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Study Skills and Test Taking Strategies Kathy Alden, RN, MSN, IBCLC Academic Counselor Preparing for Class Look over chapter Read outline and course objectives Do readings, make notes Look up new terminology Write down ?’s to ask in class Getting the Most from Lectures Sit near front Change seats occasionally Focus on content, not on instructor Be alert for repetition of concepts Getting the Most from Lectures PAY ATTENTION TO VERBAL TIPS: reading from text enumerations terminology OBSERVE SUBTLE CUES louder voice repeating idea pausing for you to write hand gestures END OF LECTURE: STAY FOCUSED Tips on Taking Notes Clean paper, one side only Wide margins Powerpoint slides Date, title, and number pages Use abbreviations Write legibly Highlight important points (COLOR) Retype on word processor Compare with others LISTEN!!! LISTEN!!! LISTEN!!! Study Groups Forming the group Conducting the group Assign tasks Test each other Practice teaching Compare notes Brainstorm questions Set an agenda Pair off to do book reports Prepare study questions to teach others in group Memory Techniques Organize the info General to specific Meaningful Associations Memory Techniques Use your body Learn actively Be relaxed, but mentally alert Picture it Recite, Repeat, Write Memory Techniques Use your brain Reduce interference Use daylight Overlearn Distribute learning Memory Techniques Recall it Remember in association Notice remembering Use it or lose it Before a test… Manage review time Daily, weekly, major reviews Create review tools Checklists, mind maps, flash cards Plan a strategy Study guides, dry test run, instructor expectations Join a study group Before a test…. Avoid marathon study sessions Don’t review right before a test Get a good night’s sleep two nights before a test Don’t work the day before EAT BREAKFAST!!! During the test… Arrive early Avoid discussing habits with other students Jot down memory aids Scan entire test Use memory techniques when stuck Pace yourself Multiple Choice Questions Answer easy ones first Answer each question before looking at answers Mark a question if you are having trouble and come back to it Only if you have misread the question should you change your answer Guidelines for Test-taking Success in Nursing School Know the parts of the question Background, stem, options Read carefully before looking at the options Key words: except, primary, initial, best, most Guidelines for Test-taking Success in Nursing School ID theme of item and use info given Answer difficult questions by eliminating obviously incorrect responses first Guidelines for Test-taking Success in Nursing School Always select the most therapeutic and respectful response Eliminate bizarre, inappropriate, and punitive responses Know basic nursing principles Guidelines for Test-taking Success in Nursing School Manage time Do not change answers without good reason Choose options within realm of nursing judgment vs physician judgment Priority Setting What action takes priority? What should the nurse do first? What should the nurse do initially? What is essential for the nurse to do? Look for key words…. All, nothing, every, always, only, rarely, never. Sample All of the following behaviors are typical of a three year old except: a. Putting on make up and playing grown up b. Reciting address and phone number c. Throwing a ball about 5 feet d. Identifying animals from a picture book Sample A husband was admitted to the ER in DTs. This admission is his third visit in two weeks. While waiting to see her husband, the wife said to the nurse: “What in the world can I do to help my husband get over this drinking problem?”. The best initial response for the nurse is: a. “Don’t feel guilty. I know this must be difficult for you”. b. “Let’s go into the lounge so we can talk more about your concern”. c. “You need to convince him to seek professional help”. d. “How long has your husband been drinking?” Sample A 58 year old is recovering from a prostatectomy. His urinary output in the past 2 days has been satisfactory. However, the nurse now notices that it is becoming increasingly bloody. The nurse’s first action is to: a. Irrigate the foley b. Notify the physician c. Take vital signs d. Empty the drainage bag WHEN THE TEST IS OVER… REWARD YOURSELF!!!!
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