How Do You Study?!?!?!

  1. 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 .
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    About TruDivaRN

    Joined: Jul '06; Posts: 118; Likes: 17
    ED staff nurse
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  3. by   WDWpixieRN
    Yeah....I'm usually a high "B" or an "A" student, so this was a bit different...I passed with a low "B" but I was grateful....

    I tried to pay close attention in class and then found I HAD to read the text as a lot of info was in it that wasn't covered in class....I have read about the flashcards in other posts and may try that next semester...I would also like to stay on top of my studying....I had read on this site, and an instructor also recommended to us to review each day's notes on the day of the lecture....then the next day review that day's notes plus the notes from the day before....then the next day do the same, which means you're reviewing notes multiple times, reinforcing the information....that combined with flash cards if applicable, would probably help me a great it's just a matter of buckling down to this new "system" for 2nd semester!!

  4. by   nicumom
    I will be finishing ADN program on Wednesday (thank god) and am lucky enough to have gotten A's throughout the program. Here is what I do:

    1. Find a good group. I study with one to two people. We make sure that each person has read over their notes (we get powerpoints) and then go over the stuff together. You'll be suprised at what your peers can teach you, or just hints to rememebr things (ex We memorized the electrolyte values highest to lowest Some Can Play Monopoly...Na, Ca, K, Mg)

    2. I have a digital tape recorder for each lecture. If there is something in my notes I dont understand I listen to the lecture. It was like $30 at walmart and I have used it for 4 semesters. Some people use an Ipod to record and burn it to a cd and listen in the car. After the test I erase all of the lectures and seminars

    3. Practice your math. Especially in the beginning do 5 or so problems everynight. The math only gets more complicated

    4. Use NCLEX books. I love Saunders and Lippincott. Saunders offers chapter reviews (bullet points) and Lippincott is broken down by disease so it is easy to find what you are studying. The more you get in the habit of answering these type of questions the better you are. I also have the Illustrated guide for the NCLEX-Rn (I like that ) Mosby and kaplan (wouldnt waste my time) and Davis (ok)

    5. I dont use index cards. Maybe it is my program but questions are never definition based, rather assessment and intervention....I have tried them but they dont seem useful to me.

    6. Take time for yourself!!! I usually read over the notes at night...but I still watch TV , hang out with the hubby and two kids. That I think is most important. The further you get the harder it gets and you need to keep from burning out. I also delegate one "chunk" of time on the weekend just for school work

    7. Find a quiet place and READ THE BOOK. I have many people in the program that say "I never read" and yes without reading you can pass...however I think it is worth reading becasue you are dealing with peoples lives. You need to know this stuff!! It will come back semester after semester (diabetes, respiratory, heart, etc)

    Good luck and if you need anything please pm me

  5. by   cardiacRN2006
    I made straight A's in NS and the ONLY way I studied was through flash cards! I never got together in a study group because most other people weren't prepared, and you end us wasting your precious studying time.

    I didn't use flashcards with simple definitions. Instead, I read over my PP notes, and tried to picture what question a teacher could form with this info. Then I put the question on the card with the answer on the back. Piece of cake!

    Good Luck!
  6. by   Clarise
    I go to every class and bring my laptop. I take notes during the entire class, basically typing everything they say. Next, I bought all the reviews & rational series of books by Hogan. Great study guides and good NCLEX-type questions. Then I review the class notes and read the text on any topic that I require clarification on.
  7. by   Bonny619
    Melissa, great advice!
  8. by   Scrubz
    The best way to study is to study right after your class ends. The sooner you study the material the better you'll retain it. This isn't always feasible though, and often I just waited a few hours before studying. I'd say to do really good you should study at least an hour or two everday. Some people can't do this because they simply don't have the time, having to have a full-time job or having to attend to a family, but if you aren't weighed down with responsabilities like that then you really have no excuse. When you're in school studying comes before socializing, although I'm a strong advocate of the "all work no play makes Jack a dull boy" saying, because it's true, but "all play no studying makes Jack wish he had studied."

    Here are a few tips I use and they work pretty well:
    1.) The sooner you study after a class the easier it will be to retain the information.
    2.) For every hour you spend in class you should study 2 hours (or more) out of class. And if you're not good at studying then you should spend more time getting good at it.
    3.) Organize your study time. Don't just sit down looking at all of your papers wondering what to look at first. Know what you need to study and study that first. Prioritize your time to make it more efficient.
    4.) Review what you study. If you have review questions, use them, or if you have any other review aid, use it. Review, review, review.
    5.) Re-read everything again and you'll find it comes easier than it did before. The more you look at something the easier it is to remember it. I know it's tough when it takes a long time, but it's worth it.

    I know that I'm going to work my butt off next semester. This last semester I studied hardcore at the beginning but eventually started slacking off realiazing that I could study the bare minimum and get by with easy B's. Next semester I'm hitting the books hard! From here on out it's A's or bust!!
  9. by   SarasotaRN2b
    Great tips! Thanks everyone!
  10. by   nurseangel47
    A recent posting from an "A" nursing student stated that she would make voricious notes from lectures and study those the night before a test, going to be extra early to be rested, get up extra early in the wee hours of the morning of the test, study the lecture notes again, and always made great grades on every test.
    Might not work for everyone. My mind doesn't get it that fast. But looking back, I read too much in the nursing material, anyway. Felt like I had to read each and every page of the textbook of the assigned reading material.
    Bad idea, it seems.
    I found that repetitive writing and rewriting of some things such as lab values, terminology, definitions, etc. that had to just be memorized, before pathophysiology was then learned as theory and later applied, worked best for me.
    Also, there are courses designed to help you learn to make the most of your time, I participated in such a course and it helped to designate important blocks of time for homework, courses, down time to study and get the most of it, etc.
    Making audiocassettes of lectures to listen to while driving, cleaning house, etc. could be helpful, too.
    Those flash cards are a great way to imprint it and are easy to use while studying alone.
    Group study or study buddies are fun, too, and can help you get a fresh idea or two when you're not as objective as possible studying alone.
    Good luck to you !!! umpiron:
  11. by   Jules A
    I thought I already posted this but its lost, lol. I do index cards and if the exams come from a test bank I take notes in class but almost never look at them again since all the questions come right from the text book. I make my note cards while I'm reading the chapter to save time of reading something I don't remember and then having to go back and make my note cards anyway. Good luck.

    P.S. I hate study groups because I think they are very distracting but some of my friends swear by them so you might try it if you haven't yet.
  12. by   CityKat
    I make A's and I go by notes the instructor passes out and her critical thinking exercises and use the book as a reference. I try not to cram and I go to sleep around 10pm the night before the exam
  13. by   shoegirl28
    I consider myself to be a pretty good student in terms of grades and study habits. Here is what I usually do:

    I always rewrite my class notes. Usually the next day, and if that is not possible then as soon as I have the time.
    Always do the reading prior to class, it makes a huge difference.
    The test materal is usually based on what is talked about or gone over in class. Focusing on that material instead of the text book seems to work best for me.
    Always keep your ears open in class. 99% of teachers give away little hints about what is on their tests. Develop a system for recording these hints (I usually put a star in my notes where there is a hint and write in brackets will be on test).
    Combine notes you take from the text with your class notes. Then rewite these. Rewrite them again each time condensing. When you are done for a midterm you should have 2-5 pages of material to review instead of multiple chapters.
    Have a good breakfast the day of your test. Drink lots of water during your test.
    Also if there is a question you are not sure of, skip it and come back to it later. Sometimes you might find the answer to it in another question. Many tests I have written this tends to be the case.

  14. by   Scrubz
    Oh, another thing is to know the best time to study is. Some people can study better in the mornings or afternoons, and some people can study better at night.

    I never mentioned it before but I agree with taking good notes during class. Taking notes in class not only gives you more material to study by, but helps you remember it. If you write something down you usually remember it better than if you just listen during class and then go read it again later on. I like the waking up early to study during the mornings before test idea too, although I don't know if I could do it since I'm not a morning person by any means; good advice though to the people who could handle it.