8 Ways to survive first semester final exams

Stories - Sign Nursing School SurvivalAny nursing student knows that their first round of final exams in nursing school can come as a very stressful moment. It is all understandable, because with all first semester students, nursing school is fairly new to their habitat.

In order to become successful with your final exams, keep some tips in mind that just may possibly safe your career’s life.

1. Start studying for finals when you start your semester

You may say, “how on earth could I study, when I just started”? Nursing school is all about retention. As nursing students, we are forced to compile so much information in our heads, that we feel like we are about to explode. Each time you attend lecture, obtain notes, and material study them nightly. Select a set of information and review after lecture or prior to testing. This will help you better retain the information.

2. Create flash cards

Some nursing students may find this time consuming, but trust me, it will save you in the end. Flash cards are a great way of studying and is a common way of studying in nursing school. The best method to making flash cards would be to highlight pertinent information in your notes, or information your instructor stressed “you need to know this”, and then jot that down on a card.

3. Quiz yourself

There are countless of apps online where you can have the ability to create a quiz and quiz yourself. You can also do this by reviewing over your flash cards.

4. Get involved in a study group

Do you easily get distracted studying alone, or do you feel as if you need some help understanding the material? Study groups are great ways in helping students understand the countless pages of notes that your instructors may have given you.

5. Teach yourself or teach a non-nursing student

Grab a dry-erase board or a chalk board and “play school”. Some may think this is corny, but indeed, it helps! Hang the board on a wall, and write information on the board that you will need to know. Then, either explain that to yourself or grab a friend who is not in nursing school and teach them. By teaching, our mind keeps track of what we covered and how we addressed learning it.

6. Do not cram

This is a bad habit in nursing school, and sometimes it comes at a cost – failing. Cramming is never good, because our brains can only grasp so much information at a time. So, with that being said, we need to review and study the information over time. This will work like gorilla glue and stick ten times better.

7. Stay away from the stress

Nursing school in itself can be very stressful – agreed. But being stressed and how we handle the stress are two different things. We are unable to control what stresses our lives – in this case, final exams, but we can control how we react to it. The less stressed you are, the more you will be capable of succeeding.

8. Get plenty of rest, relax and take breaks

My final suggestion is to take breaks when studying. This allows your brain to relax and gives you some time to put the books away and focus on resting. Our minds work better if they are broken away from the constant worries of exams from time to time.

Good luck with any of your exams in nursing school and remember that final exams can either make you or break you. So study wisely, and always do your best.


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