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Cant retain informatin

mmcgahen mmcgahen (New) New

Im a new nursing student. I just started 3 weeks ago and Im having such a hard time. A&P lab is greatbut the A&P lecture I just cant retain the information. I dont understand it. I took my first exam and got a 64%. I study, I make flash cards. I dont know what else to do Ive worked so hard to get into this program to fail out. Any Ideas???

I think your first step should be to schedule an appointment with your professor. I promise you, students come to them with these questions all the time. They will be able to look at how you are studying and give you some feedback. They may also be able to recommend various study methods that other students have used and been successful.

Flash cards helped me tremendously, but the way you put the information on them can make all of the difference in the world. I always made each statement into a reversible Jeopardy-type question, with 1 statement on each side of the 3 x 5 notecard. EXAMPLE: This protein found in blood specifically contributes to the blood's osmolarity. What is albumin? OR This leukocyte is the most abundant but found in few tissues excepts during inflammation. It phagocytizes and digests materials. What is a neutrophil?

A&P 1 is a TOUGH class to take. It will take a few weeks for you to get into the groove of studying and figure exactly HOW you are supposed to study. Hang in there, though, it DOES get better! Good luck! :)

What helped me the most was reading and rewriting the notes or the main parts of the notes everyday....I remember once I read the same notes 3 days in a row and on the third day, the light bulb went off and it all made sense!

A+P is tough if you try to cram or even study a day or two before the exam, it's hard to retain all that info....study it little by little.

Good Luck!

ghillbert, MSN, NP

Specializes in CTICU. Has 20 years experience.

I retain info by rewriting the notes in an exercise book, and highlighting what was said to be important. I just recently started using flashcards (and I'm in graduate school) and found both the writing of them and then looking at them frequently really made the stuff sink in. A&P is a lot of memorization, but make sure you understand what you're studying too - if you don't, all the memorization in the world won't help you in an exam situation.

Can you try a study group with some other students who did well?

Definitely go talk to the instructor now - they want to help but there's nothing more frustrating than students who come to them at the end of the semester and want help when it's too late.

How did you get into nursing school without A&P? I thought it was a pre-requisite FOR nursing school.

Anyway, I have the same problem retaining info, actually mine is more of a concentration issue. I was diagnosed with ADD, and now take Adderall to help. I also make flash cards, and skim over the chapters each day. I agree that a study group might help, and talk to the professor!!!


Has 4 years experience.

Have you tried recording the lectures. A &P is a tough class. Try to be confident and tell yourself that you can do it....Good look..


Specializes in Medical Surgical/Addiction/Mental Health.

Here is what I do. I am not saying it will work for everyone, but it saves me time and energy in studying. You have already taken your first test. Go back to your lecture notes and see how many questions came directly from lecture. If most of your questions came from lecture, then studying your lecture notes will prove to be more beneficial. You can then read up on material that you don’t understand in your notes. If you noticed most of your questions did not come from you lecture notes, then reading the chapter and making your own notes is the way to go. After making those notes, focus solely on those. I generally have to take the first test to “feel” out the professor. After the first test, I normally know how to study for the course. Regardless, you should always do the questions at the end of the chapters AND use your textbook website for additional resources. Most professors take questions from a test bank provided by the author of the textbook.

The other thing is does your professor have exams that are memory recall or application? I know many people say that A&P is strictly memorization, but that is dependent upon how the exams are written. In my A&P course, our questions were application. Very rarely did we get diagrams to label. I would have much rather had it that way. The same is true with nursing questions. Simply memorizing information in your nursing textbook will not prepare you to pass the exams. You have to be able to apply the information.

Don’t give up. This was your first exam. Just learn from the exam and make necessary adjustments for the next test and know them dead!

I feel your pain!

A&P was my toughest course (seconded only by pharmacology). What helped me, especially when memorizing pathways, kidney function, heart pumping action, etc., was to make diagrams.

I used colors, I wrote on them, I made notes in the margins, I drew arrows, etc.

There are also videos online, many provided by textbook publisherss. I'm a visual learner and I need to see it - to learn it.

Flashcards helped me with vocabulary. I made them in much the same way as coffeemate suggested. And life ghilbert said, it really is necessary to understand what it is you're trying to learn. A good example is the R-A-A system. Once I "got" what it was about, it was much easier to remember.

When reading the chapters, I outline as I read. Just straight reading didn't do it for me. But reading, writing, drawing and having the notes to refer back to helps to inculcate the mounds of minutia detail into my brain. This tip I got from the A&P prof who was having a non-private conversation with a fellow student. I overheard it and thought I'd give it a go.

I hope you figure out a method. Good luck!

Thank you everyone for you help! jillebean a&p was not a pre requisite required to get in to nursing school. Its getting a little easier for me. i just have to work extra hard at this! :)

Bless you!! I had all of that out of the way before I started, and nursing school is still tough!!

Let us know what works for you...and best of luck!! :nurse:


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