Nursing uses prefixes hyper and hypo frequently when referring to blood pressure, electrolytes, and even bowel sounds. The problem is that hyper and hypo sound alike, especially when connected to a suffix. For our purposes, hyper and hypo also read-alike, making discerning the two difficult. Add in the stress of an exam, and you could read hyperkalemia as hypokalemia. Maybe you did just now.
A trick that helps one to discern the difference is to stop when you read hyper or hypo and visualize the term. For example, if you read “hypertension results in…” stop at the word hypertension and visualize hypertension. The act of stopping and imagining forces you to discern. Visualization creates a clear mental image of hypertension that will help answer the question.
Next time you are faced with a question using terms with a hyper or hypo prefix, stop and visualize the condition. Then you will be better prepared to answer the question correctly.