Studying Hard vs. Studying Smart!
In this fast-paced and busy world that we live in, who has all the time to sit and absorb so much information…in a short time? So why not come up with more efficient and effective ways to study. Instead of focusing on retaining quantity of information, you should be focusing on improving the quality of your thought process. Thinking like a nurse is thinking through content, situations, and possible solutions to a problem. Value is not only placed on how much you know, but even more on: if you know where to get information, identify the most accurate information, and what you can do with the information. Hopefully, the table below will help you strategize how to get through nursing school with better retention of information, quality thought processes, and better chances of passing your NCLEX.
Studying Hard (Okay)
- Reading textbook word for word
- “Highlighting the entire book”
- Reviewing your notes from class by reading them
- Writing down word for word what the teacher is saying during lecture
- Choosing your best friend(s) as your study buddy
- Wait for teacher lecture on the topic
- Memorizing as much information as you can
- Knowing the right answer(s)
- Identify a problem and find a solution
Studying Smart (Better)
- Reading chapter summary, tables, picture captions, and read areas that still remain confusing
- Placing restrictions: for example, you can only highlight five words in every paragraph!
This will build on your ability to think creatively, prioritize, and keep you thinking on the big concept.
- Rewriting while reorganizing your notes from class, using categories, diagrams, concept maps, etc
- Summarizing what the teacher said in your own words
- Having group study sessions with a group of students you know are excelling in the class
- Skim content ahead of class and write down questions to ask during class
- Understanding the big idea and create connections and generalizations for you to use in problem solving activities
- Knowing why it is the right answer and why the others are wrong.
- Identify a problem and explore alternate solutions