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queserasera 17,083 Views

Joined: Apr 4, '12; Posts: 720 (33% Liked) ; Likes: 581
Full-Time Student; from US

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  • Dec 8 '17

    It's that time again, the prerequisite and nursing school boards will be filling with new fall students. The most common questions I see are usually people feeling worried about some of the "harder" classes associated with the prerequisite and nursing curriculums. I find that it was never a subject that had me stumped, but more so, how I approached a subject. I went years trying to figure out what worked for me. I found some things worked in certain courses and failed miserably in other. (i.e. What do you mean I can't use flashcards for everything?!) Reading other peoples study tips have always helped me figure out my own study flow, so I want to give you my tried and true take on how to do well in anything. Of course, your attitude is important, I've wrote about this before. So make sure you're positive, regardless of your studying approach. Okay, okay, on to the good stuff.

    1. Evaluate your study needs for the upcoming semester.

    Evaluate how you've done in similar courses in previous years. List your classes from most challenging to easiest based on how you've done in those subjects in the past. For me math is always at the top of that list. I know I need to dedicate more time to working math problems that I do writing a paper.

    2. The syllabus, it's a blueprint for success!

    When you get your syllabus make note of what is graded and the weight. Is attendance and participation 50% of your grade? Or is your grade made of tests only? You'll want to focus your attention to the highest weight, i.e. always speak up in class or study and ace the tests. Always know if supplemental instruction is offered for each course, what your instructors office hours are and where that office is. Office hours are there for a reason use them often. Even if it's to ask something you could find out from a class mate. Ask the instructor, besides, remember letters of recommendation are easier from professors to write if they know who you are!

    3. Have you been putting in the time?

    Evaluate how many hours a week you've studied in the past, did you ever get to a exam and groan that you should've studied more? Write down how much you studied and honestly evaluate if it was enough. A good rule of thumb for pre-reqs in 2 hours study time to 1 hour class time. 3 hours worth of lecture, study for 6 hours throughout the week. "Whoa, that's too much" read on, I've got tricks up my sleeve.

    4. Time suckers.

    Figure out your "Time Suckers", do you find yourself on facebook for hours or reading articles on Quora, measure this as if it were a study time so you can limit it in a later part

    5. Make a schedule based on your academic and personal needs.

    This is how I do it.. Take a schedule ( a sheet with 7 columns of days of the week and rows for every hour that your typically awake say 9am to 10pm) first write your classes and lab times down, these are #1. If you work record your schedule, if you commute record your travel time, record meal times if you have regular ones. Record any regularly scheduled personal commitments, dinner with mom on Sunday, date nights, taking the kids places. Lastly, add in your time suckers. If you know you'll get sucked into a 4 hour Netflix session on a saturday... write it down. We will leave NOTHING unaccounted for friends! Record any special things you want to do throughout the week, even if it's just coffee with a pal. Look over your schedule sheet, this is the time you now have available to study and take care of class assignments. On this handy little schedule you've just made yourself you've got paper gold. A schedule of your life, now to add in the studying.


    Before each class schedule a preview of 5-30 minutes. (If you have 3 classes in a row (class a, class b, class c) study In order c,b,a) During the preview your goal is to check the syllabus to see what's going on in that class, review notes and textbook in accordance from the last class, and review your written assignments and problems. Make sure to proofread any assignments your turning in too as a last accuracy check (I can't tell you how many last minute mistakes I find in stuff!)


    Having done your "preview" you're now ready for your lecture. Listen, make notes, ask questions, recite and discuss. Always get involved in your lecture if you can. Even if no one else is talking. The biggest growth I've had as a student is not caring what other people thought of me. I don't care if I'm the "obnoxious girl that asks all the questions". Fact is, at the end of a lecture I'm walking away with the pieces of the puzzle that I was missing. The other great thing about the preview is if there is an impromptu quiz, you'll be ready.


    I know, I know, reviewing too? But I just previewed! But this is a "sneaking in study" trick. After every class I review what I went over in lecture. It may seem silly to review the same day, but but going over the material again, despite how well you THINK you know it, I promise you more things will stick into your long term memory. I'm a visual learner so I summarize/ make a story out of the notes I just took in class. If you're auditory, I'd suggest listening to your lecture via a recorder, or going to a lab if you're tactile.


    Lastly, study! I study the night before each class. So if I have 2 lectures on a Monday I study for about an hour and a half just those two subjects. I use a study-reading method technique called SQ3R (The SQ3R Reading Method) that is awesome for reading through textbooks. I write down questions and personal reactions to the text for discussion in the next lecture. The neat thing about doing it this way is, say you have a bio lecture 3x a week and a bio lab. By previewing, reviewing and studying you're learning biology 16 times a week (4 previews, 4 lectures, 4 reviews, 4 study times) Instead of the traditional 8 times (4 lectures, 4 study periods). Cramming before a major test is replaced by quick previews and reviews. I also like to add in a weekly review of everything I learned the previous week on Friday nights, school is my job and I am taking it seriously enough to miss out on Friday happy hour with the buddies.

    Extra Credit: 
Persist in managing your study time!

    If you add/drop a class, change work hours, or develop a new hobby revise your schedule. Don't get discouraged if you don't make every preview/review, it's inevitable that other commitments may get in the way, but monitor if they're always getting In the way, they may be one of those time suckers I talked about. Whenever your grades go down, or you fall behind in your class assignments also re evaluate what you're spending your time on. I hope you all have an incredibly successful semester and continue to give your all to this crazy path we're taking together!

  • Jun 10 '17

    I have a friend whose a vet tech. She thought about Nursing school and followed her dreams to work with animals. She said it's the best decision she ever made and also said the fulfillment she gets from the job is worth the pay cut.