1st Semester Nursing Student FAILED my first exam

  1. I am a 1st semester nursing student and got a 76% on my first exam and passing is 80%. I did everything they recommended to do, take workshops, use the on-line unit exam that are NCLEX style and I even did the ATI practice tests. Where did I go wrong? I feel like all the wind was knocked out of me. I WANT to be a GREAT nurse and nursing school is my life now. But now what?

    Disappointed Nursing Student
  2. Visit mcpvilchis profile page

    About mcpvilchis

    Joined: Sep '13; Posts: 3
    mom, wife and nursing student; from US


  3. by   Pink Magnolia
    Recall your study strategies for that test and try something different. Obviously, you put in the effort to do well, but I think trying another method that suits your learning personality will help!

    Resources (Some are more helpful than others):
    NurseReview.Org - Study Skills and Test Strategies for the New Nurs...
    [FONT=helvetica neue]sn.rutgers.edu/studentsonly/cas/STUDYTIPSSTYLES.pdf
    Nursing Student Study Tips - NurseZone
  4. by   SopranoKris
    You also need to remember that nursing school tests require you to synthesize information, rather than just answer knowledge-based questions. You have to think about what the question is asking and apply what you know to the available answers (if it's a multiple choice exam).

    I usually read the question and underline the key words. Then I think of the answer in my head before even reading the possible choices. As I read each one, I cross out the ones that don't apply, which usually narrows it down to 2 answers. Then I re-read the question again to make sure I'm addressing what is being asked. I find that doing this usually ensures that I'm understanding the question better than just read/answer. So far, this has worked well

    You should also consider scheduling a time to meet with your professor to review the exam with her and discuss some strategies that would help you on the next one. Don't get discouraged. Take this as an opportunity to do even better on the next one!

    Good luck
  5. by   aaakers27
    When I go into an exam I try reading the answers to a question first rather than the normal way of reading questions first. If you read a question first you'll have the answer in your mind before you even read the answers and then if you aren't able to find the answer you thought it would be you can get flustered. Reading answers first helps me rule out almost right away some that I know aren't correct.

    Good luck!!!
  6. by   ISeeYouNurse13
    A good portion of the class that started together and made it through to graduation I remember at least a few of them that steady failed or barely passed the majority of their tests...some people it just takes longer to get a hang of nursing exams. Continue to give it your best effort, focus on subjects you arent the easiest for you to grasp, fine tune your studies to how the nursing process applies to that specific disease (example what are assessments pertinent to a patient with COPD, you are a NURSE keep that in mind while studying while patho and all of that is important nurses have different role and focus than doctors), and also pay attention to specific instructors teaching styles and how they relay that to their test questions...You should eventually be able to get an idea of their individual testing styles.
  7. by   krisiepoo
    This happened to a good friend of mine. She BOMBED the first test, really badly. She did the test remediation and learned from how she answered the questions wrong on how to answer them correctly (does that make sense?).

    I think the first test was really hard because we had NO CLUE what to expect. I still get the jitters for the first test each semester because I don't know how the teachers are going to be writing the questions.

    So, my best advice is to remediate and learn how you answered the questions wrong.
  8. by   Horsebytes
    Go to your teacher and talk to her about it. Go over your test with her and talk to her about what you were thinking when you answered the way you did. She will help you figure it out. Your teachers are there to help you not to trick you. Go now while there is time, don't wait - there is time to get on the right track and no one else can help you better than the person who makes up the test!
    Best Wishes and keep us posted!

    ~What if you wake up tomorrow and all you have is what you thank God for today?
  9. by   ThePrincessBride
    Considering this was the first exam, don't freak out! You didn't know what to expect, but now you do!

    Also, an 80% seems to be a pretty high standard. At my program, you need a 73% to consider "passing." Don't feel bad!
  10. by   LoriRNCM
    Below 80 is failing at my school too. I have my second exam coming Tuesday and I don't feel very confident about it, although I got an A on the first one. Just being a nursing student is a learning process in itself!
  11. by   CT Pixie
    Below 80 was 'failing' for my class. The incoming nursing students need an 82!

    Don't fret the first test. nursing school exams are a whole other animal. They aren't like tests you've been taking since 1st grade.

    Many of my cohorts 'failed' the first test, some by not making the 80, others really failing with grades in the F territory. They went to the teacher, reviewed their test, figured out why they chose what they did and why the correct answer was the correct one. the next test, they all got above the passing grade and many with enough 'extra' over the passing mark so that their 'failed' test and the other test averaged out to at or above the passing grade.
  12. by   juniper583
    Critical thinking takes some practice. I would really pay attention to the rationales given in the practice questions if they are available. It can help you understand the "best answer" reasoning.