Studying help! Best way to study fundamentals?


Hey everyone! I have my first fundamentals exam on Friday and I have been reading chapters for the last week. This type of testing and lecturing is so new to me. Im used to studying for micro and anatomy, which was simple...just go over and over and over models and flash cards to memorize parts, etc. This is so different. Im sort of at a loss as to what I should know, should I memorize boxes, should I just read chapters and hope I recall?? Its way too much info to study like micro. My professor uses powerpoints in class from a different textbook than we have, and she doesnt make them available to us.. We have powerpoints with our book but they are totally different than hers. Sh also is all over the place with her lectures and everyone leaves feeling confused. She is elderly and rambles a lot. She spends more time telling a story that a point reminded her of than she does on the material. Her review last week was not helpful because of that. So I feel like Im on my own to learn and figure out what she expects us to know. Any tips or advice would be greatly appreciated! So far I have made outlines of the chapters, flash cards of a few things like normal vitals, etc, and read a LOT. We use potter and perry fundamental btw.


3 Posts

Questions on exams are not based on memorization. It is about application. Try to ask yourself "why should a nurse need to know this". Faculty and NCLEX assumes you know the material. They want to know if can use it or make a critical decision about it. Reviewing notes and flash cards is step one - know the material. Then get together with nursing peers and discuss the material. There are objectives in the book and hopefully faculty have given you learning objectives for each unit. Try explaining or describing concepts to your peers. If you can "teach" another about a concept without resources, you understand it. Nursing is very different than general courses. Apples and oranges. Read questions carefully. Identify key words. Breathe! Best wishes.


38 Posts

Did your book come with any NCLEX review type CDs? For me, personally, I've had to read the chapters, do the study guide questions, make flashcards for the vocabulary within the chapter, and some flashcards of memorization type things within the chapters, AND do the NCLEX questions that help you with rationale and critical thinking. Now, I'm only on week three and no expert by any means, but it's been working so far for me. You have to memorize some stuff in order to critically think as you go too. Good luck!


85 Posts

I totally agree with mmsn76, follow everything she said. And forget about power points! They are useless! I had my first exam today and what helped me was reading the chapters and understand the material, so no need to memorize anything. Also, do lots of practice questions. There's quizlet and proprofs, just google your topic with those words and study those. Also, the study guide that comes with your textbook. Do every single question on that chapter. A lot of teachers take the questions straight from those sources.

What topics have you covered so far? For sure the nursing process. In that case, make sure you know what happens on each step, how to write nursing diagnoses and expected outcomes correctly. Know the difference between an outcome and an intervention(outcomes are patient-centered). Know the purposes of each one and which one derives from the other. For example, outcomes are derived from the problem statement in the nursing diagnosis. Don't memorize definitions, but learn how to apply them to different situations. For example, a breach of duty occurs when the nurse fails to execute, document, etc...but know that an injury has to take place in order for the action to be considered causation. Most of the questions will be common sense and logic.

READ every question twice. And as one student mentioned before(which helped ME a lot on my test), READ the question carefully, recognize the important words and underline them, eliminate the wrong answers first(mostly 2- easily recognized), and analyze the other 2 and choose the BEST answer.

You'll do fine! Remember, they chose the best of the best out of a lot of brilliant students. Have faith in yourself, and take lots of candy with you and eat them during the test. The brain takes breaks, but if you have sugar, you will have it working non-stop!!

The best of luck in your first exam!! :-)


219 Posts

Thank you guys!! The only thing I have focused on for memorization has been things like normal vitals, infection control terms, benners stages etc. So far, the material has been fairly simple to understand. Ive spent a lot of time on evolve doing the review questions for each chapter and watching the videos. I feel like I have a handle on understanding, so at the risk of jinxing myself, that feels good! Im still so terrified of this test. I hope it is like any other class...once the first one is over you feel better about how to prepare for the rest!


129 Posts

What everyone else said. The study guide that comes with Potter & Perry was & is a huge help for me. My teacher does use the right powerpoints though. :-\ Using the questions on evolve is very good too. For sure I've seen some of those questions show up on my tests.


219 Posts

Thank you, everyone, for the tips! I made a 98!!!!! I might have shed a small tear when I saw my grade, and I definitely poured myself a celebratory glass of pino when I got home. :) Best feeling I've had in a long time!!


85 Posts

Congrats! :-)

Specializes in LTC, Med-surg.

Buy Fundamentals Success by Patricia Nuget. Its really good, lots of application questions.


1 Post

What did you do to study? I take my first fundamentals test next week and I am terrified!