I know exams have been talked about quite a bit on allnurses, but I am asking for some help in the best way to study for exams.
I am nearing the end of my first semester of nursing school. This has been a really hard semester for me. I have been in school as an older student for three years (while I figured out what I wanted to be - I actually didn't know medicine was still an option for me when I started). I was on the Dean's List last year both semesters while working over 40 hours a week. This semester, I have cut my hours and have struggled more than any other semester.
We were warned that this would be different than what we were used to and I understood that. At our school, we spend a whole semester on health promotion, cultural diversity, motivational interviewing and general growth and development. We have different lecturers for the same class and the tests are written by different instructors depending on what they taught. My grades have not been terrible (88 on first test, 92 on the second), but this last one I got an 84. I couldn't have known the material much better than I did going into it - it was just the way questions were asked and in a few cases questions that came out of left field that none of us even knew how to answer. I don't know yet what the mean score was, but I've been above it the other two times and this test everyone complained about.
I'm just very concerned about this class. Our nursing class is 8 credits with the clinical, lab and lecture all combined. The lecture is 70% of the grade so even though I have almost 100% in lab and a 100% in clinical, I could still end up killing my GPA with these exams. And more than that, I'm very worried about the upcoming semesters as they say that this next one is the hardest one we will have. Part of me feels that I will have an easier time with tests when we are actually applying diagnostic style things, but part of me worries that if I don't know how to take the tests now, how will I do in the future. I understand that my world will not come crashing down if I have B's all the way through, but with the options I want open to me for graduate work, I really need to have a high GPA and have always done it before.
I'm just hoping someone can give me some advice as we have a final in two weeks that I have to get a 94 on in order to get an A. This subject matter is not in the NCLEX books as those are geared more for actual scenarios. I am just totally frustrated with this semester.
Thanks for listening!