is ten. Fourth is comprehensive. (yikes) One lecture per week with discussion, lab & clinical on alternate days. Lab & clinical are combined into a pass/fail grade & discussion goes with lecture. Dimensional Analysis is the math we use. We were required to buy the text & are offered the use of a tutor, but half a lecture was all the time alloted to formal instruction. I have seen the tutor a couple of times & it is helpful. I just have a hard time arranging sitters for my youngest when the tutor is available.

I feel like I've enrolled in an independent study program. Not at all what I was expecting. I've always been a good student & have carried a 4.0 since returning for this second degree. I have a feeling that will be toast though after NS gets through with me.
6. I haven't even really been striding for an "A"....I want to learn everything I can and be the best RN I can, but I am not killing myself reading every little detail and making myself crazy at this point in my life (I'm about 10 years older than you)....I holding a very strong "B", and will possibly bring it up to a low "A" by the time the semester is over, but I know why it's a "B" and am fine with that...I, too, have a life with 3 kids, 2 grandkids, a husband and friends I like to keep in touch with.

I'd let go of the "A" mentality if that will help and just concentrate on actually learning as much as you can -- if that makes sense? Prioritize things the best you can where schoolwork/family is concerned.

If it's any help, I don't know too much of anyone in our program who didn't spent the first 10 weeks totally and absolutely overwhelmed...it just felt like things were being thrown at us right and left. Several quit very early on; several more have left due to their struggling with grades or deciding this really wasn't for them.

If you truly want this, I say just keep doing the best you can...I am sorry to hear you felt like you are doing self-teaching...that's really tough, although sometimes it feels that way in my program too...I think it's part of that application of critical thinking that makes it seem that way -- at least for me!
7. I totally agree with you about the "A mentality". I am fine with getting a B. My problem is that while a 91 used to give me a comfortable cushion in case I didn't understand something or had a bad test day, now it's only 12 points away from flunking. I absolutely don't want to get to the last test and have to get a 99 or whatever to just pass the class. Talk about stress!
Most of the time, I feel that I understand the material better than some of the younger students with better grades. Just life experience mostly, I think. And like I said I'm fine with a B. I just thought there would be more instruction or something. I really do feel like it's an independent study program with a little help thrown in.
I want to do this and am determined to complete this program. I just don't feel like I have much control. I certainly don't feel ready to be let loose on patients. Perhaps that is where my unease comes from.
8. I really understand your point....I'm having a tough time in clinicals for that reason...it felt like here -- this is how you do an BP, vitals, assessment, we've shown you once, now pass checkouts...now go and DO! Some of the basics I'm okay with, but feel nowhere near qualified to be doing assessments on surgery incisions, palpating for cancer, figuring out if a lung sound is truly clear or is that my stethoscope crackling?!? It's very intimidating sometimes!!

I also understand about keeping the grade out of the flunking zone...I've always had a good cushion by mid-semester or so...my "B" is pretty strong right now, but with 2 more tests to go, and the points being so close, I'm a bit concerned too...I think I'm doing better at NS test-taking however....and I also know there area a lot of younger students really struggling...I think there are a lot of us in the same boat!!

Best wishes!! :icon_hug:
9. Thanks Pixie. I wish you the best as well.