What am I doing wrong?

  1. Someone please tell me that this gets easier. On my previous college adventure (pharmacy technology) I was an A/B student. I have always been proud of the fact that I was an A/B student. However, nursing school has led me to believe that I am in fact stupid. Case in point, Nursing Assessment. I have no problem with the physical assessments that we havt to perform; however when it comes to the tests I am averaging C's. I studied and studied and studied for the first and second tests and barely managed an 84 and 78; respectively. I don't understand what I am doing wrong. It's like, I feel like I know the information but when it comes to applying the information on paper; all the knowledge I've crammed into my head is useless. The way the questions are worded are completely confusing with several answers that seem correct and I am begininning to feel so disappointed in myself. I am passing but not on the level that I would like to be. I've never failed anything in my life and I want to be a nurse so badly. I know that I need to tweak my study skills and I need to learn how to adequately apply the information I learn. Someone, please help me to adapt better study skills and learn to better apply my information.
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    About shining_star28463

    Joined: Aug '06; Posts: 35; Likes: 4


  3. by   kc1981
    hey your not stupid at all. these r very common thoughts that i have been fighting. nursing school is to train you how to pass the nclex. the test r multiple choice and there is always two right answers and two wrong but you have to pick the best answer. this is my second time in nursing school and im actually on the deans list where last time i was barely passing. some study tips i have used are i study each subject 30 minutes to a hour every night no matter when the test is there will always be something you have to study. then while im studying i do not read word by word over and over again i read it once then i outline it and study my outline. when you take your test read the questions twice before you even look at the answers to understand what it really wants to know. then cross out the two wrong answers look at the two answers left and read the question again and the material you have learned should help you with that. also no matter what i never wait untill the last minute to study for the test if you do you will not learn it you will memorize and by that time your anxiety level is up so high it will interfer with your learning. but believe it or not you will get used to taking these types of test if you ever see any practice nclex sites it will also get you used to taking the class test. and the most important thing is you have to sacrifice some things and study to learn because this is what your career is going to be dont study to pass the test. good luck and if you ever wanna talk feel free.
    Last edit by VickyRN on Oct 5, '06 : Reason: Removed all caps to make it easier to read...
  4. by   Melina
    Quote from kc1981
    Hey Your Not Stupid At All. These R Very Common Thoughts That I Have Been Fighting. Nursing School Is To Train You How To Pass The Nclex....
    This is off the topic, but it is really hard to read a post where every word is capitalized.

  5. by   Pat_Pat RN
    As I told some people in my class, you have to pick the answer that is "least wrong". If *any* part of the answer is wrong, it is all wrong. Plus, pick the answer that would be the *first* thing you would do, that is what I find when "all the answers are right". And like the other person said, read all the answers before choosing one.
    Also, make sure the answer is actually answering what the question is asking. They may put very true statments in the answers, that have nothing to do with what the question is asking.
    Good luck, hang in there.
  6. by   VickyRN
    Please review this thread:


    Especially this post: https://allnurses.com/forums/1335697-post11.html

    Great advice here! You're definitely not alone in your struggle. The first semester of nursing school is definitely a culture shock! Best wishes to you
    Last edit by VickyRN on Oct 5, '06
  7. by   NaomieRN
    I took my first exam and got an 84. Although I usually get As, I was happy because over 60% of people failed the exam. I know I have to make some adjustments because the answers that seemed the easiest were the ones I did not get right. I have to do better on the next exam.
    I read every chapter and study everyday. I dont wait last minute to study.
  8. by   Daytonite
    before you are done with nursing school these words will be burned into you: critical thinking and prioritizing care. this is why you are having problems with tests. right out of the starting gate nursing instructors start giving students questions designed to hone these two skills. it's not just to pass the nclex as some might lead you to believe. critical thinking is something that you will be doing as a active nurse. it's just a fancy way of saying you are weighing all the possibilities and coming up with the best one to take at that time. you should be reviewing all the questions you got wrong on your tests with an instructor on a one to one basis. you need to gain an understanding of why you answered the questions wrong. was it a fault of just not knowing the facts, or did you fail the critical thinking part involved to get to the correct response. you have to know where you've messed up in order to correct the problems.

    here are some websites that might help you get started getting a handle on these kinds of application test questions. we've all had to learn to cope with them!

    http://go.dbcc.edu/hhps/nursing/study_skills.html - study skills for the nursing student from daytona beach community college nursing department with some good advice.
    http://go.dbcc.edu/hhps/nursing/test_taking_skills.html - test taking skills also from daytona beach community college nursing department. a couple of sample questions and how to chose the correct answer for these application type questions.

    http://www.efn.org/~nurses/ - this is a website maintained by the nursing students at lane community college in eugene, oregon. for study and learning tips specific to nursing students click on "tips for learning" at the left side of this home page.

    http://www.learningext.com/students/qofweek.asp - question of the week. every monday a question from the online nclex-rn examination course from ncsbn and it's answer is posted here on this page.
  9. by   emtb2rn
    Ayup to all the advice above. I never scored below a 95 on pre-req tests. I've taken 3 tests in nursing school and scored 97 on a 100 question test (3 wrong and got an A), 93 on a 55 question test (4 wrong and got a B) and 89 on a 35 question test (4 wrong and got a B).

    All of the ones I got wrong were test taking errors on my part. I'm still learning to interpret critical thinking questions. I've noticed that when I get complacent (i.e., EMT hat on, not nursing hat) about what I think is an "easy" question and don't break it down to remove distractors and understand exactly what is being asked, I choose the wrong answer.

    Still, I'm very pleased with those B's. The material isn't difficult, but there sure seems to be a lot of it.... :roll

    And as Mark Twain once said, "It ain't what ya don't know, it's what ya do know that ain't so". I also like "The more I learn, the less I know".
  10. by   TheCommuter
    I have known many straight-A nursing students who have failed the NCLEX two or three times. I also know of many 'C' students who have passed the NCLEX on the first attempt. Your grades carry less importance than the material you're able to learn and retain. Some of the 'A' students are especially wonderful at last minute rote memorization and cramming.

    It doesn't matter if you earned a 4.0 grade point average in nursing school if you can't pass your state boards, because no one can become a licensed nurse if the NCLEX isn't passed.
  11. by   CityKat
    I've been in nursing school four semesters now and I want to offer you some tips that I have learned along the way in relation to answering questions correctly. Trust me. I was in your shoes and now, I have this semester and next to pull my GPA up much higher than it is right now. Won't be a problem now that I have figured out how to answer questions the right way. Yes, there is a strategy.

    Sooo, when you answer questions, think this way.
    1. your ABC's ALWAYS come first. airway, breathing, circulation.
    2. Always remember you must ASSESS first before you DO ANYTHING.
    3. If the question is T/F and the word "all" is in there, NORMALLY and this is directly from NCLEX study guide, it is FALSE.
    4. I know this is difficult to do, but your first answer is usually "right". DON'T use your eraser and change it. I just received an 'A' on my med surg II exam and there were three answers on it that I changed. However, I changed two of those answers back to the original. When going over the exam, the two I changed back were correct and the one I changed was wrong and my first answer on it was correct. Trust your gut, I swear. This is MY BIGGEST challenge
    5. Obviously process of elimination. READ all the answers and hold onto the ones you know for sure and then sort through the answers you're not sure of. This goes into play on all multiple choice and the questions that ask you to choose all that apply.

    I figured these things out and they have turned out to be the most helpful while learning how to answer questions on exams.
    Critical thinking is NOT EASY. It is the most DIFFICULT part of becoming an RN
    I hope these tips help you. They're simple, but very worthy
    Good luck!!
  12. by   w8tmansgirl
    Thank you! I was having the same problems. I have been an A and B student all through the prereq's but the RN program has slapped me down a few times. Your advice has helped greatly.
    I will put these strategies into use, thank you again for the information and advice.
  13. by   mikethebike
    Before you are done with nursing school these words will be burned into you: critical thinking and prioritizing care.

    Oh yes, do I so agree. I'm a 3rd year (almost) on a BN programme in the UK and our course is structured around 8 week rotations where you are in Uni doing theory for a block then you go out for an 8 week placement. Sitting exams are simulations yeah? but i'm like a parrot you know, I just repeat what I've read up on cos I don't want to re-write the book and I get thru but when I'm on placement boy is that real, point I'm making is if you don't do as well as you would have liked to ( to build confidence?) in exams you can recover but nothing crushes you like getting it wrong on the ward and when this inevitably happens to me I'm so hard on myself because I canna deliver subsequently then the level of care that I'm giving becomes half-hearted. It could be so much better if I could just pull my stuff together but it feels like I'm to get it right first time every time.
  14. by   shining_star28463
    Thank you guys so much for all of the advice. I think one of the biggest problems that I am having is that I study all wrong for the types of tests given in the RN program. I memorize instead of learning application, so now I know where the problem lies and how I should go about trying to resolve it. Thanks!