NET Test Preparation
A large number of students consider a career in the field of health and medicine as a lucrative career option. A future in the field of nursing holds a lot of promise as it can be a very rewarding and satisfying career. However, one needs to carefully chalk out one’s preparation plans for joining a nursing school since it is not as easy as it seems. You will have to take the NET (Nurse Entrance Test) so as to be able to meet the preadmission criteria laid down by most of the nursing schools in the United States.
How is the Performance in NET assessed by Nursing Schools?
Most nursing schools want to ensure that the students they admit to the nursing programs being conducted by them are skilled enough for earning the nursing degree. It is essential that the nursing students have the necessary aptitude for completing the nursing program successfully. The Nurse Entrance Test (NET) scores are considered to be very useful in predicting academic success in a nursing program.
The NET scores may be used differently by different nursing schools. Some nursing schools lay down the minimum NET scores that are required to be eligible for admissions while others use the NET scores as a counseling tool for students who are being admitted to the school. Identification of the skills and abilities of nursing students as reflected by their NET scores help the schools in determining how to intervene and provide counseling to the students so as to improve their academic performance.
Note: Some nursing schools conduct NET themselves and they do not accept scores of the NET that has been taken at another nursing school or university. You will have to check from the nursing school of your choice whether it is mandatory to take the NET being conducted by them or not.
What is Tested by NET?
The NET is designed to test your mathematical abilities in addition to your skills in reading, writing, reasoning and critical thinking. It is a computer-based test and all the questions asked are multiple-choice questions in which the test-taker has to choose the correct answer from the given options. Although all test sections are important, the most crucial ones are the Essential Math Skills, Reading Comprehension and Writing Expression test sections. Your NET preparation should concentrate more on these three sections which will count towards your composite NET score. The other test sections in NET are related to application of knowledge in everyday living and are used for a general assessment of the candidate. These test sections are not scored and your performance in these test sections may be considered differently by different nursing schools.
It is mandatory to score at least 50 in the Essential Math Skills section and at least 60 in the Reading Comprehension section in order to be considered by most nursing schools for admission to the nursing programs being conducted by them. Some nursing schools will consider your scores in the Written Expression (grammar) section also, the passing score for which is 60. The NET composite percentage score is an average of your Math Skills and Reading Comprehension scores. Most nursing schools lay down 60 as the minimum composite percentage score that can be considered as competitive.
Checklist for Preparing for NET
The questions asked in NET assess your knowledge of subjects studied by you in high school. They are designed to assess not only your knowledge but also your abilities to utilize this knowledge for succeeding in the nursing program. Therefore, mugging up the content covered in high school will not be of much help for doing well in NET. You will need a dedicated study plan in addition to various resources for assisting you in your prep schedule. Go through the checklist outlined below and ensure that you follow it while preparing for NET:
- Study guides: Apart from your school books, you will need the assistance of study guides that have been specifically designed to guide you in preparing for NET. You can buy a study guide for NET online from the official website of NET, www.vue.com/net/. Study from this study guide to learn about the test format and to practice solving sample questions. This will help you in getting a good score on the NET.
- Practice: This is the most important point in a checklist for any exam. There is no chance of doing well in any test unless you have had enough practice in solving problems specific to the test format of the exam that you are taking. NET is no exception to this rule. Go to the official website of NET to download practice questions. Search the internet for other sources of practice questions and make sure that you solve all the problems collected by you. Persistent practice will not only help you develop the skills being tested by NET, but you will also become familiar with the test format, thus making you comfortable on the actual test day.
- Other study materials: Study guides and sets of practice questions are not the only resources for assisting you in preparing for NET.
- Flashcards are a useful tool for memorizing scientific formulae and other facts and figures from the content being tested by NET. Keep them handy for quick reference or for revising at any time of the day. You can go through them even while you are travelling or relaxing.
- Magazines, novels, newspapers etc. are another form of study materials that are extremely useful for helping you in preparing for the Reading Comprehension test section of NET. Read as much as you can as this will improve your reading abilities and the ability to understand what is being conveyed.
- Study Schedule: A big collection of study materials is useless unless you work out a plan to effectively utilize them for doing well in NET. Work out a study plan that makes the best use of the time available with you for NET prep. Keep aside time for study on a daily basis. Dedicate more study time for your weak subject areas. Do not postpone your studies till the last week before the exam. Mugging up at the last moment is the biggest mistake one can make while preparing for taking NET. Work out a study plan that starts well in time and make sure that you stick to it.
Two Important Aspects of Taking NET
- Do not forget that NET is a timed test. You may have had enough practice in solving questions specific to the NET test format and you may be thorough with the NET test content, but you may still not be able to do well in NET if you do not adhere to the timings laid down for answering the questions. In order to avoid this, you have to keep taking practice tests in a timed environment. If you have spent adequate time in memorizing the facts and figures, then you will not waste time in trying to recall them while attempting the questions asked in the Essential Math Skills test section. While answering questions in the Reading Comprehension test section make sure that you carefully read the given passage and the questions following it before attempting to answer the questions. Do not make the mistake of reading the questions first and then looking for the answers straightaway. This way you will waste time and you will get unduly stressed and confused as time starts slipping by. A better approach would be to read the questions first and then read the passage carefully. You can mark portions of the passage that you feel are related to the questions that follow. This will help you in locating the answers in a shorter frame of time.
- The second important aspect of NET is that it is a computerized test. You have to be familiar with the computer controls in order to take the test. Go to the official website and run the computer-based tutorial that has been provided for NET test-takers. This tutorial will familiarize you with the test format and the computer controls necessary for taking the test. You will also be able to take a sample test.
Put in Your Best
If you wish to pursue a career in nursing, then good NET scores will help you to achieve your aim. Do not start your career on the wrong foot with poor NET scores. There is no success without hard work. There should be no doubt in your mind about the amount of hard work and studies that are required for doing well in NET. Do not think that you will be able to get good NET scores without having to put in much effort. Put in your level best and you are sure to get good NET scores which will help you to get admission to your desired nursing program.