Date Published: April 26, 2017
There’s a lot more to nursing school than taking tests, but it’s undeniable that tests form major benchmarks in your nursing school journey. Most journeys begin with an entrance exam (like the TEAS). Next, you are tested throughout your program on various subject matter, whether it’s pharmacology or medical surgical, in a timed testing environment. To complete your nursing school journey, you take on the NCLEX exam so that you can begin your career as a full-time working nurse.
It’s a reality that timed tests are a component of nursing school, but you shouldn’t sweat it. To help give you some peace of mind before taking on one of many timed tests, we want to share some tips and tricks.
Tip 1: Eat Well and Sleep Well
Leading up to an exam, it is important to eat well and sleep well. That means those all-nighters packed with caffeine are a big no no. According to ATI’s Achieve tutorial, eating well and sleeping well leading up to an exam can actually help to reduce anxiety.
Related Read: See more studying tips here!
Tip 2: Positivity is key.
According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America (ADAA), one of the main causes of test anxiety is the fear of failure. “While the pressure to perform can act as a motivator, it can also be devastating to individuals who tie their self-worth to the outcome of a test.”
To help counter this, ADAA suggests, “Remember that your self-worth should not be dependent on or defined by a test grade. Creating a system of rewards and reasonable expectations for studying can help to produce effective studying habits.”
Tip 3: Write Down Memorized Information
When you receive your test, it never hurts to immediately write down memorized information. ATI’s Achieve tutorial recommends that you use the space in the margin to write down formulas, definitions, and keywords. By doing this, you will not forget the information and you will also be able to reference it quickly and easily.
Tip 4: Answer Simple Questions First
Another tip from ATI’s Achieve tutorial is to answer simple questions first. When test takers do this, they build confidence and allows you to tackle the more difficult questions later on.
Tip 5: Relax your body and mind.
So you’re in the middle of a big exam and then you see it, a question that you really can’t recall the answer to. Instead of panicking, the ADAA recommends practicing relaxation techniques by focusing on deep, slow breaths and relaxing your body, one muscle at a time. By doing this, you allow your body and mind to refocus and take on the tricky question.
Related Read: 5 Things You Should Do After Every Exam