study- cram or everynight - page 2

I study every night and every test I get the same grade 84. Sometimes I will get a A here and there but not a solid all the way through. I do all the readings,take notes,go over stuff every night.... Read More

  1. by   moongirl
    knowledege is proven by surpassing criteria needed in a clinical setting, and passing critical thinking exams,which I do. It is also proven by the NCLEX and the HESI. The Hesi, I have taken, and scored in the 89th percentile of all the ADN and BSN nursing students in the United States who took the test in 2006.

    I am not suggesting that anyone try cramming, the OP asked what others do, I responed that I am a crammer, and that this works the best for ME.

    Being a "good test taker" does not cut it in nursing school. It is critical thinking and applied knowledge. WHen you do your psych rotation and lectures, you will get information that some people's focus and attention is sharpened with a mild level of anxiety. this is true for me. That is why I retain and -YES-! LEARN the information within a critical time frame. Ask an ER or ICU nurse how sharp they are in a critical situation, when their adrenaline is flowing. This would be me. I am better when faced by a deadline. Some people need days, weeks, etc to learn the information. I can learn it by going to lecture, clarifying anything I need to within class or clinical and then 2 days before the test, about 5 hours each of those days and get a 90 something on a test.

    this is just my method and it works. saying that I am just cramming and not truly learning is a complete judgement on your part, since you havent a clue of what I do or do not know.
  2. by   JeanettePNP
    I couldn't possibly complete 100+ pages of dense reading in a one-night cramming session, let alone comprehend and process all of it. I need lots of time to read the information, let it all sink in, figure out the parts that are hard that I don't understand well. I can't do it in one night.

    The thing that helps me is to take notes while I'm reading. I used to read the chapters for class and then not look at them again until the test, but on the first read-through I tend to miss a lot of things. So I started to take notes on the first read-through, and then review from my notes. I also review my notes while I'm on the train, or waiting on line somewhere, or whenever I have empty time that would otherwise be wasted. It is also good if you tape the lectures or tape yourself reading the material and play the tape on headphones while walking or doing housework etc. Basically find slots throughout the day that you can review.

    Also I spend a lot of time pre-learning the material before taking the actual class. I review my high school knowledge of the subject and also try to get the textbook far in advance and try to read as much as possible before class begins.
  3. by   Megsd
    I don't study every night, but I don't cram either. I take notes in class, try to rewrite them afterwards (though depending on the week sometimes I just don't get to it) and then starting 4-5 days before the test, I start studying big-time. I think you will always find those people that "don't need to study" to do well. One of my good friends in class will see us panicking over exams the day before and go "Oh yeah. Maybe I should look over that stuff tonight" and still walk away with an A. I think, comparatively speaking, I study less than a lot of my peers and still do well, but some people need more time to absorb the information than others.
  4. by   mslinzyann
    Just for the record, psychological studies have demonstrated that for short term performance, cramming works well, but for long term retention, phasing out study sessions is best. Therefore, its best to study a little for 4 or so days before the test, and then to do one long study session the night before. And always review right before the test, even if you just read over some notes- it will help cue some of the things you need to remember.
  5. by   StudentNurseSteph
    i would fail if i crammed..i have to study a little every night.. and i tend to get a consist 83 on all my tests..i want higher but i dunno how to do any more than i already am doing
  6. by   NeosynephRN
    I am a crammer...I guess...I study the night before and the day of the tests...it works for me!! You have to go with what you feel is the best way that you learn. I have gotten all A's and one B+ in nursing school and done well on all my Hesi tests...so cramming does seem to work fine for me!!! BTW I will graduate in May. GL!!
  7. by   shellsgogreen
    i really need to know the material before i go into a test, or i'm up the creek - cramming for me doesn't work, as i wind up feeling anxious
  8. by   BouBou
    My technique starts with being prepared for class each day by reading the chapter being covered. Then after class I will go over the notes from that day, briefly read through. If there are any areas that don't make sense to me I'll go back to that section in the book. The next day after class, I go over the previously covered notes as well as the new notes. The cycle keeps building ; read chapter, go over all class notes.

    About four or five days before the test I begin to intensively go over the material for about two to three hours a day. The night before the test I will spend about four hours going over the notes and the day of the test about two hours.

    These study techniques were drilled into me by my asian grandmother. She believes that the US education system really doesn't teach students how to study, learn, and remember. Asian schools often use repetitive techniques and drills, especially in math.

    Grandmother, also stressed the importance of getting good rest and proper nutrition while studying. Research has shown that the brain rehearses the things we study in our sleep, especially when we are young. Food is fuel for the body and the brain, so good nutrition is a must. Some of us put better quality fuel and oil in our cars than we put in our body.

    With all that being said, I am in favor of studying every day. Especially in nursing because this information is going to be used through out our educational and professional careers.
  9. by   marilynmom
    Quote from MBA2BRN
    I already have 2 degrees, so I do not have to be a 4th semester student to give studying advice. I am no "newbie" at school. :roll

    I am also not making sweeping generalizations. Studies show crammers are typically unorganized, which is why many of them study at the last minute. Crammers are also shown to forget most of the information he/she tried to learn within minutes of taking an exam. Plus, cramming takes little to no effort, which is why many hard working people consider cramming to be lazy bx.

    As for students being weeded out, that is common knowledge in my program. Instructors and other nursing students have informed my class that people who cram get weeded out. Of course with every rule there is an exception so someone like you would be considered an exception.

    If you risked cramming rather then truly learning and found great results that is fine for you and your personal standards. Personally, I worked too hard and for too long to be where I am at to try to be an exception to that rule. I am striving to comprehend not just regurgitate information. I am striving to excel at learning not just get great test scores. Thus, I will not cram.

    Furthermore, I will not suggest to any one that he/she should cram because people like you exist. Especially since many people who cram may be good test takers despite having very little knowledge. :spin:

    I don't think you have enough clinical experience to make such generalizations no matter how many degrees you have. You will soon find out that some of the brightest and the best, espeically in very high stress areas like the ER, ICU, trauma, etc are crammers and work better under pressure, some of us thrive under pressure.

    A LOT of health care (especially in certain fields) is all about how much you can in learn in a very short period of time....some people are great at that (me!), some people are not and that is ok.
  10. by   beachbum3
    For me I do the reading as we go, and try to review my notes each night after class. Then the day or two before the test I reveiw everything and work on study guide questions from the study guides that go along with our textbooks.

    I've heard for some that taping lectures and listening to those work well. I thought it was a load of bull before this semester, but I am considering giving it a try as the instructors tend to pull out the most important points from hundreds of pages of the text bookfor their lectures and it would be a good guideline to know what they feel is most important if I could listen to it again.
  11. by   MBARNBSN
    Quote from marilynmom
    I don't think you have enough clinical experience to make such generalizations no matter how many degrees you have. You will soon find out that some of the brightest and the best, espeically in very high stress areas like the ER, ICU, trauma, etc are crammers and work better under pressure, some of us thrive under pressure.

    A LOT of health care (especially in certain fields) is all about how much you can in learn in a very short period of time....some people are great at that (me!), some people are not and that is ok.
    For the most part you are not discussing cramming. Most professions and professionals who learn information in a short amount of time do so by breaking the information up over time and through repetition. This IS NOT the same as cramming.

    As far as not having enough clinical experience, unlike most of you (not you necessarily) I have WORKED in clinical settings before nursing school. I have been required to critically think and work under very stressful conditions for years. So, again, I do not need to be a 4th semester student to have a clue. In fact, the only thing I am learning to do different now is to think as a nurse (go through the nursing process). That is new to me, but learning how to critically think is not.
  12. by   beachbum3
    Quote from MBA2BRN
    For the most part you are not discussing cramming. Most professions and professionals who learn information in a short amount of time do so by breaking the information up over time and through repetition. This IS NOT the same as cramming.

    As far as not having enough clinical experience, unlike most of you (not you necessarily) I have WORKED in clinical settings before nursing school. I have been required to critically think and work under very stressful conditions for years. So, again, I do not need to be a 4th semester student to have a clue. In fact, the only thing I am learning to do different now is to think as a nurse (go through the nursing process). That is new to me, but learning how to critically think is not.
    It seems that you are missing how judgemental your post comes off as. To me its as if you are saying that YOU have actually learned it where as people with study habits that are different than yours haven't. Thats a pretty insulting thing to say to anyone who is working their butt off like all of us have to in nursing school. And I'd have to disagree with you about you knowing what its all about already because you have additional degrees and have worked in clinical settings. This is hard enough with out having our study habits judged. As you get further along in your program I think you will find that alot of times successfully getting through the program requires alot of improvisation of study skills. By this I mean there will be times that most of us have no choice but to cram, and times where we can do our studying each night. For me lately I have so much to do that I can only focus on immediate tasks- which means alot more cramming than I like, but I'd still say that I'm learning it all just as well as if I had studied daily. We are all in the same boat more or less, right? Why not be supportive instead of critical?
  13. by   lainith
    Am I the only one who does BOTH? I study and review materials every evening and then the couple of nights before a test I study hardcore. I have a hard time finding the right method of studying for each subject or topic so I do a little of everything. Flashcards, notes, reading extra articles, teaching things by telling or reading them to others, drawing pictures... whatever. Any new kind of method I will try. Anything that helps me remember something LONG TERM is what I am shooting for!

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