I Can't Retain NCLEX Material

  1. I have failed the NCLEX two times now and will be damned if it happens again! My problem is that I am literally unable to retain the information needed to pass. I find it especially hard now since all my friends have already passed and are currently working as nurses (I did better in school than most of them too). I always studied with them; could not have passed school otherwise. Now, I am alone and have no one to bounce ideas/problems off of.

    If I read, it puts me to sleep with boredom, plus I find that after reading a paragraph I have already forgotten what it said! During school I made my doctor refer me to have ADD testing; I am borderline (not ADD enough for meds).

    So here is (what I think is) my guide to success for passing the NCLEX the third time around: Have tricks to;
    1. Retain the info I am reading (obviously)
    2. Understand difficult material (with some sort of method)
    3. Know how to remember the ENORMOUS amount of meds, S/Es, etc. (since both tests seemed to consist of mostly meds I had never heard of with no disease/illness mentioned in question)...maybe an easy way to learn the classes?
    4. Remain calm and not want to pull my hair out (was actually starting to tug during first test )
    5. Any other helpful hints
    If ANYONE could help me with any (or all) of these needs PLEASE DO. I will be forever in your debt!

    THANK YOU IN ADVANCE
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  2. 10 Comments

  3. by   underpaidrn
    First of all - relax. The more tense and uptight you become, the less information you will retain. You can over study causing things to run together and the information becomes a useless jumble. Take some time off. I don't know how much longer you have before you test again, but put the books away for a few days and relax. Watch funny movies, go for a walk, do something totally relaxing and fun. Then, pick up the books and don't try to cram four years of studying into a few days. Skim and relax. You will be amazed at how much you really do know already. It's in there, just jumbled up. Good luck and may the next time be a charm. :kiss
  4. by   bubbly
    My advice:

    #1 RELAX! Don't study the day before or the day of the test. Get enough sleep. Try to do your favorite things or hang out with your loved ones.

    #2 BE CONFIDENT! Don't second guess your self. Take the test using YOUR gut instincts. Try to imagine yourself as the nurse doing the tasks and what you would personally decide. Remember patient safety and wellbeing is always the first goal of nursing.

    #3 READ NCLEX STUDY TIPS! It is impossible to know everything the NCLEX will throw at you, especially those drugs you never heard of. Know useful study tips like your ABCs and prioritizing and Maslow's hierarchy. Also if some answers sound a lot alike, they are probably both wrong. If 2 answers are complete opposites, 1 is usually right.

    #4 PRAY! Haha this has always helped me before a big test!

    Good luck studying and passing the NCLEX this time around!
  5. by   Snow1278
    I had a hard time studying for the NCLEX too. I don't like to read, never really have been big on it. Here is how I studied. I had some NCLEX review flash cards, which worked for me. I would study for small amounts of time then take breaks. I knew I was ready when I could get at least an 80% on my flash cards consistently. I just would pick out randomly twenty cards, the ones I got wrong I would put into a pile. If I got something wrong I wanted to know why so I would look up the information on that. It worked for me. Just remember 90% of the things we worry about do not happen. Good luck.
  6. by   lvnandmomx3
    I didn't do any "reading" while prepping for my nclex. I did mulitiple cd's that came with the books. I would then read the rationale behind the answer for all questions whether I got them right or wrong. I did atleast 3 tests/exam a week. And If I only had a small amount of study time I did the practice/study questons. The information seemed to stick in my head better that way, and I got practice doing it on the pc. Then I went into taking the nclex thinking it was just "studying" and it eased my nerves.
  7. by   kristen929
    I also failed the NCLEX my first time. I, too have a difficult time concentrating. The first time around I was reading the books and failed miserably. The next time around what I did was work strictly on the computer. I bought a set of discs (floppies...this was back in 1997!) that had TONS of questions on them and did 100s of questions a day. I passed the second time with just 75 questions. I think studying on the computer helps since that is the way the test is given.
  8. by   GeminiTwinRN
    nevermind.


    Good luck next time.
    Last edit by GeminiTwinRN on Oct 17, '07
  9. by   mikethern
    Pay for an NCLEX review course!.....
    http://www.kaptest.com/course_option...equestid=53509
  10. by   oneLoneNurse
    Kaplan review is wonderful. Make use of everything they offer!! I discovered the videos a couple of days before my subscription ended.

    I bought every different type of medium I could put my hands on to pass this test: audio, visual, cards, you name it I bought it. Play audio during your sleep hours, it will help.

    The videos were simply lovely and educating.

    Good luck!!


    Quote from mikethern
    Pay for an NCLEX review course!.....
    http://www.kaptest.com/course_option...equestid=53509
  11. by   Drysolong
    Quote from Tracylvn
    I didn't do any "reading" while prepping for my nclex. I did mulitiple cd's that came with the books. I would then read the rationale behind the answer for all questions whether I got them right or wrong. I did atleast 3 tests/exam a week. And If I only had a small amount of study time I did the practice/study questons. The information seemed to stick in my head better that way, and I got practice doing it on the pc. Then I went into taking the nclex thinking it was just "studying" and it eased my nerves.

    This is similar to what I did to prepare for NCLEX-PN. Check out Suzanne's plan. At this point, you probably already know everything you need to pass, just need practice answering the questions.
  12. by   doe9181
    Kaplan's online material really helped. Their Q-bank was pretty good. I do not recommend the classroom lectures though. I think there was an option where you could only purchase the online materials and if I had to do it again, I would go with that. Don't waste your times with the class. Also try the Saunder's book. The book and the CD were both really helpful. Definitely relax and take some time for yourself to enjoy life. Take the day of and the day before off and do something you enjoy. Get enough sleep and eat well. Good luck with everything.

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