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How to Study for & Pass All Nursing Examinations in Nursing School

By Marcy Reed ; Updated July 27, 2017

Getting into nursing school was hard enough, but now that you are in, you might be intimidated by the enormous body of information you are responsible for learning. A nursing education requires a vast scope of knowledge to enable you to care for patients of all ages and a wide variety of physical and emotional conditions. You will be expected to demonstrate your knowledge by passing nursing examinations in school. Use effective strategies to study for and pass all of your exams in nursing school.

Form a study group early in your nursing school career. Break up outlines and objectives into manageable pieces and distribute them among your study group members. Create case studies based on real and fictional patients to illustrate how the patient's needs influence nursing decisions.

Make stacks of notecards for medications and their side effects, illnesses and treatments and diseases and symptoms. Take your notecards with you everywhere; flip through them anytime you have five or 10 minutes.

Check if your nursing school has a library of old tests from previous semesters that you can use for practice. While some aspects of nursing change with new research, basic nursing principles and safety issues are timeless and will show up year after year on both school exams and nursing boards.

Evaluate each question on your exams systematically. Try to predict the answer as you read the question. Remember that the goal of nursing education is to prepare you to be a safe novice nurse, so if you are stumped for an answer, choose the one that promotes safety and autonomy for the patient.


Have members of your study group write practice questions for each other. Get a good night's sleep before your tests. All-night cram sessions can make you too tired to think the next day.

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