Use these 5 steps for EVERY exam to minimize careless errors.

Lets face it, in nursing school we will be taking hundreds of exams by the time graduation slowly (At least, that’s what it feels like) rolls around. These exams that we take are something that everyone has to get used to with the whole, “Though that answer is correct, it is not the most correct” logic, so losing points on your overall grade due to exam errors is something we want to make sure doesn’t happen. Here are 5 steps I go through every exam to make sure that I will minimize all test taking errors and not lose any points for mistakes that I COULD control:

  1. Starting with the first question, answer it on the actual exam and immediately transfer it over to the Scantron, EVEN if you think you will have to go back and might change your answer after. If you leave it blank on the Scantron, you might answer the next question in the spot that you left blank and now you have filled in every answer wrong from there on.
  2. If you don’t know the answer to the question, put a question mark next to it to remind you when you go through your exam the first time, that you need to spend some time on it again, but still fill in an answer that you MAY think is right.
  3. Make sure you READ THE ENTIRE QUESTION. This has caught me so many times where I have read the first sentence and right away thought I knew the answer (because it was there) and I got it wrong because I didn’t read the end. These NCLEX style questions are very tricky, don’t take them for granted.
  4. When you finish your exam, make sure you go through it fully one time and spend some time on the questions that you have put question marks next to and to confirm that the ones you thought were correct, are still your best choices.
  5. Now, for the second time going through your exam, just confirm that you made the correct transfer over from the exam to the Scantron. You don’t want to lose ANY points for transferring the answers over wrong!

EXTRA TIP TO HELP WITH AFTER EXAM ANXIETY: If you’re anything like me, you want to know your grade immediately after (which never happens and usually takes a few days). I personally would make a dash or check mark next to each question that I KNOW I answered correctly, and put a question mark (or keep the question mark from earlier) for the ones that I wasn’t sure that I got right or I KNEW I had got wrong. Then you can count up the points to get a round about score of what you have got for the exam. It may also be higher because of the ones that you weren’t sure of that you counted wrong, chances are you could have gotten a few of those right.


These were the problems I was having when I first started taking these nursing exams and now I make sure I go through these 5 steps EVERY exam I take to make sure I am not losing points for careless errors. I hope this helps you guys as much as it helped me, Gooduck!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s