Tips for condensing reading workload?

  1. One of the biggest challenges that I have had since I started nursing school is decifering what is important vs. unimportant when reading the textbook. To fill you in on what I have noticed so teachers do emphasize certain things in lectures and in their notes/ppts which is great and helpful, however sometimes there will be information on tests that covered things not mentioned in class or powerpoints. I do understand that they do want us to read the book and I definitely understand and respect the fact that they do not want to spoon feed us.However I have now tried to turn into some type of super-reader (which I am far from) and i find myself trying to read nearly every page and chapter that is assigned. My somewhat overachieving personality with studying and because teachers will pull questions from all over has me thinking things like, well I need to read that or this section, or that table/diagragm etc.,even though it was not mentioned in class or notes. I feel I will miss important information (I think I have a little OCD if you cant tell btw ha). Anyways I do get really bogged down and it takes me a really really long time to get through chapters. I feel like I am reading things that are unimportant and wasting a lot of time on information that is unnecessary related to the test. I end up of having to cram the night before a test just so i can read and understand all of the material. I think this approach effects my comprehension and has kind of effected my grades.

    I was wondering if anyone could share what they do when reading the text. Are people like me and try to be big readers? What approaches have you taken to condense reading workload? How do you pick out important information vs unimportant information ? And any other study tips are greatly appreciated. Thanks !
    Last edit by wps2012 on Mar 30, '13
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    About wps2012, BSN

    Joined: Jul '12; Posts: 4; Likes: 2
    from US


  3. by   donk
    I read the chapter and highlight before the class, then take a different coloured highlighter and follow along in class and anything I didn't highlight before, I'll do as the instructor talks about it. Then I can combine the two to make notes on my PowerPoints... And from that I create notes and study questions.
  4. by   Wildcats.Cabral
    I struggle with that as well and the further along that I get in the program, the more independent reading that I have to do as opposed to what is actually covered in one lecture a week. This may be teacher specific, but I have found the first and last sentences in a paragraph are key points for exam questions. I also spend a lot of time going though NCLEX books answering questions that cover the same material as the current readings. If is is important enough to be in an NCLEX prep book, it IS important.
  5. by   SCSTxRN
    Three tips:

    1. Preread, outline, go to lecture, reread

    2. Scaffold - take your prior knowledge of the anatomy + add on what you learn in patho, then consider your drug classes in pharm

    3. I really recommend Your Nursing Tutor I was going to write a website about how to think like a nurse - then I found this one and figured there was no point in redoing what they had done so well. Thinking your way through problems and situations, and applying what you learned to something just a little bit different is the difference between struggling to stay afloat and swimming in the body of knowledge.
  6. by   wps2012
    Great advice thanks for the feedback. The nursing tutor website looks interesting I will definitely utilize this. Thanks and goodluck!