Hello students. I would like to start off by saying that I TOTALLY understand what you all are going through right now, being that I am FRESH out of nursing school; I graduated almost 3 months ago, took the NCLEX and passed on the first try with 75 questions only 1 month ago. The endless amount of tests with those dreaded SATA questions, and those questions that ask you to choose the BEST answer when you're reading the choices thinking "all of these seem to be the best answer", the countless hours of studying; missing out on precious time with your family, friends, and pets; and that not so good feeling like your life now revolves around nursing school. Trust me, it will get better towards the end. That feeling of walking across that stage and passing the NCLEX WILL be 2 of the happiest days of your lives (at least for me they were).
Now for the study tips.
If your school incorporates ATI into your curriculum, USE IT!!!! ATI is what helped me understand concepts much better. Remember: it is important to UNDERSTAND the concept versus memorizing the concept because, as you already know, the test questions will not be straightforward- you are going to have to use your critical thinking. It takes out all of the fluff that your required course book often has, and tells you what you need to know. It is important, though, to read ATI along with your required course book because the course book may have some information that ATI doesn't have, and ATI may have some information that the course book doesn't have. I LOVED ATI when I was in nursing school. It helps you get to that AH-HA moment when you're reading about Myocardial Infarction, for example. I'm a mixture of a visual and a tactile learner, so sometimes when I would be studying about a procedure like teaching a patient how to go up and down the steps with crutches, for example, I would go to YouTube and watch videos. Surprisingly, google images has a lot of great content for studying. Go ahead, search "blood administration" in google images right now and you'll see what I mean .
Don't study for long hours, like, 12 hours straight. You will not retain any information that way. Study in 30 minute increments with 15-20 minutes in between. I found that this method helped me retain information much better than when I was studying for long hours with minimal breaks.
In summary, my study tips are: 1) ATI along with the required course book, 2) YouTube videos, 3) Google Images, and 4) studying in 30 minute increments.
I wasn't really a note taker as I found that notes weren't helpful for me. I only created note cards for things like mnemonics (which are also great for things like those cranial nerves),or the different types of fire extinguishers, or the different typed of isolation precautions and their associated disease processes.
I hope these study tips help you all along your journies. Good luck!!!!!