Mid-terms are over!
We just finished a grueling week of mid-term exams at USD. Many students talked about their study sessions, others say they can only study alone. If you are disappointed in your mid-term grade, you still have time to bring up your final grade.
Here are some tips to improve your grade:
Determine why your midterm grade was low. Did you not understand the material? Did you not get enough sleep before the test? Did you wait too long to start studying? Don’t save all your studying for the night before your next test. If you’re having trouble with the material, ask your professor for advice and extra help.
Attend every class: If you want good grades in nursing school, you must attend every class, not almost every class. The importance of regular class attendance cannot be overemphasized. When you miss classes, you miss lectures, notes, discussions, and explanations. Your professors have years of clinical expertise and this gets discussed in class. Do not think missing a class won’t make a difference. You cannot make up what you miss.
Pay attention and participate in class. If your professor posts podcasts of the lectures, listen to the podcast lectures prior to class and show up for class ready to go. At the graduate level you should be an active contributor to the class discussion. When the time rolls around for a letter of recommendation, don’t be left out in the cold because you did not distinguish yourself to your professor during class. As a general rule … for every unit of class, you should make one intellectual statement. For example, your class is a three unit class, you should contribute to the class discussion three times.
Find more time to study. Join a study group to discuss the difficult aspects of the material. Hearing a fellow nursing student explain the concepts will make it easier to remember. Make sure to take as many of the Kaplan practice tests as possible. This not only helps increase your knowledge content but will help you increase the speed with which you are answering the questions so you will be ready for the NCLEX. The Kaplan remediation portion of tests are really quite good. When you miss a question, you should spend at least 3 minutes reviewing the remediation component. At the graduate level for every unit of theory class you take you should put in three hours studying per week. For example, if you are taking a three unit class, you should be studying nine hours per week. Yes, it seems like a lot of studying time, but that is what will separate the exceptional nurses’ from the mediocre nurses.
Know your professors. Every professor has a different personality and system for running his/her classes, so it makes sense as early in the semester as possible to learn what the professor wants. … Understand course expectations. Visit him or her during office hours, or stay after class to seek clarification of material.
Study every day. Nursing is packed with new terminology and jargon that is different from your undergrad education. Memorize what you need to and identify key words to help you remember. Or, create mnemonics, which are acronyms for a list of items.