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Saturday, August 18, 2007

Nclex, NLE, CGFNS: Test Taking Strategies

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Empower Yourself by Controlling your Thoughts and Emotions

* Keep a postive mental attitude.
* Challenge negative thoughts.
* Practice relaxation techniques.
* Densitize yourself to your fear of tests
* Use positive imagery to reduce physical reactions to stress

Prepare for the Test

* Manage your daily routine to ensure that you get enough rest
* Exercise
* Eat well and limit caffeine.
* Understand where you can concentrate
* Sutdy in short intervals
* Go to all of your classes.
* Make flashcards, outlines and summary sheets
* Form study groups with motivated students
* Over-preparation instills confidence

Test Taking Techniques

* Arrive on time for the test
* Bring the appropriate tools to the test
* Understand all of the directions for the test before starting
* Manage the allotted time to your advantage
* Concentrate on the simple questions before the complex ones.
* Make educated guesses
* Maintain a positive mental attitude
* Check your answers and answer sheet
* Stay away from crowds and anxious people.
* Pace yourself
* Read every line; don't just scan the questions
* Concentrate on one question at a time
* Never change your answer unless you are completely sure you made a mistake
* Pick the most complete answers and always answer all questions.
* Use logic and common sense; your first hunch is usually the right one.
* Remind yourself that you are in control!

Composition and Analysis of the Multiple Choice Test Question

Stem- the question.
* Case scenario - explains the situation.
* Issue - the specific problem or subject of the question.
* Analysis - focus on what you know about the issue.
* Problem
* Procedure
* Drug
* Disorder
* Behavior
Options - choice of answers.
* Distracters - answers that dont answer the question
* Keywords - words that set priority or directionalized care.
* General keywords.
* Early
* Late
* Immediately after
* Most likely
* Least likely
* Initial or priority nursing action
* After several days
* On day of admission

* Universal keywords
* All
* Only
* Every
* Always
* Negative keywords
* No
* Not
* Never
* Rarely
* Least essential
* Lowest priority
* Inappropriate
* Contraindicated

Tips on How to Examine Multiple Choice Test Questions

Practice critical thinking!

* Examine the stem
* Reframe the question
* Critique the stem
* Evaluate

Tips on How to Answer Multiple Choice Test Questions

* Try to construct the correct answer before you look at the options
* Identify patient-centered options
* Identify opposite answers first and closely -- then may be distracters
* Identify specific determiners in options such as always, never, all, etc.
* When any part of an option is wrong, the entire answer is wrong
* Some questions will have a false response; the question may ask you which action is contradicted so you should look for the wrong nursing action.
* Identify equally plausible or unique options
* Identify options that deny the patient's feelings, concerns or needs.

Tips for Answering True/False Questions

* Watch for keywords such as always, never, all or none. Qualified statements including words like these are probably false.
* If any part of the statment is false, then the entire statemetn is false.
* There are usually more true than false answers.
* Most true statement come right out of a textbook or lecture.
* Make yourself work quickly; dont't pause to analyze too much!

Words That Appear Most Frequently in Essay Questions

* Analyze - To dissect something or break it down into its different parts. To examine relationships among the parts.

* Choose - To select freely and after consideration. To state a preference for something. You will usually need to defend your choice; in outher words, you will need to back your choice up with specific examples and persional opinions.

To be continued...


Lippincott, Williams & Wilkins (2003). "Professor Nightengale's Test-Taking Strategies for Student Nurses," video

Nugent, P. and Vitale, B. (2000). Test Success, Test-Taking Techniques for Beginning Nursing Students

Millman and Paulk (1978). How to Take Tests

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Andrew said...

Thank you so much for sharing this important tips on how to pass NLE unselfishly to us.

More power!

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