Overthinking on tests! HELP!

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    Hey everyone! I need some help please! I am in my freshmen year of nursing school and every test I have taken so far I seem to over analyze the question and miss them however when I go back to review my test, I realize I know the answer and I feel dumb for getting it wrong. I guess you could say I read to much into the question and don't know how to stop. My teachers and everyone have told me that I do this. I don't want to get in a habit of doing this. Is there anyone who can relate or give advice? I would appreciate it!
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  3. 11 Comments so far...

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    Try breaking down the question and looking for context clues as to what is being asked and then only answer what is being asked.

    Such as what color is the sky today? Description of the ocean waves, precipitation rates, cloud coverage, position of the sun & moon are all irrelevant to the question when the simple answer is blue.

    Can you give an example of the type of question you over analyze?
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    While studying for the NCLEX I found myself doing this although I hadnt previously I think it was just the stress of it. My advice though is just to go back to the basics think about what you would do first ex- ABC's or what is the biggest risk to hurt the patient if not done. I took the hurst review course and they refer to this as what is the killer answer.

    I bought a book wrote by pearson (they write the NCLEX) and I wish I would have known about it while in school it is amazing!! It breaks it down really simple and comes with online quizzes that really help. It is called pearson comprehensive review for nclex. Make sure you but the book new though because if you dont have the code inside then you cant use the online part. The book is like 40 bucks or so and well worth your money. I even noticed that I had seen some of the questions before so my teachers were pulling questions from it.

    Also, I am not sure what book you are using but I bought the study guide books that went along with the book. If you dont want to buy them for all of them at least do the Med Surg one (maybe pharm too if you struggle there that was always my toughest class). We used davis and elsevier for our books and if you go on there website you can register your book and this has additional questions and lets face it they give the teacher test banks so the more questions you do by the people who write the questions the better.

    Does your school use ATI? ATITESTING.COM also has good resources. Take your time and go with your first answer it is normally right. If you need any other advice feel free to contact me I loved school and love helping others.
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    Yes. We took a practice HESI exam this week and I once again I over analyzed the questions. For example, one of the questions asked was about a nursing assistant bathing a patient. It stated that the nursing assistant had the basin of water on the patients bed and the patients foot soaking in the basin on the bed. The question asked what would you tell the nursing assistant to do as a nurse. Two of the answers that I recall were 1) tell the nursing assistant to remove the basin of water from the patients bed or 2) tell the nursing assistant to make sure they dry between the patients toes in order to prevent the patients toes. I chose the first answer because the basin of water is not suppose to be placed on the patients bed while giving the patient a bath however the second answer is the correct answer due to the fact that if the nursing assistant does not wipe between the patients toes it can cause skin integrity. I realize that now after the test is over but while taking the test I never thought to think about that. HELP!
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    Thank you so much! I more than likely will be contacting you more!
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    Nursing school test are so different from any other test you take! The answer to the question will always be in the question itself! Break it down into four categories: 1. Nursing Process (use ADPIE to figure out the next step) 2. Maslow (physiology always first and ABCs!)3. Safety 4. Therapeutic communication. Something that helps me is using a blank index card to cover the answers. Sometimes I'll jump ahead and not read the whole question before I answer. If I use the card, it forced me to slow down and think about each individual answer. Hope this helps!
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    In this particular answer stop and think what could hurt the patient is it going to hurt the patient if the water from the basin spills over...ummm prob not unless it is scolding but then how would you have even washed with it in the first place. If you dont dry in betweeen the toes could that hurt the patient? ding ding ding skin integrity! I understand how you could do that but anytime u come to a question like this what if not done might possibly hurt/compromise the patient.
    Last edit by Princesswho on Nov 9, '13 : Reason: misspelling
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    Here are some things to consider when answering test questions:

    1) what is the question asking? Eliminate any answers that don't address the topic of the question.
    2) Is the question addressing a physical or a psychosocial concern? If it is a physical concern you can eliminate all of the psychosocial answers. Sure, offering reassurance is important, but probably not the most important.
    3) Is the question asking you to triage (what would you do first)? Follow the ABCs - Airway, Breathing, Circulation. You are going to put a patient in fowler's in order to open the airway before you would obtain a blood pressure.

    Some questions will really trick you, but at least if you keep these steps in mind you can eliminate one or two answers.
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    I suffer from this same problem. I have to put my pen or pencil down before reading a question, that calms me and helps me not jump to rush conclusions or overthink.
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    Quote from Cosmo&Wanda
    Here are some things to consider when answering test questions:

    1) what is the question asking? Eliminate any answers that don't address the topic of the question.

    2) Is the question addressing a physical or a psychosocial concern? If it is a physical concern you can eliminate all of the psychosocial answers. Sure, offering reassurance is important, but probably not the most important.

    3) Is the question asking you to triage (what would you do first)? Follow the ABCs - Airway, Breathing, Circulation. You are going to put a patient in fowler's in order to open the airway before you would obtain a blood pressure. Some questions will really trick you, but at least if you keep these steps in mind you can eliminate one or two answers.

    THIS...really great techniques, in addition to the many posters.

    I suggest the "Success Series" as well to help with practice questions.

    Also, TAKE YOUR TIME during an exam; make sure you are highlighting the key words to determine what the question is asking you. Don't overthink, and don't change the question..,.be sure to circle the question and return to it if you can't stop overthinking it.
    Cosmo&Wanda likes this.


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