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Help with studying


Specializes in pediatrics. Has 10 years experience.

I am in my second year in an associates degree program and i am having a really hard time figuring out how to study for my med surg exams. I have passed all thus far, but barely (1 point above the lowest possible for a pass on all exams except one). The only exam i did well on (by my standards) is the one exam i DID NOT study for.

in general, i do the assigned reading, highlight important points, make notecards/flashcards for points i don't quite understand or retain, do the study guide questions at the end of each chapter, and finally, i use Med-Surg Success for the different disorders and complications. I generally do very well on the practice questions.

I take notes in class and study the power points and handouts as well.

are there any other suggestions people can make for my upcoming (final) exam. It is comprehensive, meaning it will only cover GI/GU, Renal, and Hepatic systems.

A Tutor is out of the question because the only one my school has is only available during my clinical hours.

Any help would be greatly appreciated!!!!

PS - i found out early (during my first year) that i am NOT a good group studier. Also, the members of my class do not really go at a pace i am comfortable with.

Jonesskky RN

Specializes in EMERGENCY!!!. Has 3 years experience.

There are several more general tips for studying:

1. talk/meet with your professor about your concerns and see what advice they can offer.

2. If you don't like groups than try just one person and asked if they can be your study partner. Even though you are not good in groups, you still have to try your best because I know you can.

3. Go over previous questions that you got wrong to fully grasp an understanding and always anticipate seeing the information again.

4. Generally speaking, focus on prioritizing to rule out incorrect answers...safety, ABC's, when to call the doctor...etc. is very important to know for getting questions right or having better test results

shaas, ASN, RN

Specializes in Aspiring for a CCRN.

I haven't begun my nursing program, yet, so, I cannot say this purely out of the nursing school experience. But, in general, as with any difficult courses, having more than one reference source may help.

1. Could purchasing a couple of different books compiled with different questions help? I purchased 2 different NCLEX Q & A books and three sub-disciplines of the Prentice Hall Review and Rational Series, including the Med-Surg.

2. Preview (skim over ppt or textbook); Concentrate during lectures; Brief review each day for each lecture (30 min/lecture and no procrastination); and Weekly recap with practice problems; Exam prep (concept review and doing difficult practice problems)

I have employed method #2 for difficult courses like physics and biochem. It worked for me because such repetition allowed for me to retain information. And, prior to test, all you have to do is brush up on what you already know and spend more time on reviewing difficult concept for application, if any.

Best of luck!


Edited by shaas