Test strategies I've learned

  1. 1. That the exams are modeled after, "Bloom's Taxonomy of Cognitive Levels"


    As demonstrated in the link above, each cognitive level shows 'key verbs' to help you identify which level the question is written.

    Last edit by dianah on Feb 19, '12
  2. Visit rbrandnew profile page

    About rbrandnew

    Joined: Mar '09; Posts: 160; Likes: 53


  3. by   rbrandnew
    knowledge based questions will include verbs such as: define, list, state, identify, label, name, who? when? where? what?

    comprehension based questions will include verbs such as: explain, predict, interpret, infer, summarize, convert, translate, give example, account for, paraphrase x.

    application based
    questions will include verbs such as: how could x be used to y? how would you show, make use of, modify, demonstrate, solve, or apply x to conditions y?

    based questions will include verbs such as:differentiate, compare / contrast, distinguish x from y, how does x affect or relate to y? why? how? what piece of x is missing / needed?

    evaluation (learning outcome) based questions will include verbs such as:justify, appraise, evaluate, judge x according to given criteria. which option would be better/preferable to party y?
    Last edit by rbrandnew on Feb 17, '12
  4. by   rbrandnew
    now couple the bloom technique with the nursing critical thinking acronym race, (not to be confused with,
    remove, activate, close doors, extinguish)

    r- recognize what information is in the stem (multiple choice question)
    recognize the keywords in the stem
    recognize who the client is in the stem (to whom does this question apply)

    a- ask what is the question asking?
    ask specifically what the question is asking you to do?

    c- critically analyze the options (possible answer/s) in relation to the question.
    critically scrutinize each option(answer) in relation to the information in the question.
    critically identify a rationale (reason) for each option(possible answer)
    critically compare and contrast the options in relation to the information in the question

    e- eliminate as many possible options as possible--one at a time.

  5. by   rbrandnew
    Now simplify the Bloom technique for nursing students:

    Knowledge Questions: recall of remembered information. Example, vital signs, it is what it is, either you know it or you don't.

    Comprehension Questions: Understanding the meaning and intent of remembered information. Example, the word, intervention means the same thing as the word action, and the word, outcome means the same thing as goal. When you are able to simplify new terms into the more familiar terms it helps you to better comprehend, the what and the why,you are do, what you do.

    Application Questions: Remembering understood information and utilizing the information in new situations. Example, if you are not doing as well as you expected to do in your classes, you can utilize your understanding of the nursing process to make some changes. Assessment-What brings me here, Diagnose, your strengths and weaknesses, make a new Plan, Implement the new plan and hopefully upon your reassessment-Evaluation, you will find all your study Outcomes-Met.

    Analysis Questions- emphasizes comparing and contrasting a variety of information: Example, when you are stuck, trying to decide upon the last two answers, TALK IT OUT! ask-why, why not, if...then, what, who and does it depend?

    Evaluation/Learning Outcomes- simply means, were my learning objectives met?: Do you know what you were expected to learn. The best barometer is, can you explain it to someone else and they get it?
  6. by   rbrandnew
    I am not done, but I have to run. So I will say the rest very quickly. If you are not doing as well as you should, it means you don't understand how to use the text book. (because we were not taught how). When you answer the Test Your Knowledge Questions, Don't stop at the Rationale, also view the Cognitive Level (Bloom),Client Need (Maslow) Nursing Process(what kind of nursing process was the question?) Learning Outcome( tells you what part of the Chapter Learning Objective/Outcomes, in beginning of Chapter, you were expected to learn).


    I have more, but I have to go.
  7. by   rbrandnew
    O.K. so how do I use all this to get better grades? (Actually, I trust most of you have already figured that one out). But, if not, you must first do an assessment of your learning style. Are you using all of your cognitive skills: knowledge, comprehension, application,analysis and evaluation when answering multiple choice questions? Or are you only using some or maybe only one? (That was me). Are you applying the correct cognitive technique to the correct question? (Analysis cognition for an analysis style question) If you are like me, I was only using knowledge skills for all questions, and found myself trying to memorize everything. And as a result, I made a lot of careless mistakes.

    What I do now and how it works for me. I've stop copying information from the textbook into my notebook and trying to remember it all. Now, before I read the chapter, I start with the Chapter Learning Outcomes; I go through each one of them and ask a series of questions such as: What is this, what does it mean? To whom does it apply? What are the exceptions? Could this topic make a, select all that apply, question, what if? What then? Why? Why not? And does it depend?

    What I have learned is, when I ask questions before I read the text, the answers reveal themselves. In using the method above, I have incorporated all of the necessary cognitive skills: knowledge,comprehension, application, analysis and evaluation. And now, instead of trying to remember the information, I am learning the information.

    Therefore, my suggestion to you is, do your own self-assessment, learn from your mistakes, identify your learning deficit, use the internet to search for tips to resolve your learning deficit. Before you answer, the ‘Test Your Knowledge’ questions, ask-What is the cognitive level of this question? To whom does this question apply? What part of Maslow is this question addressing? What part of the Nursing Process does this question address?

    After you ask those questions, then answer the question, and then verify your answer and analysis of the question with the answer and analysis in the back of the book. If you have the right answer for the right reasons…you understand the question and the why, what, how…all of it. If you get the right answer, but the wrong analysis, then go back and study the area you missed (Maslow, Nursing Process, and Cognitive Level). If you get the wrong answer, but the right analysis, then perhaps, it was a careless mistake. Now, if you get it all wrong…well, back to the drawing board. It’s time to make a reassessment of your learning deficit.

    Now that you know what all the components of the answer in the back of the book means, use them to determine your strengths and weakness. And in doing so, you will be studying smarter, not harder. And you will have more time for yourself, your family and your peace of mind.
    Last edit by rbrandnew on Feb 17, '12
  8. by   rbrandnew
    Other tips include: If you want more test practice on a subject, for example, vital signs, use the internet and type vital signs exam questions. (this works for any topic)


    Another example, type Nursing Process exam questions,


    t really works for any nursing topic. Use the internet to your advantage. Remember , the key is to work smarter, not harder.
  9. by   rbrandnew
    saved the best for last. positive thinking works. break away from negative self and external talk.







    or whatever helps you.

    and although, prayer works, keep
    [color=#333333]james 2:26 in mind, "faith without works is dead". negativity is a contraindication to prayer. don't pray then go back to talking, thinking, being negative.
    Last edit by dianah on Feb 19, '12 : Reason: Typo edit r/t post #9
  10. by   rbrandnew
  11. by   rbrandnew
    Oops, typo and it's too late to edit. It should read, "Faith without works is dead".
  12. by   rbrandnew

    Practical ways to improve your grades:

    1. If you're in a study group and you're ALL failing...time for a new plan, reassess! (Get out!)

    2. If you're not in a study group and YOU'RE failing...same as above, except, Get in!

    3. If you are doing poorly on comprehension, application and analysis questions, but you love to gossip. “Girl, who dropped out? “Why is she always looking at you?” “What he say?” “Oh, for real?” “When?” “Homework! What she expect us to do?” “Did you see that?” (If you can gossip, then actually, you should be an A student. Use those ‘skills’ to your advantage…”Who is the client?” “Why am I being asked this question?” “What am I (nurse) supposed to do in this scenario?” “Do I have evidence to support my assessment?” “Does my assessment include both subjective and objective data?”

    4. If you are having trouble with the Nursing Process, then incorporate it into your daily life. Is it time to make changes in your relationships? if so, how do you know? Did you make a thorough assessment before you started the relationship, or did you make an assumption and jump right into something before you knew what you were getting into? If so, how did that affect your vision (diagnosis) of the relationship? Was any of your mental, relationship plans met? How did you go about working on the relationship? what did you do? (Implementation) and when it was all said and done (evaluation) where are you now? Reassess! (Can also be used if you’re happy in a relationship, in which case, your nursing care plan would conclude: outcomes-Met.)
    Or have you ever misjudged a person, if so how did you missed the factual cues and therefore make the wrong inferences? Or do you make accurate inferences about person? If so; can you explain that in the context of the nursing process?

    My point is you don’t always have to ‘make’ time to study, just start thinking like a nurse in your daily life. And that’s studying smarter, not harder.
  13. by   rbrandnew
    Helpful study sites I use:

    Medication calculation conversion flashcards | Quizlet

    (If there is a subject, you want to test yourself on, this type that subject into their search box, above I typed in medication calculation)

    NCLEX Reviewers – NCLEX Review | NCLEX Questions | NCLEX Exam | NCLEX Practice NCLEX RN Example Test Questions with Answers and Rationale - NCLEX Reviewers - NCLEX Review | NCLEX Questions | NCLEX Exam | NCLEX Practice
    (To find the link above, I typed Nclex medication review questions in my Chrome address bar, my point is, whatever, you are having trouble with, you can find practice quizzes on the internet).

    (S[/B]]Using SBAR - YouTubeBAR in 40 seconds)

    ([/B]]Giraffe Kubler Ross Stages of Grief - YouTubeYou'll never forget Kubler Ross stages of grief after this short video)
  14. by   rbrandnew

    So why did I put all this together, instead of just being concerned about myself and my grade?

    Because, Wednesday I witnessed a classmate make her decision to drop out. And after she made her decision, I saw her take a picture of her name on the honor roll list. And for a passionate/compassionate person like me...that image said a thousand words.

    Therefore, it was in her honor and those like her who have given up on their dreams (at least for now, I can be very dramatic). I had a long talk with one of the Deans and expressed my concerns about the deficits of our collaborative administrative/staff/student relationship.

    I told her one of the reasons that I was able to do better on the 110 test was, because I spent the entire week just studying critical thinking. And in doing so, I discovered that I was trying to use only one level of cognitive thinking for every question, (knowledge). I discovered that the reason I was overwhelmed; never had enough time and making careless mistakes was because I was trying to memorize my way through the classes. I was trying to apply mnemonics to comprehension, application and analytic questions...and it was too much. I started remembering the mnemonics, but forgetting what it stood for. For example, I had the Dirty Broads Forget to Wash Hands Daily, down pat, but I forgot the true meaning.

    However, while studying the 'Test Your Knowledge' questions, and because I spent a week studying critical thinking, I noticed for the first time, all that stuff, other than the answer and the rationale. The Cognitive level, the Client needs, the Nursing Process and the Learning Outcome. And after I learned what it all meant I was like, "Well, I'll just be damn!" I felt like Dorothy clicking my heels, saying "There's no place like home" Everything I needed to get good grades was right there all along. Right with the answers, but because I was trying to memorize my way through my classes, I 'thought I was too busy to look at all that other stuff".
    And even though, we were advised to read, 'Test Success', that book does not include all that 'other stuff'. Therefore, in addition to being told to read, 'Test Success', and because nursing in like learning a new language, students need to be taught how to use their text book.

    After understanding the significance of all that 'stuff'. I realized that I didn't remember anyone telling me the significance of all that other stuff and that if I applied all that other stuff to my study habits, it would help me gain the skills to recognize and then correctly answer comprehension, application and analytic questions. And how to study smarter, not harder! And in doing so, I would actually have more time. Discovering this, this late in the semester was disappointing, but better late, than never.
    Last edit by rbrandnew on Feb 18, '12