When I was taking the previous exam I had a bit of trouble getting through the questions and getting the right answers, but I didn’t really know that much about how the questions were answered, or where the correct answers were. So I just read the book and practiced till I got all the way through answering every question and then I marked the questions off my list. I didn’t do any type of review before taking the exam. I figured that I would just sort of wing it!
In this case I learned a lot of things from the HESI review. It turned out that the most important aspect of taking the exam is timed. There are only forty-eight hours during which to take the exam, and if you are a nursing student you need to have the time! You can’t put off taking the exam until next year, you will get in big trouble if you do. I found that my time was better spent doing practice tests, practicing answering nursing questions, and keeping my mind sharp by reading constantly.
The HESI exam review gave me a few tips that I can put into practice immediately. First of all, read your textbook before taking the test. I skimmed over the chapter titles and questions in the book repeatedly to make sure I understood the material well. Next I scheduled my quiet time. I usually try to schedule thirty minutes at night for review and to revise.
Another great tip is to know how many questions you are going to get before you take the exam. I did not think that I needed this, but I soon found that I did. When you see the total number of questions on the test page, it becomes clearer how much time you need to take. If you know this number in advance you can save a lot of time by not rushing through it.
When reviewing I started by looking at the topics covered and tried to match those topics with actual scenarios. I reviewed the nursing topics that pertain to patient care, administration of anesthesia, laboratory procedures, and more. Then I reviewed those same topics but in order to apply them I had to write a practice test. This process of writing practice tests made me aware of the types of questions I might be asked.
Finally, I reviewed the four sections in the exam: Principles and Practice, Medical Terminology, Medical Ethics, and Medical History and Current Literature. I did not take the Principles and Practice section, but it did not come up. The Medical Terminology section is easy, just write the name of the medical terms that you want to know. For Medical Ethics, again write the name of the medical term that you want to know. I thought this section was the easiest, but there is nothing on it in the text book so I did not have any help there.
After I reviewed all four sections I went over my answers and worked on my strategy. I took about one hour before I turned in the test. The reason I took so much time before I turned in the exam is because I had so many thoughts in my head and also I did not want to spend a lot of time replaying the scenarios in my mind over again in preparation for the exam. It ended up taking me three and a half hours before I turned in the exam.