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How to get an A?

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Hi, could you please help me with my problem? My problem is how to get an A? Any suggestion will be GREATLY appreciated.

This semester is my first one. I am studying Fundamental of Nursing now. So far all my grades were Bs. Actually these Bs do not bother me so much. My real concern is how to improve my grade next time.

I had no medical background before. In classes, I only can understand 40% of a lecture. Sometimes I can mis-understand some parts of lectures, but I don't know which parts I mist-understand until I make mistakes on tests. I spend a lot of time on my emotions because I cannot calm down before check-offs, tests, and clinical rotations. Cramming is not good, but sometimes it seems to work for me.

How to get an A if you were me?

Thanks!

Edited by neurontin

dudette10, MSN, RN

Specializes in Med/Surg, Academics. Has 10 years experience.

Are you not understanding concepts or are you not a good test-taker? If you're not understanding concepts--and you don't realize it until after you take the test--ask your instructor to go over the questions you got wrong with you. Your instructor can give you the rationale for the correct answer and help you correct your thought processes associated with picking the incorrect answer.

You might also benefit from test-taking strategies. Sometimes, just one or two more questions correct can turn a B into an A, so when you hit those questions in which all the answers look equally correct, test-taking strategies can help you pick the correct answer.

2ndyearstudent, CNA

Specializes in CNA.

I had no medical background before. In classes, I only can understand 40% of a lecture

Then you are doing great!

Keep doing the best you can and be proud of those Bs!

JBudd, MSN

Specializes in Trauma, Teaching. Has 40 years experience.

Are you reading the chapters before class? Go through and select the highlights, and study them so that lecture isn't the first time you are hearing a concept.

Does your instructor post lecture notes ahead of time? Go through and make sure you understand all the vocabulary; look up the medical terms and take the notes with you.

I made flash cards for myself, and quizzed myself on things.

wldcard

Specializes in Critical Care Hopeful.

Are you reading the chapters before class? Go through and select the highlights, and study them so that lecture isn't the first time you are hearing a concept.

Does your instructor post lecture notes ahead of time? Go through and make sure you understand all the vocabulary; look up the medical terms and take the notes with you.

I made flash cards for myself, and quizzed myself on things.

Totally agree with this. I would add that you should read the full chapter before AND after the lecture. Then use the powerpoint slides to review a few days later. For the tests use the powerpoint slides and review questions if available along with whatever else methods you like. This is something that helps me with retention as I have a horrible memory.

Remember, you don't need to fully understand everything the first or even second time you look at it. Read before the class just so you see the terms and concepts; comprehension at that point is irrelevant. Your brain will continue to chew on the topics until you sit in the lecture. The explanations in lecture will hopefully start to light up some light bulbs for you but, again, you may not understand everything fully (and this is OK, but be sure to ask questions during lecture). Once you are done with the lecture, wait a couple of hours or maybe a day before you reread the chapter. I know when I do this, my retention and comprehension levels go way up.

I think it just comes down to being able to answer NCLEX questions and studying the correct material. I have gotten A's in all of my nursing classes and I think it is just beause I figured out what to study and how to take tests. My tips would be: get an NCLEX book (I use Saunders and before each exam I find the appropriate section and take the practice tests), make flash cards and take them with you everywhere (I pull them out at work, when I am waiting for an appt or in line, sometimes when I am out with friends even!), and whenever I take an exam I cross off the answers that are obviously wrong, then I narrow it down by writing next to each answer why I would pick it or not (it really helps me if my thought process is on paper). I also tend to highlight what the instructor focuses on in lecture and study that twice as much as the stuff she hardley mentions.

Hope that helps.