You’re about to start nursing school and find yourself wondering how you’ll manage your study load. Like any other program in higher education, a nursing degree requires good study habits. Here are a few study tips that might make nursing school easier.

Try a Study Group

Though sometimes studying alone can be wise, the camaraderie of a small group can be helpful. Keep your group size small enough, say three or four students, to stay focused. Have each group member prepare a topic in advance. If your instructor has assigned a lot of reading, each group member can take a turn outlining a chapter and present a summary to the group. You may find that talking about a subject with others helps cement it more clearly in your mind.

Use Flashcards

It’s a tried and true memorization aid: flashcards can help you cope with learning large amounts of vocabulary, and you’ll be seeing plenty of specialized vocabulary in nursing school. You could go the old-fashioned route with index cards and markers, but there are also websites that allow you to create flashcards quickly by typing in your terms and definitions. Print a set to study on the go, or quiz yourself online.

Prepare Well for Tests

No one likes test stress. Minimize it by preparing well in advance for an exam. As soon as you find out what a test will cover, marshal and organize your resources. Some instructors prepare study guides; if they don’t, create one of your own. Check chapter endings for review questions or summaries. Organizing information will help you retain it and also figure out possible trouble areas. Take topics that need clarification to your study group or your instructor.

Real Experience is a Great Way to Study

Many students work during nursing studies. Certificates and training are available in healthcare settings where you can get firsthand experience. This can be a way to test your vocation or to get some hands-on experience in the early days of nursing school according to ABES College (Alberta Business Education Services), a college that provides nursing programs in Calgary. Learning real-life skills can supplement classroom and textbook studies, giving you a deeper understanding of concepts and ways you can apply them.

Find the study strategies that work for you. And remember, no matter how challenging the study load, nursing school will lead you to your ultimate goal: a career in nursing!