Too much info on exams?

  1. Does anyone else find that in their last semester, usually Med/Surg II, that there is s ridiculous amount of info that needs to retained in a small amount of time? For example

    1st test 10/4/07 an immense amount of cardiac/peripheral vascular info--honestly that wasnt bad (CAD, ACS, MI, PAD, PVD, DVT, CHF etc etc)

    But this next test 21 days later!!!! 10/25/07
    Hematology (blood transfusions, blood transfusion reactions, polycythemia, leukemia)
    Respiratory (ARDS, ARF, Vents/Intubation/Extubation, Chest Trauma & Tubes, Lung Cancer, PE,)
    Musculoskeletal (osteoporosis, osteomyelitis, fractures, amputation, osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, gout, SLE)
    Endocrine (Hypo/Hyperthyroidism, Hypo/Hyper parathyroidism, Pituitary & Adrenal stressors- Cushings, Addisons, Acromegaly, Gigantism, Dwarfism, Diabetes Insipidus)

    Keeping in mind we need to know pathophysiology, etiology, complications of each, diagnostics of each, Meds for each, Nursing intervention/management, Nursing Dx, S/S etc.

    They are all APPLICATION questions, no knowledge like what is...?
    AND we only get 60 min for 50 questions...

    Its just a lot and I needed to vent and to see if anyone was going through anything similar.
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  2. 10 Comments

  3. by   Moondance
    I am just in my second semester but I find it the same way. I knew going in it would be tough, but I don't understand why the programs have to be set up like this.

    Our school's philosophy is "grounded in caring", and that is a good thing, but I honestly think they push it to the point of glazing over important subjects like Patho, Pharm, and Skills courses. Too much information, as you said, crammed into such a short period of time.

    One thing that we know is you have to be a good student to get into these programs, and once you are here, you watch your GPA go into the toilet. And it's not because the courses are too tough, it's that there is no time to study and learn the material. These are not cramming courses and what's more, I've never been a crammer when it comes to studying.

    I understand the frustration. It may not make you feel any better, but from what I have seen and read, it appears that many programs are set up this way.

    Hang in there though! You are in the home stretch
  4. by   Soup Turtle
    That sounds pretty normal.
  5. by   Rage
    I'm in a ABSN program and our last semester is "Community health", "Leadership" and "Dimensions" which basically preps you for the NCLEX.
    Having 4-6 chapter test isn't uncommon and having it in 2-3 different courses at the same time isn't uncommon. As much as I hate to say it, it is a weeding process.........especially in Med/Surg, or so I have been told by professors.
  6. by   Conrad283

    That's a tough way to set up the course. At my school we have it set up that we have 8 "quizzes" (20-30 questions), along with a midterm and final.


    The only bad thing is that you're constantly studying for exams and you fell as if it never ends. But on the bright side there are by far fewer topics on each exam than were discussed in the first post.


    For example, the topics on our first exam were fluids and electrolytes, the ear, acute and chronic lung. Our second exam covered acid-base, respiratory malignancies, GU, and the eye. Our third exam covered endocrine and something else. Our fourth exam covered acute and chronic cardiac, and GI cancers. Renal disorders were covered on the midterm.I highly recommend speaking to the powers that be to suggest increasing the number of exams and decreasing the amount of material.
  7. by   BoonersmomRN
    Yup

    I just finished Med/Surg II- now moving on to Med/Surg III where it gets WORSE.

    Our 1rst test is after 4 days of lecture and it's Renal, Eye/Ear, Neuro, Emergency/Trauma Care, and Vents. So just with Renal/Neuro ther are like 1000000 different disorders/diseases, lol. We all expect to be pulling our hair out.

    Med/Surg II was like that as well so I am used to it- but it is HARD to retain all the info. In fact I think there is literally almost no way to retain it all...hence the reason the "A" students turned into "B" students and so forth.

    Nursing schol is crazy!
  8. by   ukstudent
    Sounds normal to me. The reason against frequent small tests is that you then tend to remember just what you need for that test and then dump the info. You really need all this in order to pass the nclex. It's not going to give you a 20-30 question test on a known subject matter. Good luck in your test.
  9. by   MBARNBSN
    OP: If it makes you feel better, I am in Med Surg I and I had to know everything you listed before you posted (I already took my exams on these topics). This apparently is one of two "weed-out" semesters at my school. It is a lot of information to know and a lot of details to grasp in a short amount of time. However, it is doable (others have done it before us). Try not to focus on how much you have to know and focus on the tasks at hand so you do not get overwhelmed.

    After taking two exams I can safely say, I am still here!!! Oh, and I continue to love nursing school.
  10. by   carolinapooh
    Last semester? I've felt like this for my entire program, so I'd say what you're feeling right now is not only normal but probably expected.

    Hang in there - I'm starting to learn that the light at the end of the tunnel really ISN'T a train - we can do this!
  11. by   jAy-FibRN
    Yeah I have no problem hanging in there, inf act i got a 92 on the first exam I was just venting that there was a lot of info...The fact that we have 4 tests this semester is great for us b/c its usually a midterm and a final. Its all good...wish me luck on my test on THURSDAY I'll be sure to let you know how I did!!!!
  12. by   suzanne4
    Best of luck on your exams. This is actually quite normal, there is quite a bit of material that needs to be covered in a small amount of time, and there really is no other way to cover it and get it done.

    This is also how you are going to need to think when you are out in the real world and working. Things are going to be thrown at you and you need to soak it up like a sponge.

    I do suggest learning it and not memorizing it, then the information will stay with you forever and not leave after a certain amount of time. That will make it easier for you to retain for your NCLEX exam as well.

    You want to understand why something is being done, and if not sure, then ask, ask, ask.

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