MED SURG STUDY TIPS|
The chapter objectives were put there for a reason. They indicate
what is important in the reading. The quizzes at the end of chapters offer
you a chance to practice your test taking skills and test your own knowledge.
The most effective way to study is to know how you learn best.
However, most of us learn in more than one way. For example, you may be
more of an auditory learner,
or a visual learner. You may learn better by creating rhymes, poems, or silly
sayings to help you remember key facts.
Whatever has worked in other courses may or may not work for
you in nursing courses. Still you must find a system that works for you and
stick with it!
Students often find it helpful to follow these guidelines:
- Identify a specific study place (seated at a desk)
with adequate lighting, and with no distractions or interruptions.
- Schedule study times and stick to the schedule as much
as possible. Cramming never works.
- Avoid marathon study sessions, as these will only make
you tired and forgetful. You need to take a stretch break during studying
about every hour to move your muscles and refresh your mind.
- Focus on what you are reading instead of letting other
thoughts enter your mind. Don't think about the cleaning or housework while
you are studying.
- Nursing courses build on each other. thus, you cannot
isolate and forget material you learned from previous courses.
- Prepare for class by reading the chapters. When you
have read the chapter, you will be able to pay more attention to key facts
the instructor is pointing out.
- Attend all classes and take notes or highlight in the
- Sit as close to the front of the class as possible. Studies have shown
that those who sit near the front are less distracted, learn more, and make
- Pay attention to what is being said instead of letting your mind think
about home or work life.
- During class breaks, stand up and refresh your body and mind with
movement...get the O2 flowing.
- After class, review your notes as soon as possible and compare them to
the textbook again.
- Tape record your notes and/or outlines so you can hear the information
over and over when you are traveling in your car. Just as a musical phrase
or advertisement repeated over and over sticks with us, so will your
- Use your study guide provided with the textbook to take practice tests.
Avoid looking at the answers before giving it a good try first.
- Studying for an exam begins as soon as new content is introduced.
- Get a good nights sleep the night before the test and do not take
medications to keep you awake. These will only interfere with your sleep
rest cycles and cause you to become sleep deprived and forgetful. Smoking
affects your reasoning power, and stimulants make you lose concentration.
- The day of the exam, get up in time so you will not feel rushed.
- Eat before the exam and leave early enough to allow for traffic or car
problems. Being late for an exam can significantly affect your test results.
- Do not let negative thinking people affect your thoughts before or after
an exam or about studying. Instead, leave them to their own misery and do
some positive self-talk.
- Take care when reading the exam questions. Underline key words (first,
most important, etc.)
- Examine each possible answer and determine whether it best completes the
- Avoid jumping on an answer because of one word in an answer that looks
familiar, but may be your favorite topic.
- Even if you do not particularly like the teacher who wrote the test,
answer as the teacher would. Try to listen for the teacher's voice in your
head as you read the items.
- Do not change answers.
- Do not cheat or let other students cheat off of you. This is unfair to
patients in the long run. People who cheat lack knowledge, but may be the
very person taking care of you someday.
- Be aware of post-exam autopsy...focusing on items you may have missed
and knowing you failed the exam. Instead, leave ... go home or to the next
class and later treat yourself to something fun. Avoid beating yourself up
over the exam.
- If you think you did poorly on the exam, don't blame others or make
excuses for yourself. Instead vow to improve.
facts about testing
Copyright © Dr. Tess Pape 2004-2005 All rights