I posted some strategies on this very same issue 14 months ago, and I hope that they are of some valuable assistance to you. Good luck and happy reading! In addition, Kaplan publishes a book filled with NCLEX strategies.
1. Restate/ Reword the question. Be clear on what is being asked
If there is a lengthy client situation or case study, read the stem question before reading the case study.
2. Read ALL distracters before answering. Evaluate each distracter for ability to answer the question asked. It may give correct information but not answer the question.
3. Focus on eliminating responses instead of seeking the “right“answer. In the NCLEX there may be more than one answer that is correct. You are looking for the BEST answer. Focus on eliminating responses and the best answer will surface.
4. Priority Setting – use the frameworks of Maslow Hierarchy, ABC , “unstable before stable” as priority setting guides.
5. Use nursing process sequence – Assessment should occur before intervention. Even in a code you assess breathing and pulse before “911”
6. Safety – do no harm. Err on the side of promoting physical safety for pt .
7. Take care of patient before you take care of equipment.
8. Consider and uphold the 5 Rights of Medication administration standards
9. Don't spend alot to time on questions you don't know, and realize that there will be questions you don't know. Don't panic - try to eliminate responses - then make an educated guess.
10. If part of the answer is incorrect, the whole answer is incorrect.
Although very few, you may find negatives in the question stem. Be alert to these.
11. If you really have to guess - look for responses with
broad focus ("multiple aspects of the child's life are affected" rather than "frequent fights with peers") and average length of answer (not shortest, not longest)
12. Be wary of answers that have absolutes (always, never, only, etc) in them. Be wary of answers that make the client seem inferior, unworthy or ignorant. When asked about numerical values or dates, the one in the middle range is more oftern correct.