Tips for Passing Respiratory Therapy School Vector

21+ Best Tips to Pass Respiratory Therapy School (2024)

by | Updated: Apr 21, 2024

It goes without saying, but respiratory therapy school is definitely not easy. Students are under pressure from day one to make good grades, finish homework, complete projects, and perform well during clinical rotations.

Can you say stressful?

However, the good news is this: There are effective strategies and techniques that any student can implement to make life easier. 

This article explores the best tips for passing respiratory therapy school, covering essential study habits, effective time management, and useful online resources.

So, keep reading to learn how to effectively navigate this critical stage of your educational path and lay a strong foundation for a successful career as a registered respiratory therapist (RRT).

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How to Pass Respiratory Therapy School?

Passing respiratory therapy school requires a combination of disciplined study habits, practical experience, and good time management. Students should focus on understanding the fundamental concepts of respiratory care, as well as mastering the clinical skills necessary for treating patients with respiratory disorders.

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Tips for Passing Respiratory Therapy School

  1. Know Your Why
  2. Study a Little Every Day
  3. Get Organized
  4. Don’t Skip Classes
  5. Know Your Learning Style
  6. Don’t Procrastinate
  7. Rewrite Your Notes
  8. Crush It One Night Per Week
  9. Ask for Help
  10. Don’t Stress Over the Small Stuff
  11. Form a Study Group
  12. Get Plenty of Sleep
  13. Take Breaks
  14. Create a Schedule
  15. Set Goals
  16. Reward Yourself
  17. Use Practice Questions
  18. Avoid Cramming
  19. Implement the 80/20 Principle
  20. Start Early
  21. Take Advantage of Free Resources

Watch this video or keep reading for the best tips on passing respiratory therapy school.

1. Know Your Why

The key to succeeding in respiratory therapy school begins with a clear understanding of why you chose this path.

Why did you decide to pursue this career in the first place?

Is it the desire to make a difference in people’s lives, the thrill of saving lives, or the search for a rewarding career that also pays well?

Having a solid and compelling reason to become a respiratory therapist is crucial. It’s a challenging field, after all.

A strong motivation will not only keep you grounded but also propel you forward through the tough times you’ll encounter during your studies.

2. Study a Little Every Day

One of the most effective strategies for mastering your coursework is to make a habit of studying a little each day.

True, there are times when marathon study sessions are needed right before exams. But that’s not always the way to go.

In fact, it’s often more effective to integrate short study sessions into your daily routine rather than cramming all your studying into one overwhelming night.

This steady approach helps solidify your learning and reduces stress.

3. Get Organized

Staying organized is a key to success in respiratory therapy school. Make sure you have a reliable planner where you can track all your assignments, exams, and clinical rotations.

Keeping everything noted will help you stay on top of your responsibilities and prevent anything important from being overlooked.

Remember, a cluttered workspace can lead to a cluttered mind. So, tidy up your study area to keep your thoughts as organized as your notes.

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4. Don’t Skip Classes

While it might be tempting to skip a class occasionally, especially when life outside school gets hectic, attending every session is crucial.

Just showing up can be half the battle toward succeeding. You never know when a critical lesson will be taught, or an unexpected exam will be scheduled.

Making class attendance a priority ensures you won’t miss out on these important moments.

5. Know Your Learning Style

Everyone has a unique way of learning. Some students absorb more by listening to lectures, while others may find they retain information better through reading or note-taking.

Take the time to identify which learning style suits you best, then adapt your study habits to fit it.

If auditory learning is your strength, consider recording lectures or focusing on active note-taking. For those who are more visually inclined, try enhancing your study materials with highlighted texts or educational flashcards.

If videos make learning easier for you, you can subscribe to our YouTube channel. It has hundreds of helpful videos designed to simplify to learning process for all the essential topics.

6. Don’t Procrastinate

We all know how easy it is to say, “I’ll do it tomorrow,” especially when it comes to studying or tackling assignments.

But trust me, avoiding procrastination is key. The more you delay, the tougher tasks become.

Imagine the panic of cramming for an exam just hours before or frantically finishing a project at the last minute—it’s stressful and far from ideal.

Strive to start your work early; you’ll not only do a better job but also enjoy the sweet relief of less stress.

7. Rewrite Your Notes

Rewriting your notes might sound like a chore, but it’s actually a highly effective way to enhance memory retention.

Each time you rewrite what you’ve learned, you reinforce that knowledge, making it easier for your brain to retrieve the information later.

This strategy not only prepares you better for test day but also increases your chances of scoring well, thanks to your committed efforts in revisiting and refreshing your notes.

8. Crush It One Night Per Week

Dedicate one night each week solely to your studies—no distractions allowed. This is your time to dive deep into your schoolwork and give it everything you’ve got.

Such focused study sessions can significantly enhance your grasp of the coursework and better prepare you for upcoming exams.

Plus, by getting ahead during this focused night, you can free up more time for yourself during the rest of the week, helping to reduce stress and improve your overall mental well-being.

9. Ask for Help

Never hesitate to ask for help if you’re finding it tough to understand a concept or need clarity on an assignment.

There’s absolutely no shame in seeking assistance; it’s a part of the learning process.

Your professors and peers are essential resources, and they’re there to support your educational journey.

Reaching out for help can provide you with the necessary insights to enhance your understanding and ensure you’re on the right path to success.

10. Don’t Stress Over the Small Stuff

Remember, in the grand scheme of things, a low score on a single test or a bad grade in one class will not make or break your career.

Of course, you should always strive to do your best, but don’t let minor setbacks throw you off course.

Everyone experiences off days and makes mistakes—it’s part of the learning process.

The key is to learn from these setbacks and keep pushing forward. Dwelling on small failures will only prevent you from achieving greater success.

11. Form a Study Group



Forming a study group with your classmates is a fantastic strategy for exam preparation.

When you collaborate with peers, you get the chance to exchange ideas, share effective study methods, and pinpoint areas that need more attention.

Plus, studying becomes more fun when you’re doing it with friends. Just make sure your study group is focused and committed to productivity.

While group studying isn’t for everyone—if you thrive in collaborative environments, this approach can enhance your learning and possibly your grades too.



12. Get Plenty of Sleep

Never underestimate the power of a good night’s sleep, especially as a respiratory therapy student.

Lack of sleep can lead to increased stress and brain fog, making it more difficult to concentrate and retain essential information.

Make sure you’re getting adequate rest to keep your energy up for those demanding lectures and clinical rotations.

Adequate sleep is required for maintaining both your health and your academic performance.

13. Take Breaks

If you find yourself struggling to focus, don’t try to push through the fatigue. Instead, give yourself permission to take a short break.

Something as simple as a walk, some music, or a few moments of relaxation can clear your head and refresh your spirits.

These breaks are vital for mental clarity and can help you return to your studies with renewed focus.

Note: Just remember to keep these pauses brief to stay on track with your workload.

14. Create a Schedule

Organizing your study time with a set schedule can significantly improve your academic performance.

By allocating specific times for studying, you ensure that you are devoting ample time to your coursework.

A consistent schedule not only helps manage your academic duties but also prevents the feeling of being overwhelmed.

Believe me, a well-planned schedule is a lifesaver for any student juggling the demands of respiratory therapy school.

15. Set Goals

Setting specific goals is a great way to further enhance your productivity and motivation.

For instance, you might decide to read one chapter of your textbook each day or aim to finish all your assignments by Friday each week.

Having clear, attainable goals not only keeps you on track but also gives you a sense of accomplishment as you tick each one off your list.

There’s a real pleasure in hitting targets you’ve set for yourself—it boosts your drive and keeps you focused on your ultimate goal of becoming a respiratory therapist.

16. Reward Yourself

After reaching a milestone or completing a goal, don’t forget to celebrate your achievement.

You’ve earned it!

Rewarding yourself can be as simple as buying a new book, taking a night off to binge-watch your favorite TV series, or enjoying a night out with friends.

Whatever reward you choose, make sure it’s something that truly brings you joy.

These little treats not only make the journey more enjoyable but also remind you that hard work pays off.

So, go ahead and treat yourself—you deserve it!

17. Use Practice Questions

Going through practice questions is one of the most effective ways to ensure you’re fully prepared for your exams.

They’re not just helpful for routine tests in respiratory therapy school; they’re also invaluable when preparing for the TMC Exam.

Our comprehensive bank of practice questions has already helped thousands of students pass their exams.

Are you next?

Do yourself a big favor by incorporating practice questions into your study routine.

They’re truly a powerful resource for learning and remembering the essential details you’ll need to pass your exams.

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18. Avoid Cramming

Cramming is almost never recommended to prepare for exams in respiratory therapy school.

Trying to absorb all your study material the night before an exam is not only inefficient but also increases levels of stress.

Moreover, cramming tends to overload your memory, making you more prone to forget crucial information.

Instead, opt for a steady, consistent study approach throughout the semester. This method enhances retention and significantly eases the pressure when taking exams.

19. Implement the 80/20 Principle

The 80/20 principle is a powerful strategy for boosting productivity in respiratory therapy school. This concept suggests that 80% of your results are derived from just 20% of your efforts.

So how can you use this to your advantage?

Rather than spreading your study efforts thinly across all topics, zero in on the areas that yield the most significant results.

For instance, since the TMC Exam heavily features questions on mechanical ventilation, it makes sense to prioritize this topic over less dominant subjects.

This targeted approach can help you study smarter, not harder.

Remember, the 80/20 principle isn’t just for studying—it’s a versatile concept that can enhance almost all aspects of your life. 

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20. Start Early

Here’s a piece of advice: The earlier you start preparing for the board exams, the better. 

There’s a wealth of information you’ll need to master, and the earlier you begin, the more manageable it will become.

Even brief, regular study sessions can make a significant difference. Take, for instance, our newsletter that delivers sample TMC practice questions daily.

These questions cover all of the essential topics required to earn a passing score, including those that, unfortunately, some students forget to study.

By practicing daily from an early stage, you’ll accumulate knowledge bit by bit, which can lead to impressive gains over time.

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21. Take Advantage of Free Resources

There are several free resources available to respiratory therapy students, so why not take advantage of them?

For example, we’ve dedicated thousands of hours to developing comprehensive practice questions and study guides, all free of charge.

Leveraging these resources can be a game-changer for your studies.

Many students have used these materials to not only pass their exams but also to absorb crucial knowledge needed for the profession.

They can even help you pass the board exams to become licensed to practice respiratory care when that time comes. What more could you ask for?

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Final Thoughts

Success in respiratory therapy school requires a combination of diligence, adaptability, and perseverance.

By implementing the tips outlined in this article, students can navigate through the challenges of their coursework and clinical rotations with confidence.

Remember, the journey through respiratory therapy school is not just about passing exams but also about building a skillset that will profoundly impact patients’ lives.

With the right tools and a proactive approach, you are well on your way to becoming a competent and compassionate respiratory therapist.

John Landry, BS, RRT

Written by:

John Landry, BS, RRT

John Landry is a registered respiratory therapist from Memphis, TN, and has a bachelor's degree in kinesiology. He enjoys using evidence-based research to help others breathe easier and live a healthier life.