“I study so hard, but…..What am I doing wrong?!?”

I hear from so many frustrated nursing students, and most tell me the same story:  they study everything and they feel like they know their stuff, but for some reason they are still struggling to get through their classes and pass exams.  They go to their teachers for help, and the teachers tell them, “Practice more NCLEX questions,” or “Get another review book,” or even “Study harder!”  The problem is, doing these things are probably not going to help you very much.

So I’m going to reveal to you the secret that I use.  Once you put this secret into practice, I guarantee that nursing school will become easier, and you’ll start to pass more exams.  So what’s the big secret?  Here it is…(are you ready for it?)…the secret is in understanding the content you’re studying.  Not just reading it, not just knowing it, or memorizing it.  But really, truly, understanding it.

Now before you start shouting that you DO understand this stuff, let me ask you a few questions.  What are you doing to understand the information?

Are you reading the chapters?  Multiple times? Only to find your mind wandering…

Are you highlighting what you think is important (probably everything)?

Do you rewrite your lecture notes?  Copy down the rationales from practice NCLEX questions you get wrong?

Do you ever study while watching TV? Or listening to music? Or watching your cell phone for that next text message?

Do you read through a series of questions and answers and find yourself nodding and saying “yes, that makes sense”, or “oh, I understand that”, or “so that’s what that means”, only to find that you draw a blank when asked the same questions on an exam?

If you answered yes to any of these questions, then you’re setting yourself up for failure.  These are all very superficial methods of studying, and it’s easy to fool yourself into thinking that you understand the material just because you spend a lot of time with your textbooks.  But in reality, the only way you will begin to understand the material is by independently thinking about it, and seeing how it fits into the “bigger picture” of nursing.  Easier said than done, though, right?

You can learn how to do it!  It takes practice, but it’s a skill that is definitely worth mastering.  It will revolutionize the way you approach your nursing classes.  Plus…it’s a lot less boring than how you’re studying now.  So how do you do it?  I’m going to teach you.  Stay tuned for my blog post on Monday, when I will break it down for you step-by-step, and show you how to get rid of your frustration and replace it with confidence.

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