It’s finals week and for the first time in our nursing school careers, our class doesn’t have a final!Â It is an INCREDIBLE feeling. Sorry, not to rub it in or anything to any of you who are reading this during your study break and cramming sessions. I just come to bring you the good news that someday soon your final-taking days will finally come to an end!
This quarter, my co-president and I needed some extra hours to finalize our preceptorship paperwork, and decided to fulfill those hours by helping another class review for their final. One class welcomed us in to study for their med-surg II final.Â They sent us their final blue print and we got to reviewing to brush up on our content before we ran a study session (after all, I don’t want to give them all 2 year old information from my head that has a very thick layer of dust on it!).
And that’s when I opened my med-surg book. It’s been a while, but I was shocked when I opened up to pages and pages of highlighted text – literally – EVERYTHING was highlighted! WHO DID THIS TO MY BOOK? was the first thing that went through my head. I can’t believe the things that I highlighted, and what’s scarier, I don’t even remember highlighting half of it! Did I really learn it all? I can’t believe how much we’re able to process in such short amounts of time in nursing school.
So anyway, I started reviewing, and I found that it’s so much easier to study for someone else’s final.Â When the pressure is off and you’re already somewhat familiar with the content, your mind is open to learning more. Studying for a final puts these blinders on, like we’re focused one “What’s going to be on this test” not, “what can I learn from this chapter.” And that’s the way it has to be, I guess. If we don’t put those blinders on, we can’t absorb all the information at once. But after taking it in a little bit at a time, it’s easier to see the bigger picture and really soak up the information.
I don’t think I have any more tests left except for the final ATI and the NCLEX, but I am definitely going to try and apply this approach. Not focusing on the test in front of me but on the information that I can learn and apply in practice. It’s worth a shot!