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Horrible study skills

How do you do it? Ive seen a million threads on people who have these fine tuned study habits, that are soooo awsome and also time consuming as well.

While i'm doing better than expected, i recently had an exam that gave me a rude awaking. My study habits are awful and I'll be the first to admit it. I guess i'm just frustrated with myself.

thoughts?

Bobylon

Specializes in Coronary Rehab Unit.

Quick and dirty answer.... fine tune your study habits, and spend a lot of time studying........ it ain't rocket science, you get out of it what you put into it. Plain and simple :)

RhodyGirl, RN

Specializes in Med/Surg.

Studying takes time and concentration. Things that help me are reading, re-reading as time allows, typing my notes, and looking up definitions. Also, don't waste time. If the instructor states that something won't be on the exam...DON'T study it.

5..4..3..2.. until Daytonite posts.

She's got amazing information.

Go with what works for you. Usually studying more equals better grades. What semester are you on? I am far different from my classmates; I hate study groups so I study alone and Im glad I get the concept. I make sure to learn the pathophysiology and work my way from that.

I always would read through my notes after lecture. It really helps to go over the information once again while it is still pretty fresh. Have you used notecards? I used notecards for almost everything - it is something that you can bring with you to review almost anywhere. Just remember to find what works for you and use it. It may take awhile to find what works for you, but it will come in time.

Good luck!

RNDreamer

Specializes in acute care.

my habits vary with each class. With the classes that have exams that are more 'fact based' (like Patho, Pharm) I create study guides with the PP slides. What I do is read the chapters before class, and make extra notes on the PP from whatever the professor says during lecture. Then I go home and go back through the chapter(s) and make my own notes. I usually don't look at the book again after I've made my study guide, I just study from the guide.

With the classes with exams that are more NCLEX style, I go back through the chapters, go through the material and make sure I understand the concepts, then I just keep doing NCLEX questions from my Saunders CD and from a site I found on AN:

http://198.146.4.5/nclexrn3500/mainMenu.do;jsessionid=5BFA511F39ADC2C5275B466D4920BB2E

MermiesGreatGig

Has 2 years experience. Specializes in E.D..

It sounds very basic, but you just need to figure out what works for you and you alone. What works for one person probably won't work for you. For example, I bought A&P flashcards thinking that would help. I hated them and got nothing out of it. But, the A&P coloring book did the trick. You just need to try different things, and you'll quickly learn what works and what doesn't. Good luck!

It sounds very basic, but you just need to figure out what works for you and you alone. What works for one person probably won't work for you. For example, I bought A&P flashcards thinking that would help. I hated them and got nothing out of it. But, the A&P coloring book did the trick. You just need to try different things, and you'll quickly learn what works and what doesn't. Good luck!

Notecards work much better when you make them yourself. Not only do you have something to review, but when you are writing it down you are also learning. If I were to use store-bought notecards they wouldn't have worked for me either. I found that even if I never reviewed the notecards, making them helped me retain the information better - I just had the added benefit of being able to review them later on!

whiteoleander5

Specializes in Taking one day at a time....

You know one thing that really helps me?

Studying in my head randomly throughout the day. I know that sounds funny, but for example, I'll be in the shower and be thinking "Whats the cardiac cycle?" or "Hyponatremia vs hypernatremia"... etc. If I cant remember it or I forget a part of it, then I make a mental note to go back and look it up.

Also, when Im studying my PP notes, I read them out loud. And after every few slides, I'll stop and ask myself "What did I just read?"... and hopefully, I can recall what the information was.

Good luck.

I made note cards all through my prereqs but just do NOT have the time to do it while in the program. I skim the chapters before lecture. My lecture instructor does power point presentations, which I print out before class and add notes to the slides as she presents. This goes with me for review during breaks at work and at least once a day for about 20-30 minutes. When your reviewing your notes, read them outloud and explain them to someone (even if that someone is imaginary). When I have time, I try to go through the related textbook chapters and "flesh" out my notes with info from the text book. Usually a couple of days before the exam I work the questions at the end of the chapters to see where I'm still weak and I'll reread those sections in the text again. I used to also type up the objectives at the beginning of the chapter with info from the chapter but time hasn't allowed it lately due to the evils of care plans. Nursing exams (at least in the fundamentals/foundations level) seems to revolve around applying the nursing process and a lot of common sense. Another thing I now conscientiously do is start my exams with positive self-talk, set my pencil down for 30 seconds after each page is finished and tell myself how it's just another test, I'll do just fine and it really doesn't matter. Another test trick I do now is I NEVER change an answer unless I can explain why my original is wrong, and the new answer is right. By taking time and focusing on relaxing during the exam, the answers come easier.

Another thing ro remember is the cone of learning:

you will remember

10% of what you read

20% of what you hear

30% of what you see

50% of what we hear and see

70% of what we say

90% of what we say and do

Considering the above, if you only have an hour to study, what do you think would be the best usage of that hour?

Good luck!!

lainith

Has 6 years experience. Specializes in HCA, Physch, WC, Management.

I have a couple of really simple tips that can help you maximize your study time.

First of all, the best thing to do is study in the environment that is going to be most conducive to your studying. I, for example, am horrible about studying at home because there are too many distractions. So, I either study at the library or science study room at my college or at a friend's house. I have a particular friend from class who is a quiet studier like me and we just work on things together at her house. It keeps me from being distracted and we can ask each other for input on things if needed.

If you are someone who learns from teaching others or discussion, try to form a study group. I learn best by teaching what I have been studying so for me to explain something to someone else, even if it is not another student, helps me retain. Try to lay out your information well enough that you could explain it to a peer or friend.

I also live by flash cards for simple things like vocab and abbreviations. I also put together sample tests for my study group (which is time consuming, I admit) using the information we've gone over in class and the objectives for the unit. Writing the test makes me think critically and going over the answers as a group and explaining why answers are right or wrong reiterates my information.

I try to do anything BUT staring at my book or notes for hours because I just can't learn that way. I do read all my chapters though and try to relate information into scenarios to help me remember it.

Hope that helps!

lainith

Has 6 years experience. Specializes in HCA, Physch, WC, Management.

PS - For non-unit specific information, for those critical thinking questions on the exams (which is the majority of our exam) I swear by NCLEX-RN review cards and books. We use these a LOT in study group and our texts have NCLEX sample questions at the end of every chapter so we always answer those as well and go over the answers and their explanations in depth.

I am still perfecting my study habits. But I have discovered that the best way for me to learn something is to tell my boyfriend it. He is a business major and aside from taking basic chem and bio in college for his GE years ago, doesn't know much about it. So I explain it to him so that he understands. Sometimes he will ask me questions about what I am teaching him so that I will have to go and look it up. I also come up with little sayings to help me remember things. One of my favorites, if you are trying to remember whether it is veins or arteries that brings blood to the heart, I came up with "ART you go! Veiiiiiin you go!" ... get it? makes me happy everytime I say it. Then yesterday my boyfriend and I passed someone with a goiter and I told my boyfriend "looks like someone didn't eat his mcdonalds." My bf asked why and I explained that the US puts iodine in their salt and thats why not many people here have them. By constantly using the information I read from books with him I am able to retain it a lot easier. Not only that, but it makes learning all of this fun too.

SarahLovesNovember, BSN, RN

Has 6 years experience. Specializes in Still a medic at heart but ICU, M/S, SVU.

I am right there with you. It takes everything within me to sit down and actually study and read. Luckily I've been getting great grades until this last exam which bothered me a bit. I really need to just crack open those books and start with reading. Baby steps if it's not within your normal habit to do.

MermiesGreatGig

Has 2 years experience. Specializes in E.D..

Notecards work much better when you make them yourself. Not only do you have something to review, but when you are writing it down you are also learning. If I were to use store-bought notecards they wouldn't have worked for me either. I found that even if I never reviewed the notecards, making them helped me retain the information better - I just had the added benefit of being able to review them later on!

Nope, thanks for the suggestion, but I also tried homemade cards for Anatomy...just didn't work for ME. Probably works for most of you, but not ME.

Nope, thanks for the suggestion, but I also tried homemade cards for Anatomy...just didn't work for ME. Probably works for most of you, but not ME.

Not everything works for everyone. I hope you've found a way that suits your learning style. It took me awhile to find what REALLY works. And what sucks is that not every study habit works for every class! :wink2:

I found that going over the review questions at the end of each chapter works as well. there are also different websites that offer practice questions and tests. I don't remember what sites they were, but use google to search for them under the topic you're looking for and you should be able to find them.

Good Luck with your studies!

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