How Do You Study?!?!?! - page 2
I just finished the first semester of four :monkeydance:. I ended up with a 83=C :icon_frown: ; that kind of bombed me out. I'm usually an A-B student. I was just wondering what are some of you guys... Read More
Dec 19, '06Joined: Nov '05; Posts: 1,883; Likes: 95Melissa, I am using similar style as you. The only difference, I do not have a good study group, so next semester, I will be looking for two great students. I also do target studying, paying attention in class to see what areas that are most likely to be on the exam. When I read the book, I would focus more. I know some students do not like to read the book, but that is not an option for me. The book and I are best friends. I have Saunders, Kaplan and Nclex 3500 to practice each area that I completed in class. Most of the times, the questions on the exams, would be very similar.
Dec 19, '06Occupation: home health Specialty: med/surg, geri, ortho, telemetry, psych ; Joined: Oct '06; Posts: 693; Likes: 30Of all the posts, I can't even believe no one else studies the way I do. I'm an LPN with eleven years experience in med/surg and geriatrics. I'm back in school for my RN and BSN. I'm an A student and currently on the National Deans List. I have taught my kids to study the same way I do and they are A students also. I take notes during lecture. Then I read the book and take notes. Then I take my notes and turn every single statemen into a question. I put the question on one line, and the answer on the line directly beneath it. That way you can take a piece of paper, cover up the answer, and ask yourself the question, working your way down the list through all of the questions. I found this is the best way to study alone, which is why I taught it to my children, so they don't have to rely on anyone else being home to help them study. I usually type the questions out on the computer and print them because the repetition of it helps me to remember it. I know this sounds like alot of trouble, but it has always worked for me. Good luck.
Dec 19, '06Occupation: CRRN, now a case management RN Specialty: Case mgmt., rehab, (CRRN), LTC & psych ; From: US ; Joined: Feb '05; Posts: 38,032; Likes: 69,290I study the tried-and-true way: 'drill and kill'.
I read the chapters thoroughly, utilize flash cards on subjects that require a lot of memorization, take notes, and emphasize the areas that trouble me. If the instructor provides study guides, I will painstakingly answer each and every question on it. If the instructor informs us ahead of time that the final exam will be comprehensive, I type my notes in my laptop computer and review them extensively a few days before the big test.
Dec 19, '06Occupation: Clinical Nurse Specialty: Neuro ; Joined: Mar '04; Posts: 814; Likes: 127I agree completely with rewriting class notes, even if they're powerpoints. This allows me to use the outline my prof provided, and fill in the details they mentioned in class or that I gleaned from the book. Last quarter I rewrote all my notes for a term starting the week before a test (but sometimes this didn't leave me enough time to actually read over them, so this quarter I plan to rewrite the same day as class).
Then after I rewrite my notes, the days before the test I read over them, out loud. I look at the heading and say "Okay, what do I know about COPD" and name, out loud, everything I know about COPD that I learned. Then I look at what my notes say. If I missed something, I highlight it so I can review it again.
Sometimes I do study groups, sometimes not. I tend to end up teaching everybody else, so it kind of benefits me (they say you don't really know something until you can teach it to someone else) but mostly benefits everybody else. Usually I just go if I've already done all my studying myself and don't mind if nothing gets accomplished since they usually turn into gab sessions. That way I can enjoy the social aspect if I want to, and I'm not freaking out that I still have so much to learn.
I always start out reading everything in the book but usually burn out after a few weeks. Now I skim the assigned pages after class and look at pictures, diagrams and charts, mostly. If there's something not covered in my notes, I jot it down in my notes. And of course if I need something clarified, I look it up in the book.
The morning of a test I get to campus at least an hour early and if the classroom is empty (which usually they are) I study IN the room. I have heard that you do best on tests if you study in the same type of environment you test in. Plus it's quiet, there are no distractions. A few of my friends also get there early so we can ask each other questions or quiz each other while we're in there. And I can always get my favorite seat.
That's what I did this last quarter, and I got straight A's.
Dec 26, '06Occupation: RN Specialty: 9 year(s) of experience in CWOCN ; From: US ; Joined: Apr '06; Posts: 91It has been my experience that I have no alternative but to put in the time for reading and practice. I read and do whatever the instructors tell me.
* I just finished my first semester of nursing school (three courses and I got three A's).
* I get to school early and sit in the front row. I ask questions.
* I use a digital recorder and record every lecture. I start listening to the recordings three days before the exams (usually while washing dishes or cleaning).
* I type the lecture material I can't remember on index cards and print them on the printer. Once I remember the material, I fling the card into a pile. Once the exam is over, I throw the cards in a drawer and take them out again for the final. It's much faster to type the index cards than to write them out. Our finals are cumulative.
* I type the directions for the clinical skills and print them on large index cards. God bless the printer. Each skill gets its own card.
* For the Mathematical Dosing class, I did every practice problem in the textbook. This saved me because a year ago I was mathematically challenged. It's time consuming, but it made all the difference on tests and helped me become more confident. I can tell you students were dropped from my program because they couldn't pass the math dosing.
* I stay current with the readings and assignments. It's very easy to get behind so I plan my week to spread out the readings, etc.
* I pray before every test. I don't eat sugar 24 hours before testing. And as much as I love coffee, I found I do better if I don't have any right before a test.
* I tried a study group, but I found the hysteria and high anxiety of the other group members drained me. I study by myself for lectures and practice the clinical skills with other classmates.
This semester was unbelievably challenging and exhausting at times. My plan for next semester is to spend more time practicing the clinical skills.
In between all the school work, I had to manage my life and work. I felt so much relief when the semester ended and I got my grades. There were students who were crying the last day of the semester because they were told they aren't moving forward.
It is hard work, but I have come to accept that this is what I need to do to keep up. I'm over 40 and I have to get this right the first time. It's a privilege to be in a nursing program and I know the instructors can only do so much for me, the rest I have to do myself.
Good luck to you.
Dec 26, '06Joined: Nov '06; Posts: 18; Likes: 2One of the things I did was to tape everything on cassette and then take them with me wherever I went, playing them in the car, the house, whatever. It got so that, even if I stumbled over a word, I'd remember the stumble. The recordings I made were of the flash cards I made out of index cards. I had them for everything. I also rewrote my notes every night, as much as I could. And I read them out loud as I did so...you learn by seeing, writing and hearing. And one little trick...I don't know if anyone else does this, and I can't believe I'm admitting it publicly...if something was a bit difficult and I needed some extra study...I put it on a card and taped it to the wall...in front of the toilet. It gets you a few extra minutes a day of concentrated study...helped me with the B vitamins and cranial nerves. Just a thought.
Dec 26, '06Occupation: Student/mother/wife! Joined: Jul '04; Posts: 816; Likes: 67Quote from SOON_2_BE_RNI was on here earlier asking this same question. I feel like I just can't find a great way to study and I'm going into 3rd semester). I've gotten B's in both 1st and second semester but have worked really hard to get them. Sigh! I do know one thing for sure...I never use a study group. I found most people wanted to talk and I just wanted to study and that was a bad combo because I left feeling I wasted time when I could have studied on my own. BUT the advantage is (when ppl actually do some studying) is that they may know something you don't. Find the best way that suits you.I just finished the first semester of four . I ended up with a 83=C :icon_frown: ; that kind of bombed me out. I'm usually an A-B student. I was just wondering what are some of you guys study habits or how did you study. I didn't use flash cards I just read the chapter a couple of times, and took a few notes.
I think I will change my routine up for this coming up semester, since it will be Med-Surg .
OH..I also wanted to mention something silly that I can do before a test (usually while I'm sitting in my car and hour or 2 before the exam) that helps. I recite my notes and say them aloud as if I'm instructing a pt about their "problem". Ex: "make sure you take this medicine at the same time everyday so it will be most effective". Giving your words feeling helps you to remember the things your read better...I think so anyway.Last edit by SoulShine75 on Dec 26, '06
Dec 27, '06Joined: Dec '04; Posts: 1,144; Likes: 137Here is how I study.
All of my classes have been taught using Powerpoints. During lecture I jot down any and all additional notes in conjunction with the powerpoints.
Once I get home I re-write out all the powerpoints and notes that go with them in my own outline form and in my own words. I highlight the stuff I know is very, very important.
A few days before an exam I make up note cards. I do them in Q+A form. Question on front...answer on back. I make some easy, some moderately difficult, and some plain hard. I pratice these every day leading up to the exam.
The day or 2 before the exam I do whatever chapters we were learning about in my Saunders NCLEX book and CD. I also answer any questions the book may have on CD or online ( class textbook).
Few other thoughts
Only in Psych were we told to NEVER, EVER read our textbooks. Don't get me started on why we had to purchase them (grrr) but I did read it for test one and guess what...it messed me up on at least 3 questions. After that I never touched it. Got A's.
For all other courses I start off every semester doing ALL the required reading. Then I see how test 1 goes. If test 1 shows me that I definately NEEDED to do all that reading then I stick with it ( this has happened once). Otherwise I streamline my studying to match what I have to do in order to get good grades. In Fundamentals they had us reading like 23746238 chapters in about as many books. Didn't help any...as most of the books tended to repeat one another AND it was clogging my head with info that was never tested on. I stopped. I went back later to read it on my own free time but I never clogged up the 'ol noggin with it before a test ever again!
I can't do study groups. They drive me bonkers. I can do 1:1 with another person but that's pretty much the max for me.
Dec 27, '06Occupation: RN Joined: Nov '03; Posts: 4,389; Likes: 153I transcribed the lectures, verbatum ... because it was too easy to miss key details by taking hand written notes. I just can't write that fast.
I composed my own reader's digest of the reading ... getting reading notes down to a manageable size for review before the test.
And I did anywhere from 200-400 NCLEX questions for each exam topic ... so I'd hopefully get material that wasn't covered either in lecture or in the reading (since the teachers loved to test us on stuff that was never covered).
It also helped me learn how to read the question carefully and figure out critical thinking questions.
:typingLast edit by Sheri257 on Dec 27, '06
Dec 30, '06Occupation: RN Specialty: Med-Surg/Oncology/Telemetry/ICU ; Joined: Dec '06; Posts: 195; Likes: 20This may sound strange, but DON'T TAKE TOO MANY NOTES!! What I mean is, don't take so many notes that you can't keep organized and find what you want to study during your study time. I had a friend who would take soooooooo many notes and then when the time came to study, she'd spend half her time LOOKING for what she actually needed to study. BIG waste of time.
Also, communicating with the teacher helps a lot. If he/she feels like you're actually trying they're way more likely to help and direct your study.
Jan 1, '07Joined: Jan '07; Posts: 8I've found that listening to the lectures again help. I get the audio for one of my classes online and I listened to them all and wrote down word for word of what was said and then consense them later. It really made a difference because it helps me to understand, especially when the profs talk so fast in class. I really need to start going over the days notes after so that I don't just see it again when it comes to the exam. I think that was one of my downfalls.
Jan 2, '07Joined: Dec '06; Posts: 4Thnakto all of you who have helped answer this question on studying because I worked 76 hours a week in the last year and was an A & high B student but nursing school seems to require more time and how to study seems to be the kewy, I am cuttign down my hours this year since it is my last year & struggled the last semester. Thanks to you all
Jan 2, '07Occupation: Patient Care Associate Specialty: Telemetry ; Joined: Nov '06; Posts: 82; Likes: 18I haven't been accepted into a nursing program yet, but here is something I have found helpful regarding Power Points. I had the same teacher for A & P I & II, and she would go over the presentation in class then put it on our website when we completed the topic. I print out two copies in the 6-to-a-page handout style. When I am confident that I have learned everything in the box (a box constitutes 1 of the 6 slides per page), I mark it out so I know that I don't need to keep going over it. I continue studying & marking out boxes until there are none. Then, I pull out my clean copy to review the night before/day of the test.
Oh, and I'm a BIG fan of homemade flashcards. Also, check out Flashcards: The world's largest library of printable flash cards for a comprehensive list of college-level banks that others have completed for you. I just discovered this on winter break, so I missed it for A & P II but plan on making good use of it in micro this spring. I believe you have to pay to simply print them out already formatted, but they also have a function where, if you are willing to fight the formatting in Microsoft Word, etc yourself, they don't charge you. I haven't figured this part out, but if you need help, PM me & I'll be glad to tell you step by step what I'm doing.
Thanks & good luck to all of you!