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Program nixed exam reviews...how do I adapt?

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by leia.braggins leia.braggins (New Member) New Member

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My ADN program has just this semester made a testing policy change so that now, after we take any exam we are never allowed to see it again. We just get our score back; we can't see what questions we missed or even look at the scantron. We are allowed to go in and "review" the exam with a professor but all they will only tell us general information about broad categories of what questions we missed.

I just took my first Med-Surg 1 exam and was very disappointed with a 78% (nursing school is difficult but thankfully I am able to spend a *lot* of time studying and I usually get A's) so I had my first "exam review." I had done all the readings, done a lot of adaptative quizzing from the textbook's website, and practiced relevant questions from my NCLEX books and all that, so I felt pretty prepared for the exam beforehand. I was told that the majority of questions I missed related to nursing care (how vague is that, haha) and also prioritizing. I was told most of my questions missed were from class two, so I should study venous vascular disorders more, and to be fair she did mention three specific disorders.

Does anyone else have a policy like this? I'm just very discouraged because I always felt like exam review, where you could look at the actual question and see what the right answer was and where you went wrong, was really helpful to me. I feel like it helps me to learn how to "think like a nurse" and to learn from my mistakes. Right now I feel like the test was essentially a waste of time because I can't really gain any usable information from my performance on it. Of course the studying I did for the exam wasn't a waste of time, I just mean the exam itself.

I would really appreciate any advice about how to I might be able to learn from these exams that won't be reviewed, since I'll be stuck with this policy for the next 3 semesters. Or, since I'm losing what to me was a very valuable learning tool, is there anything I could start doing to replace it?

Thanks!

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4,150 Visitors; 81 Posts

Why did your professors make this change? Have you spoken to them about it?

My school did something similar to this with the reasoning being that you won't know what you got wrong on standardized tests (NCLEX, HESI) and we need to be prepared for it. I know that they're essentially forced to "teach to the test" because what's the point of getting through nursing school if you can't pass NCLEX? But IMO, colleges sometimes get so caught up in getting us prepared for these tests that they do things that actually hurt us when it comes to real-world being a nurse. I disagree with that. I'm going to take NCLEX one time (hopefully!), but I'll be a nurse for the rest of my life (also hopefully), so I need to know how to be a good one.

To be a good nurse, I need to know what I'm doing wrong. I need specifics. I need to know exactly what I have room for improvement on, and I need the rationales on it. If professors are vague, how can they possibly expect me to understand?? To me it seems as ridiculous as a manager who calls an employee in and gives generalized/vague info on why s/he didn't meet the required standards. Give me specifics. Show me what I did wrong, and why it was wrong.

Instead, many will say, "Well, NCLEX will be like this, so we're going to start doing this". In your shoes, I'd find out why they implemented the policy, see how your fellow students feel about it, and then see if you can talk to your professors. Be calm, rational, and intelligent about it.

My nursing school did not change their policy, but a few of the professors agreed with what we were saying and will schedule appointments with students to go over what they missed. That's all we really wanted in the first place :). Good luck with your own process!

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1 Like; 1,659 Visitors; 51 Posts

It's because of cheating. They don't want the questions floating around as they do get reused year after year. But to not allow you to see the actual test during class and then turn it back in IA crazy but I guess camera phones could be used to capture the questions. I always managed my studying for finals by reviewing the test questions I got wrong so it stinks you can't do this.

Edited by adjappleton
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232 Likes; 3 Followers; 95,214 Visitors; 36,400 Posts

It sounds as if they have something to hide. They do not want to be challenged on bad questions and do not want to justify anything. Nor do they want to take the time to see that material is reinforced, either in a classroom setting or in the instructor office hours. How is one to know whether or not some random administrative error was made?

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7 Likes; 13,724 Visitors; 11,114 Posts

I don't think they have anything to hide, other than the exam itself. One school I heard of allowed reviews of the exam (not the scantrons, because those could be changed after the fact) in a specific group session where all cell phones were collected at the door and no writing materials were allowed at the desk. People who really wanted the review as a learning experience came regularly; those who wanted to copy the exam for future use (or sale!) showed up once and never came back.

Propose that, and see if someone would be willing to run a review session under those conditions.

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