If you haven't already, get an NCLEX book. Saunder's is a really good one andI've heard Med-Surg Success is good as well. It's important to have a good grasp of the anatomy and patho, but you have to be able to think like a nurse. I try to imagine I'm at the bedside when I'm answering exam questions. I visualize the scenario in my head, and then make a decision. I also find I do better on exams when I don't second guess myself. If I've learned the material well, which I always try to do, then I can be pretty sure the answer is somewhere in my head and it's usually the first one to pop up.
Hey all....i just fin8shed med surg 2 yesterday:-)!!....the best advice i can give you is study hard...in order to answer the questions you need a solid knowledge base. Also, you need to get supplementary books with question to practice...this will help you to start thinking critically and applying what you know. Staying positive! You'd be surprised at what a good attitude can do for your learning. Remember, its not good luck on your tests, its study hard for them !!
I'm starting Med Surg 2 tmr as well, I hear the instructor is very challanging.
Saunders is an excellent resource, and I have liked the incredibly easy books I've used. The Memory Notebooks of Nursing are also fantastic, esp. if you are a visual learner. Whatever NCLEX book you get, make sure it has rationales, understanding the WHY has been hugely helpful.
Read a little bit EVERY day. Even if it's just a couple questions.
Leave materials around the house where you will see them constantly... I have flash cards to flip thru during TV commercials, a notebook in the bathroom, flash cards on my ipod when I'm at the gym...
Form a study group, or even just a study buddy.
Teaching is one of the best ways to learn, I talk to my cat and dogs as if I'm explaining something to them (yeah, i know it sounds totally crazy but trust me, it works) you have to have a good solid understanding of the topic to be able to break down into simpler terms to explain/teach to someone else. With your study group/buddy, split up the chapters, each person teaches the group 1 chapter, pulling out important stuff etc.
ALWAY take breaks during studying. For every hour, take a few minutes. Set an alarm if you have to. Studying for hours straight actually makes you retain less information.
If you don't already have the NANDA-I 2012-2014, get it now. (free 2-day shipping from Amazon for students). You will be held to a higher standard of developing nursing plans of care, and this is the definitive work on it. Fake out your faculty by knowing it better than anyone.