How to Study for Semester Drug Calculation Exams

Hello everyone! Drug calculation is a part of nursing school, and for this post I wanted to share how I studied for them during the semesters. It is a very simple technique, but I wanted to share anyway. Each semester (as far as my program goes), we must take and pass a drug calculation exam with 100% or be withheld from the semester.


Collect Information

  • Assess, assess! Make sure to figure out what types of problems will be on your exam so you aren’t caught unawares. Is there mcg/kg/min, heparin protocol?
  • Know your error of margin as well. How many questions can you miss? Usually you can’t meet any, but always konw what you are expecting.
  • Know your rounding rules!
  • Know you conversions. How many teaspoons in a tablespoon? How many mililliters in a tablespoon? How many killigrams per pound? This is where yoy may get tripped up, so remember these conversions.

Practice. Practice.

  • The key to these exams is practice. If your school provides you with practice problems, do a few a day.
  • Another thing I like to do is find old drug caclulation practice sheets and redo those problems, because each semester they seem to give us less and less practice problems.
  • If you can find nursing judgement practice questions, do those as well, if they are included on your drug claculation exam (this varies per program).
  • Don’t go overkill! If you feel like you’ve done enough, you probably have. Don’t overload your mind, just rest.


  • Testing days are always the worst for me because I am a self-doubter, but since starting college, I have noticed I remain very calm during math exams.
  • Breath!
  • Take your time. Do not rush when reading problems. This will get you in trouble. Is the dose to be divided 2 times? This will alter your final answer. Pay attention!
  • Re-read the problem but do not read INTO the problem. Give them what they ask for (rounding, decimals, etc.)

Those are the tips I have for you all! I hope these help!

Thanks for reading!



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