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HELP PLEASE!!! Low NLN entrance test scores --how can I improve them

Hi everyone.. I am freaking out because i took the NLN and my composite score was disgusting!!!! absolutely horrific and I have no idea what my next step will be. This is my 2nd time taking the NLN and didn't get in. I dont think I will ever get a high enough score bc I am such a terrible test taker. I got a composite score of an 85 yes I know how can anyone score that low.. i dont know what happened most of my friends got in bc they got in the 120s or so.. Im thinking of going to another school such as St. Pauls and take the HESI exam I just have no idea what to do and i been upset over everything.. I want to get in soo bad.. if anyone has any comments suggestions anything please relpy.. HELPP MEE!!!!

lifelearningrn, BSN, RN

Specializes in School Nursing.

What is the school looking for? 85 seems like a decent score to me.

Edited by lifelearningrn

klone, MSN, RN

Specializes in Women's Health/OB Leadership.

Did you score an 85, or 85th percentile?

What is the highest score one can get?

What type of questions are asked on the NLN? Why do you think you keep doing poorly? Nursing school is a lot of tests, culminating in one big final exam. If you're a poor test taker, then it's possible that you may not succeed in nursing school.

The test in not weighed like a normal exam i think its out of 160 im not even sure.. so yeah I did pretty bad.. but I mean im a bad test taker meaning big exams this test was 300 questions and I got extremely nervous.. my gpa is a 3.3 which is okay but Im just stuck in the biggest hole and have no idea what to do

it wasn't 85 percent.. I wish it was 85 was my composite score which is really bad

lifelearningrn, BSN, RN

Specializes in School Nursing.

I'm sorry it didn't work out like you'd hoped. Test anxiety is not uncommon and can really affect your scores. There is usually a councilor that can help with that.. go to your school's student

center and ask about it. There are a lot of techniques that can help relieve it. I used to have horrible test anxiety. I have found that as my education moves forward, it gets easier.

Prepare the best you can. Be confident in your abilities. Good luck!

Bio, what does your college need?

Composite Percentile Score

or

Composite Score

I remember mine took the Composit Percentile Score. Be sure you are looking at the right one.

Ok, there is a difference between blunt and mean. I want to be blunt and honest. I am not being mean. That being said, I would like to ask a few questions and point something out. Maybe it will help, maybe it will not.

Looking at your posts, I would like to point out an observation. Your grammer is not good and your punctuation is worse. So I am wondering, is the NLN multiple choice or essay? If it is essay, maybe taking a look at the grammar would be appropriate. It might answer why your scores are low. Another possibility is that you are not comprehending the questions correctly due to the grammar issue. And yet another possibility is that your posts are quick and you don't type well resulting in what looks like poor grammar and punctuation. If this is the case, then I am totally off base here and I will accept that.

Now, before anyone points out that the OP states that she has a 3.3 GPA I will address this with the "no child left behind" or similar problems. Our schools are dumbing down our youth due to the aforementioned program and the fact that the educators are not compensated enough or any number of other reasons. Please don't flame me, this is just my opinion.

OP, you wanted any and all suggestions and opinions and this is mine. Keep an open mind and take a look at things.

klone, MSN, RN

Specializes in Women's Health/OB Leadership.

Looking at your posts, I would like to point out an observation. Your grammer is not good and your punctuation is worse.

I always love to point out the irony of misspellings in posts criticizing other people's grammar. :)

(I know you know how to spell "grammar" but I just couldn't resist)

LOL. Thank you! I hate when people let me continue to look like an idiot. I was wrong, I need to be told.

okay thank you for your opinion i will consider it.. but honestly I am just writing what comes to mind I am not paying any attention to my spelling or grammar and no the test is not an essay. The test is a multiple choice based exam. Is this how you talk to people? Honestly my reading comp. is not great ill give you that but that is why I joined this website so i can talk to other people who are in my situation or have any advice to help me out not put me down or criticize me.

onaclearday,

My school looks mostly toward the composite score and gpa.. I know I did not do well and I am simply looking for a solution. I am studying and reviewing all of the material.. I think its not enough though because Im really good in science but I stink at math and reading comp. so I might take on a few extra classes this semester to strengthen my math and reading.. overall so I can get a higher score :)

BioGirl11,

I don't think she was putting you down. Constructive criticism....yes.

But she was only trying to point out a possible reason for the lower testing scores (based on if it was an essay type test) which could be something that you could review and improve on if needed. ( I know, it wasn't an essay style test and so that wasn't the propblem), but she didn't know that before the post.

I know we get on these forums and typically we use abbreviations and we are just typing away to get our comments/thoughts out there that we misspell words, don't use proper punctuation, or whatever (I made sure to look up criticism b/c I sure as heck didn't know how to spell it)

Had your question not been specific to testing, I don't think anyone would have said anything about the way it was written.

We have many ways of communicating with eachother. The way we construct sentences and communicate on a forum is often very different than the way we would write an essay (or report, or care plan, etc) when we have to wear our "smart hats".

I belong to another forum for the career I am leaving behind, and believe me when I tell you that the comments made here were only meant to help and not to put you down. I have been in my present (soon to be past) career for 15 years and when I am on that forum, they do not hesitate to criticize and you know the tone and purpose of their comments. They continually belittle others they feel are not up to parr with them and think they are holier than thou....

You and me both are new on the forum and so far from what I have been reading, the folks here are really only here to help. Just sometimes it may be there is no other easier way to say things or offer advice. Just my 2 cents, which by the way apparently doesn't buy squat these days.......:crying2:

Bio, so sorry you've been through all this stress! You know what, I'd go online and look for any study books you can find. Maybe somebody has come up with a good review just for that test. Personally I was very disappointed in that test. I had hoped it would cover college level science. I really have no idea what it was geared to measure. I found it confused and pointless. It, like all of those tests is not a measure of ability or intelligence.

FYI: I was NOT putting you down or criticising you. If you read my post again, you will see that I said I was going to be BLUNT, (not mean) because you asked for honest opinions. If I was being mean, I would have just "let her rip" instead of attaching the disclaimer at the top. I have also stated that if you were in a hurry or not good at typing, that was a whole other matter. In other words, it was an appology if I was wrong about the grammar and punctuation. However, since you are unable to see that I was trying to help as you have asked, and instead, chose to think that I was being mean, I will mark your user name and will no longer respond to your posts. One must understand that when you type as opposed to talking in person, the message can be miscontrued and therefore, one must keep in mind that we, as fellow nurses, are here to help and have others' best interest at heart. Please remember that when you read posts. I am a very fair person and have been called the best manager my employees have ever had because I am fair, honest, willing to work, and willing to be honest enough to assist them in their work and in bettering themselves.

To all other posters: criticise me at will. I always give people the benefit of the doubt and never think anyone is being mean.

Tabbyg20

Specializes in LTC, Home health.

I apologize, as this is my first post on this site... LOL However, I am a terrible test taker as well. I found that preparing and preparing and preparing is the best thing I can do. It calms my nerves when I feel like I know the material inside and out. Also... I would recommend getting tutors for the subjects that you are having the most difficulty with! Just because you aren't good at taking tests doesn't mean that you can't do this!! Don't let you talk yourself down... There is a lot riding on the entrance exam. Just remember to blow off steam... and study study study! Find friends that can help you study or quiz you... And carry around flashcards!! It works for me... But take it with a grain of salt because I am sure that everyone has something different that works for them... You just have to find what works the best for you!! And there are also some medications (if you so choose) that can help you with your anxiety and also keep your wits about you. If the anxiety is extreme. Many may disagree with that... but if you visit with a professional that specializes in said medications... Perhaps you qualify for those... Just sayin'. I am sorry if the latter part of my post is offensive... lol

GOOD LUCK!! YOU CAN DO IT!!!

:twocents:

cherrybreeze, ADN, RN

Specializes in Med/Surg.

okay thank you for your opinion i will consider it.. but honestly I am just writing what comes to mind I am not paying any attention to my spelling or grammar and no the test is not an essay. The test is a multiple choice based exam. Is this how you talk to people? Honestly my reading comp. is not great ill give you that but that is why I joined this website so i can talk to other people who are in my situation or have any advice to help me out not put me down or criticize me.

The post wasn't putting you down. You asked for help. If you only wanted people to tell you it would be ok, etc, then you should have asked for that. Not all feedback is going to be ego-stroking.

BioGirl11,

I don't think she was putting you down. Constructive criticism....yes.

We have many ways of communicating with eachother. The way we construct sentences and communicate on a forum is often very different than the way we would write an essay (or report, or care plan, etc) when we have to wear our "smart hats".

Bolded statement: I only agree to a point. If I were to type an essay, etc, and use proper capitalization, grammar, and punctuation, I could not later type anything anywhere else and let that all go out the window. I learned to type using all of those things, and I truly CAN'T type and NOT do it, now. I know everyone is different that way. Me, I have a hard time even texting or IM'ing without using capital letters, or using abbreviations ("text speak"). Am I saying that my punctuation, grammar, and spelling are always correct? Am I perfect? (ha) Of course not, before I get jumped on for any mistakes I may have made in typing this reply. But to misspell something when typing quickly, for example, is not the same as not caring and/or not trying.

OP, I will give my thoughts, and now know you may take them as putting you down. Keep in mind that I am not familiar with NLN vs. HESI, etc. I don't remember taking such exams 10+ years ago.

Is this an entrance exam? When you refer to your GPA, is that in "general" education/classes vs. nursing-specific classes? I ask for this reason: NLN tests and results would serve a purpose, of course. Someone with a good GPA and intelligence in other subjects may not be "built" to be nurses. It doesn't mean there's anything "bad" or "wrong" with that person, it just means that nursing isn't their "thing."

I'm not saying that this for sure applies to you. It MAY be the result of anxiety with test taking. I'm also not trying to be "mean," just straightforward. I would actually prefer to be wrong.

Hello OP.

I prepared myself for the exam by using the Jones & Bartlett review guide. Since I did not have many days to study, I just focused on taking the samples section tests (and comprehensive tests) to get a feel for what I needed to work on.

It does help to have a strong science background. I'm not an expert by no means, but I feel that if someone took a few weeks or months to thoroughly review this book, at the very least, an average score could be achieved (average is 100 composite).

^^^^I'm only guessing so don't hold me to this!!

I get just as nervous as the next person, but you have to believe you can do it. If the test score isn't what you want it to be, then seek out tutors, take another semester of bio, etc.

Good luck!

lifelearningrn, BSN, RN

Specializes in School Nursing.

Being that this is an informal message board, I believe many people write informally without worrying too much about spelling and grammar... myself included. Further, I have a terrible time zipping through a post and typing much faster than I'm thinking (or maybe the other way around) and have all kids of typos most of the time. I, for one, need to tighten up my proof-reading skills. ;)

Having said all of that. I've seen practicing RN/LVNs who post here with no better attention to spelling and grammar..

I'm not saying ones writing skills will not affect their test taking abilities.. just that a lot of highly successful people don't seem to write much better.

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