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yayYou’ll be happy to hear I survived the first test!  I wanted to share my experience so other nursing students know what to expect and also outline some study techniques I used that proved to be useful.

I left the test knowing I had passed but also knowing I had answered half the questions using educated guesses.  It was not comforting.  There were things on the test she didn’t talk about in class, there were things she told us to study that weren’t on the test, there were anatomy questions despite her telling us she didn’t care about anatomy, there were T/F questions despite her telling us it was all MC; it sucked.  However, like I said, if you use critical thinking skills (which is what nursing school is about) and do a fair amount of actual studying, you will be fine.

The lowest score was 34 (EEK!!!), the highest was 97 (BASTARD!!!) and the average was 81 (which is what I made).  There was a 10 point curve added so when it was all said and done I made a 91.  WHOOP WHOOP!  These are my study techniques and what I plan to do on the next test to feel better prepared:

  1. Flash Cards.  I’ve never used flash cards in my life until this class.  I write down the name of the disease on one side, where/when/how/why it afflicts the body on the other side.
  2. As I read the chapter, I make my own notes.  This means I might spend one whole day on one chapter because I really dissect it.  My notes are basically a simplified version of the chapter when I’m done.  I do not use the teacher’s lecture notes b/c based on the first exam, she does not go off her notes, she goes off the book.  This technique is how I made As in A&P so it works well for me.
  3. If there is a concept/term I don’t understand, I google it.  I research it.  I read, read, and read some more.
  4. Youtube is my best friend; videos help my mind absorb information.  I do this as I’m reading/writing my own notes so that’s another reason it may take a whole day for one chapter.
  5. I attend the TA sessions once a week.  Usually I think TA sessions are worthless because they’re poorly organized and led by student inquiries.  Our TA, however, had a very nice outline and went through it step by step before the test.  That definitely helped keep the wealth of information organized.

If you have used other techniques that work well for you, I’d love to hear suggestions!