We are that point in the semester—week 16 out of 16. Final exams are next week and as daunting as they are, I still manage to get bored with studying. I think my brain is just tired of absorbing information!
Are you in the same boat? No need to worry—here’s 5 study methods that will keep you refreshed and excited to learn (or relearn)!
Use any of these to help you review material and change up how you study! Try a new method that you’ve never done before and share with friends!
1. Write your own practice questions
This one takes some serious time, but I swear by it. Erika and I make practice tests for each other and they’re super helpful. I think actually making the questions is more helpful for me than taking the practice test, but you may benefit more from taking practice questions.
By making your own questions, you’re first practicing the style of the real exam. Nursing questions like to ask which is the BEST answer (even though they’re all correct), or multiple answer questions. When making my own questions, I try to mimic this as much as possible. Practice makes perfect, people.
You’re also reviewing the content. I try to make a test question for every PowerPoint slide we have (yes, 100+ questions per exam review!) and this really forces me to read every single word. I have to read, review and truly understand the content in order to make a question about it and then select an answer.
Also by coming up with incorrect answers, you’re learning what is NOT part of the content. I try to keep my incorrect answers relevant—no silly options.
If I only do ONE method of studying, it’s this, because it almost always guarantees me an A. You might think your questions won’t be as good as you’d like or as good as someone else’s, or that you won’t be able to remember which is correct and incorrect… Believe in yourself and just make practice questions, even if they don’t seem very good. You’re still reviewing content! Erika says our questions we make are actually harder than the test!
2. Rewrite, rewrite, rewrite!
Whether you prefer handwritten notes or typing notes on the computer, rewrite them by hand. There are so many different ways you can do this, like
· Making outlines
· Drawing diagrams/flow charts
· Writing on lined paper vs white paper
· Using colorful pens
· Drawing clouds or air bubbles
Basically, do whatever feels creative and fun to you. Rewrite the professor’s handouts and add in the notes you took from lecture and create one large set of notes.
Rewriting helps you review word-for-word what you learned in class, and making them look nice with neat handwriting, diagrams and doodles makes it more fun and enjoyable to look at (which is actually really important!)
3. Flash Cards—the OG
For classes with a lot of definitions to memorize, flash cards can be a great tool. Quizlet is a great resource for creating flashcards but pen and paper make excellent ones too!
This method actually knocks two out—both flash card review and rewriting the material (#2). You are copying the information down again, then memorizing with the card! The first time you go through your cards, just read them. The second time, read the definitions/backside first, and try to guess the answer. Then, the last step is to read the answer/front side first, then describe the definition/backside. Repeat until you know the material! Does this take you back to middle school? Anyone?
The only trick to this method is doing it early enough. Allow yourself ample time to write the cards and study with them—there’s no point in doing this trick the night before.
AKA my best friend. I love watching YouTube videos so much. There are so many great resources and videos on nursing processes/concepts that can help you review. This is a great tool if you’re tired of staring at notes and textbooks, because it’s really different than any other method of studying. Plus, if you’re a visual or auditory learner, it accommodates that!
My favorite nursing channel for studying is RegisteredNurseRN. Sara is extraordinarily smart and teaches the material with ease. If you go to her website, there are also practice tests and other resources.
Just be careful not to get distracted and travel to other videos that are off topic.
5. Teach it to a friend
Educating patients on their disease or managing symptoms is often verified with the “Teach-back method.” Basically, if the patient can restate in their own words what you’ve taught them, you know they understand.
So do the same thing for your exam: teach a friend or another student what you’ve learned. Pretend you’re the patient that has been taught the material, and put everything in your own words to describe each concept. Be sure to give plenty of examples and restate main ideas.
How do you combat boredom when studying? Do you like to change up your study methods? Be sure to leave a comment and subscribe to get the latest posts and updates.