How I aced my first year of NP school

Many would call my study habits psychotic or strange, but for me, the method has proven itself time and time again. I do not recommend this strategy for every student, but maybe there are a few other competitive nurses out there who want to try it.

In order to learn something well enough to recognize it on a test, I must interact with it in four different ways. I must hear it, write it, read it, and say it. Now this can be tedious, but it won’t work if you half-ass it.

First step- Go to all the classes. Sit there drifting off as the lecturer drones on and write notes only when the professor emphasizes something.

Second step- 2 weeks before the exam begin making spreadsheets on Google drive. The spreadsheet should have two columns; in the first you put a term or question, and in the second you put the definition or answer. Go through the lecture slides and input every term, definition, or fact from the lecture. Each lecture should have at least 50 rows of data. If you need more than 50 (this happens a lot) then you should break up the lecture into several parts and name them appropriately (eg. Derm 2, GI 5).

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Third step- download G-Flash + (free) onto your smart phone. Add a new set of flash cards by connecting to your google account. This app is amazing and makes your spreadsheet into interactive flash cards that track which ones you get right and wrong and repeat the wrong ones.

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Fourth step- get a friend or find a place where people won’t judge you for talking to yourself. Go through the flash cards by saying them out loud and responding out loud.

Optional- complete these steps at odd hours of the night and morning. Don’t worry if you fall asleep because then you dream about the content. Set alarms so you can study in a state of delirium and get creative with memorization.

Notice that this method does not involve any reading. I did not buy any of the assigned books. Anything I did not understand I looked up on UpToDate and YouTube.

Good luck ya’ll and happy summer!

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