Looking for tips on studying....Help please!

  1. Sometimes I think I study TOO much. I'm thinking that maybe it is because my study habits are poor. What I find that I end up doing is reading the same material over and over and over and over - Is that what studying is really about? That is a stupid question, but I want an honest answer. One of my instructors said that that was the way to do it - To expose yourself to the information over and over until it "sticks". The problem I have with this is it is making studying a real drag. I used to love it, but with NS, I am finding myself having to read the same things over and over x100+ to make it stick. It becomes torturous sometimes, but I still force myself to do it. This week, I have FOUR major tests on top of clinicals and I am studying all day/most of the night, but it consists of reading the same material many, many times over and over. I mentioned this to one of my NS friends in class and she laughed and said she'd go crazy doing that, but she still spends the same amount of time as I do studying - So it got me thinking about HOW she studied, but I felt stupid to ask. :icon_roll

    On a typical week, I study about 4-5 hours/night, but on Sundays I do about 7-8+ since my husband is home to watch the kids that day. I do take off Friday night from studying. When I tell people this they think I am nuts, even other nursing students...Is that really a lot? Am I over doing it? :spin:

    Would love for some feedback on studying tips/habits!! Thanks!

    Oh, and I do recieve all A's doing it this way, forgot to mention...
    Last edit by midnight*sky on Apr 20, '09
  2. 7 Comments

  3. by   NamasteNurse
    Depends on your grades if you're overdoing it. I don't think you can study too much but you can study better. I'll give you a brief rundown of how I do it, I'm an "A" student so far. For me, I study about 3 hours a night, maybe 4 and probably 6 on Sunday or Saturday taking off one whole day a week. Unless I have written work like a report or project due, then I work till it's done.

    First time through the material: I skim carefully the chapter(s) highlighting all the bold (Key/vocabulary) words and getting the jist of the chapter.

    Second time through is usually in class with the instructor lecturing. I hightlight everything she says is important. If she says it--it's important! I also take notes and try to put concepts into my own words. If it's something easy, I might start doing my vocab.

    Vocabulary: I look up and write every single definition of key terms in a separate notebook that's just for this purpose. Then I make flash cards.

    Flash cards: All vocabulary words and any other key concepts, like all the parts of a neuron or all the cranial nerves, or what constitutes the axial skeleton, you getthe idea. Plus any medical word I don't know. I probably have 40-50 cards for each chapter.

    Workbook pages: I do all of the workbook pages for every chapter. Also, our texts have CD's with them that have extra study helpers like videos, animations etc. Watch them all. Plus any online extras that come with your book. Look on the back of the book or google the publisher. Good chance you'll find something.

    Notetaking: Read the chapter slowly and carefully with pen and notebook in hand. Take notes on all concepts, draw pictures, diagrams whatever helps you to get it.

    The night before a test: Study. Re-read everthing you have. Keep your flash cards nearby all the time and start putting them into two piles, ones you know, and ones you don't. Pretty soon the ones you know will all be in one pile and you'll be getting an A on the test!

    You can't get bored studying like that. It's different every day and you are using several learning techniques. I was a teacher in my previous life for 20 years! Trust me, this works. You already have the dedication of time, now just make it more interesting and more useful. Hope this helps. And if anyone knows where I could post something like this, I find myself answering this question almost every day!

    Peace and good luck!
  4. by   NamasteNurse
    PS...NO feeling stupid! We're all here to help each other, same goes for your classmates, I bet your friend would feel flattered you asked for her help! Go for it!
  5. by   Daytonite
    i suggest you read the study suggestions that are posted and weblinked to on this sticky thread:
    i've been a student many times over my lifetime. what i have learned is this: studying is a skill. each person has to discover what study techniques work best for them. it takes time and experience for that to happen. the more time you spend in school, the better you get at studying and learning. one of the reasons i posted the weblinks on the above thread was because there are some great truths to the information contained in them. i am a long way into my journey of discovery and learning. one thing i do know is that it is a journey that we each much experience for ourselves. please check out the weblinks posted on the thread above and try some of the techniques suggested there.

    to the op. . .exposing yourself to information over and over until it "sticks" is only one technique of learning. there are others that may be just as efficient and effective, but not as time consuming and work as well for you.
  6. by   gillytook
    A few that helped me in addition to all the wonderful suggetsions here:

    Do NCLEX style questions with rational related to the topic you are studying. It will help you narrow down those areas that you are still not clear on so that you know what to study.

    Manipulate and play with the information. Make charts or graphs, draw pictures, make up silly sayings, reword it, make flashcards, try thinking of ways to explain it to a six year old, write it as the lyrics to a favorite song. Doing these things can help you retain the information better. Not everyone learns by reading or hearing. Sometimes it takes your other senses to imprint it in your brain.

    I hope this helps.
  7. by   NurseLoveJoy88
    Doing a ton of nclex questions helps me ! Good luck.
  8. by   Nurse_Diane
    Stay off Facebook

    Saying that for my own sake.. my last exam is tomorrow, then I graduate.
  9. by   RockinLadySN
    Quote from gillytook
    Do NCLEX style questions with rational related to the topic you are studying. It will help you narrow down those areas that you are still not clear on so that you know what to study.
    THIS! I can't stress enough how much doing NCLEX questions have helped me on my exams. I have the Saunders NCLEX review book and it divides everything up into chapters for different topics.. gives an outline of the material, with important points to keep in mind, then asks questions at the end.

    I sometimes jump on the internet to a reputable site and take practice tests, do word problems, case studies, etc.. that really helped me with the dreaded acid-base stuff. Also, study groups can be a BIG help.. but I wouldn't recommend more then 3 or 4 people, or it will turn into a chit chat session.. lol