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Math testing requirements

Has 4 years experience.

What kind of math testing/requirements does your school have? What I mean is, in my school all 4 levels are given a 25 question dosage/calc test each semester before classes start. The exams get progressively harder and more detailed as you advance in knowledge. Our levels 1 & 2 require 95% to pass and be allowed to continue in the program, our levels 3 &4 are required to get 100% in order to continue. If a student does not pass on the first try, they are granted a second attempt. If they do not pass the second attempt they are counseled by their faculty advisor and must write a professional request to take the test a third time. Basically, they have to show how they plan to succeed and why they should be given the opportunity to continue. If they are granted the third try and fail, there is no other option but to reapply for admission the next term.

Is this pretty standard? I think it is fair (I passed on the first try), but many of my classmates (who did not pass the second test today) are VERY upset and want to take the issue to the president of the school if necessary. This is a new program policy put into effect this semester; prior to this semester pass rates were 90% for levels 1 &2 and 95% for levels 3 & 4. We were notified in plenty of time to prepare and study, and the rules were made VERY clear prior to testing. BTW, each exam has one extra credit question that I know was a "gimme" on my test and have heard was just as easy on the other levels.

msjack

Has 7 years experience. Specializes in Oncology.

At our school we have to take a 20 question dosage calculation test at the beginning of the semester and pass with a 90%. If you don't pass with a 90% then you are allowed to take it one more time, but if you don't pass the second time you fail the semester. So you would have to wait a year to start the class again.

We have our test next week and I'm freaking out! I feel completely comfortable with the material, but knowing that we are only allowed to miss two, I'm just so scared that I might make a stupid mistake etc. It's frightening. On top of that, they gave us a review today and there were conflicts with the answer...meaning the "reality" answer or the school answer. We still don't know which one they want..they said they would get back to us...YIKES!

bekindtokittens

Specializes in Psych..

My school does this too, for each semester. You have to get a 93% on the test, and you have three tries or you're out. I took mine today, first try, and just found out I got a 96%, woohoo!

*LadyJane*

Has 4 years experience. Specializes in LTC, wound care.

Ours does this also, we can make copies of practice tests, we know what type of questions we will have on the test, and we must make 96 percent, or fail the quarter. We have lots of warning, lots of prep materials, and can use a calculator. If one practices each day with a few questions of this type that will be on the test, the only thing that would cause failure is being careless.

Everyone who has made it this far is fairly sharp. I feel this is a fair policy, as our patients are counting on us to be accurate on medication math, as it's a life or death issue for them.

Jane

Ours does this also, we can make copies of practice tests, we know what type of questions we will have on the test, and we must make 96 percent, or fail the quarter. We have lots of warning, lots of prep materials, and can use a calculator. If one practices each day with a few questions of this type that will be on the test, the only thing that would cause failure is being careless.

Everyone who has made it this far is fairly sharp. I feel this is a fair policy, as our patients are counting on us to be accurate on medication math, as it's a life or death issue for them.

Jane

Great answer!

Our school requires a math test also. I don't have the specifics in front of me at the moment, but the general idea is:

We must score 80% on the test. If we fail, we remediate and take it again. If we fail a 2nd time, we have to remediate with an instructor. 3rd fail and we're out of the program. I think it's a very fair policy and it's not as hard as some of the other programs. 80% seems almost too lenient because in this profession, 100% is necessary. A simple math error could kill a patient.

caroladybelle, BSN, RN

Specializes in Oncology/Haemetology/HIV.

EVERY semester, this question comes up in regards to pharmacology math.

Yes, what you discussing is standard. Many places require 95-100% on math in regards to nursing. As well as all nursing classes be passed at 80% or more in all departments.

Think about it this way - if someone is not able to calculate pharmacy math correctly more than 95% at a time when thay have few distactions.....do you really want them as YOUR nurse se on a busy, noisy, distraction filled unit?

Well at my school we get a math test with every class except the 1st three intro classes. You have to get 100% and have three chances to get 100%.

Nursetastic

Has 4 years experience.

Thanks for the replies. I was pretty sure it was standard procedure at most schools. Like I said, I think the policy is fine. I don't want a nurse who is not proficient in dosage calc taking care of me. I'm just kind of upset at the people that want to complain to the President of the school. They feel that they should have been "grandfathered" in to the policy and still be required to pass at lower levels. Before this semester, I thought the policy was too lenient and I was glad to see it changed.

The people that are complaining, talking about going to the Dean, etc....have no grounds. If it was explained ahead of time, they knew what was expected of them and fell short. Nobody's fault but their own.

1st semester we had to take the test and get 100% on it. And I did the first go-around. This semester we took it the first day of class and I think she said we had to get an 80% or 85% to pass...I got 100%. We will have to take them again 3rd and 4th semester as well.

If they didn't pass the first time, then they had to take it again a second time. If they don't pass that time, then they are counseled on it and I believe that is it, but maybe there is another test involved (but they will not be kicked out of the program). Most of my class passed the first time though...one person didn't because she put mg instead of tabs for some of the answers. And another guy was called about 1 hour before the class began and told to get in there because he was starting in our class, but he literally didn't know until right before. So, he didn't have time to go over that again. Not sure why the other girl didn't pass...

Nursetastic

Has 4 years experience.

The people that are complaining, talking about going to the Dean, etc....have no grounds. If it was explained ahead of time, they knew what was expected of them and fell short. Nobody's fault but their own.

:yeahthat: Exactly my point. :)

Bortaz, MSN, RN

Has 11 years experience. Specializes in CDI Supervisor; Formerly NICU.

many of my classmates (who did not pass the second test today) are VERY upset and want to take the issue to the president of the school if necessary.

What's unfair about it? Hasn't anyone explained to them that they can't kill 5 or 10% of their patients by making medication errors?

You need to be able to do the math right EVERY time.

In my program, it's 100% or go home. You get 3 attempts per semester.

The only thing I'd like to see done different is for the school to actually provide medical math classess within the program.

What's unfair about it? Hasn't anyone explained to them that they can't kill 5 or 10% of their patients by making medication errors?

You need to be able to do the math right EVERY time.

In my program, it's 100% or go home. You get 3 attempts per semester.

The only thing I'd like to see done different is for the school to actually provide medical math classess within the program.

We are given a Dosage Calc book with an online course that is self-study. This week, we had to get through 5 chapters, along with the rest of our nursing stuff. It's a pain, but necessary.

Nursetastic

Has 4 years experience.

We are offered the opportunity to attend math review sessions the day before testing each semester. I have attended them all; they are taught by the same instructor who has been teaching dosage/cal for over 10 years. She is great! The students with problems are the ones who either didn't attend or didn't stay the entire time. Its a matter of taking the time and effort into reviewing and practicing. I also utilize an online tutorial that is available to us. I have very little sympathy for those crying about not passing. Suck it up and WORK! I hate the phrase "weeding out", but that is exactly what this is going to do. No complaints from me. I'd expect to be kicked out if I was a danger to my patients.

No, this is very reasonable.

My school gives drug calculation test at the beginning of every semester. First semester we had to score 80%. Second and Third semesters we had to score 95%. Fourth semester (and final one) we had to score 100%. I passed each time. Thank God!

If you don't pass, you are given 2 more attempts. If you don't pass on the third try, you fail the semester and have to wait out for a year to attend class since the class is only offered once a year.

I agree with a poster who said you should get it right 100% each time. Just think the one question you missed could actually kill a patient.

My school doesnt teach drug calculation classes either. It's a BSN program and they require you to have Algebra as a pre-req prior to attending. So far, the drug calc tests have been alot easier than Algebra ever was to me and I suck at math.

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