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how to get a "A" every time


Are there any tips on succeeding and getting A's in the ADN program

klone, MSN, RN

Specializes in Women's Health/OB Leadership. Has 15 years experience.

Study hard?

Why do you want to get an A every time?

Figure out how you learn best and retain the information, then stick to it for every module/test.


Specializes in Trauma, Orthopedics.

Uh... study.

Study. Go above and beyond what is asked of you by your professors/program. Don't rely on lecture as your only source of learning. Dive into subjects and learn the who, what, when, where, and why about as much as you possibly can. Dedicate yourself to the job of being a student--this means giving up a lot of entertainment and social events. It is such a short segment of your life, and you can play after you get your license.

I would read a chapter. Re-read the chapter and highlight. Re-read the chapter and make notes. Then I look up secondary sources of information that would give me clarity, or more detail, on my notations.

What worked best for me was not rote memorization, but understanding. You can spout off facts and numbers and theories and so forth out of your brain bank, but that doesn't mean you have understanding. Do whatever it is you need to do to reinforce understanding. An example would be symptoms of Parkinson's. Lots of people can spout off the symptoms of Parkinson's by memorizing them, but do they know WHY patients have tremors and flat affect? If you understand why, you are more likely to remember the symptoms, and more likely to remember the nursing interventions associated with Parkinson's, and more likely to answer test questions with critical thinking instead of memorization (and the NCLEX is all about critical thinking).

Best wishes!

I succeeded in my ADN program, with A's, B's and a couple of C's. I studied my butt off and put in work. No way around it.

Monkeyhq hit it on the head. You need to not memorize material, you need to immerse yourself in it so that you understand it. There are many times you will run across exam questions and on the surface you think "Holy cow, we never covered that!" when you actually have. You have to be able to apply the information you know, that you understand about the disease process or the med. If you understand the hows and the whys, you can answer just about any question on the subject.

I learned way back in A&P I that this is not a program for memorization. My A&P I instructor (the instructor 90% of the students hated, the instructor who still is my favorite! LOL!) told us the difference is this; when you have a dehydrated patient show up in your ED, you can't stand over their bed and yell out the definition of osmosis. It may get you some weird looks, but it does nothing for your patient. You have to understand how osmosis works and what you are going to do to facilitate it. THAT is the type of learning you need.

A's are great, and trust me, I am as competitive as they come, but can you go to your local ED or PCP office and tell me off the cuff which nurses got A's in their classes? I bet some of the best nurses out there are ones who struggled and made C's by the skin of their teeth ;)

Good luck to you!! Strive for the knowledge, not for the letter :D

A's require acing the exams, so you should focus on answering those NCLEX-type questions by doing them. In my program the Clinical is required to pass the class, but unlike a lot of the posts here, you go above and beyond there, and no one will care. My area is saturated with new grads so it's not like the hiring manager there is at a loss for applicants. Your mileage may vary.

BTW, this title is annoying the hell out of me. Please remember your vowels, it's an A, not a A.

Wow some of the posts in this thread are disheartening. I think the question that was asked is a good one. Even though there is a grammar mistake, no need to be all mean about it. Thanks to everyone who answered the question the OP had. Even though OP may not got an A every time, thriving to get one is still a great aspiration.:yes:

Edited by Kandy83
spelling error