How I passed NCLEX-RN the second time!!
- 6Nov 5, '13 by mroseRNWhat I did to pass NCLEX-RN:
When I took NCLEX for the first time, I stayed up all night the night before (huge mistake.) I don’t think I had my “head right.” Being mentally prepared is just as important as being material prepared. But, I wasn’t material prepared, either. I used lots of different books and pulled from several resources to study. The main one I used was the Kaplan NCLEX study book…but I didn’t even finish that!
I also basically expected to get around 100 questions. So when I hit that benchmark of around 100 questions…I was mentally DONE. I couldn’t go on…but the questions kept coming. I kept resting my eyes between questions (I was THAT tired!)
I knew I failed it. I had 242 questions….3 hours of testing time…and the test shut off. I found out that I was really close to the passing standard but not quite over it.
What I did wrong:
I wore uncomfortable clothes.
I freaked myself out.
I had a false sense of confidence.
I worried about disturbing the others around me.
I didn’t get enough rest/nutrition/hydration
I wasn’t mentally prepared
I wasn't "book-prepared" (material)
What I did next:
First thing I did was see a therapist for my self-recognized test anxiety. She really helped me. She taught me legit ways to do self-guided imagery and meditation. I was willing to do anything at this point…and took it very seriously. We practiced this every week, and she also put me on some medications.
Then, I researched which review to get…and ended up picking Hurst Review. (ONLINE VERSION!!) I followed the study plan TO A TEE and re watched the entire video lectures 3 times each. I can basically quote the people on there word for word now
I made myself flash cards of things like lab values, and the hurst review points. Like…more volume more pressure…and in fluid volume excess…think heart problems first!! Yeah, I just quoted that.
I gave myself the entire 3 months to study. I didn't cram…I took each topic and really learned it before moving on. I did the Q-reviews and really began to see a huge improvement. I changed how I answered questions-big time. I think the Q-review is what gave me the biggest amount of actual confidence, and not false security. It’s hard to determine which one you have, honestly.
The other thing I did besides Hurst, my own review flash cards, and the NCLEX RN cards, was watch Anneliese Garrison on Youtube. Go watch her. She is amazing. She has several FREE videos (really long, too) that are very helpful. She does do private tutoring…but I wanted to see if I could pass with just Hurst (and I did J) Anneliese Garrison is pretty expensive to hire, though.
I did not even schedule the test until I felt 100% confident in passing it.
My test date time-frame ended on Oct. 12th…and I took the test Oct. 11TH!! I scheduled it around the 3rd of October…and it was a good thing because there weren't very many test dates available.
I began mentally preparing myself basically a week before taking the test. I looked over the fifth day material, (I had thoroughly studied it before then) just to make sure I had it all. And, I did my flash cards, and review sheets. I just basically imagined myself passing, how amazing it would be, and really worked to not freak myself out.
I made an effort to eat healthier in the week coming up to the test. I drank lots and lots of water, got plenty of sleep. I went on evening walks. These are all common sense, but my therapist really encouraged me to ACTUALLY to these things, and I think it had an impact.
You can’t be afraid to fail it. You have to go in with the mindset that if you fail it, it’s okay. You will pick yourself up….study harder, and take it again.
The first time I took it, I felt this enormous amount of pressure from everyone around me to pass it, pass it. I needed the money so bad, too. And I think this pressure caused me to seriously over think every single question. They say, if you just take a test and go with your gut on every single question…you will do way better, and I know that is true!
The day before the test: I relaxed. I didn’t worry about the upcoming test (although it was on my mind.) I imagined myself in my new position…as an RN. I went shopping (retail therapy!) I didn’t even open a text book. I went to bed early…and set about 10 alarms to make sure I was awake bright and early. I scheduled my test at 8:00 am. I got up around 6:00am and got a good breakfast. I briefly looked over my review sheets and note cards. Drank some tea. I calmly drove to testing center.
Before entering the testing center, I once again glanced over my Hurst review point sheet. Just to have it fresh in my mind. I did guided imagery while waiting in the testing center to go back and test. I used the restroom before going back to test. I also made the mistake of bringing my review sheet in with me. (DON’T DO THIS, ITS NOT ALLOWED LOL) The lady was nice and just let me know that is wasn’t allowed, and I apologized and put the paper away.
What I did right:
I got plenty of sleep.
I was mentally and material prepared.
I wore comfortable clothes. (Yoga pants, old tee shirt)
Those people don’t care what you look like!
Used my “scratch paper pad” to write:
And then cross off the answers I know are not right.
I Didn’t care if I disturbed people, I coughed when I needed to cough, etc.
Raised my hand and used the bathroom when I needed to, and took my scheduled breaks. (I used that time to use my chap stick, get a big drink of water, clear my head and remain calm.)
I answered answers quickly (1-3 minutes per question.)
I didn't over think, I would pick the question only allow myself a small amount of time to make sure, and then just hurry up and click next. (it’s very scary, but try it!)
I only gave myself basically a maximum of 3 minutes per question. I think it’s like an art of how to answer questions. You see the question, and you do form an answer in your head right away. 9 times out of ten, pick that one! I just went with my gut, as scary as it is at the time. I didn't let myself sit and stew over the questions and the answers…because the longer you look at a question and the answers…the better they all look!
I was prepared to take the entire test…..but instead the test shut off at 78 questions! I knew right then, I had passed
I was just like….well let’s get on to the next question…I could have done the entire 6 hours if I needed to. I went home, did the pearson-vue trick…and it didn't let me re register
When I took boards the first time, I recognized when I got a question I had previously. I then, tried to change my answer in order to get it right the second time I was being asked about it. The test is smarter than that. They ask way down the line, and you WILL forget how you answered it the first time.
The second time I took the test; I answered the question, and then forgot about it. You either know the material, or you don’t. Don’t try to change your answers if you are asked about something over and over again. Just answer it to the best of your ability, and move on.
I can’t really think of anything else that I did…I know this was long but I really want to help you pass! I know you can do it. Just remember the Hurst review testing strategies….don’t freak yourself out, be actually confident (by evidence of getting good Q-review scores and learning why you didn't get it right) and dress comfortably!