Nursing School Test Taking Strategies
If you’re in nursing school, normally your first test will be within the first week or so. Don’t panic. We’ve talked quite a bit in our blog about different methods you can use to study, today we’re going to focus on the test.
- After you get your syllabus, put all of the dates of your tests in your calendar. When you get a list of all the tests, make a plan. Most so my nursing classes had a test every couple of weeks. I made sure I read the content the first week, while I read the content I would take notes. The tests were always on Monday. The weekend of the first week I would compile my notes into flashcards. The next week I would study those flash cards and notes, finishing up on Saturday I would take Sunday (most of it) off and take the test on Monday.
- If the teacher has been there for more than a year, ask other students about what kind of topics and questions they normally use. The first test is usually the hardest because you don’t really know what they’ll have on the test, asking other students can give you an idea of what they like to focus on.
- Don’t cram. Studying on Sunday before the test doesn’t work. That is one reason that I made those flash cards (even for content the teacher hadn’t lectured on yet). You can always add additional index cards later.
- Make sure you have everything you need for the test the night before. Before I went to bed on Sunday night I would review my cards / notes once. I noticed that often when I studied just before going to bed I would remember things a little better. Know the time of day when you learn best and use it. Every night before school I would pack my backpack with things I would need the next day and put it on my kitchen table, that way after I took my shower in the morning I could grab and go.
- Don’t forget to eat and drink (water).
- Get to class a little early. Everyone will probably be anxious, don’t pay any attention to them. Don’t study any on the day of the test. Our tests were multiple choice, using those scan sheets where you circled a letter(s) to answer the questions. If the test is timed, take that into account. I answered questions I knew the answer to, skipped the ones I didn’t know right away and then came back to them. Make sure you’ve answered all of the test questions. On our tests we would have some kind of diagram we would need to fill out too.
- When you’ve finished the test, reward yourself. On Monday night the study group we had would all go to the movies.
- Start studying for the next tests on Tuesday morning, following the same procedure.
Remember nursing school is a marathon and not a sprint. Leave a comment and let us know what some of your test taking strategies are.