Yes, nursing tests are like that. They're not like tests you've taken before, where you can just memorize all of the material and then get an A on the test. I know they seem like stupid, frustrating questions, but they're just trying to get you to critically think.
Have you checked out the student forums here? Look around on those forums, as there are some great tips on studying and test taking. Here are some tips I posted in the past that helped when I was in school:
Before reading the question, cover up the answers. Just read the question. Think about it. What comes to your mind? Think about what you know. Even write some things down there on the test (if you're allowed to write on the test). Then look at the answers and see what's there that fits with what first came to your mind. A lot of those answers could very well apply, but it might not apply to that certain situation in the question, therefore the distractors will throw you off. Cover the answers first
Secondly, look at what the question is asking. A lot of times there are two correct answers, that's why you need to look at the question and see what it's actually ASKING. The answer is sometimes in the question. If it's a priority question, it's asking what the nurse would do first. These used to throw me off at first because they are all correct answers, in that they are all interventions that the nurse would do, BUT, it's asking which ONE of those would the nurse do first
. When you get these questions, remember your ABCs. Which is the most critical? Which is top priority over all the others?
And I know this is said so often, but read the question carefully! I have made so many mistakes on simple questions because I missed a simple part of the question. Make sure you know what the question is asking. Choose the best answer you think fits, then read the question again carefully, just to make sure.
Don't read too much into a question. If a lot of information isn't given, then don't sit there and try to come up with more information, more than likely they're just looking for a simple answer. So many times we read the question, then start thinking of other information that could/would/maybe fit in there, and we tend going off track, therefore missing what the question is even asking! Just keep it simple. Look at what it's asking, don't go off track and look for something that's not there.
If you read the question and just don't know it, then cross out the choices that you know for sure aren't correct. This way it eliminates your choices, and gives you a better chance in guessing correctly.
Get a good night's sleep! I know people say that all the time, but it's so important! I used to try taking tests after staying up all night, it's just not a good thing. I know getting a full 8 hours of sleep the night before a test isn't plausible, but I always made sure I got about 4-6 hours of sleep the night before, then I wake up 2-3 hours before the test and go over my notecards again. Eat a good breakfast and walk into that test with CONFIDENCE! That's so important .... go in there with the attitude that you will do well!
Good luck to you