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How to Study for Nursing Exams

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by JustaNrsgStudent JustaNrsgStudent (Member)

1,385 Profile Views; 22 Posts

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Okay so like a lot of people I seriously struggle with the exams. I study for days before hand and doesn't seem to pay off. I'm passing the exams, but just barely. All my friends who have already been through nursing school say that eventually I will learn "how to study" for nursing exams. I don't understand what that means :/ I learn the material inside out and help fellow classmates with studying, yet I can't seem to do well on these tests.

Does anyone have any advice on "How to study?" Any information would be very much appreciated :)

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2,801 Posts; 13,301 Profile Views

Have you tried any NCLEX review books? That can sometimes help in getting a better handle on test questions.

There are many previous threads on this very topic. You should be able to find a lot of previous advice already out there.

Best wishes!

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Zookeeper44 has 8 years experience as a RN and specializes in Psych.

82 Posts; 1,888 Profile Views

NCLEX books!!!!! I usually buy an extra 3-4 NCLEX books each semester and good ones will teach you the rationales for why the answers were right and how you could have even chosen/narrowed down the correct answer even if you were not sure. They have really saved me, and I have made A's in all my nursing classes.

Good luck, there is definitely a trick to learning how to take nursing exams.

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not.done.yet has 8 years experience as a MSN, RN and specializes in Critical Care; Cardiac; Professional Development.

5,530 Posts; 44,653 Profile Views

I am third semester and will graduate in December. I finaly figured out this semester that if I read the material and use two different colored highlighters - one for what you ASSESS and the other for what you DO - I more easily focus on the nursing aspects of care, less on the medical and my exam grades vastly improved.

One color for what you would ASSESS (observe, see, etc)

A different color for what you would DO (nursing interventions)

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184 Posts; 4,715 Profile Views

There are lots of different ways to approach nursing exams.

First, I'd recommend a book called Test Success - it's all about effective test-taking.

Some things that work for me:

-Pre-read the chapter before class

-Take notes during lecture

-Record the lecture and re-listen in the car on the way home / later

-Hand write or type notes from the book or your lecture notes

-Make flashcards, charts, or diagrams to help you organize the information

-Review your notes daily

-Quiz yourself before an exam or quiz

-Get with a small group of people to get different aspects on the subject

-Go through NCLEX review books; many contain rationales for the questions

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22 Posts; 1,385 Profile Views

Thanks all! I'll definitely look into NCLEX books, I have one so I'll start trying that :)

RN2BDFW thanks I'm going to try that highlighting trick, sounds helpful! Courtney I do a lot of that now but I am definitely going to look into that Test Success book, thanks!

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NurseLoveJoy88 has 6 years experience as a ASN, RN and specializes in LTC.

3,959 Posts; 31,749 Profile Views

The first thing you need to do is to figure out what kind of learner you are. Are you visual, kinetic, or and auditory learner. Everyone here has great study tips however you have to do what works best for you. I'm a little of all three so here is how I study, I:

1. Skim over readings BEFORE CLASS so that I won't be completely loss.

2.After lecture I read the powerpoints and match it up with the book for any clarification if needed. I love to look at charts, diagrams, and pictures in the book.

3. I then do lots of nclex questions

4. I record lectures ( when allowed) and listen to them while walking, driving, or just lying in bed. Sometimes I'm in LaLa land in class and miss important info.

5. I practice in lab and make the best use out of clinical. For example I wanted to learn and understand more about sickle cell so when my clinical instructor asked us to choose our patients I chose the sickler.

6. Study group works great for me also

7. I review my exams with my instructor even if I pass so that I know how I answered the question wrong.

I'm in second semester and some of these regimes are new and some are old. I'm learning what works best for me. Good luck

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61 Posts; 1,525 Profile Views

Definitely get th NCLEX books such as fundamentals success and the review/rationale books (they have one for almost every class).

I didn't get any test grade less than a 90 last semester and all of my classmates were asking how I managed...it was the NCLEX book, no doubt about it. The questions in the review book really help you learn how to crack the NCLEX style questions and give you the reason why the answer is right and why the others are wrong. The study guides are really worth every penny!

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