Test-taking Preparation Quick Tips

  • Don’t procrastinate
    • It is best to review and study small sections or course content over several days as opposed to cramming.
  • Review the 5-day Study Plan
  • Follow faculty instructions and guidance related to synthesizing and understanding course content.
  • Don’t try to memorize ALL content. Rote memorization does not facilitate long-term comprehension.
  • Instead of memorization, think about content from a conceptual or logical perspective.
  • Textbook readings, PowerPoint slides, seminars, lectures and other course activities are key success indicators to understanding course content.
  • Join or organize a study/review group or team.

Testing Quick Tips

  • Read ALL of the test question before proceeding to test options.
  • Identify key words in the test question stem.
  • Based on the information provided in the question stem, identify the test item’s theme or subject area.
  • Themes may be built upon the nursing process. 
  • Do not assume information that is not given.
  • Answer difficult questions by eliminating the obviously incorrect responses first; then select the best of the remaining options.
  • Know the basic principles that guide the area of practice.
  • To look for patterns in your performance and flaws in your thinking, analyze your test-taking behaviors by reviewing the test and establish strategies to correct your identified problems. 
  • A computer review when available, gives you immediate feedback indicating your weak content areas and once the test has been closed, you may review missed test items with their indicated rationales.
  • The course instructor upon request may be willing to review test that do not provide computer reviews.
  • Manage your time effectively during test-taking.
  • Do not change answers without sound, logical rationale.

Common Testing Errors

  • Misread the question.
  • Read into or over analyzed the question.
  • Skipped limiting words (clues) in the stem or answer.
  • Assessed the question stem incorrectly.
  • Drew wrong conclusion(s).
  • Changed answers without a logical rationale.
  • Never studied/did not know the testing content.
  • Did not answer all questions.
  • Did not develop a plan to optimally use the exam time period.
  • Increased test anxiety.