Taking examinations can be exciting for a minority of people and daunting for the rest of us. Which is moderately justifiable since, at the end of three or four years of studying, we all have to cross the tape that is licensure examinations.
I would like to make the process easier for you with these five simple steps:
Self-belief is the first step to succeeding in nursing, a profession where people of all ages will always trust you. With their time, their bodies, their lives, their children, their most private information and so on.
Have confidence in your clinical judgement, trust your ability to do well. You absolutely can!
How to do this? Create a positive mindset! Research like the Broaden and build theory
point to positive attitude opening up your mind to multiple possibilities. In this case, conceiving new and innovative ideas. Further, you unbound yourself from the negativity outcome that is narrow thinking into vast possibilities such as social, mental-academic resources. In the end, you will utilize these resources in a social, professional and academic context for success.
Nullify negative thoughts with positive ideation and continuously object to illogical perceptions.
Confidence is also propagated by your knowledge of the required content. How do you do this?
Let´s go on…
2. Prepare thoroughly;
Strive to begin studying while the information from school is still fresh in your mind. Preparing long before the exam allows you time to internalize the content. If you have just finished your college/university semesters, take some days or a week-long break before commencing revision.
Create a timetable of a minimum 2/3 hours of studying a day. This written commitment ensures you hold yourself accountable.
Begin with the toughest subjects and move on to simpler ones. By so doing, you have time allowance to re-analyse difficult concepts. Other people prefer to set off with an interesting subject that puts their mind in the right study mode. Pick which method suits you. However, remember that last-minute studying of complicated subjects might leave you too anxious to comprehend the concepts.
Have a study group/Discussion Group. I can not stress the benefits of this enough. A discussion group is an opportunity to articulate your thoughts while others reaffirm or correct you. You can share exam profitable ideas while keeping each other on track.
Create a cohesive comprehensive group of 3 to 5 individuals who have a common goal of sharing knowledge while broadening their own. By comprehensive, have people who bring various strengths to the table. For example, others can be good at clinical/practical work, another person is good in diagrammatic explanations while the last one is good in pathophysiology and so on. This way, you holistically horn each other’s skills.
5 steps to building a functional study group in Nursing School delves further into discussion groups.
3. Collect relevant study material;
Collect multiple relevant learning resources;
your written notes, manual books, (hard and/or soft copies) YouTube videos, past exam papers
and so on. The flexibility to access content presented in various styles gives you leeway to choose what suits you best. If you understand a pathophysiology better in a video narration and management better in a written form, there is a wide menu to pick from. There are PDF preparation manuals specifically for the NCK exams that have condensed information. Look at posters in the hospitals, health campaigns etc. Sometimes they check for your general knowledge.
Once set, you can opt to write out the study topics in order of priority which you can tick off as you cover each respectively.
Answer past examination papers.
They give you a feel of the actual examination. Familiarize yourself with the contents of each paper, sections and question structuring. While answering the questions, find the rationale behind each answer.
Get in touch with your lecturers and former candidates to further check out what is expected. They can offer some beneficial guidance on how to wade through from their experiences. Ask how best to structure the answers for each section, present diagrams and so forth.
4. Take some time off; Sleep, engage in hobbies.
Taking scheduled breaks allows you to assimilate the content you have just read. After 45 minutes of studying, break for 15 minutes or so. You can also use the simplified Pomodoro study technique for Nurses.
Engage in a non-mentally engaging activity in a place that is not studying related. Your mind will be better relaxed if you have a banana on the terrace rather than watching a comedy on the computer you are studying from.
Practice familiar hobbies that deflate the tension and ease the pressure. Personally, the endorphin rush from running at least 30 minutes daily frees my mind. You can do anything that simply distracts you from the massiveness of the big picture. Take a walk, laugh with some friends, watch a comedy! Whatever works for you.
Did you know that sleeping sufficiently consolidates our ideas and thoughts into long-term memory?
Well, I got this idea from ¨Inside Out¨the animation!! However, multiple pieces of research
both old and new reveal that sleeping helps not only growth and development but the consolidation of memories. Opposed to this is an active wake brain which is suited for encrypting thoughts.
5. Final preparation prior to the exam;
Weeks before the exam ensure you are actually registered, you have your Identification card and can access the examination centre.
Days prior to the exam, collect all the stationery you need (White out, 2/3 pens, 2 pencils, 2 sharpeners, 2 erasers and anything else you see fit). Write with similar coloured pens. Some exam rooms allow candy but i am not certain if the centres in Kenya allow this. You can have bottled water in a label free bottle.
The day before the exam, locate your stock just to confirm.
The exam night is here, ease your mind. Have a well-balanced familiar meal. Ease your mind by watching a movie or going for a short walk.
The morning of, eat a familiar filling meal yet not heavy. Something that´ll keep you energized for longer. Carbohydrates are important as they are the main source of glucose for optimal cognitive function.
Get to the exam centre at least 30 minutes before commencement.
Once seated, take a deep breath, hold it in for 3 seconds, breath out….. ease into the test smoothly.
You Got This!!