- With finals just around the corner, I am always trying to figure out ways to get the information in my brain and make it stick there. And while yes, we all read our text books, they don’t always provide us with the best ways to make the information stick. There are tons of resources other than your textbook out there that you get ready for your finals, these are just a few of the one’s I’ve found that work best:
- That CD-rom that comes with your text book. I totally used to ignore this CD thinking that it was just some electronic copy of the text book that wouldn’t help. WRONG! It’s full of care plans, case studies and even review questions. While some text books have better Companion CDs than others, you can almost always guarantee that there will be some type of review questions a the very least.
- Text book web sites. So after I discovered the CD-rom I thought, “oh, the information on the website is probably the same thing.” Wrong again! The website for your textbook can give you review questions in NCLEX style with rationales for the answers. Sometimes the website will provide you with a chapter outline that can help you make a study guide, or it might include extra information on meds pertaining to each chapter. A great way to break down the essentials of each chapter.
- NCLEX review books. If you haven’t gotten one yet, I strongly recommend getting an NCLEX review book, preferably one that breaks chapters down by system, so you can follow along with what you’re studying at school. Most nursing schools test in NCLEX style, and so using the chapters that correspond with your class material will not only provide you with practice questions, but it will also help you get familiar with the testing style of the NCLEX exam.
- Supplemental texts. Many nursing schools use a standardized supplemental text book. These aren’t just for studying for your school’s standardized tests! They have outlines and review questions, and probably a website with practice tests too!
- Your friends! Never underestimate the power of a good study group. Once you’ve all reviewed the material, get together somewhere comfortable (make sure you’ve stocked up on snacks), and start reviewing. Whether you all work on a study guide together, or each take on a section to teach each other, work together to get through it together. What you understand really well might be what you can teach to your friends, and maybe they really know about that one thing you haven’t been able to grasp. If you get a good group together and work at it, you’ll be amazed at how much you can accomplish!
Getting through the textbook isn’t always an easy task, but using extra resources might be the key to helping you get through it. So try them out, find which ones work for you, and keep at it! Good luck and happy studying!