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Failed second semester by 1 point, any advice on study methods

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by bobbib20 bobbib20 (New Member) New Member

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Hello everyone,

Im sure this is probably a story everyone heard before and I'm really embarassed by myself. I am in the second semester of nursing school and got A's in my first semester, but in the second semester I failed Med Surg by a measly 1 point, so my instructor failed me for the course. It was only one point, but I understand they must cut off somewhere. Does anyone else have experience in failing a nursing semester? I cant progress to next semester if I don't take Med Surg again.

I am pretty devastated to say the least, but what I really want to know is how to adjust my study methods to change something and be able to do better next semester. Right now, my study methods are to read the book before lecture, print out the power points and take notes on them and in my notebook and then review those notes after lecture and before the exam. I purchased Saunders NCLEX review and do practice questions there, but it seems no matter how I did, I always just barely squeaked by on all my lecture exams, which is why I failed the class by just one point, if I had one more question right on the final, I would've passed.

Can anyone share their experiences in failing a semester? At this point, I feel like maybe I can't do this, I am absolutely down about my whole experience. I've done tremendously well in my clinical and everyone loved me there but it doesn't factor into the grade. Since others in my class are passing, obviously I'm doing something wrong with my study methods.

Thank you for reading and I hope somebody has any ideas that can help.

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WhaleTails has 1 years experience.

1,378 Visitors; 113 Posts

@bobbib20 Does your class do exam reviews after the test? In my program we aren't allowed to write anything down during the reviews, but take mental notes about what you struggled with.

 

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1,940 Visitors; 265 Posts

Look up some YouTube videos about a program called Anki.  A lot of med students use it.  I started using it third semester and retained way more than second semester, and had an easier time the entire semester. 

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WhaleTails has 1 years experience.

1,378 Visitors; 113 Posts

Also Picmonic!

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llg has 40 years experience as a PhD, RN and specializes in Nursing Professional Development.

5 Followers; 58,003 Visitors; 13,047 Posts

What type of questions do you get wrong on the tests?   How do you get them wrong?   What do you do that prevents you from getting them right?   Are you not remembering the factual material?   Are you "over-thinking" the questions or second-guessing yourself?   Do you become confused by 2 possible answers that are very similar and end up choosing the wrong one?   etc.

If you don't know the answers to the questions above, I recommend that you find the answers.   Sit down with the course instructor and review the questions you got wrong (after each test you do poorly on.)  Remember what you were thinking as you answered that question... how you came to choose the wrong answer.   Doing that often helps students find the flaw in their reasoning or weakness in their knowledge.   

Let that knowledge of how you got questions wrong guide your new study practices.   Don't just take random advice that may or may not address the particular problem you have.   For example, if your weakness is not in recalling the factual information ... then exercises that help you memorize facts will not help raise your test scores.   Identify your specific test-taking problem and then find a way to work on that specific skill.

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ThatChickOmi has 1 years experience.

1,758 Visitors; 167 Posts

I only failed one test in my entire program and that was exam 1 in my second semester. I promptly made an appointment to go over which questions I got wrong and to see if there was a pattern. I just really needed to revamp my studying, it's not a matter of memorizing and regurgitating information. Do TONS of practice questions, your text book probably has a bank somewhere, google practice questions, there are books on Amazon that are purely NCLEX style practice questions and rationales. Read your books, read your books, read your books, don't just rely on Powerpoints or whatever else. Watch videos online. There are tons out there. Join a study group. Hearing other students' take on things make a big difference. Make index cards with topics you are weak on. Use mnenomics to help. They don't really help me much honestly, but for you they might. Read questions SLOWLY and CAREFULLY, and read ALL THE OPTIONS. These questions are designed to trip you up. Don't rush.

Good luck.

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56 Visitors; 2 Posts

Thank you for the wonderful suggestions. I will try to buy NCLEX practice books and go through the material in the summer, I think my issue is not so much that I don't remember the facts, but that the questions always seem to trip me up. Unfortunately, my school doesn't let you review the exams. After the exam is finished, you get your score and thats it. I think because they reuse certain questions, they dont want them to end up going around. It is frustrating that we cant review them.

 

 

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WhaleTails has 1 years experience.

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On 5/25/2019 at 9:14 PM, bobbib20 said:

 Unfortunately, my school doesn't let you review the exams. After the exam is finished, you get your score and thats it.

 

That sucks. In my program we have an exam review but it's pretty strict -- backpacks to the front of the room, no writing utensils or paper, etc. We can't write anything down or take notes, it's all verbal.

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llg has 40 years experience as a PhD, RN and specializes in Nursing Professional Development.

5 Followers; 58,003 Visitors; 13,047 Posts

On 5/25/2019 at 9:14 PM, bobbib20 said:

Thank you for the wonderful suggestions. I will try to buy NCLEX practice books and go through the material in the summer, I think my issue is not so much that I don't remember the facts, but that the questions always seem to trip me up. Unfortunately, my school doesn't let you review the exams. After the exam is finished, you get your score and thats it. I think because they reuse certain questions, they dont want them to end up going around. It is frustrating that we cant review them.

 

 

Then I think doing practice questions and practice tests might be the best way for you to figure out what you are doing wrong so that you can work on that skill.

Good luck!

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