Any Advice - NCLEX Prep not going too well...

  1. Hey, was wondering if anyone had some advice for me. I'm taking my NCLEX in 3 weeks, and I don't feel like I'm ready. I took Kaplan and I understand all their strategies. I have been doing 50-100 Qbank(have done about 1,000 so far) questions per day, i'm up to Question trainer 6 (still need to do 6&7), took the diagnostic test, and i try to read content.

    I am extremely frustrated because i CONSISTENTLY, I mean, nearly EVERY time, I get between 52-56% on all tests (occasionally I creeped into the 60's, one a 62% and one a 68%) As far as I have been told, this isn't good enough to pass NCLEX. For a month and a half, i have taken practice test nearly every day, and its the same 55% range. I always go over the answers, and I get why I got them wrong. I even just took a quick 25 question QBank test only on questions I got wrong in previous QBanks, and I got a 56% on that one too!! It's crazy, and its upsetting. People on these forums are upset and scared because they are getting in the 70s on these tests, and I cant really break 60%. There seems to be no improvement for me and it kills me.

    It's partially a content issue, I sometimes just flat out forget content on some questions, and meds usually mess me up. Is the Kaplan 'Basics' book my best resource for content review? is there a better place to get good content, quickly? Or is there something else I should be doing??

    - I did well in Nursing school, graduated with a 3.4gpa, consistent B student, average dude. If anyone has any advice, even if its to cancel my NCLEX or quit nursing all together, lol, i'm all ears, or eyes rather because I will be reading responses.
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    About Shew_DMallo

    Joined: Feb '13; Posts: 1


  3. by   sioux12
    I signed up for the NCSBN 3 week course, it gives you a study plan to follow and lots of questions too.
  4. by   St_Claire
    I recently passed the NCLEX and I can tell you from personal experience that the questions from Kaplan are a little harder than what is actually on the test. Definitely use the strategies for how to answer the questions. I think you should move to a different review book and a different bank of questions. The test will be mostly SATA and priority. I found this website had questions most like the NCLEX: I know I push this site a lot but this is available to everyone courtesy of the school I attended and its what my class of 120 students used to prepare. None of us did a review class.

    It sounds like you know content so I think you need to prepare yourself for the questions. I did two 75 question tests every day before the NCLEX. I used a HESI comprehensive review book to look at areas I was weak in. I did not read the book in its entirety, I found answering a ton of questions and reviewing the rationales is what helped me.

    I did attend a free online Kaplan class: it was 15 minutes of strategy and 40 minutes of reasons why you should buy their review program. These are the tips they shared:

    1. When lab values are presented they will be very high or very low so if you know the basics you can figure it out.
    2. You are expected to get half the questions wrong.
    3. If you can get the first 6 right it keeps you way above the line (in practice I always went back to see how long my correct answer streaks were)
    4. 15 questions will not be scored, they are testing them for future exams.

    When I did practice sessions I used ninja focus on the first ten questions, taking my time looking at the answer choices. After awhile this speeds up and you start to feel more confidence.

    Priority questions are tough. I have seen a lot of people on this site use La Charity to prepare for them. That might be worth looking into. I did not study meds at all. I ended up with 2 med questions on the test and both were drugs I had never heard of so I used Kaplan strategies to guess my way through.

    It's my opinion that you should keep it simple. They are testing for minimum proficiency, they want a safe entry-level nurse on the floor. Don't over-think the questions.

    Good luck! Keep in mind most of us do not feel prepared enough when we go in. Stay calm and remind yourself that you know this stuff.
  5. by   St_Claire
    And one last thing about priority questions: this is where you use your knowledge of disease processes. You will have 4 patients to choose from. If one says a man with a C3 spinal injury has a sweaty forehead you have to think of what causes that and how serious is it. It's probably autonomic dysreflexia and that is life-threatening. They like to toss in diabetics with various glucose levels and young pregnant women with various blood pressures. Do you know what the BP is for a woman experiencing pre-eclampsia? 160 or more systolic.
  6. by   cgardner2010
    I did Kaplan's program as well and felt the same way you did...I consistantly was scoring in the 50's and really getting discouraged, but just kept going through the test bank. When I finished (3 weeks before my test date), I went back and created 25 question tests on all my wrong answers (all 365 of them). Every day I did 50 to 100 test on these questions until every catagory was complete.

    That took me about 2 weeks to finish. I also wrote down information from the rationales on stuff I knew that I was not going to remember and spent the last week going over all my notes (I filled up 2 notebooks of rationales)...

    On September 6, 2012 I cried the whole way to the testing center because I just did not know if I was ready. I went through the the entire test bank on the NCLEX (I melted down after 100 questions and literally was crying until the computer shutdown at 205 questions).

    When I got home I tried to re-register for another exam thinking that I had failed and would not let me (this is a good sign). For the next 2 weeks until I got my results, I attempted to register for an exam and kept getting the same error message telling me that I had already completed an exam.

    When I got my results and saw that I had passed I was elated! Kaplan's program does work, but now I know that thier questions are so much harder than the actual NCLEX. My point is that you should not get discouraged, because you are consistantly exposing yourself to questions in the "passing level" range of the NCLEX.

    Stay focused and continue to do your questions and you should be fine when you take the exam...HTH and best of luck to you.

  7. by   BouBou
    Personally, I think you need to break done each test by the content area: Management, Health Promotion and so on. I look at my total score then analyze each content area to see if I am at passing level. This way you can see trends if you are consistently low in one content area. NCLEX isn't just about the total score but passing each content area.
    Last edit by BouBou on Mar 2, '13
  8. by   dixya
    u know what ... i give my exam in 3 weeks as well.... and i havent yet given kaplan test ... i m just going thru the q bank about 75 a day .... 60% in that .... i m just going thru my saunders book for the second time ... this week i'll finish it .. and then cram my way thru kaplan ...... i m in a dire strait n i know it !!! going crazy over here