In addition to the above, one of the best strategies for learning to take multiple choice nursing exams is to write your own multiple choice questions after you have studied a unit of material. It helps to have a friend who will do the same-- then you share each other's questions.
This strategy does two things 1) it causes you to review at least 4 pieces of information --and when you write the "wrong answers" (distractors) you REALLY learn the right one 2) it builds test-taking skills because you are learning to think like a "tester".
The trick is to do it consistently and always ask questions that include a nurse and a patient. For instance if you study the following:
Deep vein thrombosis is the formation of a blood clot in the deep veins of the lower extremities. Postoperative patients are at risk deep vein thrombosis due to venous stasis secondary to immobility.
OK! Prior to nursing school
, I bet you were accustomed to questions like this:
Deep Vein Thrombosis is:
a. blood clot in lungs
b. varicose veins in lower extremities
c. vasoconstriction of veins in legs
d. blood clot in lower extremities.
That works for memorization-- however in nursing we have to be able to USE (apply the information we learn). So you would write a question that asks you to use what you learned. Such as:
The nurse is caring for a patient who had a choleycystecomy 12 hours ago. To prevent deep vein thrombosis the nurse will teach the patient :
1. keep legs immobile while in bed
2. to avoid ambulation except to bathroom
3. to keep legs elevated above the level of the heart at all times
4. the importance of early and frequent ambulation.
The correct answer, of course, is #4.
Try this strategy prior to your next exam. I use this with all my students who have difficulties with those first few exams --it works!