Monday, July 6, 2015

How to track your progress with review questions

Well, at least one way that worked for me.  I am sure that everyone will do it a bit differently, but this way worked for me.  It is cheap (about $1 and a little time) and easy. 

Instead of flipping back and forth from the questions to the answers, I wanted a way to see the answers quickly.  I used post-it notes for this, folded over with the answers on the reverse side so that I could not "cheat" by glimpsing the answer.   After a while I realized that I could benefit by using the front side to track my progress.  This is how I did it.
From the Dollar Tree guessed it.. $1
These handy little sticky notes were just the right size.  I bought these at the Dollar Tree but you could also pick them up at Staples or another office supply store (these would also work although they are more expensive).  These are the perfect size, 1.5" x 2" - big enough for several questions, small enough so that they do not cover much space, and repositionable so that they can also be moved if needed.

I placed these on the book, in a position that covered little to no part of the questions.  If a bit of the question was covered, I would just move it when reviewing that question.  In the photo below I covered the answers with the notes.

I folded these over and wrote the answers on the back side.  I could just flip it over to see them. I usually did no more than 7 or 8 per sticky note; you may get more if you write smaller or use fine tip pens.  For Codina-Leik, I tried to get one page of questions on one sticky note.  Since Hollier has the answers on the reverse of the page, I just used these to track my progress, one note per page.  Fitzgerald was a hodge-podge, I usually had no more than 8 per note, although she might have 20 questions per page.  I would divide them between the notes, and use however many I needed.   I divided the front side of the note into four sections (I planned to go through each question 4 times initially but only needed three rounds.  I did do some sections a fourth time if I had scored lower on it.)  I tracked my progress here. 
    You can see how I tracked my progress....
...any wrong responses are marked with minus circled (see 60, 61, and 62), correct answers with a plus sign, and correct guesses with a plus circled (see 42, 56, 58).  

This note shows the final questions.  This was my first round with the questions in this section, and I missed 21 out of the 124 questions or 103 correct.  Doing the math, this would be a 83%, not a passing grade.  I considered my first round as a "pre-test" so this would  be close to a passing grade but just not good enough.  Confirmation that I need to study more. 
    With Codina-Leik, I totaled my score every 100 questions, and then did a grand total of all 642 questions at the end. 
    After two rounds of the questions, I made flashcards on any question that I had circled, either as a guess or incorrect.  I studied the topic of the question until I could answer it and understand the rationale behind it.  On round three, I was scoring in the high 90s, so I knew that I was ready for boards.  
    Flashcards....I went the old-fashioned route (paper flashcards) at first until I found a better alternative.  More on that in another post. 
    But the important thing to note is that tracking your progress is extremely important.  If you don't keep track of what you missed, you don't  know what you need to study. 
     Do you use a different method of tracking?  What works for you?  Share your experiences below.

Next: Study Plan, week 2

Note: The links in this post are affiliate links and I get a small commission of you use them. 
Copyrighted 2015, N. Sturgill, FNP 


  1. Thank you for taking the time to write these blogs. I am due to graduate after next semester. I want to start studying now (next to last semester) and develop a good routine/habit for studying.

  2. very good ideas, I have all of the books that you mentioned, Im ready to get started!!!

  3. Thank you Nelda. This is outstanding!