How Nursing Exams Made Me A Better Person

I’ll be the first to admit it…

Taking exams and tests are stressful. But a little bit of stress can actually be healthy for you, just don’t let it take control of you.

If you want to be a nurse (a licensed and registered nurse) in any country, there will always be exams that you need to excel in and pass.

I remembered that on my first year in nursing school, I actually “feared” taking tests because most of the topics are new and unfamiliar. I would spend many times reading the same lessons two or three times just to get the idea sink in to my brain.

It was really challenging.

I would also remember that I had to borrow several books from the library and open them all at the same time. I would start reading, then skimming materials, especially if time was tight. Most of the reason, I wasn’t able to study a lot was because of my own time scheduling.

I was spending more time relaxing than actually studying. And then by the time exams and tests comes in, I would start cramming, which I later learned was not good for me or my studies.

There was one incident that I will always remember and have helped me passed and excel in all my nursing exams (yes, including the NCLEX-RN exam). Let me tell you a story…

One day, I bought a biology book that has glossy paper and full of high quality images. You can just imagine the amount of money I paid for it (actually my parents paid for it, not me).

I loved reading this book, so I started reading the chapter for our current lesson. And I actually read and re-read the chapter all in one sitting. I was actually enjoying it. For me it was like a story, that was forming inside my head.

If I remember it correctly, it was a topic about genetics.

I never liked the topic, but for some reason (which I’ll reveal later on), I actually read and not skimmed this chapter. By friday, next week we had a quarterly exam on this chapter. Guess what score I got for that test?

100% – Yes, I aced it and was the only one who actually got a perfect score from 3 sections (all with 40+ students).

My teacher was actually surprised maybe even suspecting I had “cheated”, but since I’m the only one who got the perfect score, the only blame would be on them.

But of course, I knew it was because I was really able to digest the topics on that chapter.

Needless to say, the real reason I’ve appreciated exams (nursing tests in particular) is that it helped me develop 3 skills.

1. I learned that I was a visual learner

What made me really interested in the subject matter is that I loved pictures (and videos). This was the key for me. If I can “visualize” the terms and subjects on my lessons, I can easily remember them later on.

When I was taking my Nclex-RN exams, one of the websites that I have always opened is Youtube. I’m constantly watching my “lessons” if there’s a topic that I can’t fully understand.

2. I’ve developed patience

If you haven’t guessed it yet, I’m a regular student and not a studious person. But I’ve learned to be patient in my own learning capabilities.

3. I’ve learned how to prioritize my time and where I spend it

I’m not a bookworm, but I’ve learned that if I wanted to pass my nursing exams, I need to spend more time studying my lessons. I spend at least an hour or 2 a day.

When I’m preparing for an exam, I schedule one or 2 days focused studying time to make sure I have a dedicated time for studying.

To be honest, I’m glad for my exams and tests. They are not there to judge me (if I made mistakes) but they are there to help us gauge ourselves and improve.

I’ve definitely improved myself and have become a better person than before. 🙂


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