3.9 GPA, cant pass Nursing school tests!???

  1. 0
    I am at a loss for words. I dont know what to do anymore. I came into the RN program with a 3.9 GPA. I am SHOCKED that I am on the verge of failing my 2nd semester of Nursing school. I study my class notes, Powerpoints, I have 4 NCLEX review books I study as well. I cannot pass the tests. I am begining to think it is my naturally 'overanalytical' mind that is keeping me from doing well on these tests. I think I overthink the answers. And if this is the case, how do I overcome that? As you know, these are not tests based on fact and one answer is right. I find it impossibe! What to do??? Any advice is appreciated!
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  4. 34 Comments so far...

  5. 4
    Do you review your tests with your instructor?

    I had trouble with it my first quarter but I'm OK now. Part of my problem was that I didn't read each and every word in the sentence. I kid you not, there were absolutely ridiculous questions that would say, "Which statement should the nurse make regarding (blah blah blah)." And 2/4 of the answers would be QUESTIONS, and of course the sentences ending in periods were stupid. But you have to pick an answer that ends with a period, because it asked for a "statement."

    I always look for words that indicate where in the nursing process the question is being asked. That helps you decide what action to take...different actions if you're just assessing vs. a strange result in the implementation phase.
    setownsley, zsnurs, ark1992, and 1 other like this.
  6. 1
    Are you using the cd's with the books? They have great nclex type questions with rationales. Prerequisites are nothing like nursing school. It can be a shock to the ego. Take a breath, relax, and start doing lots of practice tests. Ask your instructors for test taking strategies.
    Our program has an instructor dedicated to "enrichment." Most of that optional class is going over test questions and pinpointing exactly what the question is asking.
    Always use ADPIE and Maslow's when deciding your answers .. good luck!
    slimlvn likes this.
  7. 2
    Oh the joys of over-analyzing everything. I think it's a personality thing. I'm very much an over-thinker and it lands me in trouble all the time; well, that was before. I have been working very hard to stop myself from over-thinking. One of the ways I do this is to learn to feel confident in what I know. I now know that I don't have to know every single detail about whatever it is, but I do need to know the important aspects such as, how does that pertain to ABC's and how does ABC pertain to this? It's working.

    I have also stopped changing my answers on all of my tests and I use the information from my powerpoints to make flashcards. I only read my chapters if the powerpoints make no sense to me.

    By practicing these methods, I'm getting better grades and I have more time to spend with my kids and family.
    PinkCupcake and slimlvn like this.
  8. 0
    Definitely ask your instructors to have a sit-down with you. They are the only ones who will be able to explain to you how far off your answers are and how to pull yourself back around in the right direction. Every teacher is different and every teachers exams are different. You have to learn how they want their tests answered. Talk with them and ask for any and all advice they have for you. I don't think you will regret it. If you don't conference with them, then I'm afraid you are going to build up such text anxiety that it will be debilitating. Best of luck.
  9. 2
    Review the exam with your instructor. Don't read too deep into the question. Many of our fellow bright nursing students do this and end up failing. Remember ABCs, MAslow, and there is a difference between Most important and what is a Priority.
    barankasia and shay&lynn like this.
  10. 0
    from what our teachers have told us is the way OUR tests are written, are different. were not regurgitating info but applying it and critically thinking so---you have to think thru ur questions a bit more.

    & lovejoy is right if u keep abcs & maslow in the back of ur mind it'll lead u towards the appropriate answer sometimes
  11. 0
    Do not anything into the questions! Read it for what it is because the question will have everything you need in it. Prioritization is key. Always think ABCs: airway, breathing, and circulation. It's also very easy to fall for the "Notify the physician" answer. Sometimes you should elevate HOB first or take vitals. Sometimes vitals isn't the answer either. Hope that helps a little.
  12. 0
    Does your school have a tutor or something who can help you with test taking skills? Perhaps it's just that you are not a good test taker and that a little refresher in that department might help you quite a bit.

    OR

    maybe you are just over-studying? It can be harmful to study too much and have the opposite effect as you planned it to.
  13. 5
    Nursing school tests is a whole different ballgame compared to other tests you take in school. A lot of those other tests are simply "memorization" and you just have to spit out the facts. In nursing school, you need to learn how to apply the material. Some things you have to memorize (such as lab values) but other than that everything is application of the material. You can study and study and study but if you do not know how to apply the material, you won't do so well. Sometimes you have to think outside of the box. I would meet with your instructor(s) and go over your tests if possible and maybe have them explain to you the rationales.

    Another thing I suggest is doing practice NCLEX questions while you're studying. Not only will it help you learn how to apply the material, but it will get you into that "critical thinking mode" that nursing school tests usually require. Good luck!
    Wrench Party, prettymica, tcvnurse, and 2 others like this.


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