Quote from jnc0713
What exactly are your studying methods? I start my program in September and really curious exactly what you do to study. I'm hoping not to be too overwhelmed when school starts. I will be working part time and have a household to run but I know some things will be put on back burner while I'm in school. I'm not the greatest test taker definitely more of a hands on person which is why I know I'll do great in clinically but trying to get as much advice/ tips on studying for tests and note taking.
*cracks knuckles and stretches* Prepare for a long post.
. We're in the same boat and it hasn't been too hard for me so far. I do a lot of studying but I still have a lot of free time on my hands. I haven't scored anything less than an A on any assignment so far, so my methods are working for me. Welp, here we go!
1. I record the lectures and re listen to them all the time.
This is especially helpful when I finishing my in class notes at home.
2. I read each chapter multiple times, four times being the minimum.
Even when we have several chapters at a time (like now for instance.) Now on this, I'm not reading the chapter completely and then starting right over and doing it again, no no no.
I will read the chapter when it is assigned and use my sticky notes to write down anything I need to ask my professor. Then when I am taking detailed notes I will read it again. I also read it as I'm making an outline on the chapter (more on that in a bit) and I will read it a final time a couple days before a test. <<<<< that is mandatory. Now sometimes if I'm at work and I have no students, then I go over the chapter again. I make use out of long car rides too. I always, always have my book with me.
3. I use my highlighter SPARINGLY.
I highlight key words or phrases, I rarely highlight a full sentence and never
multiple sentences. That way when I am speed reading my eyes are automatically drawn to key points.
Ex: This following sentence is out of my Foundations of Nursing book by Lois White:
The major purpose of primary care is to promote wellness and prevent illness or disability.
Here is what I highlighted:
The major purpose of primary care is to promote wellness
and prevent illness
So when I am scanning the chapters I automatically see that primary care promotes and prevents illness versus seeing an entire sentence highlighted and having to read every word.
4. I use all of the supplements given to us plus some.
I use the cds that come with our books and play the games, watch the movies listen to the podcast, etc. It really helps. This is a reason studying is so easy for me too, a majority of it is games,literally. There are actual board games at books stores for nurses. Invest in them. I personally use a lot of supplements but considering that it is $300+ to retake the NCLEX supplements are a lot cheaper in my eyes.
I also use the following sites:
-Study blue - make your own flashcards and the program turns those into a test with fill in the blank, multiple choice, select all that apply, ect.
-*Quizlet - I have heard good things about this site but I haven't tried it out yet.
- ATI - both assigned work and the resources on there. We also have ten textbooks for ATI, I use those too and do all the activities in them.
-Workbook - Every chapter we read we do the work book pages on. Normally my instructor just has us do the key words at the beginning (which is matching definitions to vocab words) and the assessment at the end, but I do all of the questions. Extra practice will never hurt.
- I make my own outline and study guide for every chapter we cover. This is basically a review session and I'll have them to use to study for the NCLEX: detailed, straight to the point info.
- I do every end of chapter assessment. If I miss one, I know I need to study that topic.
5. I take notes CORRECTLY
This is a big one. Notes are suppose to be a CONDENSED version of the chapter. Do not write everything the professor says and definitely don't copy the power point word for word. I use legal tablets to take notes and I use separate tablets for Lecture (in class) and Chapter (my personal notes, at home). On my chapter notes I tend to write a lot of mnemonics, and sayings that only I get but it works for me. My lecture notes are basically the things that my professor repeats, repeats and repeats or says "you need to be aware of this", which means we will see it on a quiz or test, which the explanation or rationale that HE gives. If I see the rationale is different when I am comparing my chapter notes I will ask him.
6. I make (corny) jokes using the subject matter.
This is easy easy easy! You can do it while walking, listening to the radio, anytime and anyplace. If you can make a comprehensive joke about the material, you've got it down. Just like explaining it to non nursing people so they can understand (I do that too). When we were going over nursing diagnosis I used this method a lot, for every "problem". Ex: Clients has decreased O2 intake r/t increased running after icecream truck AEB flushed faced, wheezing and O2 stats. I did this for everything and if I didn't get it right I would keep saying it until I did.
And that is what I have been doing so far, and I'm second in the class by a 1 point or so (would you believe #1 is a person I tutor?? Haha). It seems like a lot and I do most of that every day I study but I still have time for a life. So far this week we have 4 chapters to read, 4 workbook chapters to do, about 10 ATI assignments/tutorials to complete/watch (I also do the ATI textbooks and workbooks, even though they are not assigned). This week I have gone out twice, I clean my house everyday, cook breakfast and dinner every day (lunch, they fend for themselves. haha) work part time, do all the running around for my kids (two, one biological, I guardian of) and I still get 6 - 8 hours of sleep a day. Now that I write all of this out, how do I do all of this???
Hahaha, I hope this helps!