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Nursing exam-practice-book

  2. 2. OTHER TITLES OF INTEREST FROM LEARNINGEXPRESSNursing Assistant/Nurse Aide Exam, 4th Edition Becoming a Nurse
  3. 3. NURSINGSCHOOLENTRANCE EXAMYour Guide toPassing the Test 2nd Edition ® NEW YORK
  4. 4. Copyright © 2009 LearningExpress, LLC.All rights reserved under International and Pan-American Copyright Conventions.Published in the United States by LearningExpress, LLC, New York.Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication DataNursing school entrance exam : your guide to passing the test. — 2nd ed. p. : cm. Includes bibliographical references and index. ISBN-13: 978-1-57685-705-2 (alk. paper) ISBN-10: 1-57685-705-0 (alk. paper)1. Nursing schools—United States—Entrance examinations—Study guides. I. LearningExpress (Organization). [DNLM: 1. Nursing—Examination Questions. WY 18.2 N975905 2009] RT79.N86 2009 610.73076—dc22 2009021316Printed in the United States of America9876543212nd EditionISBN 13: 978-1-57685-705-2For more information or to place an order, contact LearningExpress at: 2 Rector Street 26th Floor New York, NY 10006Or visit us at:
  5. 5. ContributorsMark Kalk is a member of the biology faculty at Washington University in St. Louis. He works in the University’sScience Outreach program, providing classes, classroom materials, and support to local K–12 teachers. He is a fre-quent speaker at science education conferences and the author of several books and curriculum materials.Cindy Phillips has been a high school mathematics teacher for the past eight years. She is currently teaching atWhite Plains High School in Westchester County, just north of New York City. She is also a Texas Instruments cer-tified instructor in graphing calculator technology.Margaret Muirhead is a writer and editor from Arlington, Massachusetts. She is a contributor for LearningEx-press’s Healthcare Career Starter and Nursing School Entrance Exam. She has also written about a range of healthtopics for the Harvard University Health Services and the University of Virginia Health System.Ghislain Mandouma was educated in France (Orsay) and England (Imperial College) where he graduated witha B.S. degree in chemistry. He obtained his Ph.D. in chemistry from the City University of New York while teach-ing at Hunter College. After doing postdoctoral research at the University of Virginia, he joined the faculty of thedepartment of Natural Sciences at the University of Maryland, Eastern Shore in 2003.Tyler Volk is Associate Professor of Biology at New York University and co-director of the program in earth andenvironmental science. He is the author of the books Gaia’s Body: Toward a Physiology of Earth, What is Death:A Scientist Looks at the Cycle of Life, and Metapatterns Across Space, Time, and Mind. v
  6. 6. ContentsCHAPTER 1 Nursing School Entrance Exam Planner 1CHAPTER 2 The LearningExpress Test Preparation System 9CHAPTER 3 Practice Exam I 31CHAPTER 4 Verbal Ability 89CHAPTER 5 Reading Comprehension 97CHAPTER 6 Math Review 109CHAPTER 7 Biology Review 171CHAPTER 8 Chemistry Review 203CHAPTER 9 General Science Review 235CHAPTER 10 Practice Exam II 291CHAPTER 11 Practice Exam III 347 vii
  7. 7. 1 NURSING SCHOOLC H A P T E R ENTRANCE EXAM PLANNER CHAPTER SUMMARY In this chapter, you will learn about career opportunities in nurs- ing, what to expect on the job, as well as essential information about choosing and getting into the nursing school of your choice. You will also find out about the types of entrance tests that nursing schools use to select students.I f you enjoy caring for others and interacting with a wide range of people, and if you cope well when con- fronted with challenges, nursing is a great career choice. Nursing is also a secure profession with excellent starting salaries and very good job prospects. Job opportunities in nursing abound—registered nurses fillmore than 2.3 million jobs, making up the largest healthcare occupation in the nation. And the need for nursesis likely to continue to soar—many of today’s nurses are beginning to retire, leaving thousands of job openings.The U.S. population as a whole is also aging, and because older people require more nursing care, the demandfor skilled nurses willing to work on the front lines of patient care will also increase. Technological advances inmedical care, which allow more medical conditions to be treated, and an emphasis on preventive care also cre-ate a greater demand for nurses. As you consider your future in nursing, think about these facts: ■ More new jobs are likely to be created for registered nurses than for any other occupation. ■ Employers in some areas of the country report a nursing shortage, spurring efforts to attract and keep nurses on staff. ■ Hospital outpatient facilities—like same-day surgery centers or rehabilitation centers—offer the most rapid growth in nursing jobs. 1
  8. 8. – NURSING SCHOOL ENTRANCE EXAM PLANNER – To become a nurse, you need to pursue one of often work in a specific department of a hospital,three educational routes—a bachelor’s degree, an asso- such as pediatrics, emergency care, or cancer care.ciate’s degree, or a hospital diploma. You may also con- ■ Office nurses work in doctor’s offices, clinics, out-sider becoming a licensed practical nurse (LPN), patient surgical centers, and emergency medicinewhich requires only one year of training in a vocational clinics. Their job tasks include assisting withor technical school and can be a stepping stone to exams, giving medications, dressing wounds, andbecoming a registered nurse. Most nursing programs assisting in minor surgeries. They may also dorequire that you take an entrance test, and that’s where office work and maintain patient records.this book comes in. Nursing School Entrance Exam was ■ Nursing facility nurses provide care for residentsdesigned from real tests, including the admissions test in nursing homes or long-term rehabilitationyou will face to get into the program of your choice. By centers. They monitor residents’ progress, developtailoring your study plan and using the information in treatment plans, and oversee nursing aides andthis book, you can achieve your best score and begin licensed practical nurses.the path of your desired career—training to become a ■ Home health nurses see patients in the patients’nurse. own homes. They give medications, check the patient’s condition and environment, and instruct patients and caregivers about care and Career Opportunities in treatment. They may supervise home health Nursing aides. ■ Public health nurses work on the communityRegistered nurses (RNs) provide direct patient care level, in schools, government agencies, retirementand serve as health educators in the effort to promote communities, or in other settings, and they edu-wellness and prevent disease. In giving care, they cate the public about health promotion and dis-monitor and record a patient’s symptoms and ease prevention strategies in areas like nutrition,progress, give medications, assist in rehabilitation, smoking cessation, or childcare.and teach patients and families about proper care ■ Occupational health nurses provide care topractices. They assist physicians in everything from employees at work locations, giving emergencyroutine exams and treatments to surgery. There are treatments, health counseling, or identifyinglimits to what a nurse does—state regulations deter- potential health problems in the workmine the scope of tasks a nurse can perform. But the environment.factor that most influences a nurse’s daily workload isthe type of healthcare facility in which he or she Most RNs earn between $47,000 and $68,000works. Nurses work in a range of settings: in hospitals, annually, with the highest paid receiving more thandoctor’s offices, outpatient surgical centers, nursing $80,000 annually. Nurses who earned the highest aver-homes, schools, or work sites. Home health nurses age salaries worked in employment services, followedeven work in patients’ homes. The following is an by hospitals, home healthcare services, physicians’overview of what you can expect on the job, depend- offices, and nursing care on your work setting. Licensed practical nurses (LPNs) care for patients under the supervision of a physician or registered ■ Hospital nurses make up the largest group of nurse. They provide routine bedside care, such as tak- nurses. They provide bedside care for hospitalized ing vital signs, preparing injections, applying patients, observe and record symptoms, and dressings, or collecting testing samples. They also aid administer treatments and medications. They patients with feeding, dressing, and bathing. In nursing 2
  9. 9. – NURSING SCHOOL ENTRANCE EXAM PLANNER –facilities, LPNs may evaluate the needs of residents and Which Nursing Program Isoversee nursing aides. In private offices or clinics, they Right for You?may be responsible for some administrative work, suchas making appointments or maintaining records. The You may need to consider many factors in deciding theaverage yearly salary for LPNs is between $31,000 and nursing program that is right for you. If your financial$43,000. The highest paying LPN positions were found situation is tight, you might choose to earn a two-yearin employment services, followed by home healthcare associate’s degree, land a job as a nurse, and then useservices, nursing care facilities, hospitals, and physi- tuition benefits that come with your employment tocians’ offices. take additional courses and work toward a bachelor’s Working conditions for nurses depend on the degree. Whether you are entering the workforce fromtype of healthcare facility. For example, work hours high school or making a mid-career change may bevary according to work setting. In nursing homes or another consideration.long-term rehabilitation centers where residents need Of the programs described in the following list,around-the-clock care, nurses may work night or the bachelor’s degree of science in nursing (BSN)weekend shifts. Public health nurses and nurses who offers the most job opportunities. Nurses withwork in offices or on industrial work sites follow bachelor-level education can more easily advance inschedules during regular business hours. their jobs, and some positions—like administrative Risks for nurses in hospitals and clinics include work or those requiring a clinical specialty—maycoming in contact with patients who have infectious require a bachelor’s degree or even an advanceddiseases. Nurses must follow a standard set of precau- degree.tions to reduce their risk for disease or other kinds of Nursing programs combine hands-on, super-danger, like radiation or chemical exposure. Nurses vised clinical experience at a healthcare facility withare also susceptible to back injury from moving traditional coursework. In addition to generalpatients. education requirements, students fulfill courses in Check Your Basic Skills Nursing requires a range of skills and abilities to perform the job well. Nurses face many challenges on the job—from heavy workloads to long hours on their feet. Review this checklist to see if you fit these job characteristics. Nurses must: ■ show caring and sympathy ■ look for ways to help others ■ demonstrate emotional stability in stressful situations ■ have good observational skills ■ have physical stamina ■ communicate effectively—talking and listening ■ be able to direct and supervise (RNs) ■ be able to follow orders (LPNs) ■ use judgment and make decisions ■ know how to problem solve 3
  10. 10. – NURSING SCHOOL ENTRANCE EXAM PLANNER –anatomy, physiology, microbiology, chemistry, nutri- On the other end of the educational spectrum istion, psychology, and nursing. After completing a a master of science in nursing (MSN). These two-yearnursing program, students must pass a licensing programs give nurses the opportunity to specialize inexam to become a nurse. Here is an overview of the clinical training or research. People seeking this degreedegree programs that prepare students for entry-level typically have a BSN or an RN license.nurse positions: ■ Diploma Programs are run by hospitals and usu- Selecting a Program That ally take three years to complete. These programs Meets Your Needs are few and their numbers are declining. To broaden their job opportunities, nurses from Some considerations for finding a nursing program are diploma programs may later opt to earn a bache- obvious. For example, most applicants limit their lor’s degree by completing coursework in an search by geographic area. Some people need to find a RN-to-BSN program. Staff nurse positions often school within driving distance; others are willing to offer tuition reimbursement programs to help relocate to attend school. An Internet search or a pub- allay the cost of additional education. lished listing of nursing schools will help locate ■ Associate’s Degree in Nursing (ADN) programs schools in the area of your choice. are offered by community colleges and last from Tuition is another factor in choosing a nursing two to three years. There are about 700 associate- school—cost can vary depending on whether the insti- level nursing programs throughout the country. tution is private or public, or whether you qualify as an ADN-schooled nurses may also later choose to in-state student. Financial aid availability also differs earn a bachelor’s degree to increase their job by institution. When you research schools, collect as choices. much information as possible considering these and ■ A Bachelor’s of Science Degree in Nursing the factors listed here. (BSN) takes four years to complete at a college or university. More than 670 programs offer this ■ Is it approved by the state? Each state determines degree. For people who have earned a bachelor’s the standards for nursing schools and approves degree in another field and are interested in them. Your school must be state-approved. How- becoming a nurse, accelerated BSN programs are ever, state approval does not mean that the institu- available; they grant credit for the liberal arts tion is accredited—for more about accreditation, requirements you have already completed. They see the following paragraph. take from one year to 18 months to complete. ■ Is it accredited? Accreditation means that a national accrediting organization, like the To become a licensed practical nurse (LPN), you National League for Nursing Accrediting Com-must complete a state-approved one-year training pro- mission (NLNAC) or the Commission on Colle-gram at a technical or vocational school, community giate Nursing Education (CCNE), has determinedcollege, or high school. You must also pass a licensing that the nursing school has met certain educa-exam. If you want to become an LPN first, but wish to tional criteria. Earning your degree from ancontinue your education to become an RN, you can accredited school can give you an edge in the jobenroll in an LPN-to-RN program. These programs market—when employers review your educa-give you credit for your LPN coursework, so you can tional background, they know you were trainedbuild upon your training to become an RN. according to an established set of standards. Attending an accredited school also allows you to 4
  11. 11. – NURSING SCHOOL ENTRANCE EXAM PLANNER – continue your education at a graduate-level Internet for funding possibilities from a variety of accredited school. To find out if your preferred sources, such as the following: school is accredited, contact a school representa- tive or go to the NLNAC’s website at ■ Government: The U.S. Department of Education offers a range of loans and scholarships. The U.S. ■ Pass rate. What percentage of the school’s stu- military also offers financial aid for service peo- dents passed the nursing licensing exam after ple. State governments often provide aid for stu- graduating? Ask a school representative for infor- dents attending school in their home state. mation about pass rates from the last five years. ■ Your prospective school: Check with the school of ■ What is its focus? Consider what kind of nursing your choice about its scholarships. In addition to program interests you (for example, are you aid based on your financial need, you may qualify interested in a particular clinical specialty?) for a merit-based grant, scholarship, or fellowship. before you begin your school search. After you ■ Your employer: Find out if your employer offers choose what kind of program interests you, look scholarships or tuition reimbursement benefits for the institution that meets your needs. for education. ■ School size and class size. Do you want the close- ■ Nursing associations: State nursing associations knit community of a small school or the wider and national professional organizations are other mix of students you will find at a large school? possible sources for financial aid. Make sure to research the student-to-teacher ratios at prospective schools. Smaller class sizes often mean more attention from faculty. How This Book Can Help You ■ Clinical experience. What kind of clinical place- ments does the school offer? How much time Nursing School Entrance Exam will help you maximize does it allot for clinical experience? You can find your chances of scoring high on your upcoming this information by talking to current students. exam. Preparing for this important admissions test does not have to be overwhelming—this book will help you organize your preparation process and break Financing Your Nursing it down into manageable steps. Not only does it Education include hundreds of practice questions and answers, it explains study strategies, so that you can better utilizePlanning how you are going to pay for your nursing your time and better learn the key concepts that willeducation is essential to your preparation process. The appear on your exam. It also offers test-taking tips, acost of nursing education can be considerable—a four- study planner, and practice tests designed from actualyear program at a state university can be $14,000 a entrance exams used by nursing schools today. Theyear, and private schools can be twice as much. Fortu- explanatory answers that follow the simulated testsnately, many resources offer financial assistance to are a study guide of their own—helping you under-nursing students. Financial aid may be awarded based stand and review essential ideas and terms. The fol-on financial need or on merit, and comes in three basic lowing is an overview of what you can expect in everyforms—scholarships, loans, or student employment. chapter.Be sure to fill out a financial aid form when you apply In Chapter 2, you will learn important test-takingto nursing school—this form helps schools determine strategies, such as how to pace yourself during theyour financial need. Plan on visiting the financial aid exam, when to guess, and how to combat test at the school of your choice or searching the This chapter presents specific study techniques, giving 5
  12. 12. – NURSING SCHOOL ENTRANCE EXAM PLANNER – Web Resources For more information about funding sources, check out these web resources: This is an online guide to all U.S. federal govern- U.S. Department of Education ment financial aid programs. This website has an online financial aid form and American Association of Colleges of Nursing offers federal scholarship information. (AACN) National Health Service Corps (NHSC) In addition to giving information about scholar- ships offered by the AACN, this website has links A division of U.S. Department of Health and to other government funding sources as well as to Human Services, the NHSC offers scholarships and other nursing organizations that offer scholarships. loans for students who agree to practice in a med- ically underserved area. National Student Nurses’ Association (NSNA) The NSNA offers a scholarship program for nursing students at a range of degree several study methods that will aid you in increas- important terminology and concepts that you need toing your understanding and retention of material. Vary- know for your exam. The biology, chemistry, and gen-ing your study methods will help you avoid boredom in eral science chapters present material in a clear, conciseyour study sessions and make it easier to learn compli- outline form, so you can easily peruse each subtopiccated or difficult topics. You will also learn how to avoid and focus your attention where you need it most. Atlast-minute studying. Be sure to review the helpful the conclusion of each chapter, you will find a list ofstrategies in this chapter before you take the practice additional resources to help you review topicstests and begin the self-evaluation process described comprehensively.later on in this chapter. Each of these chapters also provides an overview Chapter 3 contains the first of three practice of the kinds of questions you will encounter on theexams. Use the first practice exam as a self-evaluation. exam and how to tackle them. In addition, you willOnce you complete this practice test and score your- find practice questions throughout, so you can honeself, you can diagnose your strengths and your test-taking skills while you review each topic.weaknesses—those areas in which you need more Chapters 10 and 11 contain the last two practicepreparation. You can greatly increase the effectiveness tests. These sample exams use multiple-choice ques-of your preparation by targeting your weakest subjects tions just like the ones you will encounter on examand allotting your study time accordingly. day. By taking these simulated tests and reviewing the Chapters 4–9 cover the subject areas found on answer explanations, you will familiarize yourselfmost nursing school entrance exams: “Verbal Ability,” with the question types, test format, and subject mat-“Reading Comprehension,”“Math,”“Biology,”“Chem- ter, and you’ll feel more prepared and confident onistry,” and “General Science.” Each chapter breaks testing day. Read on for more about developing yourdown and organizes each review topic, highlighting own study plan—with suggestions about when to take 6
  13. 13. – NURSING SCHOOL ENTRANCE EXAM PLANNER –the practice tests so that you can check your scores the NET, RNSAE, and APNE. If you know you willand still have enough time to focus on the areas in need to take one of these tests, contact the testingwhich you need to improve. agencies in each section for more information about registration, testing locations, and dates. Test Overview Registered Nursing School Aptitude Exam (RNSAE)To begin preparing for the test, you need an overview Nursing programs that offer degrees ranging from theof the type of exam you are facing, and some tips bachelor’s level to a master’s degree may require thatabout how to use this book to achieve your best test applicants take the RNSAE. Developed by the Psycho-score. There is no single test required by all nursing logical Services Bureau, Inc., this exam consists of fiveprograms. Schools have different requirements for parts and takes about two and a half hours to complete.admission, depending on the institution, your choice The first section is divided into three subsections.of study, and whether you are applying for a one-yearLPN degree, a two-year RN degree, a four-year BSN ■ Part 1: Academic Aptitudedegree, a hospital diploma program, or a graduate Verbal, 30 questionsprogram. Many accredited nursing schools ask candi- Math, 30 questionsdates to pass one of these two tests: the Registered Analytical Reasoning, 30 questionsNursing School Aptitude Exam (RNSAE) or the ■ Part 2: Spelling, 50 questionsNurses Entrance Test (NET). Community college LPN ■ Part 3: Reading Comprehension, 40 questionsprograms may require applicants to take the Aptitude ■ Part 4: Natural Sciences (Chemistry, Biology,for Practical Nursing Exam (APNE). However, even if Health), 90 questionsthe school of your choice uses another exam, you will ■ Part 5: Vocational Adjustment, 90 questionsmost likely need to demonstrate the essential skillscovered in this book. You must show that you can Aptitude for Practical Nursing Examcommunicate effectively, read and understand college- (APNE)level materials, and that you have basic math skills. You The Psychological Services Bureau test for practicalmay also be asked to demonstrate that you have fun- nursing varies somewhat from the exam for registereddamental knowledge about biology, chemistry, natural nursing. Many community colleges with practicalscience, anatomy, and physiology. nursing programs use the APNE. Contact the school of your choice immediately tolearn about its admissions requirements and test dates ■ Part 1: Academic Aptitudeand sites in your area. The dates when the test is Verbal, 30 questionsoffered in your area may determine when you take the Math, 30 questionsexam. However, if you have a choice of test dates, and Analytical Reasoning, 30 questionsif you have not already applied to take the exam, do ■ Part 2: Spelling, 50 questionsnot apply until you have conducted the self-evaluation ■ Part 3: Natural Sciences (Chemistry, Biology,outlined in this chapter. The results of that self- Health), 90 questionsevaluation can help you decide when to take the exam. ■ Part 4: Judgment and Comprehension in Practi- The following provides contact information and cal Nursing Situations, 50 questionsan overview of the common nursing aptitude tests— ■ Part 5: Vocational Adjustment, 90 questions 7
  14. 14. – NURSING SCHOOL ENTRANCE EXAM PLANNER – To register for the RNSAE or the APNE, or to In addition to reading comprehension and mathlearn about testing sites, contact the school of your questions, the basic NET includes questions that eval-choice, or: uate your learning style, stress, and social skills. These nonacademic sections include the following: Test- Psychological Services Bureau, Inc. Taking Skills (30 questions); Stress Level (45 questions); Health Careers Aptitude Tests Social Interaction Profile (30 questions); and Learn- 977 Seminole Trail ing Style (50 questions). These sections are not used to PMB 317 determine whether you will be accepted into a nursing Charlottesville, VA 22901 school. The purpose of these sections is to help learn- 434-293-5865 ing institutions after a student has been accepted to their program—it aids the school in considering how a student will best learn—and to increase the likeli-Nurse Entrance Test (NET) hood that a student will complete the programMany RN and LPN nursing programs use the NET as successfully.a pre-admissions test. This approximately two-and-a- If you know you need to take the NET, contacthalf-hour test measures your ability in two general the school you are applying to or the testing agency foracademic areas—your critical reading ability and your more information about the test:knowledge of basic math. The test includes two aca-demic sections: Educational Resources, Inc. 7500 West 160th Street ■ Mathematics, 60 questions Stilwell, KS 66085 ■ Reading Comprehension, 33 questions 913-239-2658 Some schools require a different version of thistest that includes a written expression section. Find outfrom the training program of your choice whether thisis required. If it is, you will have an additional hour tocomplete this section. 8
  15. 15. THE 2C H A P T E R LEARNINGEXPRESS TEST PREPARATION SYSTEM CHAPTER SUMMARY Taking a nursing school entrance exam can be tough, and your career in nursing depends on your passing the exam. The LearningExpress Test Preparation System, developed exclusively for LearningExpress by leading test experts, gives you the disci- pline and attitude you need to succeed.F irst, the bad news: Taking the nursing school entrance exam is no picnic, and neither is getting ready for it. Your future career depends on passing the test, but there are all sorts of pitfalls that can keep you from doing your best on this all-important exam. Here are some of the obstacles that can stand in theway of your success: ■ Being unfamiliar with the format of the exam ■ Being paralyzed by test anxiety ■ Leaving your preparation to the last minute ■ Not preparing at all! ■ Not knowing vital test-taking skills: how to pace yourself through the exam, how to use the process of elimination, and when to guess ■ Not being in tip-top mental and physical shape ■ Arriving late at the test site, having to work on an empty stomach, or shivering through the exam because the room is cold 9
  16. 16. – THE LEARNINGEXPRESS TEST PREPARATION SYSTEM – What’s the common denominator in all these Step 1: Get Infor mationtest-taking pitfalls? One word: control. Who’s in con-trol, you or the exam? Activities: Read Chapter 1,“Nursing School Entrance Now the good news: The LearningExpress Test Exam Planner,” and use the suggestions there to findPreparation System puts you in control. In just nine out about your requirements.easy-to-follow steps, you will learn everything you Knowledge is power. Therefore, first, you have to findneed to know to make sure that you are in charge of out everything you can about the nursing schoolyour preparation and your performance on the exam. entrance exam. Once you have your information, theOther test takers may let the test get the better of them; next steps will show you what to do about it.other test takers may be unprepared or out of shape—but not you. You will have taken all the steps you need Part A: Straight Talk aboutto take to get a high score on the nursing school the Nursing School Entrance Examentrance exam. Why do you have to take this exam, anyway? Because Here’s how the LearningExpress Test Preparation an increasing number of people need the kind of careSystem works: Nine easy steps lead you through every- only a nurse can provide. And, since more and morething you need to know and do to master your exam. people need these services, there is growing concernEach of the steps listed below includes both reading about the quality of care the patients receive. One wayabout the step and one or more activities. It is impor- to try to ensure quality of care is to test the people whotant that you do the activities along with the reading, give that care to find out if they have been well trained.or you won’t be getting the full benefit of the system. And that’s why your state or the agency you want to work for may require you to take a written exam. Step 1. Get Information It is important for you to remember that your Step 2. Conquer Test Anxiety score on the written exam does not determine how Step 3. Make a Plan smart you are or even whether you will make a good Step 4. Learn to Manage Your Time nurse. There are all kinds of things a written exam like Step 5. Learn to Use the Process of Elimination this can’t test: whether you are likely to show up late or Step 6. Know When to Guess call in sick a lot, whether you can be patient with a try- Step 7. Reach Your Peak Performance Zone ing client, or whether you can be trusted with confi- Step 8. Get Your Act Together dential information about people’s health. Those Step 9. Do It! kinds of things are hard to evaluate on a written exam. Meanwhile, it is easy to evaluate whether you can cor- If you have several hours, you can work through rectly answer questions about your job duties.the whole LearningExpress Test Preparation System in This is not to say that correctly answering theone sitting. Otherwise, you can break it up and do just questions on the written exam is not important! Theone or two steps a day for the next several days. It is up knowledge tested on the exam is knowledge you willto you—remember, you are in control. need to do your job, and your ability to enter the pro- fession you have trained for depends on your passing this exam. And that’s why you are here—to achieve control over the exam. 10
  17. 17. – THE LEARNINGEXPRESS TEST PREPARATION SYSTEM –Part B: What’s on the Test Stress ManagementIf you haven’t already done so, stop here and read before the TestChapter 1 of this book, which gives you an overview of If you feel your level of anxiety getting the best of youthe written exam. Later, you will have the opportunity in the weeks before the test, here is what you need toto take the sample practice exams in Chapters 3, 10, do to bring the level down again:and 11. ■ Get prepared. There’s nothing like knowing what to expect and being prepared for it to put you inStep 2: Conquer Test Anxiety control of test anxiety. That’s why you are reading this book. Use it faithfully, and remind yourselfActivity: Take the Test Anxiety Quiz on page 12. that you are better prepared than most of theHaving complete information about the exam is the people taking the test.first step in getting control of the exam. Next, you have ■ Practice self-confidence. A positive attitude is ato overcome one of the biggest obstacles to test success: great way to combat test anxiety. This is no timetest anxiety. Test anxiety cannot only impair your per- to be humble or shy. Stand in front of the mirrorformance on the exam itself; it can even keep you from and say to your reflection, “I’m prepared. I’m fullpreparing! In this step, you will learn stress manage- of self-confidence. I’m going to ace this test. Iment techniques that will help you succeed on your know I can do it.” If you hear it often enough, youexam. Learn these strategies now, and practice them as will come to believe complete the exams in this book so that they will ■ Fight negative messages. Every time someonebe second nature to you by exam day. starts telling you how hard the exam is or how it is almost impossible to get a high score, startCombating Test Anxiety telling them your self-confidence messages above.The first thing you need to know is that a little test anx- If the someone with the negative messages is youiety is a good thing. Everyone gets nervous before a big telling yourself you don’t do well on exams or youexam—and if that nervousness motivates you to pre- just can’t do this, don’t listen.pare thoroughly, so much the better. Many well-known ■ Visualize. Imagine yourself reporting for duty onpeople throughout history have experienced anxiety or your first day as a nurse. Think of yourself help-nervousness—from performers such as actor Sir Lau- ing patients and making them more comfortable.rence Olivier and singer Aretha Franklin to writers Imagine coming home with your first paycheck.such as Charlotte Brontë and Alfred Lord Tennyson. In Visualizing success can help make it happen—fact, anxiety probably gave them a little extra edge— and it reminds you of why you are working sojust the kind of edge you need to do well, whether on hard to pass the exam.a stage or in an examination room. ■ Exercise. Physical activity helps calm down your Stop here and complete the Test Anxiety Quiz on body and focus your mind. Besides, being in goodthe next page to find out whether your level of test physical shape can actually help you do well onanxiety is something you should worry about. the exam. Go for a run, lift weights, go swimming—and do it regularly. 11
  18. 18. Test Anxiety QuizYou need to worry about test anxiety only if it is extreme enough to impair your performance. The followingquestionnaire will provide a diagnosis of your level of test anxiety. In the blank before each statement, write thenumber that most accurately describes your experience.0 = Never1 = Once or twice2 = Sometimes3 = Often I have gotten so nervous before an exam that I simply put down the books and didn’t study for it. I have experienced disabling physical symptoms such as vomiting and severe headaches because I was nervous about an exam. I have simply not showed up for an exam because I was scared to take it. I have experienced dizziness and disorientation while taking an exam. I have had trouble filling in the little circles because my hands were shaking too hard. I have failed an exam because I was too nervous to complete it. Total: Add up the numbers in the blanks above.Your Test Anxiety ScoreHere are the steps you should take, depending on your score. If you scored: ■ Below 3, your level of test anxiety is nothing to worry about; it is probably just enough to give you that little extra edge. ■ Between 3 and 6, your test anxiety may be enough to impair your performance, and you should practice the stress management techniques listed in this section to try to bring your test anxiety down to manage- able levels. ■ Above 6, your level of test anxiety is a serious concern. In addition to practicing the stress management techniques listed in this section, you may want to seek additional, personal help. Call your local high school or community college and ask for the academic counselor. Tell the counselor that you have a level of test anxiety that sometimes keeps you from being able to take an exam. The counselor may be willing to help you or may suggest someone else with whom you should talk. 12
  19. 19. – THE LEARNINGEXPRESS TEST PREPARATION SYSTEM –Stress Management on Test Day accept what has happened. Say to yourself, “Hey,There are several ways you can bring down your level I lost it there for a minute. My brain is taking aof test anxiety on test day. They will work best if you break.” Put down your pencil, close your eyes, andpractice them in the weeks before the test, so you know do some deep breathing for a few seconds. Thenwhich ones work best for you. you will be ready to go back to work. ■ Deep breathing. Take a deep breath while you Try these techniques ahead of time, and see if count to five. Hold it for a count of one, then let they don’t work for you! it out for a count of five. Repeat several times. ■ Move your body. Try rolling your head in a circle. Rotate your shoulders. Shake your hands from Step 3: Make a Plan the wrist. Many people find these movements very relaxing. Activity: Construct a study plan. ■ Visualize again. Think of the place where you are Maybe the most important thing you can do to get most relaxed: lying on the beach in the sun, walk- control of yourself and your exam is to make a study ing through the park, or whatever makes you feel plan. Too many people fail to prepare simply because good. Now close your eyes and imagine you are they fail to plan. Spending hours poring over sample actually there. If you practice in advance, you will test questions the day before the exam not only raises find that you only need a few seconds of this your level of test anxiety, but it also will not replace exercise to experience a significant increase in careful preparation and practice over time. your sense of well-being. Don’t fall into the cram trap. Take control of your preparation time by mapping out a study schedule. On When anxiety threatens to overwhelm you right the following pages are two sample schedules, based onthere during the exam, there are still things you can do the amount of time you have before you take the writ-to manage the stress level. ten exam. If you are the kind of person who needs deadlines and assignments to motivate you for a proj- ■ Repeat your self-confidence messages. You ect, here they are. If you are the kind of person who should have them memorized by now. Say them doesn’t like to follow other people’s plans, you can use quietly to yourself, and believe them! the suggested schedules here to construct your own. ■ Visualize one more time. This time, visualize Even more important than making a plan is mak- yourself moving smoothly and quickly through ing a commitment. You can’t review everything you the test answering every question correctly and learned in your nursing courses in one night. You need finishing just before time is up. Like most visuali- to set aside some time every day for study and practice. zation techniques, this one works best if you have Try for at least 20 minutes a day. Twenty minutes daily practiced it ahead of time. will do you much more good than two hours on Satur- ■ Find an easy question. Skim over the test until day—divide your test preparation into smaller pieces you find an easy question, and answer it. Getting of the larger work. In addition, making study notes, even one circle filled in gets you into the test- creating visual aids, and memorizing can be quite useful taking groove. as you prepare. Each time you begin to study, quickly ■ Take a mental break. Everyone loses concentra- review your last lesson. This act will help you retain all tion once in a while during a long test. It is nor- you have learned and help you assess if you are studying mal, so you shouldn’t worry about it. Instead, effectively. You may realize you are not remembering 13
  20. 20. – THE LEARNINGEXPRESS TEST PREPARATION SYSTEM –some of the material you studied earlier. Approxi- ation is within a certain range; that is, it is rare to scoremately one week before your exam, try to determine under 50% in one section and over 90% in another. Ifthe areas that are still most difficult for you. you are one of those rare types, don’t worry; it just Don’t put off your study until the day before the shows you where most of your preparation timeexam. Start now. A few minutes a day, with half an should go.hour or more on weekends, can make a big difference But if you are more typical, where your sectionin your score. scores tend to cluster on the following chart should tell you something about when you should take the exam,Self-Evaluation if you have a choice, and how much time you will haveOne way to find out how to focus your study time is to to put in to prepare. If your score in a section clustersconduct a self-evaluation. Begin by taking the practice in the “under 25%” category, you should really con-test in Chapter 3 to highlight areas in which you are sider postponing taking the exam until you have hadstrongest and those in which you need more work. You some time for serious study. If your score is in the mid-do not have to time yourself—just make sure you have dle ranges, then you can go ahead and take the exam,allotted enough time so that you can complete the test but you should plan to put aside a fair amount of timein one sitting. When you have finished, score your exam to study between now and exam day. Finally, if yourusing the answer key at the end of that chapter. Then, score is in the “over 75%” category, you can still bene-match your percentages on each section with the fol- fit from the practice tests and review chapters in thislowing analysis. book—your study time will most likely ensure a high Most people do better on some sections of the score on the entrance exam.exam than on others, but most also find that the vari- SECTION SCORE ANALYSIS under 25% You need concentrated work in this area. Your best bet is to take an additional course. If that is not possible, contact your school’s guidance or academic coun- seling office to arrange for a tutor. Turn to the chapter of this book pertaining to this section of the test only after you have taken that course or spent at least two months in tutoring; at that point, you will be ready to get maximum benefit from the tips and practice questions in the chapter. 51–74% This area may not be your strong suit, which is why you should not only work through the relevant chapter, but also use the additional resources listed at the end of that chapter. You might want to find a tutor or form a study group with other stu- dents preparing for a nursing school entrance exam. over 75% Congratulations! You do not need a lot of work in this area. Turn to the relevant chapter of this book to pick up vital tips and practice that can give you extra points in this area. 14
  21. 21. – THE LEARNINGEXPRESS TEST PREPARATION SYSTEM –Planning for Success and see the diagram? Would you rather hear someoneBased on the amount of time you have before the exam, read the directions to you—telling you which part con-four customized schedules follow. If you are the kind of nects to another? Or do you draw your own diagram?person who needs deadlines and assignments to moti- The three main learning methods are visual,vate you for a project, here they are. If you prefer to auditory, and kinesthetic. Determining which type ofdesign your own study timeline, use the suggested learner you are will help you create tools for studying.schedules to help you create an effective plan. Be sure to research the content of the specific 1. Visual Learners need to see the information in theentrance test you will be taking in order to adapt the form of maps, pictures, text, words, or math exam-given schedules for your exam. For example, if you are ples. Outlining notes and important points in col-taking the NET, you may plan to spend less time on the orful highlighters and taking note of diagrams andscience-related chapters, realizing that this topic is not pictures may be key in helping you study.covered with as much depth as the RNSAE or APNE. 2. Auditory Learners retain information when they(However, because the reading comprehension section can hear directions, the spelling of a word, aof the NET focuses on science material, do not skip math theorem, or poem. Repeating informationthese chapters altogether!) aloud or listening to your notes on a tape In constructing your plan, you should take into recorder may help. Many auditory learners alsoaccount how much work you need to do. If your scores find working in study groups or having someoneon the first practice exam were not what you hoped, quiz them should take some of the steps from Schedule A and 3. Kinesthetic Learners must do! They need toget them into Schedule D somehow, even if you do draw diagrams, write directions, etc. Rewritinghave only two weeks before the exam. Similarly, your notes on index cards or making margin notes inscores on the practice exam should help determine your textbooks also helps kinesthetic learners tohow much time you have to spend each week. If you retain information.scored low, you might need to devote several hours aday to test preparation. If you scored high, a few hours Mnemonicsa week will probably be enough. Mnemonics are memory tricks that help you remem- Even more important than making a plan is ber what you need to know. The three basic principlesmaking a commitment. You cannot get ready over- in the use of mnemonics are imagination, association,night for a nursing school entrance exam. Set aside and location. Acronyms (words created from the firstsome time every day—every other day, if your scores letters in a series of words) are common mnemonics.were high and you have months until the exam—for One acronym you may already know is HOMES, forstudy and practice. An hour every day or every other the names of the Great Lakes (Huron, Ontario, Michi-day will do you much more good than a day or two of gan, Erie, and Superior). ROY G. BIV reminds peoplecramming right before the exam. of the colors in the spectrum (Red, Orange, Yellow, Green, Blue, Indigo, and Violet). Depending on theLearning Styles type of learner you are, mnemonics can also be color-Each of us absorbs information differently. Whichever ful or vivid images, stories, word associations, or catchyway works best for you is called your dominant learning rhymes such as “Thirty days hath September . . . ” cre-method. If someone asks you to help them construct a ated in your mind. Any type of learner, whether visual,bookcase they just bought, which may be in many pieces, auditory, or kinesthetic, can use mnemonics to helphow do you begin? Do you need to read the directions the brain store and interpret information. 15
  22. 22. – THE LEARNINGEXPRESS TEST PREPARATION SYSTEM –Schedule A: Six Months to ExamYou have taken the first practice test in Chapter 3 and know that you have at least six months in which to buildon your strengths and improve in areas where you are weak. Do not put off your preparation. In six months offive hours a week, you can make a significant difference in your score. TIME PREPARATION Exam minus 6 months Pick the one section in which your percentage score on the practice exam was lowest to concentrate on this month. Read the relevant chapters from among Chapters 4–9 and work through the exercises. Use the additional resources listed in that chapter. When you get to that chapter in the plan below, review it. Exam minus 5 months Read Chapter 5, “Reading Comprehension,” and work through the exercises. Practice reading textbooks and professional journal articles about healthcare, and quiz yourself on each chapter or article you read. Read Chapter 9, “General Sci- ence Review,” using your reading comprehension skills. Find other people who are preparing for the exam and form a study group. Exam minus 4 months Read Chapter 7, “Biology Review,” and work through the sample questions. Use the resources listed at the end of the chapter for a comprehensive review. All this reading is a good time to practice your reading comprehension skills, too. Exam minus 3 months Read Chapter 8, “Chemistry Review,” and work through the exercises. Use the resources listed at the end of the chapter, or your old textbooks, to review topics you are shaky on. Exam minus 2 months Read Chapter 6, “Math Review,” and work through the exercises. Give yourself additional practice by making up your own test questions in the areas that give you the most trouble. Exam minus 4 weeks Read Chapter 4, “Verbal Ability,” and work through the exercises. Use at least one additional resource listed here. Exam minus 2 weeks Take the practice test in Chapter 10. Use your scores to help you decide your focus for this week. Go back to the relevant chapters, and get the help of a teacher or your study group. Exam minus 1 week Review the first two sample tests, especially the answer explanations. Then, take the practice exam in Chapter 11 for extra practice. As you study this week, con- centrate on the areas you’re strongest in and decide not to let any areas where you still feel uncertain bother you. Go to bed early every night this week so you can be at your best by test time. Exam minus 1 day Relax. Do something unrelated to your nursing school entrance exam. Eat a good meal and go to bed at your new early bedtime. 16
  23. 23. – THE LEARNINGEXPRESS TEST PREPARATION SYSTEM –Schedule B: Three to Six Months to ExamIf you have three to six months until the exam, you have just enough time to prepare, as long as you put in at leastseven or eight hours a week. This schedule assumes you have four months; stretch it out or compress it if you havemore or less time. TIME PREPARATION Exam minus 4 months Read Chapter 5, “Reading Comprehension,” and work through the exercises. Practice your reading-comprehension skills as you work through Chapter 9, “General Science Review,” and the resources listed at the end of that chapter. Find other people who are preparing for the exam and form a study group. Exam minus 3 months Read Chapters 7 and 8, “Biology Review” and “Chemistry Review,” and work through the exercises. Use the resources listed at the end of the chapter, or your old textbooks, to review topics you’re shaky on. Exam minus 2 months Read Chapter 6, “Math Review,” and work through the exercises. Give yourself additional practice by making up your own test questions in the areas that give you the most trouble. Exam minus 4 weeks Read Chapter 4, “Verbal Ability,” and work through the exercises. Use at least one of the additional resources listed there. Exam minus 2 weeks Take the practice test in Chapter 10. Use your scores to help you decide where to concentrate your efforts this week. Go back to the relevant chapters, and get help from a teacher or your study group. Exam minus 1 week Review the first two sample tests, especially the answer explanations. Read over the test-taking strategies in Chapter 2. Then, take the sample test in Chapter 11 for extra practice. Choose the one area in which your scores are lowest to review this week. Go to bed early every night this week so you can be at your peak by test time. Exam minus 1 day Relax. Do something unrelated to your nursing school entrance exam. Eat a good meal and go to bed at your new early bedtime. 17
  24. 24. – THE LEARNINGEXPRESS TEST PREPARATION SYSTEM –Schedule C: One to Three Months to ExamIf you have one to three months until the exam, you still have time to get ready, but you should plan to put in tenhours a week. This schedule is built around a two-month time frame. If you have only one month, spend a cou-ple of extra hours a week so you can get all the steps in. If you have three months, include some of the steps fromSchedule B. TIME PREPARATION Exam minus 8 weeks Read Chapter 5, “Reading Comprehension,” and work through the exercises. Use your reading comprehension skills as you review Chapter 9, “General Science Review.” Exam minus 6 weeks Read Chapters 7 and 8, “Biology Review” and “Chemistry Review” and work through the exercises. Use the resources listed at the end of the chapters, or your old textbooks, to review topics you’re shaky on. Exam minus 4 weeks Read Chapter 6, “Math Review,” and work through the exercises. Exam minus 2 weeks Read Chapter 4, “Verbal Ability,” and work through the exercises. Exam minus 1 week Take the practice test in Chapter 10. Use your scores to help you decide where to concentrate your efforts this week. Go back to the relevant chapters, and get the help of a teacher or friend. Go to bed early every night this week so you can be at your peak by test time. Exam minus 4 days Take the practice exam in Chapter 11 for extra practice. Exam minus 1 day Relax. Do something unrelated to your nursing school entrance exam. Eat a good meal and go to bed at your new early bedtime. 18
  25. 25. – THE LEARNINGEXPRESS TEST PREPARATION SYSTEM –Schedule D: Two to Four Weeks to ExamIf you have just two to four weeks until the exam, you really have your work cut out for you. Carve two hours outof your day, every day, for study. This schedule shows you how to make the most of your time if you have just twoweeks. If you have an extra week or two, spend more time with the resources listed at the end of Chapters 4–9. TIME PREPARATION Exam minus 14 days Read Chapter 5, “Reading Comprehension,” and work through the exercises. Use your reading-comprehension skills as you review Chapter 9, “General Science Review.” Work through the exercises in that chapter. Exam minus 12 days Read Chapters 7 and 8, “Biology Review” and “Chemistry Review,” and work through the exercises. Use the resources listed at the end of the chapter, or your old textbooks, to review topics you’re shaky on. Exam minus 10 days Read Chapter 6, “Math Review,” and work through the exercises. Exam minus 8 days Read Chapter 4, “Verbal Ability,” and work through the exercises. Go to bed early every night this week so you can be at your peak by test time. Exam minus 6 days Take the practice test in Chapter 10. Choose one or two areas to review until the day before the exam, based on your scores. Go back to the relevant instructional chapters, and get the help of a teacher or friend. Go to bed early every night this week so you can be at your peak by test time. Exam minus 4 days Take the practice exam in Chapter 11 for extra practice. Exam minus 1 day Relax. Do something unrelated to your nursing school entrance exam. Eat a good meal and go to bed at your new early bedtime. 19
  26. 26. – THE LEARNINGEXPRESS TEST PREPARATION SYSTEM – Step 4: Lear n to Manage number of the question still corresponds with the Your Time number on the answer sheet. ■ Don’t rush. Though you should keep moving,Activities: Practice these strategies as you take the rushing won’t help. Try to keep calm and worksample tests in this book. methodically and quickly.Steps 4, 5, and 6 of the LearningExpress Test Prepara-tion System put you in charge of your exam by show-ing you test-taking strategies that work. Practice these Step 5: Lear n to Use thestrategies as you take the sample tests in this book, and Process of Eliminationthen you will be ready to use them on test day. First, you will take control of your time on the Activity: Complete worksheet on Using the Processexam. Most nursing school entrance exams have a time of Elimination (see page 22).limit, which may give you more than enough time to After time management, your next most importantcomplete all the questions—or may not. It is a terrible tool for taking control of your exam is using thefeeling to hear the examiner say, “Five minutes left,” process of elimination wisely. It is standard test-takingwhen you are only three-quarters of the way through wisdom that you should always read all the answerthe test. Here are some tips to keep that from happen- choices before choosing your answer. This helps youing to you. find the right answer by eliminating wrong answer choices. And, sure enough, that standard wisdom ■ Follow directions. If the directions are given applies to your nursing school entrance exam, too. orally, listen to them. If they are written on the Let’s say you are facing a question that goes exam booklet, read them carefully. Ask questions like this: before the exam begins if there’s anything you don’t understand. If you are allowed to write in your exam booklet, write down the beginning Which of the following lists of signs and symp- time and the ending time of the exam. toms indicates a possible heart attack? ■ Pace yourself. Glance at your watch every few a. headache, nausea, confusion minutes, and compare the time to how far you b. dull chest pain, sudden sweating, difficulty have gotten in the test. When one-quarter of the breathing time has elapsed, you should be a quarter of c. wheezing, dizziness, chest pain the way through the test, and so on. If you are d. difficulty breathing, high fever, chills falling behind, pick up the pace a bit. ■ Keep moving. Don’t dither around on one ques- You should always use the process of elimination tion. If you don’t know the answer, skip the on a question like this, even if the right answer jumps question and move on. Circle the number of the out at you. Sometimes, the answer that jumps out isn’t question in your test booklet in case you have right after all. Let’s assume, for the purpose of this time to come back to it later. exercise, that you are a little rusty on your signs and ■ Keep track of your place on the answer sheet. If symptoms of a heart attack, so you need to use a little you skip a question, make sure that you also skip intuition to make up for what you don’t remember. the question on the answer sheet. Check yourself Proceed through the answer choices in order. every five to ten questions to make sure that the 20
  27. 27. – THE LEARNINGEXPRESS TEST PREPARATION SYSTEM – ■ Start with choice a. This one is pretty easy to It is good to have a system for marking good, eliminate; none of these signs and symptoms is bad, and maybe answers. We recommend this one: likely to indicate a heart attack. Mark an X next to choice a so you never have to look at it again. X = bad ■ On to choice b. “Dull chest pain” looks good, ✓ = good though if you are not up on your cardiac signs ? = maybe and symptoms you might wonder if it should be “acute chest pain” instead. “Sudden sweating” and If you don’t like these marks, devise your own “difficulty breathing”? Check. And that’s what system. Just make sure you do it long before test day— you write next to choice b—a check mark, mean- while you are working through the practice exams in ing “good answer, I might use this one.” this book—so you won’t have to worry about it during ■ Choice c is a possibility. Maybe you don’t really the test. expect wheezing in a heart attack victim, but you know “chest pain” is right, and let’s say you are Key Words not sure whether “dizzness” is a sign of cardiac Often, identifying key words in a question will help difficulty. Put a question mark next to choice c, you in the process of elimination. Words such as meaning “well, maybe.” always, never, all, only, must, and will often make state- ■ Choice d is also a possibility. “Difficulty breath- ments incorrect. Here is an example of an incorrect ing” is a good sign of a heart attack. But wait a statement: minute. “High fever”? Not really. “Chills”? Well, maybe. This doesn’t really sound like a heart When a nurse is preparing to ambulate a client, making attack, and you have already got a better answer sure the client is wearing proper footwear will always picked out in choice b. If you are feeling sure of prevent them from falling. yourself, put an X next to this one. If you want to be careful, put a question mark. Now your ques- The word always in this statement makes it tion looks like this: incorrect. Nurses must also take other measures, in addition to providing proper footwear, when ambu- Which of the following lists of signs and symp- lating a resident, such as proper body mechanics and toms indicates a possible heart attack? providing support to the client. X a. headache, nausea, confusion Words like usually, may, sometimes, and most may ✓ b. dull chest pain, sudden sweating, difficulty make a statement correct. Here is an example of a cor- breathing rect statement: ? c. wheezing, dizziness, chest pain ? d. difficulty breathing, high fever, chills Clients of healthcare facilities and hospitals may need help with tasks such as being fed and bathed. You have got just one check mark, for a goodanswer. If you are pressed for time, you should simply The word may makes this statement correct.mark choice b on your answer sheet. If you have got There are clients in facilities who may be too ill or weakthe time to be extra careful, you could compare your to perform daily tasks such as feeding and bathingcheck mark answer to your question-mark answers to themselves.make sure that it is better. 21
  28. 28. Using the Process of EliminationUse the process of elimination to answer the following questions.1. Ilsa is as old as Meghan will be in five years. The 3. Smoking tobacco has been linked to difference between Ed’s age and Meghan’s age a. increased risk of stroke and heart attack. is twice the difference between Ilsa’s age and b. all forms of respiratory disease. Meghan’s age. Ed is 29. How old is Ilsa? c. increasing mortality rates over the past ten a. 4 years. b. 10 d. juvenile delinquency. c. 19 d. 24 4. Which of the following words is spelled correctly?2. “All drivers of commercial vehicles must carry a a. incorrigible valid commercial driver’s license whenever oper- b. outragous ating a commercial vehicle.” c. domestickated According to this sentence, which of the d. understandible following people need NOT carry a commercial driver’s license? a. a truck driver idling his engine while waiting to be directed to a loading dock b. a bus operator backing her bus out of the way of another bus in the bus lot c. a taxi driver driving his personal car to the grocery store d. a limousine driver taking the limousine to her home after dropping off her last passenger of the eveningAnswersHere are the answers, as well as some suggestions as to how you might have used the process of eliminationto find them. 1. d. You should have eliminated choice a off the 2. c. Note the word not in the question, and go bat. Ilsa can’t be four years old if Meghan is through the answers one by one. Is the truck going to be Ilsa’s age in five years. The best driver in choice a “operating a commercial way to eliminate other answer choices is to vehicle”? Yes, idling counts as “operating,” try plugging them in to the information given so he needs to have a commercial driver’s in the problem. For instance, for choice b, if license. Likewise, the bus operator in choice Ilsa is 10, then Meghan must be 5. The differ- b is operating a commercial vehicle; the ence in their ages is 5. The difference question doesn’t say the operator has to be between Ed’s age, 29, and Meghan’s age, 5, on the street. The limo driver in choice d is is 24. Is 24 two times 5? No. Then choice b is operating a commercial vehicle, even if it wrong. You could eliminate choice c in the doesn’t have a passenger in it. However, the same way and be left with choice d. cabbie in answer c is not operating a com- mercial vehicle, but his own private car. 22
  29. 29. Using the Process of Elimination (continued) 3. a. You could eliminate choice b simply because able to eliminate two answers and have only of the presence of the word all. Such two to choose from.) And choice d is plain absolutes hardly ever appear in correct silly, so you could eliminate that one, too. answer choices. Choice c looks attractive until You are left with the correct choice, a. you think a little about what you know— 4. a. How you used the process of elimination aren’t fewer people smoking these days, here depends on which words you recog- rather than more? So how could smoking be nized as being spelled incorrectly. If you knew responsible for a higher mortality rate? (If you that the correct spellings were outrageous, didn’t know that mortality rate means the rate domesticated, and understandable, then you at which people die, you might keep this were home free. choice as a possibility, but you would still be Your Guessing AbilityThe following are ten really hard questions. You are not supposed to know the answers. Rather, this is an assess-ment of your ability to guess when you don’t have a clue. Read each question carefully, just as if you did expectto answer it. If you have any knowledge of the subject, use that knowledge to help you eliminate wrong answerchoices.1. September 7 is Independence Day in 4. American author Gertrude Stein was born in a. India. a. 1713. b. Costa Rica. b. 1830. c. Brazil. c. 1874. d. Australia. d. 1901.2. Which of the following is the formula for deter- 5. Which of the following is NOT one of the Five mining the momentum of an object? Classics attributed to Confucius? a. p = MV a. the I Ching b. F = ma b. the Book of Holiness c. P = IV c. the Spring and Autumn Annals d. E = mc2 d. the Book of History3. Because of the expansion of the universe, the 6. The religious and philosophical doctrine that stars and other celestial bodies are all moving holds that the universe is constantly in a strug- away from each other. This phenomenon is gle between good and evil is known as known as a. Pelagianism. a. Newton’s first law. b. Manichaeanism. b. the big bang. c. neo-Hegelianism. c. gravitational collapse. d. Epicureanism. d. Hubble flow. 23
  30. 30. Your Guessing Ability (continued)7. The third Chief Justice of the U.S. Supreme How Did You Do? Court was You may have simply gotten lucky and actually known a. John Blair. the answer to one or two questions. In addition, your b. William Cushing. guessing was probably more successful if you were c. James Wilson. able to use the process of elimination on any of the d. John Jay. questions. Maybe you didn’t know who the third Chief Justice was (question 7), but you knew that John Jay8. Which of the following is the poisonous portion was the first. In that case, you would have eliminated of a daffodil? choice d and therefore improved your odds of guess- a. the bulb ing right from one in four to one in three. b. the leaves According to probability, you should get two- c. the stem and-a-half answers correct, so getting either two or d. the flowers three right would be average. If you got four or more right, you may be a really terrific guesser. If you got9. The winner of the Masters golf tournament in one or none right, you may be a really bad guesser. 1953 was Keep in mind, though, that this is only a small a. Sam Snead. sample. You should continue to keep track of your b. Cary Middlecoff. guessing ability as you work through the sample c. Arnold Palmer. questions in this book. Circle the numbers of ques- d. Ben Hogan. tions you guess on as you make your guess; or, if you don’t have time while you take the practice tests, go10. The state with the highest per capita personal back afterward and try to remember which questions income in 1980 was you guessed at. Remember, on a test with four answer a. Alaska. choices, your chance of guessing correctly is one in b. Connecticut. four. So keep a separate “guessing” score for each c. New York. exam. How many questions did you guess on? How d. Texas. many did you get right? If the number you got right is at least one-fourth of the number of questions youAnswers guessed on, you are at least an average guesser—Check your answers against the following correct maybe better—and you should always go ahead andanswers. guess on the real exam. If the number you got right is significantly lower than one-fourth of the number you 1. c. guessed on, you would, frankly, be safe in guessing 2. a. anyway, but maybe you would feel more comfortable 3. d. if you guessed only selectively, when you can elimi- 4. c. nate a wrong answer or at least have a good feeling 5. b. about one of the answer choices. 6. b. Frankly, even if you are a play-it-safe person with 7. b. lousy intuition, you are still safe guessing every time. 8. a. 9. d.10. a. 24
  31. 31. – THE LEARNINGEXPRESS TEST PREPARATION SYSTEM – Even when you think you are absolutely clueless Step 7: Reach Your Peakabout a question, you can often use the process of Perfor mance Zoneelimination to get rid of at least one answer choice. Ifso, you are better prepared to make an educated guess, Activity: Complete the Physical Preparation you will see in Step 6. More often, you can eliminate To get ready for a challenge like a big exam, you haveanswers until you have only two possible answers. to take control of your physical, as well as your men-Then you are in a strong position to guess. tal, state. Exercise, proper diet, and rest in the weeks Try using your powers of elimination on the prior to the test will ensure that your body works with,questions in the following worksheet, Using the Process rather than against, your mind on test day, as well asof Elimination. The questions are not about nursing; during your preparation.they are just designed to show you how the process ofelimination works. The answer explanations for this Exerciseworksheet show one possible way you might use the If you don’t already have a regular exercise programprocess to arrive at the right answer. going, the time during which you are preparing for an exam is actually an excellent time to start one. And if you are already keeping fit—or trying to get thatStep 6: Know When to Guess way—don’t let the pressure of preparing for an exam fool you into quitting now. Exercise helps reduce stressActivity: Complete worksheet on Your Guessing by pumping feel-good hormones, called endorphins,Ability (see page 23). into your system. It also increases the oxygen supplyArmed with the process of elimination, you are ready throughout your body, including your brain, so youto take control of one of the big questions in test tak- will be at peak performance on test Should I guess? The first and main answer is Yes. A half hour of vigorous activity—enough to raiseSome exams have what’s called a “guessing penalty,” in a sweat—every day should be your aim. If you arewhich a fraction of your wrong answers is subtracted really pressed for time, every other day is OK. Choosefrom your right answers—but nursing school entrance an activity you like and get out there and do it. Joggingexams don’t tend to work like that. The number of with a friend always makes the time go faster, or takequestions you answer correctly yields your raw score. your MP3 or CD player.So you have nothing to lose and everything to gain by But don’t overdo it. You don’t want to exhaustguessing. yourself. Moderation is the key. The more complicated answer to the question“Should I guess?” depends on you—your personality Dietand your “guessing intuition.” There are two things you First, cut out the junk. Go easy on caffeine and nicotine,need to know about yourself before you go into the and eliminate alcohol from your system at least twoexam: weeks before the exam. What your body needs for peak performance is simply a balanced diet. Eat plenty of Are you a risk-taker? fruits and vegetables, along with protein and carbohy- Are you a good guesser? drates. Foods that are high in lecithin (an amino acid), such as fish and beans, are especially good “brain foods.” You will have to decide about your risk-taking The night before the exam, you might “carbo-quotient on your own. To find out if you are a good load” the way athletes do before a contest. Eat a bigguesser, complete the worksheet, Your Guessing Ability, plate of spaghetti, rice and beans, or whatever youron page 23. favorite carbohydrate is. 25
  32. 32. Physical Preparation ChecklistFor the week before the test, write down 1) what physical exercise you engaged in and for how long and 2) whatyou ate for each meal. Remember, you’re trying for at least half an hour of exercise every other day (preferablyevery day) and a balanced diet that’s light on junk food.Exam minus 7 days Exam minus 3 daysExercise: ______ for ______ minutes Exercise: ______ for ______ minutesBreakfast: Breakfast:Lunch: Lunch:Dinner: Dinner:Snacks: Snacks:Exam minus 6 days Exam minus 2 daysExercise: ______ for ______ minutes Exercise: ______ for ______ minutesBreakfast: Breakfast:Lunch: Lunch:Dinner: Dinner:Snacks: Snacks:Exam minus 5 days Exam minus 1 dayExercise: ______ for ______ minutes Exercise: ______ for ______ minutesBreakfast: Breakfast:Lunch: Lunch:Dinner: Dinner:Snacks: Snacks:Exam minus 4 daysExercise: ______ for ______ minutesBreakfast:Lunch:Dinner:Snacks: 26