How to prepare for nursing admission exams
Getting into nursing school can be a competitive process. In addition to high grades, work experience, volunteer experience, and a successful interview, applicants are required to take an entrance exam when applying to any accredited nursing program. If you are interested in attending nursing school, you must learn to prepare for the nursing admission exams as these are a crucial part of the application. Nursing Geeks has prepared this article to guide you through.
Identify which test to take. In order to study for an entrance exam for a nursing school, you must know which one you will take. The most common entrance exams are:
- The National League of Nursing Preadmission Exam (NLN PAX);
- The Test of Essential Academic Skills (TEAS);
- The Basic Health Occupations Admission Test (HOBET).
Know the nuances of the admission exam. Nursing school entrance exams are different. Knowing the parameters of each exam will allow you to focus on specific areas while you study. For example, the HOBET measures your social skills and your ability to cope with stress while the TEAS simply examines your basic math, reading, and science skills.
Get the materials and support you need. You can buy study materials at any reputable bookstore or online resource. Ask your future school’s academic advisor for study guide recommendations. Use these materials to make flashcards and notes and absorb as much of the test material as possible. You can also form study groups if you know other people who are preparing for the same tests.
Study as much as you can before the exam. Nursing school entrance exams are content-based, which means they will examine what you already know or should know. Techniques that can be successful in studying content include memorization, the use of acronyms, and the use of associations. Another type of study is “chopping,” which is dividing a large amount of material into smaller units rather than trying to absorb everything at once.
Avoid burning your lashes by memorizing everything just before the exam. Make sure you give yourself enough time to study. If you’ve already worked and volunteered in the field, you probably already know a lot of the information, but don’t use it as an excuse to wait until the last minute to study.
Take practice tests. We’ve all heard the phrase “practice makes perfect”. Look online, in your study guide, or at a local community center or institute for a practice test for the type of entrance exam you are taking. Taking this practice test can help you identify areas where your performance has been weak and fix it before taking the actual test.
Take as many different practice tests as you can as they will cover different materials.
If you identify areas of weakness, spend additional time studying this material and seek the help of a tutor.
Schedule the exam. Set a test date that gives you plenty of study time but also allows you to send your application materials, along with your test result, to the school you are applying to before the deadline.
It is wise to check your calendar and make sure you do not have any date conflicts on the day of your exam or on the days preceding it. Preparation is a big part of success on standardized tests, and you should make sure you have the days before the test free to study and prepare.
What to do during the nursing admission exam
Know the details of your exam. Identify well in advance when, where, and in what format the entrance exam will be administered to your nursing school. Make sure you get a good night’s sleep before the test and give yourself time for a final review of the materials.
Arrive early. Please arrive at the exam site at least 30 minutes before the exam day. Bring your ID and pencils, if necessary. Do not bring your cell phone, calculator, food, drink, or any study materials with you to the exam room.
Noise-canceling hearing aids can be offered in formalized exam sites, as there are often many people taking exams at the same time.
Have a plan of the sections. As with most standardized tests, the nursing school entrance exams are divided into several sections and the general exam is time-limited. Knowing this, plan to dedicate a predetermined amount of time to each section and stick with it. Also, don’t forget to give yourself some time to review your answers in each section before moving on.
Take the test. Most of these tests are made up of multiple-choice questions. Read and answer each question carefully. If you get stuck on a question, skip it and come back to it during the review period you have allotted yourself. Never leave questions unanswered. If you don’t know the answer, guess. You could get lucky and get some extra points.
You may want to find strategies to answer multiple-choice questions quickly. For example, first, cross out any answer that is obviously wrong. Answers with absolute qualifiers such as “always” or “never” are usually not the correct answer. However, relative qualifiers such as “usually” or “sometimes” are usually found in the correct answers.
Review the exam twice. It’s wise to give your exam one last careful reading before handing it in. You may catch one or another error by rereading it or notice that you did not answer a question here or there.
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