I used to use this site all the time BEFORE I started nursing school, and I've been in the program almost a year now and I don't think I've used it once!
But I need help. Badly. So I'm turning to you all for some possible insight/help/support.
Let me start by saying that I do great in clinicals. I feel so comfortable and have never had any problems. I love it. I know I'll be a good...no, great nurse someday. I'm just frustrated with the lecture portion. (I'm in an ADN program in SoCal).
Basically... I read, I study, I relisten to lectures, I study with others (which I could, and will do more)... and I'm still not doing well on tests. So frustration. Partly because it's not just me... it's the majority of the students in my class. I am a smart person, I was an A student before this. Obviously there is something to be said about the institution you are learning from when the majority of the class is struggling this much. But that is beside the point right now... There are (some) students who continuously do well on every test. I'd like to be one of them... but I don't know how. I'm at a loss right now as to what I should do differently in terms of how I am learning.
The first test (fluids/electrolytes), more than half the class failed. Including me. And we were told from semesters ahead of us that that normally happens. I worked my ass off studying for the next exams. Got a C on the second one (diabetes/endocrine). Then PVD/HTN test came along. I studied harder. I walked away from the test thinking I did great. I got a D on the test... that one ****** me off a little. Yesterday we had a test on Musculoskeletal. Walked away from that practically in tears (and I am not a crier), I knew it went poorly. Got another D. A lot of people who were doing great before, failed this one (I think partially due to the fact we had a sub for the main lecture before that test and were not adequately prepared, oh well, c'est la vie).
Anyway. I need 75% on the final (next Thursday) to pass this class. 75... that sounds do-able, right? Right. Except that I've been basically getting straight Ds on all the other exams (a D in our program is 70-74%, below 70 is an F). I'm aiming high, if I get a 97% I can get a B in the class (slight sarcasm... that's a little overly positive, though possible).
Can someone please help me? I don't know what to do. I always review my tests, I talked to my instructor, I talked to a counselor, I talked to other classmates. No one has really been able to help me. I obviously need to change my study habits or the way I'm thinking about things in order to be a better test taker. Sometimes I look at the questions during test review and think "wow, what was I thinking when I picked that answer?". Other questions I straight up had no clue about. But I don't have test anxiety either.
Has anyone experienced this? How do you study? Are there any websites you can recommend to me that have practice tests (I already use Software For Nurses and Lippincott PrepU). Study techniques? Test taking strategies? (I already use the: eliminate two answers and go from there, technique). I just..... need help. I need to pass this class, otherwise I flunk out of nursing school. I'm afraid I'm going to study every spare second I have until this final... and still end up failing. I don't mean to sound hopeless... but I need some hope.
Any insight you can give me will be helpful.
Thank you all. <3
I'm in a BSN program started 3 months now and I experienced a lot, partly due to the learning curve but sound like you past that stage. I failed my very first test. My problem was not with knowledge and lack of studying, it was interpretation of NCLEX style questions. I am really statical type and had a hard time figuring out the correct answer when all the answers are correct.In nursing they want the best answer based on the given senario, not based on book knowledge. That is why they emphasize critical thinking. If your school uses NCLEX style questions in test (questions that begins like "The nurse knows"...or The nursing student understands that...) then you need a NCLEX review book to help you. I brought a Review and Rationales book and after I read testing strategies on the first few pages and practiced what you look for, I had no problem passing other tests. I even passed one test recently that I honestly did not study for. If you are 1 year in the program and your instructors haven't given you some sort of feedback on how to proceed I'd get an NCLEX book, many people swear by Saunders, I got it I don't really like it. I like the Mosby's Comprehensive review and the Review and Rationales series I really liked.
Getting A's don't matter in the nursing program. Join the student nursing association, and participate in volunteering in the community if you can , it's stuff like that will look good on your resume and help you get employed when you are done.
Last edit by ArrowRN on Mar 30, '13