Hey everyone, I need some advice as well as some encouragement. I am in my final semester of nursing school and I am due to graduate in May. You all know what that means...NCLEX IS COMING!
Does anyone have any helpful hints for taking the exam, the best way to prepare, the difficulty of the exam, etc? I just want to know what I'm in for. Some people say the exam is easy and doesn't get very specific, that it just tests your ability to apply knowledge. Other people have horror stories about the exam and I am starting to get nervous.
I have heard about the review classes and the practice books and tests. What worked best for you guys? Also, how much time is adequate to prepare for the exam? I was thinking about taking the test in June initially, but now I fear that may be too soon. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.
Jan 19, '01
I've been told by many RNs to just go and take the NCLEX right away...do not put it off, do not take review courses. Just take it as soon after graduation as possible.
I've also been told that it really doesn't matter what kind of preparation you do after graduation, since you have learned (dare I say, everything??) in those years in nursing school. You need to be able to apply what you've learned in order to pass the NCLEX.
Are your tests in nursing school worded and set up like NCLEX questions? Our tests are. I am hoping that it makes a huge difference for taking NCLEX. This way, we are well prepared for the types of questions that will be on boards.
I've taken a mini-NCLEX/test taking skills course - and it was great! It teaches you just WHAT each question is looking for, when you take the boards. And HOW to figure out what the question is looking for (key words, etc)
For me, I'm sticking to Mosby's Reveiw book for NCLEX, using the review questions to help me study and prepare for my nursing tests, and also for NCLEX. I plan on taking my boards ASAP after graduation.
Jan 19, '01
Hello! What a stressful and exciting time you are approaching! I myself graduated in December of 1998, and remember all too well what that was like! I do suggest that you take a review course (at my school, a four day review course was offered to the students free of charge). It's true that by the time you take boards, you either know it or you don't. But a brief review of special topics is helpful. I don't suggest waiting too long to take boards. I graduated in December, took the review in early January, the boards in late January, and received my results (yeah!) exactly 2 weeks to the day of taking them! There is no way to "study". Get a review and answer LOTS of questions. Which books you use doesn't really matter, just keep answering questions! Me & several other students all got different books and traded off. DO NOT listen to other people's horror stories. When all was said & done, 99% of those people had no idea what they were talking about! You know if you're ready, so go with what you feel! My advice to you is to relax! Some of the smartest people I know failed because they're not good test takers. You must go into it knowing you can do it. If you have to travel to take them (they aren't offered in my city) either go the night before or have someone else drive. The last thing you need to worry about is directions when you can be running those CBC's through your head one more time! Good luck to you, and welcome!
Jan 21, '01
I Graduated in December and took my boards this week. Basically I picked one review book and stuck with it for studying, and did a lot of practice questions. We had a NCLEX workshop in one of our classes and our instructor said as a rule of thumb to do 1500+ practice questions to review content, and get accustomed to NCLEX style questions. We were told to use what you learn about your content weaknesses to focus your studying. I also went to our school computer lab to use the simulation programs to practice questions and get used to CAT testing....I think it helped, probably won't know for a couple more weeks yet.
Jan 23, '01
Thanks everyone for your input. It has been helpful.
My school's tests are written NCLEX style and I have my review books in hand. I also found out that my school has some computer programs to assess any weak areas that a student may have. They also have practice disks available in our computer lab. I've done well in school so far, so I think I will go ahead and take my boards at the end of June.
I still have one question...Has anyone heard anything about online review courses? Are they any good? How much do they cost? Which one (if any) would you suggest?
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