First Nursing Exam

  1. Hello, fellow student nurses. I experienced getting my results back from my first nursing exam today. I made a 74%. At the college where I attend you need a 75% to pass. There were only 29 people who passed the test out of a class of 80. I am so upset. I have been studying off and on the last week for this test. I felt like that I knew the material and could apply it. I guess I am not a critical thinker. I guess I will have to get used to this type of testing. I was wondering if anyone had some good pointers for me. I just hope I do better on the next one.
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    About blynn9173

    Joined: Feb '07; Posts: 316; Likes: 47
    Registered Nurse; from US


  3. by   onyx77
    Don't take it too hard. Just remember that the rest of your nursing school carrer will be critical thinking. None of us are good at in the beginging, or atleast most of us. Just remember that you always have to assess the situation first. Most questions will require you to pick the answer that is MOST correct. Always read your questions at least twice, and look for words such as BEST and NOT. That is my best advice. I hope it gets easier for you. Just remember... we were all in that boat in the begining.
  4. by   thekingandhislady
    i have to agree. critical thinking is a learned skill. as you get further into the program you will find that it has become second nature. my advice is to always ask the question "why??" why is it happening? what is it going to do? why why why. my mother told me when i was growing up "why, meant a spanking." lol now "why" means an a. study study, eat, study, study, nap, study, study, you get the point. it does get a little easier with respect to the fact that you will learn what your instructors are asking of you. definately look at your question, decide what the real question is, underline the real question and mark out the distractor's (the information that is there to throw you off). cover the answers up (if its multiple choice) and try to answer it yourself first. then look at the answers and if your answer is there, that's probably it. but before you jump the wagon, read them all and use the process of elimination to "trash" the other answers. make sure to underline key words in your question like the person before me said..words such as always, never, first priority, not, is, check all that apply (dont forget that many times, ppl miss that one part and dont choose more than one answer), and any other word that you think is a hint to the direction you are supposed to go. make sure you come to class confident. that is key for me. but most importantly pray before the test (if you are a praying person of course). my best calmer is "lord, give me complete understanding and supernatural recall." also, dont beat yourself up over not doing well. it will take energy from you that you need in order to apply yourself fully to your next subject. i can't say it gets easier but i can say you get used to it. good luck in your studies!
  5. by   MB37
    I'm taking an elective NCLEX strategies course this semester (1 credit, pass/fail). If your school offers one, consider taking it next semester. We use two strategy books, Kaplan and Saunders, and I much prefer the Kaplan so far. You're actually doing fine - learn a little more about critical thinking, and if you can improve by at least 2 percentage points, you are now passing the class (75 average).

    Thekingandhislady gave you the basics in a nutshell, except that what we have learned in strategies (even though I used it and did well all last semester) is that while you should cover up the answer choices and pare the question down to what it is really asking, you should NOT formulate an answer in your head. One I just got wrong on a practice test showed me why I shouldn't do that - it was about hyperparathyroidism, so I picked the answer choice about calcium instead of the right one about kidney function. You should methodically move through the answer choices, first eliminating anything obviously wrong, then throw out psychosocial needs if physical needs have not yet been met, then use the ABCs (airway, breathing, circulation) to pick the correct answer, as long as it makes sense with the situation in the question. Get a strategies book and a book of NCLEX questions, and get to practicing. As was said, critical thinking is a skill you can learn, it's not innate.
  6. by   JarOfPennies
    My best calmer is "Lord, give me complete understanding and supernatural recall."
    I'm going to remember that one!
  7. by   Daytonite
    i just looked at a very nice presentation yesterday on the internet on taking a nursing exam. it is a slide show presentation and here is a link to it:
    it gives advice on how to answer multiple choice questions on nursing exams andincludes about 12 sample questions that highlight key words in the main part of the question and the correct answer.

    you need to debrief. go over your exam, especially the questions that you missed to see where you made your errors. do this with one of the instructors in their office if you have to. try to figure out how your thinking went faulty and make a plan on how to correct your thinking so you don't make the same mistake on the next exam. i have other elements to consider when answerinig application questions, but since you are new to nursing school i don't know how in depth of an answer to give you. in general, you always want to ask and answer "why" you are doing something in these test questions. they all have a rationale or logic behind the correct answer.
  8. by   Davisk01
    I have never gotten an A on any test in my whole college career but I scored a 96% on my first exam. What I did was utilize the self tests that came with our textbook and several others online. I focused on the questions that I had a real problem with. Also for the first time ever I READ MY TEXTBOOK!!! The tests in this particular class come from a test bank that is provided by the publishers of our book. Do not anticipate that your prof won't ask you obscure questions (ours did). I read my chapters (all 6) about 3 times each. Study study study, and don't wait until the last minute. I hope my next exam goes as well, however I am not doing so good on the practice tests so I should get back to it. Good luck and read that textbook!