test-taking strategies

Test-Taking Strategies

 Test-Taking Strategies 


Nursing school exams have high stakes. All your hard work and sacrifices lead up to the tests that will make or break your ability to move forward in your career. That’s why strong test-taking strategies are essential.

Approaching your test with a strategy will make you feel more confident and less anxious. Moreover, research suggests that effective test-taking strategies will improve performance and increase your scores. 

What are your go-to test-taking strategies? If you don’t have any or want to improve the ones you’ve been using, you have come to the right place. NurseHub’s Content Team just launched an invaluable course in the “Prepare for Nursing School” collection. It goes in-depth to teach you all about test-taking strategies and will guide you through how to prepare for your exams, how to tackle those tough questions while taking the exam, and how to review your results and reflect on your progress

This post will give you a preview of what you can expect to see in the course, including: 

  • Introduction to test-taking strategies
  • Preparing for nursing exams
  • Exam day
  • Post-examination
  • Summary of test-taking strategies

Check out Nurse Kelly’s Intro video here in order to see what the full course is like!

And before we get started, if you haven’t joined the Nursing School 101 Facebook group, stop what you’re doing, and head over to Facebook to join now! This free resource is one of the best ways to get support and learn from a community of future nurses just like you. In the Nursing School 101 group, you can learn tips and tricks for test-taking strategies that are helping other students. 

Now, if you’re ready to stop stressing over tests and feel good about exams, let’s get started!

Introduction to Test-taking Strategies 

Simply put, test-taking strategies are ways of looking at and thinking through test questions or problems. They help you know what to do during a test. 

There are many reasons why it is important to learn test-taking strategies. One of the most important reasons is that they can help you improve your test scores. Higher scores can mean that you will be able to move forward in the school or program of your choice, qualify for scholarships, and succeed in your classes.

Another reason to learn test-taking strategies is that they will help you feel more comfortable and confident during hard exams. Test-taking strategies give you a game plan. 

Also, they provide you with reliable methods for answering difficult questions.

Now that you know why test-taking strategies are the key, let’s look at specific techniques you can use on your next test.

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Preparing for Nursing Exams

You should put strategies for test-taking into action well before the test. Studying and exam preparation are important to your test-taking strategy. 

The first step to making a study plan is preparing for the nursing exams. The NurseHub Time Management Course shows you how to navigate your busy schedule to maximize your study time. 

You can also read more time-management tips here. When you start studying in advance, you will be ready to answer the test questions on exam day.

One of the most important points we cannot stress enough is, DO NOT CRAM! Your brain will retain information well under stress.

Exam Day Tips

On exam day, an important strategy for students is to arrive at the test site 15–30 minutes early. You can use the additional time to review notes or get a drink of water. Another benefit of going early is that you will not feel rushed if there are delays on the way. You will feel better going into the exam if you are not stressed before you even begin.

During the test, one key strategy is to use time wisely. Do not spend too much time on any one item. Watch the clock. If you are still stuck on the same item after one or two minutes, it is best to move on and return to it if possible.

After the Exam 

Good test-takers know that the work doesn’t stop when the test ends. 

After the exam, a great strategy for nursing students is to review test items that were scored incorrectly. Review the wrong answers and make sure you understand the rationale. Just because the test is over doesn’t mean you won’t see the material again in the future. 

Reviewing your tests is also important because when you become a nurse, you will need to know the information to take care of your patients! Getting a problem wrong in real-life could have serious consequences.

Also, check for any questions where you changed your answer. Did you second guess yourself and get the problem wrong? Looking at how you tend to answer the questions can also help you feel more confident in your ability to make the right choices on future exams.

Test-Taking Strategies Wrap-up

Hopefully, this post helps relieve stress the next time you prepare for an exam. And if you are experiencing “test stress”, check out my other blog on testing anxiety.

For even more test-taking tips, follow the NurseHub team on Instagram and TikTok

Remember, we believe in you! And that is why we want to give you the right tools for success. Now, it’s just up to you to believe in yourself. We know you’ve got this!


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