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Study Assistance Advice!


Hello Everyone!

I'm a second year nursing student at DCCC in Media, PA who is seeking any study advice/tutor possibilities. When I entered this program last Fall, I was a 4.0 GPA student and, boy, was I in for a rude awakening! I don't have a problem understanding/learning the information, but the NCLEX-based critical thinking test questions are an issue. I find that there is so much information/resources to review (textbook website reviews/tests, NCLEX review questions, Kaplan NCLEX Review program, etc.) that I spend too much time organizing and not enough review. I also tend to read too much into test questions and choose the wrong (or shall I say "least correct"!!) answer.

ANY ADVICE?? If anyone could recommend a recent DCCC RN graduate for tutoring/review or any materials that they found helpful, I would be most grateful!


Specializes in None yet..

I won't be a nursing student until the 25th of September but...

I had a wonderful A&P instructor who used NCLEX-type questions on his exams. Students complained but he always replied, "You'll use this in your program." Thanks to him, I discovered some of the errors that messed me up with this type of question. (I still grouse to myself over how I talked myself out of the correct choice to a question, chylomicron, because it was described as having "a" protein imbedded in its membrane... and we all know there is more than one protein, right? Blush.)

Anyway, I studied a book that I believe will really help me when I face these questions again in nursing school. Test Success: Test-Taking Techniques for Beginning Nursing Students, Patricia M. Nugent & Barbara A. Vitale 6th ed. Worth every penny I spent on Amazon.

I'm also starting my 2nd year at DCCC. The Test Success book you recommended was a required reading prior to the beginning of the program...

Thank you, SeattleJess! Your suggestion is helpful and ironic...as mentioned by mic23, Test Success was a book required on our 1st year Nursing book list. I did not read it completely, but found myself referring back to sections to help test taking skills. Earlier today, I was talking with an incoming 1st year nursing student in the bookstore and advised her to read through it right away, noting that I made the mistake of not doing so last year. I mentioned that I, too, was going to review it for 2nd year, but later, I was thinking to myself that it might be after-the-fact and too late. Now that I am reading your response, I am definitely going to go back and review that book this week before starting next week! Thank you for your response! I wish you all the best in Nursing school! You are not alone in berating yourself over embarrassing mistakes...it's always SO clear afterwards when the adrenalin subsides! ; )

Hello, mic23...just wondering if you are in the day program at DCCC? I am interested in starting a study group right away. Also, did you find the Test Success book helpful? Which of the other (too numerous!) resources did you find helpful with test taking?

Same here, nursing school hit me like a ton of bricks, I found myself struggling with the NCLEX-type questions. My advice is simply to just keep doing them - for some reason, one day, it just "clicked" and I started getting better at them. Still not perfect scores, but way better than my first semester.

I went to a diploma RN school that buried us in busywork outside of class, plus kept us tied up in class and/or clinicals all day, 5 days per week. There was little time to study. What the successful students did, I found out after I was floundering trying to do it all, was they ONLY studied the Powerpoint handouts from class. They rarely if ever read the textbooks. Some didn't even own a textbook. The truth is if you need 80% to maintain a passing grade, MOST of the information is going to come from the Powerpoints, lecture, and perhaps clinicals. So, it stands to reason that if you study the handout, you will get MOST of the material, you might miss some obscure thing from textbook. But 80% is passing. You need to keep passing to stay in the program. From what I determined, that strategy continued to work. I burned out and left. But the people who finished said they hit the Powerpoints heavy, and then did the NCLEX-RN review tests next, and considered the textbooks dead last in importance.

My problem, and ultimate defeat, was I kept trying to be a good little girl and do it all and do it all 100%. Another thing those other students did was they teamed up on computer sims and papers, and divvied up the work on the QT. Each person would complete a part, share with the others who'd change some words or miss a couple of questions on purpose, and it was dishonest as heck. But that school was cheating us students six ways to Sunday, so I guess it didn't matter. In the end, you pass or fail NCLEX-RN all by yourself, so you had to learn by hook or by crook, and apparently by crook was better time management!

Thank you for your candid honesty, TC3200! I can relate to the lack of time to do everything 100% all the time...perfectionism is a curse! Someone told me, "C=RN" and I thought that was unacceptable, but you are correct, I am thankful to keep a passing grade. I am very sorry you weren't able to finish and sincerely hope you'll return to your program or pursue another one. You seem like a very conscientious person who would be a great nurse. I wish you all the best!