Over the years, we have received numerous requests for study materials. Many people ask what books they should read or where they can get sample questions. We are pleased to announce that our free Study Guide was recently updated.
If you prepare yourself ahead of time and follow two simple steps, your score on the PALS exam will be significantly better. Here are some of our top study tips.
Know What You’re Getting Yourself Into
Before you choose nursing as a career path, take some time to learn about the profession. A potential employer isn’t going to explain everything during an It is important to understand what you’re getting yourself into.
Read about the daily tasks and challenges that nurses face, and learn about the ways in which you can prepare for these adversities. For those who opt for an online PALS certification course, many schools offer sample courses on their websites. These resources are especially helpful for new nurses who are still adjusting to the career.
If you want to get the most out of your studying efforts, prioritize your time and make sure you’re using it effectively. The average PALS exam candidate spends eight hours preparing for the exam (per study session), but these hours can be optimized if time is spent efficiently.
Break Down the Content Outline
Don’t try to read through all of the content in one sitting! Most nursing programs recommend reading over the material, then taking a break to relax and clear one’s mind before returning to review the text. It is also advisable to study for a little while every day instead of cramming because this encourages more in-depth learning rather than a simple surface understanding.
Take Real Notes
Taking good notes does not result from simply sitting down with a book or computer screen in front of you. There are several factors that can transform note-taking sessions into effective learning experiences, such as highlighting important information, using abbreviations, documenting practice questions, and summarizing chapter material at the end of each session. Taking care when reviewing your notes will help ensure that the PALS exam is easy to pass on test day!
Know Your Skills and Weaknesses
It’s impossible to know if you’re preparing properly until you take a look at your own skills and weaknesses. Take time to reflect on your knowledge of various nursing concepts. If there are some topics that constantly give you trouble, consider brushing up on them through additional learning resources or by taking review courses. Calculations are an area that many students struggle with, so consider signing up for a math refresher course. The point here is that it’s difficult to map out a study plan if you don’t have some idea of your own potential roadblocks.
Create a Study Schedule
Once you’re confident that you understand the challenge at hand and have outlined your strengths and weaknesses, create a study schedule that’s easy to follow. For many students, this simply means reading through our free PALS practice test question bank. Answer each question as you come across it and try not to move on until you’ve given yourself enough time to think about the answer. If there is another resource out there that’s particularly helpful for answering certain questions, make sure you use it! The stronger your foundation of knowledge becomes, the easier it’ll be to take down the exam with flying colors. There are countless resources out there (both free and expensive), so pick and choose which ones are right for you!
Don’t Let the Test Get You Down
It’s important to remember that even if you don’t feel 100% prepared, there are ways of coping with potential test anxiety. This is where relaxation techniques such as meditation and yoga can provide a great deal of relief. If these methods aren’t effective, consider talking to your doctor about anti-anxiety medication. Remember that most students walk into the exam feeling nervous, but those who know how to properly manage those nerves tend to do much better on the actual test.
Take Advantage of Technology
There has never been a better time in history to take advantage of technology. Many companies offer online practice tests, and they can be especially helpful for mastering tricky topics such as calculations and intravenous flow rates. If you’re not quite ready to take the actual exam, these types of questions can help you feel more comfortable when you walk in through those doors on test day.
Create a Reward System
Remember that studying for the PALS is hard work so reward yourself! You’ve earned it, so go out and buy yourself something nice after your study sessions. This might be television time or a night out with friends – whatever works best for you. Sometimes when we focus too much on the end result (passing the exam), we forget to appreciate all of our hard work along the way. Take time to enjoy what makes nursing fun, whether it’s reading about someone else’s experiences or going on a trip to a foreign country!
In conclusion, don’t be afraid to ask for help during your intensive review period. If you know someone who recently passed the exam, consider asking them what they did to study (and how often they studied!).