Just took PSB for UPMC Mercy, ask away!

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    Hello all,
    After studying for 6 weeks, I finally took the PSB entrance exam today. Here's what I can tell you.

    It's not as hard as I thought it was going to be...BUT, I would have completely failed it had I not studied. I went WAY overboard on the studying (5 study books). It's hard to say which book was the best one as they have all melded together at this point, but I can say that the Petersen "Master the Nursing School Entrance Exam" was overkill. I liked the Baron's Nursing School Entrance Exam book and the McGraw Hill book. I also bought the MoMetrix's PSB secrets and I liked that because it focused only on the PSB.

    I overkilled the math preparation. It's all pretty basic math. The verbal part was 4 words mean the same thing, pick the one that doesn't. Also, easy. The spelling...Ugh...the Spelling. It was overwhelming. But I used a piece of paper to hide each line so that I only focused on one line at a time. The problem with spelling is even if you think you know it, one of the other choices also kind of "looks right". So sometimes I was completely guessing, especially because there were words I'd never heard of. Our proctor did tell us that we were not expected to finish each section and that it wouldn't hurt us to not finish. So, I skipped around the spelling going for words that I was 99% sure of. Then I went back to try to figure out the words I didn't know. I actually used that method for the whole test. Skip if I didn't know, and go back if I could. I figured it was best to answer 2 or 3 questions that I KNEW in the same amount of time it would take me to ponder the question i was unsure of.

    One thing that surprised me was that the math and verbal and spatial were all mixed together. There were not 30 math, then 30 verbal, 30 spacial. There were 90 questions, mixed with all 3. So when I was running out of time, I just went to the easiest problems (the verbal) and got those right. Skipped the last 10 math questions and did the spacials I knew. That way, my overall correct would be higher than if I went in linear order. Just something to consider.

    The reading comprehension was a joke. 15 minutes was all we were given. I answered only 20 questions in 15 mintues. That was the most stressful part I think. I read the first passage which was pretty easy read, and got those questions fast. The next passage was completely scientific and I got hung up on some of it. So halfway through answering those questions, I gave up and went to the next passsage which was an easier read. Again - all that matters is the number of correct questions answered...so go to the easiest ones if you can!

    The science I would have failed had I not studied, but since I did, I was able to answer 87 out of the 90 questions. The last 3 I had no idea on so I left them blank. Not sure if that was the right thing to do or not. Out of the 87 questions, I maybe guessed on 5. There were anatomy, chemistry (fairly basic), and physics questions. A few electrical questions. The study books really do prepare you pretty well, I think. But I DEFINITELY over studied chemistry and math. It didn't hurt me, but had me way more stressed leading up to the test!

    I won't get my scores back for 2-3 weeks!! So it remains to be seen how I did. I have to score at least in the 65th percentile in order to even be allowed to apply. I think I did ok enough to get to that....we will see.

    If you have any specific questions...ask away! :-)
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  3. 12 Comments so far...

  4. 0
    How exactly did you study for the science portion? That is the part that has me stressed the most
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    That part had me the most stressed as well...but I got a 91 in the science...96 in Math, 98 in verbal....pretty good...except that I only got a 55 in reading comprehension! Like I said above, I got hung up on a section and didn't get many questions answered....so prepare for the science, but be aware of the reading comp....it completely messed up my scores and I can't apply where I was going to apply now...
    Anyway, to answer your question though, I studied the science in 5, yes...5, nursing school entrance exam books. You need to know the basics in chem, physics, biology, etc...basically, what you would know (and remember!) graduating high school. But I hadn't remembered any of it! So I studied the science and math sections pretty hard, and my scores reflected that. I didn't study the reading comp AT ALL because I felt like I would have no trouble with that since I am a voracious reader. I did score a 98 in verbal which reflects that - but my reading comp score reflects the fact that I did not know how to take that part of the exam. I would do it differently if I could do it again. I would skip the passages that are full of weird science information (my passage that I got hung up on was about electrical engineering) and focus on easier to read passages...all that matters is the number correct, regardless of the passages you read....

    Good luck....I liked the Baron's Guide to nursing school entrance exams the best, by the way....
    shadet541 likes this.
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    were u able to use a calculator?
  7. 0
    Yes...we were able to use a calculator
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    Quote from jlpsu
    That part had me the most stressed as well...but I got a 91 in the science...96 in Math, 98 in verbal....pretty good...except that I only got a 55 in reading comprehension! Like I said above, I got hung up on a section and didn't get many questions answered....so prepare for the science, but be aware of the reading comp....it completely messed up my scores and I can't apply where I was going to apply now...
    Anyway, to answer your question though, I studied the science in 5, yes...5, nursing school entrance exam books. You need to know the basics in chem, physics, biology, etc...basically, what you would know (and remember!) graduating high school. But I hadn't remembered any of it! So I studied the science and math sections pretty hard, and my scores reflected that. I didn't study the reading comp AT ALL because I felt like I would have no trouble with that since I am a voracious reader. I did score a 98 in verbal which reflects that - but my reading comp score reflects the fact that I did not know how to take that part of the exam. I would do it differently if I could do it again. I would skip the passages that are full of weird science information (my passage that I got hung up on was about electrical engineering) and focus on easier to read passages...all that matters is the number correct, regardless of the passages you read....

    Good luck....I liked the Baron's Guide to nursing school entrance exams the best, by the way....
    thanks!!
  9. 1
    Hello! I've been searching and searching for answers to the math and science portion of the PSB. Do you remember exactly what kind of questions were on each...maybe an example. I've made A's in all my pre-reqs but I have always struggle with math and i'm scared to even attempt this test. Anything you could help me with would be deeply appreciated!
    Pixie_87 likes this.
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    Have you tried any of the practice books? I know a lot of people like the Barron's nursing school entrance exams book.
  11. 0
    thank you that was helpful
  12. 0
    I'm taking the PSB at St Margaret son in McKeesport December 6. study study study! Can't wait.


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