How do you answer questions?

  1. 0
    I wanted to know how others answer questions when they're studying for NCLEX? When I'm doing questions, I read the rationale always but if I miss a question I write part of the rationale down & that evening I review my notes from those questions. Yes it does take a while. Where as my friend who is studying will have done 150 questions & I'll still be on question 50.

    Do you think I need to stop writing while doing questions & just answer as many as I can? What do you do?
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  3. 17 Comments so far...

  4. 17
    Quote from 2013rn2BScorpio
    I wanted to know how others answer questions when they're studying for NCLEX? When I'm doing questions, I read the rationale always but if I miss a question I write part of the rationale down & that evening I review my notes from those questions. Yes it does take a while. Where as my friend who is studying will have done 150 questions & I'll still be on question 50.

    Do you think I need to stop writing while doing questions & just answer as many as I can? What do you do?

    Your studying NCLEX questions at this point is to be sure you understand the rationales behind the correct answers, and why the distractors (the wrong ones) are wrong and how they are designed to distract you. Studying sample questions is not some kind of video game where you get points for completing levels rapidly.

    As you get to the point where you find yourself being much more consistent with getting right answers, then you can try to speed it up. But you know what? If you're really good with getting the right answers, you won't need the whole FOUR HOURS they give you anyway. And being good with getting the right answers because you know why they are correct is the prize. Don't change a thing.

    Here's my periodic advice on taking NCLEX:

    I taught in the Kaplan NCLEX review course for years. Whatever resource you use to study, make sure it gives you the rationales for why the wrong choices are wrong as well as the right ones, right. This is where most people fall down-- they pick an answer that is factually true but is not the best answer for the situation as it would be assessed by a good RN. They try to memorize facts but forget critical thinking skills that are, well, critical in all nursing judgment.


    NCLEX items are developed in part from knowing what errors new grads make and how. They tend to be of two kinds: inadequate information, and lack of knowledge (these are not the same thing). The goal of NCLEX is to pass candidates who will be acceptably SAFE in practice as NURSES. So-- they want to know what the prudent NURSE will do.


    1) When confronted c 4 answers, you can usually discard 2 out of hand. Of the remaining two,
    -- always choose the answer that (in priority order) makes the patient safer or gets you more information. "Can you tell me more about that?" "What do you know about your medication?" "What was the patient's lab result?"
    -- NEVER choose the answer that has you turf the situation to another discipline-- chaplain, dietary, MD, social work, etc. It's often tempting, but they want to know about what the NURSE would do. See "always..." above.


    2) "Safer" might mean airway, breathing, circulation; it might mean pull the bed out of the room and away from the fire; it might mean pressure ulcer prevention; or improving nutrition; or teaching about loose scatter rugs ... Keep your mind open. It might also mean "Headed down a better pathway to health." For example, while telling a battered woman who has chosen not to leave her partner that "Studies show that he will do it again" is factually true (and that's why this wrong answer is often chosen), the better answer is to acknowledge that you hear her choice to stay and say something like, "Now let's think of a plan to keep you safe." This doesn't turn her off from listening to you, so she will trust you, acknowledges her right to choose, and helps her along a path to better safety.


    3) Read carefully. If they ask you for a nursing intervention answer, they aren't asking for an associated task or action which requires a physician plan of care. So in a scenario involving a medication, the answer would NOT be to hang the IV, regulate it, or chart it; it would not be to observe for complications. It WOULD be to assess pt knowledge of the med/tx plan and derive an appropriate patient teaching plan. Only that last one is nursing-independent and a nursing intervention.


    Again, they want NURSING here.


    4) The day before the test, do not study. Research shows that your brain does not retain crap you stuff into it at the last minute-- musicians learning a new piece play the first part on Monday, the second part on Tuesday, and the third part on Weds. Then they do something else entirely on Thursday; meanwhile, behind the scenes, the brain is organizing the new info into familiar cubbyholes already stuffed with similar music, putting it ready for easy access. On Friday, the whole piece works much better.


    What this translates for in test-taking land is this: The day before the test, you go to a museum or a concert, go take a hike, read a trashy novel, make a ragout, do something else entirely. Take a small glass of wine, soak in a nice hot bath in a darkened tub with a few candles on the sink, get a nice night's sleep.


    5) On your way out the door in the morning, open the refrigerator door and read the mayonnaise jar label. Do what it says: Keep cool, do not freeze. Then go to the testing center, you incipient RN, you!
    maihot3, UnaNayeli, ganesha1, and 14 others like this.
  5. 3
    Quote from GrnTea

    Your studying NCLEX questions at this point is to be sure you understand the rationales behind the correct answers, and why the distractors (the wrong ones) are wrong and how they are designed to distract you. Studying sample questions is not some kind of video game where you get points for completing levels rapidly.

    As you get to the point where you find yourself being much more consistent with getting right answers, then you can try to speed it up. But you know what? If you're really good with getting the right answers, you won't need the whole FOUR HOURS they give you anyway. And being good with getting the right answers because you know why they are correct is the prize. Don't change a thing.

    Here's my periodic advice on taking NCLEX:

    I taught in the Kaplan NCLEX review course for years. Whatever resource you use to study, make sure it gives you the rationales for why the wrong choices are wrong as well as the right ones, right. This is where most people fall down-- they pick an answer that is factually true but is not the best answer for the situation as it would be assessed by a good RN. They try to memorize facts but forget critical thinking skills that are, well, critical in all nursing judgment.


    NCLEX items are developed in part from knowing what errors new grads make and how. They tend to be of two kinds: inadequate information, and lack of knowledge (these are not the same thing). The goal of NCLEX is to pass candidates who will be acceptably SAFE in practice as NURSES. So-- they want to know what the prudent NURSE will do.


    1) When confronted c 4 answers, you can usually discard 2 out of hand. Of the remaining two,
    -- always choose the answer that (in priority order) makes the patient safer or gets you more information. "Can you tell me more about that?" "What do you know about your medication?" "What was the patient's lab result?"
    -- NEVER choose the answer that has you turf the situation to another discipline-- chaplain, dietary, MD, social work, etc. It's often tempting, but they want to know about what the NURSE would do. See "always..." above.


    2) "Safer" might mean airway, breathing, circulation; it might mean pull the bed out of the room and away from the fire; it might mean pressure ulcer prevention; or improving nutrition; or teaching about loose scatter rugs ... Keep your mind open. It might also mean "Headed down a better pathway to health." For example, while telling a battered woman who has chosen not to leave her partner that "Studies show that he will do it again" is factually true (and that's why this wrong answer is often chosen), the better answer is to acknowledge that you hear her choice to stay and say something like, "Now let's think of a plan to keep you safe." This doesn't turn her off from listening to you, so she will trust you, acknowledges her right to choose, and helps her along a path to better safety.


    3) Read carefully. If they ask you for a nursing intervention answer, they aren't asking for an associated task or action which requires a physician plan of care. So in a scenario involving a medication, the answer would NOT be to hang the IV, regulate it, or chart it; it would not be to observe for complications. It WOULD be to assess pt knowledge of the med/tx plan and derive an appropriate patient teaching plan. Only that last one is nursing-independent and a nursing intervention.


    Again, they want NURSING here.


    4) The day before the test, do not study. Research shows that your brain does not retain crap you stuff into it at the last minute-- musicians learning a new piece play the first part on Monday, the second part on Tuesday, and the third part on Weds. Then they do something else entirely on Thursday; meanwhile, behind the scenes, the brain is organizing the new info into familiar cubbyholes already stuffed with similar music, putting it ready for easy access. On Friday, the whole piece works much better.


    What this translates for in test-taking land is this: The day before the test, you go to a museum or a concert, go take a hike, read a trashy novel, make a ragout, do something else entirely. Take a small glass of wine, soak in a nice hot bath in a darkened tub with a few candles on the sink, get a nice night's sleep.


    5) On your way out the door in the morning, open the refrigerator door and read the mayonnaise jar label. Do what it says: Keep cool, do not freeze. Then go to the testing center, you incipient RN, you!

    Wow these are AWESOME tips! Thanks so much I greatly appreciate it. I think I'm going to print your response out & place it on my study board. I will definitely take your advice & use it on NCLEX day.
    UnaNayeli, STRAWBERRI, and GrnTea like this.
  6. 4
    You are an angel! Thank you for your time to teach us
    ktenor, STRAWBERRI, GrnTea, and 1 other like this.
  7. 1
    Thank you so much for your wonderful and helpful tips. Definitely I'll apply your tips when answering the questions. Thanks..........
    GrnTea likes this.
  8. 2
    Quote from GrnTea


    Your studying NCLEX questions at this point is to be sure you understand the rationales behind the correct answers, and why the distractors (the wrong ones) are wrong and how they are designed to distract you. Studying sample questions is not some kind of video game where you get points for completing levels rapidly.

    As you get to the point where you find yourself being much more consistent with getting right answers, then you can try to speed it up. But you know what? If you're really good with getting the right answers, you won't need the whole FOUR HOURS they give you anyway. And being good with getting the right answers because you know why they are correct is the prize. Don't change a thing.

    Here's my periodic advice on taking NCLEX:

    I taught in the Kaplan NCLEX review course for years. Whatever resource you use to study, make sure it gives you the rationales for why the wrong choices are wrong as well as the right ones, right. This is where most people fall down-- they pick an answer that is factually true but is not the best answer for the situation as it would be assessed by a good RN. They try to memorize facts but forget critical thinking skills that are, well, critical in all nursing judgment.


    NCLEX items are developed in part from knowing what errors new grads make and how. They tend to be of two kinds: inadequate information, and lack of knowledge (these are not the same thing). The goal of NCLEX is to pass candidates who will be acceptably SAFE in practice as NURSES. So-- they want to know what the prudent NURSE will do.


    1) When confronted c 4 answers, you can usually discard 2 out of hand. Of the remaining two,
    -- always choose the answer that (in priority order) makes the patient safer or gets you more information. "Can you tell me more about that?" "What do you know about your medication?" "What was the patient's lab result?"
    -- NEVER choose the answer that has you turf the situation to another discipline-- chaplain, dietary, MD, social work, etc. It's often tempting, but they want to know about what the NURSE would do. See "always..." above.


    2) "Safer" might mean airway, breathing, circulation; it might mean pull the bed out of the room and away from the fire; it might mean pressure ulcer prevention; or improving nutrition; or teaching about loose scatter rugs ... Keep your mind open. It might also mean "Headed down a better pathway to health." For example, while telling a battered woman who has chosen not to leave her partner that "Studies show that he will do it again" is factually true (and that's why this wrong answer is often chosen), the better answer is to acknowledge that you hear her choice to stay and say something like, "Now let's think of a plan to keep you safe." This doesn't turn her off from listening to you, so she will trust you, acknowledges her right to choose, and helps her along a path to better safety.


    3) Read carefully. If they ask you for a nursing intervention answer, they aren't asking for an associated task or action which requires a physician plan of care. So in a scenario involving a medication, the answer would NOT be to hang the IV, regulate it, or chart it; it would not be to observe for complications. It WOULD be to assess pt knowledge of the med/tx plan and derive an appropriate patient teaching plan. Only that last one is nursing-independent and a nursing intervention.


    Again, they want NURSING here.


    4) The day before the test, do not study. Research shows that your brain does not retain crap you stuff into it at the last minute-- musicians learning a new piece play the first part on Monday, the second part on Tuesday, and the third part on Weds. Then they do something else entirely on Thursday; meanwhile, behind the scenes, the brain is organizing the new info into familiar cubbyholes already stuffed with similar music, putting it ready for easy access. On Friday, the whole piece works much better.


    What this translates for in test-taking land is this: The day before the test, you go to a museum or a concert, go take a hike, read a trashy novel, make a ragout, do something else entirely. Take a small glass of wine, soak in a nice hot bath in a darkened tub with a few candles on the sink, get a nice night's sleep.


    5) On your way out the door in the morning, open the refrigerator door and read the mayonnaise jar label. Do what it says: Keep cool, do not freeze. Then go to the testing center, you incipient RN, you!
    I am set to graduate on the 16th and I really loved all you write thank you so much
    STRAWBERRI and GrnTea like this.
  9. 1
    I used grn's method for nclex passed in 75 questions. You can't go with your gut feeling on the test, it will be wrong. Relax and don't make a big deal of the test.
    GrnTea likes this.
  10. 1
    Thank you Grntea!!
    GrnTea likes this.
  11. 1
    Bump, because I don't want to write it all over again. Good luck!
    RunBabyRun likes this.
  12. 0
    Quote from GrnTea

    Your studying NCLEX questions at this point is to be sure you understand the rationales behind the correct answers, and why the distractors (the wrong ones) are wrong and how they are designed to distract you. Studying sample questions is not some kind of video game where you get points for completing levels rapidly.

    As you get to the point where you find yourself being much more consistent with getting right answers, then you can try to speed it up. But you know what? If you're really good with getting the right answers, you won't need the whole FOUR HOURS they give you anyway. And being good with getting the right answers because you know why they are correct is the prize. Don't change a thing.

    Here's my periodic advice on taking NCLEX:

    I taught in the Kaplan NCLEX review course for years. Whatever resource you use to study, make sure it gives you the rationales for why the wrong choices are wrong as well as the right ones, right. This is where most people fall down-- they pick an answer that is factually true but is not the best answer for the situation as it would be assessed by a good RN. They try to memorize facts but forget critical thinking skills that are, well, critical in all nursing judgment.


    NCLEX items are developed in part from knowing what errors new grads make and how. They tend to be of two kinds: inadequate information, and lack of knowledge (these are not the same thing). The goal of NCLEX is to pass candidates who will be acceptably SAFE in practice as NURSES. So-- they want to know what the prudent NURSE will do.


    1) When confronted c 4 answers, you can usually discard 2 out of hand. Of the remaining two,
    -- always choose the answer that (in priority order) makes the patient safer or gets you more information. "Can you tell me more about that?" "What do you know about your medication?" "What was the patient's lab result?"
    -- NEVER choose the answer that has you turf the situation to another discipline-- chaplain, dietary, MD, social work, etc. It's often tempting, but they want to know about what the NURSE would do. See "always..." above.


    2) "Safer" might mean airway, breathing, circulation; it might mean pull the bed out of the room and away from the fire; it might mean pressure ulcer prevention; or improving nutrition; or teaching about loose scatter rugs ... Keep your mind open. It might also mean "Headed down a better pathway to health." For example, while telling a battered woman who has chosen not to leave her partner that "Studies show that he will do it again" is factually true (and that's why this wrong answer is often chosen), the better answer is to acknowledge that you hear her choice to stay and say something like, "Now let's think of a plan to keep you safe." This doesn't turn her off from listening to you, so she will trust you, acknowledges her right to choose, and helps her along a path to better safety.


    3) Read carefully. If they ask you for a nursing intervention answer, they aren't asking for an associated task or action which requires a physician plan of care. So in a scenario involving a medication, the answer would NOT be to hang the IV, regulate it, or chart it; it would not be to observe for complications. It WOULD be to assess pt knowledge of the med/tx plan and derive an appropriate patient teaching plan. Only that last one is nursing-independent and a nursing intervention.


    Again, they want NURSING here.


    4) The day before the test, do not study. Research shows that your brain does not retain crap you stuff into it at the last minute-- musicians learning a new piece play the first part on Monday, the second part on Tuesday, and the third part on Weds. Then they do something else entirely on Thursday; meanwhile, behind the scenes, the brain is organizing the new info into familiar cubbyholes already stuffed with similar music, putting it ready for easy access. On Friday, the whole piece works much better.


    What this translates for in test-taking land is this: The day before the test, you go to a museum or a concert, go take a hike, read a trashy novel, make a ragout, do something else entirely. Take a small glass of wine, soak in a nice hot bath in a darkened tub with a few candles on the sink, get a nice night's sleep.


    5) On your way out the door in the morning, open the refrigerator door and read the mayonnaise jar label. Do what it says: Keep cool, do not freeze. Then go to the testing center, you incipient RN, you!
    From a LPN students prospective who is prepping for the NCLEX PN exam I must say a big THANK YOU.


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