Critical thinking skills are essential in nursing, especially when looking at exam questions. Many of the exams in our courses are written NCLEX-style, so changing your way of thinking can build your confidence when you are facing difficult material.
Nursing material as a whole is presented and tested on several knowledge levels ranging from the basic level, where you simply memorize the material, to the analytical level, where it’s assumed you have the foundation to be able to comprehend and apply that knowledge and compare and contrast information as it’s presented in different scenarios.
When looking at exam questions, follow these seven guidelines:
- Carefully read the entire question.
- Ask yourself what the question is really asking.
- Determine most important facts – don’t read into it or assume something that isn’t there.
- Read the question again – try rephrasing it into “plain English” or terms that make sense to you.
- Eliminate options that you’re sure are incorrect.
- Choose the BEST option. Often more than one answer may be correct. Always choose the best one.
- DO NOT CHANGE YOUR ANSWER. EVER. Always trust your first instinct.
If you follow the guidelines above and put in the appropriate amount of time studying and preparing for your exams, you should be able to pass your nursing courses with confidence.