Study Tips 101: How not to cram?

I’ve “recently” graduated (because its not that long ago) last May 2017 and got my degree in Bachelors of Science in Nursing. I’ve been busy studying for my NCLEX exam after passing the NLE last November 2017 (Thank God!) and so I’m currently just you know stuck at home pretty much doing nothing, hehe. Anyway, one of my schoolmates asked me if I could give a simple advice on how to actually manage their time with all the case pres requirements going on, tons of exams and quizzes all at the same day and lastly duty days and their horrible-next-day-requirements. I mean I couldn’t blame them, I was in the same position 4 years ago.


You want the greatest tip that I could give? Not much but it could actually change your study habits and not cram till the last day of submission (which is probably 2 hours before deadline). If you want to study smart, you have to have the right tools and know how to use them the actual “smart” way.

  • A black/blue and red pen- You can actually train your mind to wake up when you use two colors when studying. This would also allow you to remember things easily and search for your notes without wasting so much time. How do I do it?

I get a clean bond paper and fold it in half. Next, I get my notes or the power point and start reviewing a page or 2 slides of the ppt. After that, start asking yourself questions and write the answer on that paper. So what’s with the color? Write what you remember perfectly in BLACK and write any terms your forget in RED. Do not worry about your terrible hand writing just go as fast as your brain tells you so and while the idea is still there. You don’t have to write with every page, you can finish the whole topic and do this in the end. This is why our Ci’s wants us to write, your brain can remember and retain more information when you WRITE.

  • Sticky notes– I honestly prefer green sticky notes (orange will do too) but just get the right color for your eyes, something that can attract your eyes and send signal that YOU HAVE TO KEEP GOING. Put a sticky note at the corner of your handout page or your notebook page, this will tell you when you can stop and have your break. Ofcourse, you have to set that deadline yourself but DO NOT belittle what you can do so always strive for more (especially if its already 3 hours before your exam, haha i know you). You can actually use these sticky notes and write each topic on them, stick it on the side of the book so you don’t have to look for those topics and waste so much time. Side tip: I also use this when my pen starts to act out, use it as a scratch or really just anything you wanna write on it.

My greatest secret that I just discovered during my NLE review?

  • Dunkin Donuts Coffee (Vanilla or Plain)– Now these steps that I’m gonna tell you is something that’s really crucial, if you mess it up then you will have the worst studying experience so I’m gonna break it down into numbers.
  1. Know your mind’s perfect studying time. Start studying at that time and read what you can, follow the bullets I gave you above. Now, when you get EXTREMELY sleepy get/buy a cup of dunkin donuts coffee (I find this one very effective than other brands) or any brand that you want and make SURE that your water is WARM enough to make you relaxed. Set your alarm for 20-30 minutes
  2. Sleep right away (because I just said that you have to drink it only when EXTREMELY sleepy, so of course you’ll knock out)
  3. Wake up as soon as your alarm sets off, do not slack! Caffeine takes 30 minutes to reach its peak and when that coffee is pure and black it won’t make you sleep for the next hours. Trust me, you’ll get to focus more, no headaches and you had your nap to recharge your brain.

What could go wrong when you mess this up? If you drink it before you get extremely sleepy, you won’t get that nap since your body will stay awake even if you want to sleep and if you don’t get that nap then you’ll probably end up being brain dead and grumpy hence nothing will actually retain in your brain. You can get extreme headaches, and lastly you’ll look like a zombie the next day.

Also, if you don’t like coffee then you can drink tea as well! That’s all I can say for now, my next study tip would probably focus more on how to properly get those information during endorsements and some case presentation tips.

Thanks for reading!


6 thoughts on “Study Tips 101: How not to cram?

    1. Thankyou! My reviewer told us that it really worked so I tried it and I was awake for the next 5 hours, just enough time to get a proper sleep as well and finish all the things I had to study!


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