You are on page 1of 53

Board exam test taking strategies


Board exam is a PENCIL and PAPER examination Just as the novice driver needs to know what to expect on the driving test, each graduate nurse needs a clear idea of the board exam format This also means that examinees must be acquainted with test strategies to answer questions


board exam is composed of five parts- Test 1, 2, 3A, 3B and 4. Each section is integrated with 100 items, multiple choice-type questions Situations and questions represent a variety of client health problems and needs.


Positive attitude 2. Critical thinking 3. Working knowledge of the frequently asked topics 4. Review and study habits


are 3 factors that are important in achieving success 1. Reading 2. Test wiseness 3. Tension control


with concentration is a learned skill that is critical for study, review and successful examination performance Avoid reading on a bed Start by skimming the review text Then proceed to read for understanding

Affective Strategies for Success- tension Control


evaluate your personal responses to test challenges Determine past successes and ways you maintained energy and confidence under stress

Reduce Tension!

and contracting muscles progressively from head to toe Slow, deep breathing and calming Guided imagery Prayers and meditation Focusing on a confident self

Critical thinking Requires you to validate and organize data Look for patterns and relationships Apply knowledge from one situation to another Evaluate responses according to accepted criteria

Basic Study rules

Never read more than a few pages of textual material without stopping to write a gist of it from memory Think of mnemonics! Try all of the study methods- solo, group, use of tables, use of flash cards, reading out aloud Gather previous test questions as they are the indicators of what the board examiners have considered core information


Initially identify the TOPIC of the question ALWAYS eliminate the choices first! Focus only on the background information and think what the options really mean Although you must read carefully to understand the questions, avoid reading into the words more than what is actually stated Assume that health care setting described is IDEAL and well- staffed


answering multiple choice questions, DO NOT change your first guess unless you find a convincing reason for doing so!

Parts of the question


case The stem The options- usually 4 choices

The case

This provides the examinee with the information about a clinical health problem

Example: The nurse is visited by a pregnant woman on her third trimester with complaints of vaginal bleeding 4 hours ago

The stem

follows the case and ASKS about something specific in the case presented

Example: Which of the following responses by the nurse will prevent further communication?

The options

are lettered choices that follow a question These are possible answers to the question but only one is the correct choice The other three are called DISTRACTORS or Fillers

Other considerations
The client of the question- either the patient the family/ family member the community

Other considerations
The issue of the question This refers to the specific subject content that the question is asking about Nursing action Treatment or procedure Side-effect Calculation of a drug Complication Communication skills

Other considerations
The KEY words These words are very important in assisting the examinee to identify and eliminate the choices presented Early, immediate, first, initial Late, last, least Most, best, appropriate Inappropriate, improper

Types of Examination questions


True or false responses 2. Prioritization 3. Client need-centered questions


questions are now frequently seen in the local boards! Example:

If 1, 2 and 3 are correct B. 1 and 3 are correct

Types of Examination questions

1. True response question This asks the examinee to select a choice that is true as related to the case presented Most likely Best Chief Most important correct

Types of Examination questions

1. False response question This asks the examinee to select a choice that is false as related to the case presented except least not important Lowest priority incorrect

Types of Examination questions

2. Prioritization questions This directs the examinee to choose actions to be done first Initial Essential Immediate Most priority

Types of Examination questions

2. Prioritization questions Three important concepts are: A. MASLOWS hierarchy of needs B. ABC and SAFETY C. The Nursing process- ADPIE

apply the three concepts in EVERY questions first!!!!!!!!


Usually the first priority is the physiologic need. Oxygen is the very first PATENT AIRWAY rule Sometimes, the choices will be a mixture of physiological and psychosocial Remember to recall the hierarchy- from physiologic needs to self-actualization needs

Nursing Process


Types of Examination questions (NCLEX)

3. client need centered questions A. safe environment B. physiological integrity C. psychosocial integrity D. health promotion and maintenance

Note for the following

Contradictory options: Chances are good that one of the two is the correct answer

The nurse determines that the effect of vagal stimulation is:

A. Bradycardia B. Tachycardia C. Pupillary dilatation D. Increased sweating

Note for the following

Global responses- The one option that describes the rest of the three is the correct one: The nurse is certain that one distinguishing feature of delirium is: A. Sleepiness B. Unresponsiveness C. Fluctuating level of consciousness D. Deterioration of memory

Note for the following


that contain the words always, never, one and only are usually false Statements that contain the words often, usually, generally are most of the time correct

Note for the following


that do not fit the stem grammatically are usually wrong!

Note for the following

Choices that repeat the same words or the same idea as the stem are usually correct!

The most important initial goal for clients with eating disorders such as anorexia nervosa is? A. To be able to cope with conflicts B. To develop more realistic body image C. To gain weight gradually D. Be able to identify significant stressors

Control your anxiety!


initial requirement for you to prevent panic is to : review and learn as many possible patok topics for the examination


Positive attitude counts!


have studied nursing for 4 years Use the knowledge you have amassed

Imagination is a good virtue


imagery when reading the examination questions


you really find difficulty, reword each question

Eliminate first!

not be tempted to answer the question when you have encountered a possible correct choice ELIMINATE first all the distractors that you know is wrong! What is left is clearly the answer

Practice! Practice!

answering previous board examination questions to familiarize yourself about the exam types Other review book questions can be utilized to enhance your test-taking skills

Painfully Memorize!

important laboratory values should be kept in the memory bank! CBC ABG CVP BP, PP


for very important clues in the 4 choices Be specially alert to two opposite choices Hypo-hyper Below-above Supine-elevated Before-after

Patient first

the phone down Do not yet call the doctor Attend to the patient first, not the equipments!


: WHY? Eliminate: Clich


the response that focuses on EMOTION!!!!!!!

No overnight make-over

study for the examination NEVER works later


Before the day of exam


a good nights sleep AVOID late cramming

On the day of examination


your own comfort and nutritional needs Dress in loose clothing (usually uniforms) Eat a light HIGH-protein breakfast with limited fluids Carry a fruit, candy and a can of juice for breaks

On the day of examination


a remedy with you to fight tension headache. Paracetamol (and an antacid) will do good

To Summarize
Know the test format It is an integrated exam Composed of five parts Multiple choice Based on measurement of safe nursing behaviors

To Summarize
Review concepts Lecture notes Review notes Highlighted patok topics

To Summarize

with your strengths and your learning styles your weaknesses


To Summarize
Prepare yourself by Attending a review course Utilizing support study groups Making small learning tools like tables and must-know notes

To Summarize
Invite success in your life by Evaluating yourself Sharpening test taking skills Taming your tension Enriching your self confidence

To Summarize

questions that you are UNFAMILIAR Remain confident and do not allow frustrations and anger destroy your concentration Read clues that help you understand the nature of the health problem or omit unfamiliar items and return to them later

WE will always be there for YOU!