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What am I doing wrong?


Hi everyone,

I failed my first test of the second semester today and I'm kinda upset about it. I put so much time into studying and making flash cards, only to fail it. The majority of the class didn't do well on the test either, even the students that get really high grades. The information just wasn't sticking when I was reading it and the chapter was really long. I'm trying to figure out what I could've done wrong, because even when I was taking the test I just didn't feel good about it, I felt like I didn't know much. Also how is it that some of my class mates about a handful of them ALWAYS get really high grades. I'm happy for them but, it does make me think about what I'm not doing right, or could be doing more of. I get good grades also, but not as good as they do. Anything I could add or take away from my studying habits? I read, I do practice questions and seem to make a flash card for everything.

Have you asked those students what they do?

Have you asked those students what they do?

Yes, and the one girl said she just read the chapter before class the other said all of the same things I do.

Yes, and the one girl said she just read the chapter before class the other said all of the same things I do.

Dang. Well the only other thing I do that you haven't mentioned is tape the lectures. Taping the lectures has saved me soo much but I am not in nursing (yet) but A&P and micro


Specializes in ICU.

Go chat with the instructor about the questions you got incorrect when you have time. I felt like that was helpful in understanding what I needed to work on.

I would also recommend studying early for a test, that way you have time to go through the chapter and dive into the information. Really cement that information down by critically thinking about the material and going over it several times.

What kind of learner are you? Audio/visual/kinesthetic/written? As an audio/visual learner, I felt that flashcards were a waste of my time- take too long to make and I didn't retain the information well enough. I used to talk to myself or other nursing students in a study group about the material and draw diagrams to piece together critical information.

pmabraham, BSN, RN

Specializes in Hospice, Palliative Care. Has 3 years experience.

The previous poster hit the nail directly on the head in terms of always, promptly, going to the instructor anytime one does poorly (which doesn't have to mean failing) on an exam. Take your notes with you. Review the exam first, going over rationales as well as sharing with the professor why you answered the way you answered. Directly ask for advice. Then show your notes, and ask if the notes are correct (i.e. nothing missed); ask directly for note taking advice.

In addition to knowing your learning style, flash cards as needed et all the other stuff you stated you are already doing, I find doing as many NCLEX questions from a handful of sources on the subject matter to be tested to be extremely helpful. Especially if NCLEX question source has good rationales as to why right answers are right, and why wrong answers are not applicable (I don't like ATI because the latter part is where they do the worse -- they don't explain why wrong answers are wrong very well -- if at all).

For example, for Med Surg, I'm using Lippincott's Q&A for NCLEX-RN and Davis Q&A Med-Surg Success. Sometimes I'll use Saunder's as well (though Saunder's is more content review). Nurse Labs and ProProfs also have good NCLEX questions... and the ATI books (you can get print versions used on Amazon for less than $10 including shipping) provide a cliff notes version of the content with good questions (and the rationales in those are better than online).

and related videos (learning style and test taking) is a good video to watch. Just using the advice of rarely changing answers has saved me points.

have those that are doing well, come to class better prepared, academically? more pre reqs?

Thanks everyone for your helpful advice! I tape my lectures for pharm and fundamentals of nursing already, and Im going to start doing the same for GI. Just when I was getting down on myself I got my Respiratory grade back today and got a 92!!! I'm really proud of that and believe I'm doing well as far as studying I just need to add some extras to my regime and not get distracted by the little things within the chapter, that's why I make so many flash cards because I feel like anything could be on the test lol. As far as the type of learner I am, I'm a little bit of everything, I need it all! Thanks again everyone! :)