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Nervous about retaking pharm

by Geminichilde Geminichilde (New) New

I failed pharm last fall and I'm about to start the class again on Wednesday. In my program you have to maintain a 75 test average and last year I had an 68 average. I'm just really scared that I'll fail again and then be booted out of the program.

Anybody have any tips about retaking pharm?


Specializes in Telemetry. Has 10 years experience.

First, do not focus on the failure. Make sure you are well organized and pay attention in class. Most teachers tend to focus on what is important during class lectures. You can also purchase a book called, "pharmacology for dummies". You will see the short cuts on how to remember the medication for the different systems. You will do fine...I did not like pharmacology and I got an A in the class and if I can do it you can too.

Rylee2008, ASN, RN

Specializes in Operating Room, Long Term Care. Has 2 years experience.

Our books always came with a CD which had sample NCLEX question on them. I studied using the CD and the Power Points. Good Luck.

ShantheRN, BSN, RN

Specializes in Pediatric Hem/Onc. Has 4 years experience.

Flash cards!!! Pharm is a lot of memorization. I made cards for every class of drugs, with the prototypes listed. I also made some with tricks for remembering certain classes (e.g. drugs ending in -olol are beta blockers, -thiazides are diuretics, etc.)

Once the rote memorization was done, I studied why some classes were contraindicated in certain populations. It really helps you understand the mechanics of the drug. This was the biggest help to me. At first it made no sense, but once I put it all together and understood the whole process everything clicked.

I took pharm last year, and I'm starting clinicals next week. I kept the book and CD because they are good references. There are some decent pocket sized references out there, too. I'm going to find a download for my iTouch so I always have on in my pocket.

Hope this helps! Good luck.

I failed Pharm class too. But I took a different route and applied to a different school. Because I was worried that if I was taught it the exact same way as the last time, I might not pass either. That and a couple other reasons made me decide to switch schools.

At this school, Pharm is part of Fundamentals class. We still get the meds, but not all at once like at the other school. We printed out a handout that you can fill in with all of the important information on the med, I'm hoping that will help.

And I agree, it is a lot of memorization. I'm trying a study group as well (first meeting tomorrow) so maybe that will help me as well.

Good luck to you!


My advice would be to cut the time you spend online and study more. Moreover, your nervousness should be channeled in such a way to make you study more. This is your last chance. Don't blow it. Take a minute to sit back when you're learning something and ask yourself, "what is the big picture here?" A lot of students are so anxious that they focus on memorizing unimportant small details, which isn't necessary and leads to failure.


Specializes in LTC- as CNA, L&D, Current- Oncology.

hey there!! I failed pharm last year. My schools criteria for passing is the same as yours. 75 to pass....I got a 72.4 grrrr. But now that I am re-taking they have "upped the ante" and I have to get an 80 to pass. I'm VERY nervous as well, but basically failure is NOT an option at this point. I wish you well and will keep you in my thoughts :)

75% isn't that bad. Study, study, study. You didn't really mention how much you studied before so I'm going to assume it wasn't as much as you should have.

Going to class is only 20% of the battle. The other 80% is studying.

75% isn't that bad. Study, study, study. You didn't really mention how much you studied before so I'm going to assume it wasn't as much as you should have.

Going to class is only 20% of the battle. The other 80% is studying.

The problem before was that I didn't really know how to study for the course, most of my classmates just sort of memorized everything and I'm use to taking something and applying it ( I hope that makes sense.)

I'm not trying to make excuses but I had 15 hours (Adult Care I, Pathophysiology, Health Assessment and Pharmacology) last year and it got to the point were it felt like you could learn or you could pass the exams but not both. After hurricane Ike hit and I got behind I just struggled. I passed everything else, but Pharm is just very difficult for me I go to lecture, read the textbook, make flashcards and it just starts to get muddled. The instructor is a pharmacist and he sort of rambles through his lectures and I try to get his main points but after a while it's just like...I have no clue what information you want me to take from the unit on focus on for the exam. I get nervous because, yes some people failed but others managed to pass, maybe I just don't have what it takes to be successful.

Thank you everyone for the advice I'm truly appreciate it.

What about talking to the students who were successful and asking them about their strategies? It sucks that you've got a bumbling instructor, I'm dealing with one of those myself and it's a pain to deal with.

Yeah, it's a pain. Most of the people I've talked to said they just memorized everything and used supplemental books like the "...Incredibly easy" series. So I plan on picking up one of those next paycheck and box of flashcards to go with the ones I make.

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