Jump to content

Failing first nursing class


I just got into my nursing program this semester, and im already on the verge of failing my first class.So far i haven't passed any exams, my grades were really low at 50,60,68. I dont understand because i put time into studying the material. I read the required chapter(every inch!), did alot of practice questions, use an additional study guide book, and even called of work a few times just to study. My results do not reflect the amount of work and effort i have been putting in.

Before the exams, i feel confident in myself because i put effort into understanding the material. After the exam, i think i did well and passed. However, when my exams scores come back, i not only did not pass, i fail horribly.I cant believe i got all those questions wrong sometimes, i always ask my professor to double check for any errors. My school policies wont let students see the exam after it has been taken. SO i dont know where i went wrong on these exams. I dont know why im failing or how to even prepared for my finals. Below are some of the strategies i used.

*2nd study guide along with textbook (with questions and rationales)

*reading out loud

*do alot of review questions (with rationales)

*read required chapters

i just want to know why i am failing because i have no clue.Is it me? what can i do to get better? because i have done everything i know.Do my study habits suck? or am i just not smart enough for this?

emmjayy, BSN, RN

Specializes in ICU, CCRN. Has 3 years experience.

Part of the reason you don't know why you're failing is because you aren't allowed to review your test results. I believe if you could look at those you would be able to determine if you have a test-taking problem or a knowledge deficit problem. So, the next-best indicator you can get is to examine how you're doing on the practice test questions you're taking. Are you getting most of them right? If so, think about your test and try to figure out what is different about those questions compared to the practice ones you're taking. If not, figure out why you're getting those questions wrong.

A big struggle I had early on in my first semester is that I was reading and studying too much and getting too bogged down in the details. I was trying to memorize trivia when I should have been looking at the big picture. It helped me to actually stop reading my textbooks word for word and to read my PowerPoint while I had the textbook in front of me and try to flesh out each slide using the book instead of just reading every word of the chapter.

I also recommend the ATI nursing review module study books. They're basically the Cliff Notes versions of the textbooks and are a lifesaver. I wish I hadn't spend $1200 on my textbooks this year and had instead just spent $50 to get all the ATI books.

Its true! the class books do have alot of "fluffs" in it. Thats why i use the study guide i talked about. It has everything in the textbook but it is straight to the point. It even has questions with rationels in every chapter. Im usually 3/5 with the practice questions, they are very helpful.However, i still dont know what to do. My professors keep urging us to read the text (which we all do and still fail) and yet we can barely get a 70. My friends that are passing are getting 76s- 80s (75 is passing over here).

I dont feel motivated to study anymore, it does nothing. There something else wrong here and im trying to figure it out. The only theory i have is not getting enough sleep before the exams.


Specializes in NICU. Has 6 years experience.

My school policies wont let students see the exam after it has been taken. SO i dont know where i went wrong on these exams.

While I understand not allowing students to have unsupervised access to review an exam, I disagree with not being allowed to review the test with the instructor in their office. Like a PP stated, is it an inability to understand what the question is asking or comprehension of the material? There is no way for you to know for sure unless you review the test. They are setting up their students for failure because they are not able to see what they are doing wrong and be able to correct it.

At first they did allow individual students to see their exam upon request. However, they soon realized that every student will ask to see their exams.That's why they stop takin individual

I have been requesting to see my grades ever since exam 1. I don't believe the score I get sometimes, I instantly think that there must be a mistake. Cause I know I put effort into studying.

I need a 90 on the finals next week to pass the course. And I have no idea what to do. Everything I have done so far has been futile.

Edited by Lannister123

Not doing a test review or letting the students see their exams in order to learn from their mistakes is an absolutely asinine policy.

I agree 100%. I wish i knew what i was doing wrong, plus the finals is cumulative. Im afraid to get the same type of questions wrong again.

The best resource to help you with your questions is your instructor or the retention coordinator (or course advisor). It is part of their job to analyze your learning problems and help you to achieve success.

I went to my professor first thing after i got back exam 1. I couldn't believe my grades and felt like i should of gotten a little higher. I asked to see my exam to see where things went wrong, and she refused because of school policy of not allowing students to see exam after they have taken it. All she did was show me my answer sheet and the questions that i got wrong. However, without the exam itself i cant see the questions and fully understand my mistakes. I even went to the chair above her(email) to request my exam, but i have not gotten any reply from here.

My friends are in a similar boat. Most of them score 4 -8 points above me but they still are struggling. Even the ones that aced the first exam need above 70 on the finals to pass.

The only reason im not going nuts is because there are people in this program who are doing better then me. The exams are passable( even though a majority fail). I just dont know what im doing wrong.Maybe nursing not for me.

When do you start studying for an exam? Although it would be hard to believe that you could do all that work the day before the exam, thats exactly what my sister does. She crams everything that shes supposed to do within 24 hours of the test, and then can't understand why she didnt pass.

I start 2 week in advance. The week of the exam I'm just brushing up on things. I don't cram, I know better. I know it sounds weird that I still fail. Trust me I'm just as confused. The only theory I have is I don't get enough sleep before the exams. But that's just a theory

When you said earlier that you're usually "3/5 with the practice questions", do you mean that you score 3/5? If so, that's 60%.

It's not really advice, but my hardest class so far was chemistry. I would study, think I knew what was up, then get a C on the exam. For me, I realized that when I took the exam I would rush though it. I always finished before anyone else in the class. I was finishing fast because I usually misread several questions, or would make an obvious mistake in a calculation(but didn't look back so I missed it). For my third exam and onward I waited until time ran out, rereading all of the questions.

Maybe you do something like this too?

Either way, it ridiculous that you can't review your exam afterwards. I'm sorry that you're going through this :(

Get the Kaplan book. It tells you how to answer questions. Like if the question is worded as so you are looking for an intervention answer versus additional symptoms. Also, there are always two completely wrong answers and two correct but one is the better choice. Go back to your ABC when answering questions. Reading the book is not necessarily going to help answer. Rising questions. I'll be rooting for you good luck.

1. Which of the following nursing measures is considered priority in preventing hypoxia?

  1. Ensure patent airway.
  2. Administer oxygen.
  3. Provide humidification.
  4. Monitor respiratory pattern.

I chose B and got this question wrong. This is basically my whole semester in one question. Ensuring Patent airway makes more senese than giving oxygen. If the airway is obstructed, administrating oxygen is useless. I realized that immediately after i got this question wrong.My finals is a week from today and im still falling for these tricks.It feels like i know the material but the questions are filled with trickery and deception. What do you guys think?

If i had got my exams back i would probably find alot of these "correct but not the most correct answer choices". I would be able to at least learn from them.

Edited by Lannister123

Please get the Kaplan book and read thoroughly!! It will help you understand why your answer is not the best.

I'm not in school yet, but aren't you suppose to always first think ABC? Airway, breathing, circulation. So following that A would be the best answer, no? Or am I wrong about the ABC thing?

I got my grades and I got a D. I failed the introduction class. I don't even know exactly what I did wrong because I couldn't see my exams. Some My friends passed but barely, they were a few points away from failure as well.

i have no idea what to do next. I have good grades in anatomy 1:A and all my psychology classes I got an A. Yet I stood no chance in nursing school. I hate how they give you 3 to 4 right answers and only one is the most right. That seriously annoys me. I don't want to throw my grades to the trash can but I don't see anything else to but abandon nursing altogether.