Share your tips on how you EXCEL

  1. We are all here at allnursing.com to share our knowledge and learn from each other. I think it will be nice to have a post that has only studytips. Where a person can apply it to any subject matter if they so choose to implement it.
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  2. 11 Comments

  3. by   Achoo!
    I study 3 ways. I read the info, write it, and say it out loud. That gives my brain 3 different areas to remember it!
  4. by   emtb2rn
    Sounds like a sticky topic to me....

    Successful study tactics are highly individualized (IMHO). What works for one won't work for another. So, while I'm not a 4.0 student, here is how I have overall 92% average in Nursing and an overall 97% average in pharmacology after my 1st year without losing my mind or any sleep. (Note that at my school 100-94 = A, 93-87 = B, 86-80 = C and below 80 = gone.)

    1) know what works for you. Nursing school is different than high school, undergrad and grad work. It's all about understanding with some memorization thrown in. People who used strict memorization techniques in my class have not done well. People who understand "why" tend to do well. Experiment with different tactics until you find what works for you.

    2) go to class. Instructors tend to let you know what they'll be emphasizing on tests. You also get additional detail on the powerpoint slides. This was key for my learning process.

    3) read the associated material. Either before the lecture or after. Figure out what works best for you. I don't tend to study the texts, but rather read 'em like I would a novel, which means fairly quickly. Personally, I like to read the text before class.

    4) review your notes the same day you took them. This reinforces what you heard and wrote. It also identifies areas that need clarification.

    5) flash cards work for some topics but not others. I used flash cards for ABGs and other lab values. Now, I don't use traditional flash cards. What I do is put the info on one side in a table format. I carry them with me at all times and scan through them whenever I have a moment, i.e., sitting in traffic, standing on a checkout line, riding a chairlift, whenever.

    6) have fun learning. This material is really cool and unlike most subjects we've been taught, we get to use it immediately.

    7) study groups. We formed a small group that only met for the hour before each test. We simply bounced stuff off of each other in a free-association type of discussion and then walked in to take the test. It was amazing how many things we talked about showed up on the test. Interestingly, this group grew from 3 people at the beginning of the term to about 10 before our final last week. This is the only type of study group that works for me. YMMV.

    Good luck and have fun with nursing school.
    Last edit by emtb2rn on May 1, '07 : Reason: forgot a word here and there
  5. by   SA2BDOCTOR
    Thanks for sharing!

    Quote from emtb2rn
    Sounds like a sticky topic to me....

    Successful study tactics are highly individualized (IMHO). What works for one won't work for another. So, while I'm not a 4.0 student, here is how I have overall 92% average in Nursing and an overall 97% average in pharmacology after my 1st year without losing my mind or any sleep. (Note that at my school 100-94 = A, 93-87 = B, 86-80 = C and below 80 = gone.)

    1) know what works for you. Nursing school is different than high school, undergrad and grad work. It's all about understanding with some memorization thrown in. People who used strict memorization techniques in my class have not done well. People who understand "why" tend to do well. Experiment with different tactics until you find what works for you.

    2) go to class. Instructors tend to let you know what they'll be emphasizing on tests. You also get additional detail on the powerpoint slides. This was key for my learning process.

    3) read the associated material. Either before the lecture or after. Figure out what works best for you. I don't tend to study the texts, but rather read 'em like I would a novel, which means fairly quickly. Personally, I like to read the text before class.

    4) review your notes the same day you took them. This reinforces what you heard and wrote. It also identifies areas that need clarification.

    5) flash cards work for some topics but not others. I used flash cards for ABGs and other lab values. Now, I don't use traditional flash cards. What I do is put the info on one side in a table format. I carry them with me at all times and scan through them whenever I have a moment, i.e., sitting in traffic, standing on a checkout line, riding a chairlift, whenever.

    6) have fun learning. This material is really cool and unlike most subjects we've been taught, we get to use it immediately.

    7) study groups. We formed a small group that only met for the hour before each test. We simply bounced stuff off of each other in a free-association type of discussion and then walked in to take the test. It was amazing how many things we talked about showed up on the test. Interestingly, this group grew from 3 people at the beginning of the term to about 10 before our final last week. This is the only type of study group that works for me. YMMV.

    Good luck and have fun with nursing school.
  6. by   SA2BDOCTOR
    I think I will try that, I like how you said it targets 3 different brain areas. I never thought of it that way.

    Quote from Achoo!
    I study 3 ways. I read the info, write it, and say it out loud. That gives my brain 3 different areas to remember it!
  7. by   Chantilly
    I am a very visual learner so I draw colored pictures of anything that can be illustrated to help me remember...also teaching concepts that I understand to other students who are struggling to understand not only reinforces my understanding but also helps out my classmate.
  8. by   decartes
    1) Pay attention in class
    2) Never pull all-nighters
    3) Don't bother with additional studying right before the test
    4) Sleep well (at least try to)
    5) On tests, DO NOT change your initial answer unless you're absolutely sure another choice is better.
    Last edit by decartes on May 1, '07
  9. by   VieraGrl1030
    wow..all of these suggestions are great. i am very smart but have horrible study habits and i am just know realizing that one is no good with out the other. nothing is more frustrating than getting c's and knowing you could have gotten a's.
  10. by   JoniL&DRN
    I listen carefully in lecture. I don't frantically take notes. To solidify the material I do LOTS of NCLEX questions on the subject matter. To keep myself accountable I post questions with answers and rationales for my class on a yahoo group.By doing the questions, even if I don't know the answer, the rationale helps to solidify the info in my brain. Also, to my husband's disdain, I often explain things to him. I think he tunes me out but I know if I can explain the info to someone else (see one, do one, teach one) I have a good understanding.
  11. by   mixyRN
    -never miss class
    -pay attention in class
    -take good notes

    This is about 75-85% of my success. The remaining 15-25% comes from assigned readings (I read for understanding and application of concepts, not blind memorization), review of lecture notes and flashcards.
    It's worked for me so far in Nursing school. I am in semester 1 of 4 and I have earned A's on all five exams so far.
    Having said that, I should express that this is what works for me but may not work for someone else. The key is to figure out how you learn best, and then apply that strategy.
    Good Luck!
  12. by   MikeyJ
    Although I start nursing school in two weeks, I thought I would share another piece of advice that works for me. The only way I keep sane when doing school, work, studying, etc. is making sure I have something to do non-school related. For me, I like to keep a "date" night open for my partner and I, spend time with my family at least once every other week (usually have a dinner with them) and I run 5 nights a week (usually 4 miles a night) and am training for a marathon in December. I think the non-school activites are just as important as studying.
  13. by   Mimi Wheeze
    I have four tips that served me well in nursing school...

    1) Show up for each and every class, lab, clinical, or whatever is scheduled. Do not miss class for anything but an emergency.
    2) Pay attention during class. Stay focused and engaged the entire time somebody is teaching you something.
    3) Take great notes. You will know which subject matter carries the most weight by how long your teacher spends on it. More time=more test questions.
    4) Take your great notes home and type them up. Yes, it takes a long time, but as you go along you can look up things that may not have been clear to you in class. Before each test, I'd usually have 15-20 pages of typed notes to study from. Re-copying notes really reinforced the subject matter.

    btw, I very rarely read the chapters from beginning to end. In fact, I only read the textbook if I needed to clarify my notes as I re-copied them. Occasionally I would look over the information in the "boxes" or highlighted sections in the chapter.

    My average score on tests was 92%. I had a busy life outside of school and was quite content with my B average.

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