3 Easy Ways to Drastically Improve Your Exam Scores

Hey, guys.

Let us a quick break from our usual discussions about nursing topics and deviate to three simple techniques that will immensely enhance your study habits, thereby boosting your exam scores big time. Once you get to know these methods, learning and remembering every subject will become far less complicated and more enjoyable.

Without further ado, here are Simple Nursing’s three ways to upgrade the way prepare, review, and retain all the vital nursing topics that are crucial in acing your major exams.

  1. Collate and Highlight

This first technique is something that every student is familiar with – collating the notes and handouts and highlighting all major details that were repeatedly emphasized during class lectures or clinical exposures. Gather every single resource material that you have, pile them all up, and go through the necessary details, namely:

  • Laboratory values
  • Pathophysiology
  • Nursing process
  • Keywords
  • Pharmacology
  • Signs and symptoms
  1. Pinpoint then Transfer

Here, notecards are of the essence. After highlighting every single word, line, or phrase, the next step is to go through all these highlighted portions, take them out, and write them on the note cards. These are not just ordinary notecards wherein you indicate summarized versions of the various topics. Here, you can do the following:

  • Contrast and comparison between two diseases (e., acute renal failure versus chronic renal failure) – place only keywords that will help you remember every disease
  • Phases and values using tables

By the end of this notecard series, you can expect to have quite a thick stack of notecards, around 50 pieces. Make sure that these notecards are ready at least three days before your major test because these are the only things that you will use to review and recall all the nursing subjects without having to go through all the overwhelming reference materials.

And the best thing about these notecards is that you can take them anywhere you go, whether it’s the beach or when you’re dining out. They are useful and convenient to use.

  1. Answer 100 NCLEX® questions

Purchase an NCLEX® book of any kind, be it Saunders or Mosby, it doesn’t matter for as long as you have an NCLEX® book that you can answer.  With your notecard, you will apply what you know by recalling all the keywords and applying what you know by answering all the items in the book that you decided to purchase.

So, the trick here is to answer at least 100 NCLEX® questions in a day. This technique will significantly boost your test-taking strategy and give you a better idea as to how much you know regarding a specific subject or topic.

Parting Words

By following this three-step tip, you will become more prepared in consolidating your study time, hopefully, scoring higher on your next major exam without wracking your brain through exhausting hours of reading and finding yourself more confused than ever.

Finally, breathe. If you have the right tools to help you achieve your goals, you will surely pass with flying colors. In Simple Nursing, we’ve managed to do the other duties for you like picking out the essential keywords and creating a more efficient way to remember all difficult and confusing topics. Just go through our blogs in our Simple Nursing website and check out our videos on our YouTube channel as well.

Good luck with your exams!

Pass Your Exams with Mike Linares’ Efficient Study Tips

Are you having a difficult time studying for your upcoming exams? Here at SimpleNursing.com, Mike Linares will let you in on a little secret – his study techniques to help succeed in your test.

It is imperative that you know these three things that Mike has emphasized so you can:

  • Cut your study time by 60%
  • Score a B on your next nursing exam

Who is this for?

  • Anyone who is going through a troublesome time reviewing and recalling all the nursing subjects
  • For those who have been out-of-school or out-of-service for a period of time and wanted to start again
  • For students whose exams are just around the corner

Finally, if you feel like you’re one of those students who has been given all the books, tools, PowerPoint materials, and nursing resources yet still don’t have any idea how to cross the bridge, this is for you.

The Three-Tip Manuscript

Mike has specified and outlined three study tips and called it the “Three-Tip Manuscript.” According to him, these are the techniques you need to pass your exams.

Tip 1: 15-Minute Increments

Blocking out two to three hours of straight study time is, according to studies, ineffective. Research has shown that comprehension and retention of information only work at the beginning and the end of every study session. Everything you’ve read in between will be forgotten the next day.

For that reason, it is advisable to cut study time by 15-minute increments with a quick break; and then proceed to the next 15 minutes. This technique is used so that distractions will not get in the way of your tedious three-hour traditional study time.

For example, if you’re studying cardiology for this day, choose a topic within cardiology and study that for 15 minutes. Once your 15 minutes is up, take a five-minute break, then review again for 15 minutes. You can repeat this until you’re done with the subject, or you’ve had enough studying for one day.

Basic rule: No distractions within those 15 minutes!

For 15 minutes, you will block out everything and everyone and just focus on the task at hand. So, that means there will be no social media, kids, hubby, household chores, and mobile phones. It is essential that whenever you “get in the zone” of those 15 minutes, you devote all of your attention to it. Do not allow time vampires to suck that time from you.

Also, you can make as many 15-minute increments as you want. So, set that timer and get a hold of those 15 minutes you deserve.

Tip 2: Note Cards

After those 15-minute increments, go through all the information you’ve highlighted which you think are crucial to review. Now, take all of those highlighted information and write them down on note cards. What are you expected to write on your note cards?

  • Important keywords and phrases
  • Five thought-provoking questions that will be written on the back of every note card
  • Answers to the questions

Why choose note cards?

  • They will cut your study time by understanding only the key concepts
  • They are more convenient to carry; you can bring it anywhere and study instantly
  • They are fun and friendly because note cards help you focus on the fundamentals

Tip 3: 50 – 100 NCLEX® Questions

Now that you have your note card packed with all those vital concepts, you can use what you’ve learned, then apply it by answering 50 – 100 NCLEX® questions. When studying to answer NCLEX® questions, always think about keywords. Every NCLEX® question has a specific keyword that you need to watch out for and relate to. So your keywords will come in handy once you read through those NCLEX® questions.

Take as many NCLEX® questions as you can because the more you answer, the less anxious you become and the more relaxed and comfortable you’ll feel once you take the actual test.

For complete access to unlimited NCLEX® questions, visit us at simplenursing.com. Become a member and have an all-access pass to all nursing materials, articles, videos and NCLEX®-related resources to help you cut your time and study better.

Key Terms for NCLEX® Delegation and Management Questions

Recent NCLEX® topics are primarily focused on delegation, prioritization and leadership. Among those that were mentioned, delegation type questions are going to be a huge part of nursing schools.

Fortunately, Mike is here to provide the gist and the important keywords that you have to watch out for every time you encounter delegation and management questions on your comprehensive exams, especially on your NCLEX®.

The PACET Method

When dealing with client and task delegations, there are five things that you cannot entrust to other people and that is broken down into the acronym, PACET (pronounced as “paket”). As a registered nurse, you cannot delegate the nursing process which is also known in other schools as SOAPIE, ADPIE, or DAR. Mike simplifies this as PACET.

P for Planning

If you are an RN, one of your main tasks is to plan and collaborate for client goals; thus you cannot delegate planning to an LPN or a CNA. This is because it is expected of you, as a registered nurse, to take on full responsibility of your client and you cannot share that responsibility with other healthcare teams.

A for Assessment

Secondary assessments can be delegated; however, you cannot pass primary assessments to anybody. That said, can you pick which is the right answer to the question below?

Q: Which of the following clients would you delegate?

  1. A post-op client who just came out from the operating room
  2. New admissions
  3. Three-day-old chest pain

When picking the right answer, you always have to remember that nurses do the first assessment. Now, among the three situations given above, which do you think needs first assessment?

Answer: The client who just came out of the operating room is unstable and needs initial assessment which is also termed as vigilant assessment. On the other hand, nurses are required to gather more information from new admissions. Therefore, both post-op (A) and new admissions (B) are NOT to be delegated.

So now, you’re left with the post-operative client who’s already been in the hospital for a couple of days and is considered stable. So the answer for the question above is “C”.

C for Collaboration

Collaboration is for working with other members of the healthcare team to achieve client goals. Some of the collaborations inside the hospital are wound consult, social services, dietary services, and if the client needs a respiratory therapist. Only the RN does this kind of collaboration, not the LVNs.

E for Evaluation

LPNs and CNAs can take note of the pain scale and vital signs but are not allowed to evaluate because it’s specifically the RN’s role – to think critically and evaluate efficiently. Therefore, the nurse should evaluate:

  • Care plans
  • Client goals
  • Vital signs
  • Pain scale

T for Teaching

Primary education or client teaching cannot be delegated. LVNs can reinforce education but they are not responsible for providing exemplary client education to decrease complications that might occur after discharge.

During the exam

Keep in mind, during your NCLEX®, that if you see any of the PACET keywords the multiple choice questions, it’s automatically the correct answer under the topic of delegation. Once again, those that you should not delegate and are your primary responsibilities are:

  • Planning
  • Assessment
  • Collaboration
  • Evaluation
  • Teaching

As registered nurses, you have to assume obligation and accountability for the five keywords mentioned above. Furthermore, being keen on identifying if it’s primary or secondary evaluation can help you quickly point out the right answer to your NCLEX®.

Don’t forget PACET.

For more information and other easy-to-understand nursing lectures and videos, visit our website at SimpleNursing.com.

See you in the next video!

Ace Your NCLEX® and Exit Exam in 3 Outrageously Simple Steps

Hello, we are back to give you the simplest, most uncomplicated way possible to get you through your exams, whether it’s the HESI or ATI or even your NCLEX.

Comprehensive exams are something that student look forward to but wish would never happen. It’s probably one of the most stressful times in a nursing student’s life. And more often than not, they make it difficult for everyone. And for that reason, we at SimpleNursing.com will provide what you need to do and what you should not do when taking your exams.

Test preparation

Doomsday is right around the corner and you feel like there’s still so much to comprehend, memorize, and remember. Universities or colleges usually allow students to prepare for at least seven to 14 days. HESI or ATI week is one of the most stressful periods of students’ lives that they even experience physical manifestations like ulcer, anxiety, panic attack, and insomnia.

Preparation for comprehensive exams feels like dumping a lot of information in your brain all at once and remembering nothing at all. But fear not, Mike is here to help make things simpler and far less complicated. This game plan in facing your exams has been proven effective by over 40,000 students and counting.

Step 1: Focus on the top three most difficult subjects of the semester.

Passing nursing exams is not rocket science. You need to create a plan that works for you which is effective enough to get you from point A to point B. Studying all the materials given at school is not enough. Initially, you need to create a strategic plan to conquer the most frustrating parts of studying.

So, the basic goal here is to select which subjects are giving you the hardest time and underneath that, prioritize the topics that you find most difficult to comprehend. Know where to focus your time and effort. Instead of focusing on what you have already mastered by heart, concentrate on the areas that are crippling your mind.

To give you a solid example:

Your HESI or ATI is coming up, and you’ve realized that on all the areas that are covered by the exams, the subjects that are giving you a hard time, namely:

  • Medical-surgical
  • Pharmacology
  • Pediatrics
  • OB
  • Psychiatric

Note: Usually, community health questions do not show up on the exams or have a significant effect on the test questions.

So, among the provided list of subjects, which of the three are giving you a hard time? As for Mike, his Waterloos are medical-surgical, OB, and psychiatric nursing. So, the next thing that you should do is to identify which top three topics about medical-surgical, OB, and psychiatric nursing stress you the most. Mike has identified his topics like this:

  • Medical-surgical – Heart, Lungs, Brain
  • OB – Labor, Mom assessment, Prenatal
  • Psychiatric – Pharmacology, Two (2) types of personality disorders

That’s basically the top three hardest topics of your top three hardest subjects which you should be focusing on. But that’s not all. You should also identify underneath the top three topics, the sub-topics that you struggle with the most. For example, what lessons about the heart do you find most difficult? Write it down.

Now, because there usually are more than three areas that we struggle with for our sub-topics, that’s the time that we head on out to our step two.

Step 2: Create a plan.

Now that you know where your focus should be, the next thing that you should do is to make the plan and implement it in an organized manner. In creating the plan, you have to do a couple of things:

  1. Print out a calendar. Take note that HESI or ATI exams give at least two weeks of preparation. However, if you are in an accelerated program, you probably just have seven days to take it all in. That’s not sufficient at all. Now, to give you a better picture, if you are given two weeks to study, you will do so in four to six days in a week which means, in 14 days, you will have 8 to 12 rigorous study periods.
  2. Pinpoint important dates. In order to implement the study days, you should point out the date when you would start studying, as well as the date of the exam.
  3. Cross out your calendar. Get a red pen or marker then diagonally cross each day out. The diagonal line is the division between your morning (AM) and afternoon (PM) study sessions. The division of AM and PM is to save your brain from fatigue. Rigorous study hours, usually consisting of up to eight hours in a day is not helpful at all. This is because the exhausted brain will normally zone out what you’ve studied in between and just remember what you’ve learned at the beginning and the end.
  4. Break up the days. It is advisable that there should only be three hours of studying done in the morning. As for the PM study session, that will be tackled on step 3.

Now, you’re wondering, “Why is it just 3 hours in the morning? And why does it have to be in the morning?” Mornings are the best time of the day to be active and productive. The brain has replenished itself from a well-rested sleep, making it fruitful that it can accommodate complex questions.

Furthermore, the reason why you should only study for three hours in the morning is because in a span of three hours, you’ll be able to answer and rationalize 60 of the most difficult questions about the complicated sub-topics that you have previously identified. Here’s how:

  1. Break down your three hours.
  2. For every hour, you have 20 minutes to answer 20 questions, then 40 minutes to rationalize. You will also be doing this in your second and third hour.

This technique works effectively for anyone especially for those slow, anxious test-takers. For those who have text anxiety, Mike suggests the following effective methods:

  1. Stress yourself out within the 20 minutes of taking the 20 questions.
  2. Listen to loud, distracting music that you hate.
  3. Hope on one foot.

Distraction within those 20 minutes is recommended because it will take you out of your comfort zone and make you immune to other forms of distraction during the test day. You might think that’s nonsense but it actually works for most people because it lessens the anxiety and increases focus.

What to do in the remaining 40 minutes? Aside from rationalizing, you should note down the topics that you’ve missed. These are the topics that you’ve missed within those 20 minutes.

Not only have you accomplished 60 test questions in three hours, you’ve also accumulated and outlined 60 specific topics you are having problems with. This technique saves you a lot of time than scouring through all your nursing books and jotting down the topics that you don’t know.

Step 3: Summarize and memorize content efficiently.

Now, we go to your PM study session. Study time here should not be more than four hours. Come to think about it, AM and PM sessions combined, you have a total of seven hours study time. Not bad.

By now, your anxiety must be getting the best of you. Don’t worry, you have we have a plan. And this plan is going to take you from A to B. One of the main reasons why students fail, aside from not studying efficiently, is because they did not stick with their plans. Whether it’s a HESI, or an ATI, or NCLEX, for as long as you have a plan and don’t divert from it, you’ll be okay.

So, step 3 is about condensing information you absolutely have no idea whatsoever. There are a couple of options that you can do to review these certain topics – go back to the same boring nursing books and climb that steep hill all by yourself or get condensed videos of those topics. You’ve probably seen some of these videos containing summarized topics like the Liver Song and ABGs. There are about 900 videos available at SimpleNursing.com that you can rely on to carry you through these tough 14 days of your life.

Even better if you avail of one our membership plans. Mike has managed to condense three comprehensive NCLEX study guides and other nursing materials. With SimpleNursing.com, you don’t have to figure out which topics you need to focus on because Mike’s done that for you. Aside from that, Mike has arranged keywords and acronyms inside those videos to make it easier for you to understand.

During your PM study session, use the list of topics you’ve gathered in the morning from the test questions then search the website database for keywords. There are about 300 videos available in YouTube for free! But that’s just the tip of the iceberg or 30% of the overall topics that we can provide; 70% of those videos are locked in our membership vault.

So here’s what you have to do with the list of questions you’ve missed in your AM session:

  1. Match the questions or topics to the video content available on YouTube or in our membership plan vault.
  2. Using a regular computer paper, make a four-square outline.
  3. In each of the box, write down the topics that you’re having difficulties with like for example:
    1. First box – Heart
    2. Second box – Lungs
    3. Third box – Brain
    4. Fourth box – Other
  4. These boxes are useful when watching our videos by getting the key information that you might be struggling with and writing it down the specific box.

For example:

If you are taking Neurology exam and you are struggling with multiple sclerosis, or Guillain-Barre Syndrome, or ALS, in Mike’s videos, there are a few key things that he touches on wherein he strongly points out that it is significant to know those points because they usually come out in the tests.

  1. Write those key points, the only need-to-know information, inside the boxes which you can think of as a filing cabinet.

Track your progress

So imagine that it’s been seven days. In a span of seven days, what have you accomplished?

  1. 240 to 360 questions. Inefficient instructors will tell you that you should finish test questions of not less than 400. This is not beneficial to you in any way. Your mind will reach its limit even before you get to the 100th Mike’s words: 60 questions per day and that’s it.
  2. Up to 360 topics are uncovered and understood with qualifying keywords on your piece of paper.
  3. That piece of paper can be brought anywhere and everywhere. Do not be chained to your books.

Don’t miss out on the good stuff

This three-step technique is really everything you need to make it through whatever exams you have. If you’re wondering if this applies for your finals, there is actually an entire course on that at SimpleNursing.com which will absolutely blow your mind. The success stories that we have will inspire you. If they can do it, so can you.

We highly recommend that you become a member especially for those who are struggling with HESI, ATI or NCLEX. All you need to do is drop by SimpleNursing.com and ace that test!