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How to Pass the ATI Exit Exam

Instructor: Bill Sands
The Comprehensive Predictor Assessment administered by Assessment Technologies Institute (ATI) tests students' knowledge of essential nursing and medical care concepts covered in their practical or registered nursing programs. Keep reading to get study tips for this exit exam and discover resources you can use to ensure you're fully prepared.

Passing the ATI Exit Exam

Many nursing schools administer ATI examinations in such subject areas as pediatrics, obstetrics, community health, and pharmacology throughout students' nursing programs. Students in their final semester are also given a Comprehensive Predictor Assessment, also referred to as an exit exam. This test is designed to predict students' success on the NCLEX, and passing scores are often required for graduation.

Students who do not pass must complete a remediation program in which they are required to develop and complete a review plan before any retakes. To make sure you pass the exam on your first attempt, check out the following study tips.

Manage Your Study Time

Nursing schools using ATI tests often provide students with review books as well as video recorded lectures and clinical skills demonstrations that cover pertinent topics on upcoming examinations. It's recommended that you ensure comprehension by studying content in these review materials well before your exit exam. Ideally, you would look over the videos and textbooks each day after class, since the instruction you receive in your nursing courses will explore the same subjects found on the ATI exam.

To get tips for fitting this study time in with all of your other academic and personal obligations, check out this Time Management for Nurses course, which includes strategies you can use to succeed in your nursing program as well as on the job.

Take Practice Tests

Students enrolled in programs using ATI tests will also receive access to a practice examination. Be sure to take this practice exam prior to the real one so you can familiarize yourself with the types of questions found on the ATI exam and use your scores to determine which areas you need to study further.

Feel Your Best on Test Day

In addition to these study suggestions, you might also benefit from general test-taking strategies, such as:

  • Make yourself comfortable. Get a good night's sleep and wear comfortable clothing so you won't be tired or distracted.
  • Be prepared. Confirm the test's location and time, and be sure to understand exactly which materials you will need.
  • Avoid being tardy. Arrive to the test site early so you won't need to rush. This will help you stay relaxed before the exam starts.
  • Keep a positive attitude. The test is important, but a bad grade does not mean your nursing career is over. Focus on one question at a time and stay calm.

Get Extra Study Help

If you need to complete a remediation program or would like to boost your practice test scores, the first thing to do is figure out where you need to improve. Meet with one of your instructors (some programs actually mandate such a meeting) and discuss your results. Consider using additional study resources to make sure you thoroughly review areas that caused you the most trouble on the test.

This Fundamentals of Nursing course, for example, includes self-paced video lessons and quizzes that allow you to revisit such topics as nursing safety, fluid and electrolyte balance, and the immune system. You can also review important terms with these Pharmacology Flashcards or take another look at digestive system anatomy and the role of key nutrients with this Science of Nutrition course.

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