Studying

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    Does anyone have any study tips? I skated through HS without ever studying. College has been difficult for me, especially in my science pre-reqs. I barely made it through A&P 1&2 & I had to take Micro twice, still barely passing. I had a hard time studying an concentrating. I know I have to make this count when I start nursing school next month & I'm scared to death. I have a couple people already who I can study with so I feel ahead of the game in that respect. What are the best study methods you use? Thanks in advance!
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  4. 1
    I have a hard time studying too! I, like you, had never had to do it. Until Micro and A and P that is. I find the more ways I put something into my brain, the better I learn it. I listen in lecture, read the book, write notes while I read and make flash cards on everything I can. The other thing that has helped me is to read before I get to lecture. I seem to understand everything the first time the teacher says it, even if I didn't understand it when I read it the night before. And of course study buddies! They seem to be the things that help the most.
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  5. 4
    I think it really helped me to find out what kind of a learner I am. In one of the psych classes, there was a unit on this. I found out I am a kinestetic (sp?) learner. Means I need to move, and I am a hands on learner. Study groups work perfect for me. While I am studying at home, I set a timer for 45 minutes. In that 45 minutes, I study. When time is up, I get up, go do a small chore like dishes, let my dogs out, make a phone call, etc. Then about 15 minutes later, I do it all over again. It also helps me to chew gum while I am studying and listening to lectures. Sounds weird, but it really helps. I also will write out objectives (questions and answers) in Word on my computer, or I will write out flashcards online or on file cards. I rarely look at them again, but the act of writing it all out really helps me.
    I am pretty sure you could google a survey or questionnaire to find out what type of learner you are. It will also give you hints on how to study. Good luck!
    Last edit by SC4Nurse2B on Jul 24, '12 : Reason: spelling
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  6. 1
    Quote from PattyHornby
    I think it really helped me to find out what kind of a learner I am. In one of the psych classes, there was a unit on this. I found out I am a kinestetic (sp?) learner. Means I need to move, and I am a hands on learner. Study groups work perfect for me. While I am studying at home, I set a timer for 45 minutes. In that 45 minutes, I study. When time is up, I get up, go do a small chore like dishes, let my dogs out, make a phone call, etc. Then about 15 minutes later, I do it all over again. It also helps me to chew gum while I am studying and listening to lectures. Sounds weird, but it really helps. I also will write out objectives (questions and answers) in Word on my computer, or I will write out flashcards online or on file cards. I rarely look at them again, but the act of writing it all out really helps me.
    I am pretty sure you could google a survey or questionnaire to find out what type of learner you are. It will also give you hints on how to study. Good luck!
    I am the same type of learner. Also, I never had to study until A&P. I learned in A&P II that how the information stayed in my head was to make my own practice quizzes. Also, for lab, I'd take my camera and take pictures of things (because I work full time and have kids, so I couldn't make it to the lab for extra time). For example, our final was over the pig's anatomy. I took pictures of pins in the pig at different angles. Went home, printed them out and pasted them on index cards with the answers written on the back. Quizzing myself really helped me and I was able to give my quizzes and send the pics to my classmates so they could use them to study also. It helped me a ton! I hope that learning new little tricks like this will help when I start nursing school next month! I just bought some new dry erase markers because I think the repitition of writing what I know or giving a pretend lecture will help too!
    quirkyvanilla likes this.
  7. 2
    Quote from ErikaMarie
    Does anyone have any study tips? I skated through HS without ever studying. College has been difficult for me, especially in my science pre-reqs. I barely made it through A&P 1&2 & I had to take Micro twice, still barely passing. I had a hard time studying an concentrating. I know I have to make this count when I start nursing school next month & I'm scared to death. I have a couple people already who I can study with so I feel ahead of the game in that respect. What are the best study methods you use? Thanks in advance!
    I am in the same boat as you, seeing as how I start nursing school as well next month. As far as what I do to study, it's really simple. Number 1, I make sure to be in class. I take notes too, so whatever goes on the board goes in my notes. My AP professor has made no qualms about telling us that anything that is on the board is guaranteed to be on the test. I also have a study group. Personally, I think the study group has made the biggest difference. Chances are if you don't understand something, one of your study group friends might and that has proven true for me.

    I have devised a strategy for nursing school, since I won't have my study group anymore
    (but I hope to find a new one).
    1: Read the assigned chapters before coming to class.
    2: Pay attention to the objectives and highlight material in the reading that relates to the objectives that we are supposed to be learning.
    3: Make notecards for knowledge based materials (like lab value ranges and things like that)
    4: Record the lecture (if they let me) to listen to later.
    5: Make sure that I don't get behind on any assignments, like papers, care plans or case studies, which can cause undue stress.
    6: Ask questions when applicable, and if I need to try to go see the professor during office hours if I don't understand something.
    7: Since I am a mom with 3 kids, Make sure I spend a little quality time with my kids each day.

    I know this is a list of what I plan on doing, but hopefully it gives you some ideas you can apply to your own study time. Good Luck!!!!
    quirkyvanilla and ErikaMarie like this.
  8. 2
    Hi there! Welcome to the wonderful world of figuring out nursing school! Just remember that you have worked very hard to get accepted and you have what it takes to succeed!

    I'm about to start my second semester and here's what I found to be helpful...

    Know that they're going to throw a TON of information at you. It's overwhelming, but with some serious organizational skills, you can do this.

    Start the semester off by creating a calendar to include all your readings, exams, assignments, clinicals, care plans, and other stuff like work. I went home after the first day and freaked out! So, I entered everything in Microsoft Outlook, color coated my classes, and then printed each month so I could cross stuff off as I go. The calendar helped keep my head from spinning outta control. And sometimes you'll be so busy that breaking down tasks week by week will ease the craziness a bit. My first semester of nursing school was 4 classes, which was more than I've ever taken in the past, so this really helped me stay organized and feel like I had small accomplishments throughout the semester.

    Do not get behind on your readings
    ! Read the chapters before class, skim again after class, and review before exams. Repeat, repeat, repeat as much as possible! My textbook (Perry & Potter) had a website which included audio summaries (I downloaded these to my iPod), extra practice test questions, and PowerPoints for each chapter. I used these a lot after doing not-so-good on my first exam. Saw a huge improvement on my next exam.

    Join or create a study group! Like I said, my grade for my first (of three) exams was not good...I barely got a B and was disappointed. So me and two other students decided to meet 2-3 times each week to review the chapters together. We summarized important paragraphs, explained different concepts to one another, drew silly diagrams, and talked about the practice questions. It helped me so much, that on my second and third exams...I got A's!! And ended up with an A for the class, which I was not expecting. Meeting together takes a lot of planning and work, but it's worth it when you have people who are motivated. I think 4 or more people is too much and it's easy to get off topic. Stick to 3 people. If you have questions about how to structure topics for a study group, let me know, I'm happy to give you ideas on what I did. Before nursing, I would just study by myself, but I really believe this will help you understand the content and boost your grade.

    Do something for you. Make sure to take care of yourself. Eat healthy, drink plenty of water, and rest. Nursing school drained me until I had zero energy and I could have prevented this by taking the above advice. Reward yourself here and there too.

    Ok, that's it, but I have one last recommendation. I found this website helpful. I have a little bit of test anxiety, but mostly poor study habits. This is a good resource for becoming a better student. You get one year free and they don't require you to enter any credit card info or anything. And I have not received any junk mail. Hope you find it useful :-)

    Take care and good luck!
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  9. 2
    oops, forgot to put the website, of course, lol. Here it is...

    Overcoming Test Anxiety | Proven Help for Test or Exam Anxiety
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  10. 2
    I recently bought Test Success for the Beginning Nursing Student. It helps us understand that our learning has to change from the regurgitation format that we are so used to into critical thinking. Instead of trying to memorize the what we should be learning the why. It reviews really well on Barnes & Noble and Amazon.
    quirkyvanilla and CMA_TO_LPN like this.
  11. 1
    Everyone's giving really great advice! I'm beginning this fall and at orientation, our courseleader gave some fantastic info. I suggest asking your instructors as well, because they'll know the best way to succeed in their courses! Our courseleader said to make sure to do the readings before lecture. She said she'll be working the class lecture around those readings and won't be explaining things that we should have read. If we come without reading, we'll be lost and won't get the most out of the lecture. Another point she made was that our test information would becoming from the lecture and the book. So just studying from class notes and powerpoints won't be enough to do well on the exams! The professors and senior nursing students recommended Fundamentals Success (the author has a whole series of "Success" books) as a big help to getting used to testing format. They also recommended Fluid and Electrolytes Made Incredibly Easy as that section seems to be the most confusing for students.

    So my recommendation is that in addition to the great advice given here, talk to your instructors and students further along in your program to see what is the most beneficial for you specific school. Also the calendars that were mentioned above are a great idea and something I like to do to see the passing of the semester. In the following thread, I shared some nursing calendars I already made, with pictures and quotes. Feel free to use these! Just keep in mind that I edited the November calendar and reposted it in the first page of the thread. Good luck!!
    http://allnurses.com/general-nursing...-a-746455.html
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  12. 0
    I have two simple words for you ACTIVE LEARNING. Active learning is when you go beyond sitting there and just reading the same information over and over again. I can not learn something, just by reading it - so these are a necessity for me.

    Some examples of active learning

    1) Writing a research paper on a topic. This is not a paper that you will turn in, but a paper to help you grasp idea. Don't go 1/2 way either. DO THE WORK, Research, Cite, revise - pretend like you are turning it it.

    2) Most textbooks have section and chapter questions. Do these! Just don't answer in your head, write them down.

    3) Flash cards are a method of active learning

    4) Get an audience and teach! If you do not have a study group (I think you will get one once school starts) but give a lecture on a subject, out loud. My husband thought I was crazy at first, but I STAND in my office, in front of a white board and lecture (some times just to my dogs). The #1 way to learn something is to teach it to another person

    5) Use the internet! When I was in Physiology, I would spend HOURS on the internet. You would be amazed at the number animations, study questions, YouTube videos and other resources. Remember to consider your source - but in Physiology I would watch recorded lectures from MIT from YouTube.

    6) Make up your own Mnemonics - the creative process in coming up with the clues helps you remember.

    7) I type my notes after class, makes me REALLY think about what the professor said while it is fresh in my mind.

    I could go on and on, but I utilize ALL of these methods plus many, many more. If you Google active learning, you can get TONS of ideas.

    The last tip I have for you has helped me tremendously. When you are studying intensely and you are "in the zone" (as my husband calls it) - work for 20 minutes and then take a 5 minute break to give your brain a chance to catch up. I set the alarm on my phone to make sure I don't study too long, nor take too long of a break. Studies have shown, if you don't take this refreshing break, then after the 20 minute mark, you brain has tuned out. I use the break to get a drink, go to the bathroom, say hi to my kids, play with my dogs anything other than school.

    Good Luck! Hope these help!
    Last edit by DisneyNurseGal on Jul 25, '12 : Reason: grammar fix


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