How I Passed Pharmacology

Hello all! For today’s post I will be sharing how I passed Pharmacology! Pharmacology was definitely my toughest course; however, I really enjoyed it! If you despise Pharmacology that is okay! Feel free to continue reading this post for tips!

How I Passed Pharmacology


Before lecture

  • “Read” the assigned chapters.

howtopasspharmPharmacology reading can become dense at times; however, I quickly discovered a method that worked for me. In my Pharmacology book, there were little “drug charts” for each drug class prototype. I would only read these charts, as well as the quick physiology reviews. I would also pay attention to little informative boxes about recalls, etc. If your instructor provides reading/study guides, I would not recommend filling them out at this time. I did not take notes on my Pharmacology textbook readings.

  • Print PowerPoint slides.

This is fairly self-explanatory, I would print them out and not look at them until lecture. I understand some people prefer paperless, so if you do, just make sure you have downloaded the PowerPoint on your device.

During lecture

  • Set out the printed slides with note-taking materials.

Upon arriving to the lecture room, I would make sure to set out my printed slides, a yellow highlighter (to highlight definitions/drug classes) and a red pen/pink highlighter for very important information. Then I would just try to relax before lecture began!

  • Pay attention.

This may sound obvious, but it is very important! I’ve seen many students, browse the social media/online shop during lecture. Please do not do this. Pharmacology is important and for my program will continue to build upon itself as we learn more drugs in other courses. For my course, my instructor’s exams were 95% based on what she lectured, therefore active listening/note-taking was strongly recommended. Also, your instructors are watching you more than you think…

After lecture

  • Review lecture notes/add annotations.

I made sure to at least review lecture notes withing 24 hours of the lecture. Most of the time, I would go to the gym right after lecture and review them afterwards. If you record lectures, this would be a good time to skip to portions of the lecture you may want to listen to again.

  • Fill out the reading guide/study guide.

7083bc2a-9711-43a0-8404-0273825f245d-34565-00001f3a1662acd4_file-e1545444038706.jpgAfter reviewing the notes, I would fill out the reading guide. That way, I was creating a study guide with the information fresh on my mind. I made sure to divide this task up. For example, if we covered six drug classes, I would fill out two drug class sections in the reading guide per day while making sure to review the previous day’s classes. I would use the information from my PowerPoint slides to fill out the reading guides, since this is the content we were to be tested on. I would only refer to the book if our instructor specifically pointed something from the book out.

Studying for exams

  • Break it up.

Do not try to study every single drug class two days before the exam. This will not work in nursing school! Give yourself a week or so and study a couple of drug classes a day, so you can master them. Make sure to review previously studied classes each day before delving into new drug classes.

Extra tip: remember many drugs in the same class have the same ending. Learn by exception when it comes to symptoms. This means to learn the really unique symptoms for each drug.

  • Understand physiology/pathophysiology.

This is so important! I cannot stress this enough. If you do not know your anatomy and physiology, you need to review that before trying to learn any drug. As a nurse, you need to understand how a drug is working in your patient, which will help you explain adverse effects. Physiology will always come back to haunt you!

  • Practice questions

This goes for every single course, ever! I would make sure to complete the ATI practice questions and the ones form our textbook. Oftentimes, our exams would be eerily similar (wink, wink).


That is how I passed Pharmacology you all! This method worked very well for me and I believe I have a solid understanding of the content. If you are in nursing school how did you pass Pharm? Do you have any tips for fellow students?





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