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Great tips for studying... review syllabus first!!

isa_salud isa_salud (New) New

I learned the hard way that I need to attend class prepared. This is a golden rule to success. I want to share my tips on using the syllabus that helped me stay on top of my game during nursing school. I know you will benefit from them too!!

THE SYLLABUS: this is your golden ticket by far... You have to open and read this thing before the class even starts. Once you know what classes you are going to take next semester, buy the syllabus for each class. Put it in a binder and review the course objectives for each week. AT LEAST have an idea of the first 3 weeks worth of lecture material. During the semester, even if the teacher deviates from it, still use it. READ the chapter readings that are listed for each week. If you don't have time to read, skim through the readings taking note of all the diagrams/pictures/vocabulary/ and boxes. Stay on top of your A game!! OMG this is so important because if you can answer and fully understand the objectives for each week and dedicate time to really study, you WILL be guaranteed to pass the class.

EXAMPLE: the first week will be over the GI system... devour this topic like a mad animal (it sounds funny but this is how you have to think to fully grasp the information and learn it)

1. review the course objectives in lecture and lab

2. Read/review the chapter readings without taking notes! This is time to put what you learn on paper into your head... there will be no transferring of information from the book to the notebook paper... and don't give the excuse "I'm a tactile learner" NO! Don't worry because you will have time to take notes during lecture. Your best friend while you're reading/ reviewing are highlighters, pens/pencils/ and post-it notes utilize them. and If there is some really juicy info then write that down on the post-it note to remember later. If while reading you don't understand something also write it down on a post-it note and leave them in the pages you're studying to remind you to ask your teacher when you see her/him.

3. Let's say you don't know the key complications of Crohn's disease... NOW YOU ARE A DETECTIVE! don't limit your knowledge to class notes/power points/ the book... widen your horizons and look elsewhere

use: Youtube and the internet... tell yourself that you will not get up from your seat until you understand the key complications of Crohn's disease and can repeat them out loud!

4. BUY Prentice Hall Nursing Reviews and Rationals by Hogan AND the SUCCESS series by Colgrove and Hargrove-Huttle for each class you're taking

These books are just great! Whatever topic you are studying... look it up in these books and practice the NCLEX-style questions in them.

(These book are expensive so I bought all of them on Amazon... each book cost me no more than $20 with shipping-and-handling included.)

I really wished I implemented these tips my first semester of nursing school. Now I've provided you with these tips, utilize them to the fullest and succeed in all your nursing school classes :D

-isa_salud

AWESOME ADVICE!!!! THANK YOU SOOOOOO MUCH!!!!!!!!! I needed this advice!! Thanksss!!!

Most of the people who struggle/fail the nursing program at our school do so because they are not prepared (at least this is what I have observed). I get all of my syllabi a few weeks before classes start, and I READ them. I tab them and get my binder as organized as possible. I always tell anyone who asks "How should I study?" that reading assignments should be read AHEAD of lecture not alongside of lecture material.

During the first two weeks of class there are ALWAYS students who ask questions that they would have already been able to answer had they read the syllabus. They get their hair in a knot when the instructor tells them to look it up/it's in the syllabus. :facepalm: I always wonder if instructors make a mental note of those people because I know I would LOL!!

Great advice :yes:

You can sometimes find a past syllabus for a specific instructor and class before signing up for it.

It allows you to make a better informed decision on choosing a class than the school's catalog course advertisement.

This is the first thing I always did with all my college courses. The syllabus laid out everything I needed to know. I could get an idea of when things were due, how much weight they carried, what and how much reading etc. Much easier to be prepared before it even started. I'd rather be ahead than trying to play catch up. I always marked my calendar with the dates that something was due. Made it easier to plan my life. If I knew Test 1 was on May 7th, I knew not to plan anything time consuming the days before.

Often the professor did change the syllabus (perhaps change a due date for an assignment/test etc) but generally its followed. The syllabus tells you exactly what is expected from you and what you can expect from the class.

Same here. I always read the syllabus first thing. Then I transfer the information to a calender, etc. I need it to figure out my battle plan. LOL! I want to know what is due, when it's do, etc. IT also tells what pts everything is going to be worth. Again, part of the battle plan. I'm a believer that every point counts. I'll take all the easy, simple stuff I can get. Oh, and bonus; It's all there in the syllabus.

I even make out a spread sheet that includes the assignments, due dates, pets, etc. So I can keep track of my grades. When it comes down to the final days I can run "what ifs" to guess my grades. This helps me decided where to put my last minute focus. I walk into the final knowing what is the lowest and the highest I need. I mean, I know if Its possible to raise my grade, or if I just need to pass the test to keep the grade I have. I did not have to take my Microbiology Final.

Same here. I always read the syllabus first thing. Then I transfer the information to a calender, etc. I need it to figure out my battle plan. LOL! I want to know what is due, when it's do, etc. IT also tells what pts everything is going to be worth. Again, part of the battle plan. I'm a believer that every point counts. I'll take all the easy, simple stuff I can get. Oh, and bonus; It's all there in the syllabus.

I even make out a spread sheet that includes the assignments, due dates, pets, etc. So I can keep track of my grades. When it comes down to the final days I can run "what ifs" to guess my grades. This helps me decided where to put my last minute focus. I walk into the final knowing what is the lowest and the highest I need. I mean, I know if Its possible to raise my grade, or if I just need to pass the test to keep the grade I have. I did not have to take my Microbiology Final.

I do believe we are the same person. At any given moment I can tell you exactly what I need to get on the remaining assignments/tests etc in order to 'just pass'. And like you, it so nice walking into a final knowing I could just write my name on the test and walk out and still pass!

I do believe we are the same person. At any given moment I can tell you exactly what I need to get on the remaining assignments/tests etc in order to 'just pass'. And like you, it so nice walking into a final knowing I could just write my name on the test and walk out and still pass!

I do this after the first assignment/test and every one thereafter. I tend to be hard on myself this way. If I am 25% through the class points and 3% below an 'A', I put pressure on myself to get enough points on the next assignment to achieve an 'A', even though there is plenty of time to improve.

Thank you soo much for this advice!!!

I'm glad I'm not the only one that actually enjoys reading through all my syllabi - there's nothing quite as satisfying as writing a semester's worth of assignments, exams, etc. into my planner!

I'm glad I'm not the only one that actually enjoys reading through all my syllabi - there's nothing quite as satisfying as writing a semester's worth of assignments, exams, etc. into my planner!

I'm hoping we'll receive our syllabus next Monday so I can do the very same thing. The sooner I can see my first semester more or less laid out before me, the sooner I can get a grip on my new student jitters!

duskyjewel

Specializes in hospice.

It's really sad to me that this thread is even necessary. What are they doing in our high schools these days when they turn out people who don't even have basic study skills like this? :no:

Don't get me wrong, OP, I'm glad you're sharing helpful tips. It just seems like this is something people who already spent 12 years as students should know. Heck, my junior high kids are already being taught this.

Seems to me that there are a lot of high school teachers and administrators who should be ashamed of themselves.

It's really sad to me that this thread is even necessary. What are they doing in our high schools these days when they turn out people who don't even have basic study skills like this? :no:

Don't get me wrong, OP, I'm glad you're sharing helpful tips. It just seems like this is something people who already spent 12 years as students should know. Heck, my junior high kids are already being taught this.

Seems to me that there are a lot of high school teachers and administrators who should be ashamed of themselves.

Do they utilize syllabi in primary education now? It's been 25 years since I've attended and don't have kids so I seriously do not know.

What I find shameful is a lack of education in regards to proper money management such as starting a budget, acquiring a line of credit, and balancing a checkbook. But that is a subject for another thread.

duskyjewel

Specializes in hospice.

My sixth and eighth graders came home this week with a syllabus for each class that we both had to sign indicating we had read it and agreed to abide by the stated class policies and homework rules. My senior in high school has syllabi also, but at that level she's expected to be responsible for herself. This is a classical charter school, so maybe we're just spoiled. I remember having class syllabi in my Catholic high school in the 1990s as well.

My sixth and eighth graders came home this week with a syllabus for each class that we both had to sign indicating we had read it and agreed to abide by the stated class policies and homework rules. My senior in high school has syllabi also, but at that level she's expected to be responsible for herself. This is a classical charter school, so maybe we're just spoiled. I remember having class syllabi in my Catholic high school in the 1990s as well.

I see. I attended public school in the 80's and we basically had three choices, the academic course work, business course work, or vocational training. We were never given a syllabus of any kind.

I do believe that today's students have no reason whatsoever to not achieve honor roll status. During my pre-req studies I found that the amount of resources now available such as Youtube and Khan Academy make earning exceptional grades almost ridiculously simple.

classicdame, MSN, EdD

Specializes in Hospital Education Coordinator.

OP - you are so right. If at first you do not succeed, follow directions.

AOx1

Specializes in ER, ICU, Education.

I always wonder if instructors make a mental note of those people because I know I would LOL!!

Great advice :yes:

I absolutely do. This is often one of the first indicators of a weak student who will need assistance. I don't make a note to fail them or anything, but students who barely turn in their admissions requirements on time, can't read a syllabus, and don't bother to take notes are those who are most likely to fail. Those who are incredibly organized and come prepared nearly always succeed. The first year I taught, my tendency was to coddle the weak students, but you can't. I now sow my energies equally among the strongest (who still must be challenged to learn and grow) and the weakest, who struggle just to stay afloat. Poor study habits and personal crises are the two biggest contributors to course failure where I teach.

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