Studying nursing: Study Skills and Test

Report
PowerPoint by: Sabina Monosova
Information Credited To:
Margot R. De Sevo, PhD, RNC
Associate Professor
 Most
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academic courses
content-based only
E.g. A & P of cardiac system – learn structures of
the system and their functions
 Nursing
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Profession – applied science
Must learn content AND use the information
E.g. Care of the child with a cardiac defect –
learn about the defect, learn about children AND
be able to determine the nursing care based on
the child’s age as well as his/her clinical status
 CRITICALLY
read the material – BEFORE
CLASS!!!

identify key facts

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Pay attention to the headers cited by the authors.
They often highlight key concepts
ALWAYS focus on items in tables, boxes, figures,
etc.

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Key facts or concepts may be included in tables,
boxes, figures, etc.
OR clarification of concepts may be included in the
tables, boxes, figures, etc.
 WHY

READ BEFORE CLASS
When faculty lecture, students are passive.

Content is not learned – easily forgotten.
 If
the content is read before class, faculty
are able to clarify information.

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Questions can be asked by students.
Case studies can be analyzed.
Discussions can take place.
Classes are more interesting and stimulating.
 After
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class, compare notes with the text
Are they consistent? – If NOT:

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Ask a fellow student – maybe notes were taken
incorrectly
Ask the faculty member
 – maybe he/she misspoke in class
 -- maybe new evidence has emerged – books are 2-3
years out of date by the time they are published
 -- maybe there are differences in opinion – there are
often honest discrepancies between and among
books
 Clinical


– watch and critique!
Are you seeing nursing practice that is based on
theory?
If practice is inconsistent with what was in
learned in the classroom – or from another
resource – discuss the inconsistency with
faculty!!

Consider classroom exams mini-clinical days

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Studying MUST take place over time.

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Since most questions are based on the nursing process,
each question is asking the test taker to make a clinical
decision.
Test takers must consider each scenario a clinical
situation
Retention of material is impossible when studying occurs
only days before an exam.
SLEEP
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Research has shown that sleep is essential to learning.
Students actually do LESS well when they stay up late
and cram before exams.
Plus, no nurse should enter a client’s room having had too
little sleep – since an exam is a mini-clinical, NO student
should enter an examination tired.

Exhaustion can result in clinical errors.

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READ! READ! READ!
Stem –
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The stem MUST be read carefully – BEFORE reading the answers
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The question being asked MUST be well understood
After determining what is being asked, THINK OF POSSIBLE ANSWERS
NOW –
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Read ALL of the answers – 1 by 1
If you KNOW the answer is wrong – eliminate it immediately.
If the answer you thought of is there – PICK IT – DON’T second guess yourself
If you are uncertain – retain only possible answers.

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Cover up the answers
ALWAYS GUESS – and don’t waste time!
Reviewing the exam
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NCLEX-RN – Can’t change answers
On classroom exams –
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ONLY CHANGE ANSWERS IF YOU KNOW THAT YOU MISREAD THE QUESTION
THE FIRST TIME
First impressions are almost always correct!!!
Test taking is a skill – and ALL skills need to be
practiced.
 Do as many questions as possible to practice the
skill

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ALWAYS read why the correct answer was correct
and why the incorrect answers were incorrect

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ATI practice exams – www.ATItesting.com
NCLEX-RN review books
Understanding the rationale for answers is no different
than understanding the rationales one’s nursing care
Time yourselves when doing practice questions

Allow 1 ½ minutes per question

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NCLEX-RN – max number of questions -- 265 in 6 hours.
Helps to simulate the time constraints in the classroom
as well as the pressures of taking a test

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