Failed my first exam!!!

  1. 0
    I'm in my second semester of nursing school, and I just failed my first exam. I'm very disappointed in myself. I don't know where I went wrong! I studied everyday for two weeks. I didn't do anything different from what I normally do. Any suggestions on how to prepare for my next exam? I've lost confidence here.
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  4. 2
    Nursing school is rough! I would suggest first making an office hours appointment to go over your exam. Take notes on what you missed - what your thought process was vs the thought process behind the answer. If there are questions you don't understand, make sure to ask your instructor to go over them for you.

    Other things that I found helpful when preparing for my exams:
    - Using powerpoints as a guide, not as my only study material. Most major subjects go back to the book and write your set of notes using a combination of the information from powerpoints and book knowledge.
    - Form a study group and make flash cards. Take turns with your classmates quizzing each other - I found that I learned the most when I was teaching my classmates the rationale behind why they got the flash card info wrong.
    - If you have a patient significant other/friend/parent have them let you explain the material to them. If you can actually teach someone the material, you are much more likely to actually understand it. When you're done explaining, have them teach back (This is great practice for when you're teaching your patients!). If they get things wrong or you leave anything out, go back and explain it again.
    - If you have trouble with the question type, because a lot of people just mess up on tests because instructors model exams questions like the NCLEX to get us used to that type of question - then practice questions, questions, questions! Usually the content review at the end of chapters and study questions can be great for reinforcing how to answer these questions as well as the material.
    - Get enough sleep the night before exams. Cannot tell you how many exams I spent cramming that little extra in the night before and just felt exhausted the day of, when I could have probably done just as well and have felt much better with the extra rest.

    Most of all - don't beat yourself up and give yourself a little time to rest/process. We all have our bad days and if you take this opportunity to really strengthen your study skills, you can completely turn this into a chance to get into positive study habits that will help you all through the rest of school.
    keylimesqueez and ant2cory like this.
  5. 0
    Quote from msygrnbw
    Nursing school is rough! I would suggest first making an office hours appointment to go over your exam. Take notes on what you missed - what your thought process was vs the thought process behind the answer. If there are questions you don't understand, make sure to ask your instructor to go over them for you.

    Other things that I found helpful when preparing for my exams:
    - Using powerpoints as a guide, not as my only study material. Most major subjects go back to the book and write your set of notes using a combination of the information from powerpoints and book knowledge.
    - Form a study group and make flash cards. Take turns with your classmates quizzing each other - I found that I learned the most when I was teaching my classmates the rationale behind why they got the flash card info wrong.
    - If you have a patient significant other/friend/parent have them let you explain the material to them. If you can actually teach someone the material, you are much more likely to actually understand it. When you're done explaining, have them teach back (This is great practice for when you're teaching your patients!). If they get things wrong or you leave anything out, go back and explain it again.
    - If you have trouble with the question type, because a lot of people just mess up on tests because instructors model exams questions like the NCLEX to get us used to that type of question - then practice questions, questions, questions! Usually the content review at the end of chapters and study questions can be great for reinforcing how to answer these questions as well as the material.
    - Get enough sleep the night before exams. Cannot tell you how many exams I spent cramming that little extra in the night before and just felt exhausted the day of, when I could have probably done just as well and have felt much better with the extra rest.

    Most of all - don't beat yourself up and give yourself a little time to rest/process. We all have our bad days and if you take this opportunity to really strengthen your study skills, you can completely turn this into a chance to get into positive study habits that will help you all through the rest of school.
    Wow, Msygrnbw you sure helped me!!!
  6. 0
    [QUOTE="msygrnbw;7795070"]Nursing school is rough! I would suggest first making an office hours appointment to go over your exam. Take notes on what you missed - what your thought process was vs the thought process behind the answer. If there are questions you don't understand, make sure to ask your instructor to go over them for you. Other things that I found helpful when preparing for my exams: - Using powerpoints as a guide, not as my only study material. Most major subjects go back to the book and write your set of notes using a combination of the information from powerpoints and book knowledge. - Form a study group and make flash cards. Take turns with your classmates quizzing each other - I found that I learned the most when I was teaching my classmates the rationale behind why they got the flash card info wrong. - If you have a patient significant other/friend/parent have them let you explain the material to them. If you can actually teach someone the material, you are much more likely to actually understand it. When you're done explaining, have them teach back (This is great practice for when you're teaching your patients!). If they get things wrong or you leave anything out, go back and explain it again. - If you have trouble with the question type, because a lot of people just mess up on tests because instructors model exams questions like the NCLEX to get us used to that type of question - then practice questions, questions, questions! Usually the content review at the end of chapters and study questions can be great for reinforcing how to answer these questions as well as the material. - Get enough sleep the night before exams. Cannot tell you how many exams I spent cramming that little extra in the night before and just felt exhausted the day of, when I could have probably done just as well and have felt much better with the extra rest. Most of all - don't beat yourself up and give yourself a little time to rest/process. We all have our bad days and if you take this opportunity to really strengthen your study skills, you can completely turn this into a chance to get into positive study habits that will help you all through the rest of school.[/QUOTE

    Thanks so much! I am doing a number of these things already. However, I will set up a private appointment to discuss my test. We normally have a group post test review, but I think I can get more out of a private meeting. Thanks again!
  7. 2
    This is a very common situation. Basically, the study techniques that were successful in your pre-reqs are usually not appropriate for nursing courses. That's because pre-req tests require you to recall 'factoids' - memorization and recall are the key to success. You've undoubtedly already noticed that nursing courses focus on "concepts" rather than isolated facts. Tests for nursing courses will require you to apply knowledge. So you not only have to remember, but also understand conceptual relationships and draw conclusions based on your understanding.

    PPs have offered great advice. Studying 'harder' may not be the answer; you may need to study in a whole different way.
    GrnTea and jead1 like this.
  8. 0
    Quote from HouTx
    This is a very common situation. Basically, the study techniques that were successful in your pre-reqs are usually not appropriate for nursing courses. That's because pre-req tests require you to recall 'factoids' - memorization and recall are the key to success. You've undoubtedly already noticed that nursing courses focus on "concepts" rather than isolated facts. Tests for nursing courses will require you to apply knowledge. So you not only have to remember, but also understand conceptual relationships and draw conclusions based on your understanding. PPs have offered great advice. Studying 'harder' may not be the answer; you may need to study in a whole different way.
    I agree prenursing is not like nursing. However, I was successful my first semester of nursing, and started out my second semester fine. I was looking for insight on when what was once working for nursing, failed to work?
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    I'm sorry, maybe it's just me but " I studied everyday for two weeks." is pretty much the answer... You cant really mean that you expect to pass an exam with only two weeks of studying.
  10. 0
    Quote from NKS82
    I'm sorry, maybe it's just me but " I studied everyday for two weeks." is pretty much the answer... You cant really mean that you expect to pass an exam with only two weeks of studying.
    I'm not sure about the OP, but in my classes (taking 5) we have exams every 2 weeks for 3 of my classes. The exams include new material and all of the previous material. So, for the new material, we are given two weeks to learn one of the lecture concepts and then one week to learn the second lecture's concepts. I've made an A on every exam, so I'd have to say that, yes it is possible to not only pass, but to be successful on the exams if given only 2 weeks to study for it. It's all in how you study.

    OP, I am only in my first semester of nursing school, so I can't say what could be different. I hope it works out for you! Just remember that you can do this! They accepted you into the program because they knew you were capable of success.
    Best of luck!
  11. 0
    I think studying everyday for 2 weeks is plenty sufficient, especially if you made it to all the lectures and did any assigned work. Don't beat yourself up over it. When your instructor opens up the test for test review you will see where you went wrong and make efforts to improve in those areas. I do fine with critical thinking questions on all my exams, but the things we need to memorize, like lab values, drugs, etc I need to spend extra time studying because my memory is not as good as my critical thinking skills.
  12. 0
    We are in the same boat, apparently. I did well my first semester of nursing school and then this semester I went and failed an exam. What in the world? I went to my instructor's office hoping that I screwed up the bubbles on the Scantron. Sadly, that was not the case. I did, however, figure out that I am not taking my time on the questions (test anxiety) and I am not picking the correct "What should the nurse do initially?" answers. Go look at your test and try to find a pattern. It may be about test-taking and not studying.


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