Can you answer these study questions?

Nursing Students General Students

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Hey boys and girls!

I'm still trucking along in school but I have come to realize my study habits don't seem to be cutting it for getting the grades that I want. Right now I don't think there seems to be any available resources at school specifically for study help. I have asked teachers, peers and looked online usually getting the same generic answers.

Some examples of generic advice are:

Reread what you have read,

Ask questions

Look up more questions or read extra questions in your text

Look up videos on the subject online

Define what kind of learner you are

Take plenty of notes

Look at your classmates notes

Record the lecture and listen to it again

Organize your subjects

Some helpful examples would be:

Examples of effective note taking

How should one be reading the material? ( Do I break it up into sections? Skim and then read?)

What are some effective types of questions to be asking?

If I were to record a lecture and have no problem understanding what the teacher is talking about, is there anything specific I should be listening for?

How to balance out your subjects?

How to organize your work?

If anyone is out there that is able to share some ideas (even if you can answer one or two of the helpful examples) that would be awesome.

For me, I follow the nursing process ADPIE, which is assessment, diagnosis, planning, implementation, and evaluation. So for each disease or disorder, I break it down into steps.

Take Parkinson's disease for example. The first thing I would study would be the etiology and clinical manifestations of Parkinson's- tremor, rigidity, stooped posture, shuffling gait, etc. Those would be the things that you would be assessing in your patient. I would then ask myself based on what I know about Parkinson's, what are some of the needs this patient would have. They may have problems with dysphagia, so nutrition could be something that you would focus on. You can come up with some nursing diagnoses that would be relevant.

Then you would develop and implement your plan of care- OT, adaptive devices, patient teaching. Also think about the meds you patient would be prescribed and why. What are the moa for the drugs, side effects, contraindications. After all of that, you evaluate the effectiveness of the plan of care. Are they getting enough fiber, is their diet balanced, how are they responding to the medications?

So if you can teach it to someone else, usually you know the subject very well. This is where the higher level critical thinking starts to kick in and it is hard to develop. I hoped that gave you a general idea of how you can structure your studying. You can also look into concept maps. It really helps you learn how to put everything together.

Form a study group and buy a good NCLEX review book. Study groups are really helpful because you may be understanding something wrong and talking it out really helps. NCLEX review books are great for study groups because when you read a question and have different answers, you can defend your answer. You may realize that what they are saying makes more sense and that they have the correct answer.

Also, teach the info to someone. Find a friend, a coworker, or a family member. If you can teach it, you probably have a good understanding of the subject.

Specializes in Hospice, Palliative Care.

Excellent foundation...

I try to break my reading into the following blocks:

Reading 25 minutes or less

Review the material I've read: 5 minutes

Break -- do something physical: 5 minutes

Then rinse and repeat

As I'm reading or re-reading, I try to ask myself "why" and try to connect various dots learned to date. I try to contrast, compare, etc. whenever I can do so. What is the big picture? What parts connect to what other parts? If the book, or web site related to the book, has self review quizzes, exams, etc. I try to take them after each chapter

I tape record every lecture; and I re-listen to lectures as often as I can... while rewriting notes, while re-reading, and even in the background when reading new material, on the way to school, on the way to shopping, church, etc.

For note taking, I find each class different in terms of what's needed; when in doubt, use the Cornell note taking system. I do use various colored inks to make sure certain parts of notes stand out especially if there are any clues that given material will be on a test. I re-type notes and take either scans of images from the book or use google images to copy pictures into the computer-based rewritten notes. Below is an example of re-written notes plus pictures for A & P 1 (currently in progress).


When I study, I use a combination of just the notebook or the notebook plus the book plus any study guide and flash cards. I use to create flash cards. Generally, I create one overall set (which might have several hundred terms), and then smaller sets to cover any process or process-like areas. I upgraded to the pro version so I could upload my own images; which I found helpful. BIO121 White Blood Cell Anatomy flashcards | Quizlet is an example with custom images.

If a professor gives out a study guide, I treat the study guide as homework where I will answer every question or point on the study guide, creating charts, tables and what not to help me understand the material better. Below is a screen shot of an example study guide I created for a basic microbiology exam (the professor gave a two page outline with 56 statements / questions that I expanded to 28 pages based on answering the statements / questions).


For time management, I use Google calendar. In terms of breaking down the time, I've learned the following:

1. Treat 4 credit science courses like A & P, Microbiology, etc. as if they are 6 to 8 credits.

2. Try to set aside a minimum of 2 hours per every credit per week as study time.

3. Be as fluid as possible. Some weeks will require more time for a given subject, some weeks less time.

Then as part of "know that self" block off the high priority study times when you are most awake.

If it matters, I just turned 50 this past May; and, I've not been in school since 1984. I started working on my prerequisites for an RN program this past June. I find that each class requires fine tuning as to what works for studying. Even then, be prepared to adjust. I.e. in A & P 1, I used one method to learn the skeletal system, but had to switch it up and make changes to learn the muscular system.

Lastly, if your school offers any type of learning help, take advantage of it. I've been to our tutoring / learning center area numerous times for help.

Thank you.

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