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!