Failing Fundamentals. Help!

  1. Please help me. Im having a hard time with fundamentals. My current average in class is a 68%. I need a 75 to pass. I still have 2 exams and one final. Any suggestions with how i can boost my grades?
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  2. 7 Comments

  3. by   vanilla bean
    Hey there! Did you know there's a whole forum called "Study Tips for Nursing Students"? You can find it here. Good luck!
  4. by   imhorsemackerel
    Do you get your tests back? Is your instructor the one that makes the tests? Have you asked the instructor for help?

    The reason I ask the first two questions is because when I went to school for LPN, the tests were made by administration and not our instructors. Also, once we finished a test, we were never allowed to see them again. You can ask your classmates how they're doing. If possible, befriend one and be a study buddy. Personally, I find writing everything over and over again helpful to retain information. But everyone's different with their learning style.
  5. by   LPN1118
    unfortunately, nursing course tests are no longer like the definition questions we were use to in the past. these give you scenarios and there may be more than one right answer but you need to pick the BEST answer. Always remember the ABCS. Sounds kinda dumb but make sure you're relaxed and get to class plenty of time before the test. I'd walk in the room 5 minutes before class and my mind was everywhere else. Check out quizlet.com and see flashcards that other students have made with similar information. I find that reading the rationale for the answer helps me retain the information. Good luck!
  6. by   TonyPharmD
    There's always someone in class doing great, ask them, it may seem obvious, but another student has figured this class out, you just need to find him/her. Also, there isn't much talk about metacognition, learning about learning, and if you read Make it Stick, I think it will help you quite a bit.
    Last edit by TonyPharmD on Jul 22 : Reason: Added a note about a book recommendation
  7. by   Mkakids
    Quote from LPN1118
    unfortunately, nursing course tests are no longer like the definition questions we were use to in the past. these give you scenarios and there may be more than one right answer but you need to pick the BEST answer. Always remember the ABCS. Sounds kinda dumb but make sure you're relaxed and get to class plenty of time before the test. I'd walk in the room 5 minutes before class and my mind was everywhere else. Check out quizlet.com and see flashcards that other students have made with similar information. I find that reading the rationale for the answer helps me retain the information. Good luck!
    This. Arriving 30-45 minutes before class has helped me tremendously! I know that I can get there early, and have a last review prior to the class begining.

    What I usually do - the night before I make a list of the things that I am not 100% on. I go through the entire test material and while i am at it, I make notes on a separate piece of paper. Anything that Im still finding tricky, or getting caught up on - I review 3-4 more times before I go to bed. The following day, when I arrive to class (early) I pull out the list of things I was having trouble with the night before. I continue to review those things until class begins. Then as soon as I am given the test, or a sheet of scratch paper, I brain dump. I write down every single fact that I can remember from the review sheet I was looking at right before class started. If your not allowed to write on your exam (or its computer based), ask for a sheet of scratch paper to use. Ive only once had a professor not allow me a sheet of scratch paper.

    Also, I find that when I am studying, I sometimes really need to break the material down into simple, single setence notes if I can. I'll read the lecture notes again after class and if its a concept that I still dont understand after having seen it a few times, I will break it down like crazy to make it easier to understand and memorize.

    I am a flash card learner - they are very effective for me, but only if I break the information down. I cannot have 1 mega flashcard or it looses effectiveness. So for example, lets say I was trying to remember how to determine the atrial and ventricular rates. I would have the following cards:

    How many methods can be used to determine atrial and ventricular rates?
    What are the 3 methods used to determine atrial and ventricular rate?

    How do you use the 10 times method to determine the atrial rate?
    How do you use the 10 times method to determine the ventricular rate?

    How do you use the 1500 method to determine the atrial rate?
    How do you use the 1500 method to determine the ventricular rate?

    How do you use the sequence method to determine the atrial rate?
    How do you use the sequence method to determine the ventricular rate?

    If I were to count the number of P waves on a 6 second strip and multiply it by 10, what method of calculating atrial rate would I be using?

    ....and on and on....

    Start with a main over view and break it down into as many "bite-sized" nuggets of information as you can. Then take those bits of info and reword them so you have to answer the same question in a different manner.

    Yes its time consuming, but it almost guarantees that you will know the info inside and out!

    If you're an audio learner, record yourself talking through the flash cards.... read one side, pause for 15 seconds or so (so you can answer it), and then read the other side. Then listen while in the car, doing dishes, exercising, whatever.

    If you are a kinetic learner and have access to a lab or models or whatver for the subject you are learning... bring your list of bite sized info with you to the lab and put in some extra time manually working through each one (for the above example, I would try to get sample strips to practice each method with).

    If you are a group learner - find a group you can meet with to bounce ideas off of.


    Also, try picking up a NCLEX review book. I have found that while they dont always go into as much detail, the overall explanation can sometimes be easier to understand than what I am reading in my text books. So if I dont understand something out of one of my books, Ill grab an NCLEX review book for a condensed overview of the topic. Once I have a better understanding of the general principle, I find that learning the more detailed aspects is easier.

    Keep trying new study methods until you find what works for you!

    Good luck!
    Last edit by Mkakids on Jul 18 : Reason: spelling
  8. by   northmississippi
    google for some free flash cards on whatever topic your testing on that week. record your lectures and stare at the powerpoint as it plays when you study and dont move on until you really understand it. learn to abc/maslow and do the test taking tips from ati. sometimes they let students protest test questions and will drop some of them if enough people miss it. dont work more than two days a week. study daily, everything you need to know to pass the test is in your notes so learn them word for word.
  9. by   angeloublue22
    There is a great Youtube channel called simplenursing that completely saved me from failing. He explains concepts in a way to make you critically think and has easy ways to remember them.

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