How to pass the NCLEX

  1. Is it true that knowing how to answer or attack the NCLEX questions and knowing the strategies for taking the exam are more important than knowing the Nursing content? ( I know that both are important but some have told me that since the answers are already given because it's a multiple choice type of question, you just have to know how to pick the right answer---except for the new format questions). Any comments?
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  2. 17 Comments

  3. by   RnDebraG
    Quote from caringnursenj
    Is it true that knowing how to answer or attack the NCLEX questions and knowing the strategies for taking the exam are more important than knowing the Nursing content? ( I know that both are important but some have told me that since the answers are already given because it's a multiple choice type of question, you just have to know how to pick the right answer---except for the new format questions). Any comments?

    Your answers are both right, while it is important to know your nursing content it is also important to know hoe to pick the best answer. just remeber ABC's first and you will do fine! Good luck!
  4. by   hlfpnt
    Knowing the content helps to know how to answer the question. Airway isn't always the priority thing on NCLEX. Depends on what's being asked. Sometimes "airway" is thrown in as a distractor.
  5. by   RNKay31
    Knowing your content, and knowing how to think critically, as well as prioritizing well, alll the best to you
  6. by   DolphinRN84
    :yeahthat: Though you do have to know nursing content in order to think critically and trying to pick the best answer.
  7. by   praeclarus
    Quote from caringnursenj
    Is it true that knowing how to answer or attack the NCLEX questions and knowing the strategies for taking the exam are more important than knowing the Nursing content? ( I know that both are important but some have told me that since the answers are already given because it's a multiple choice type of question, you just have to know how to pick the right answer---except for the new format questions). Any comments?
    I think both are critically important. Sometimes multiple choice questions are the hardest... I was advised to spend 1/3 of my time reviewing nursing concepts and 2/3 answering A LOT of questions, and that's what I'm doing right now.. I hope I'm in the right track and I pray we pass. Good luck to you..
  8. by   nursing85
    My own experience that worked was, first get a review book (i.e. Mosby) read it and do the practice quizes provided (to do content review), then practice NCLEX type questions (i.e. Q-Bank Kaplan), so you know how to eliminate wrong answers and then choose the right one (sometimes you can eliminate 3 wrong answers and the one left is right). Also, if you only studied how to "attack" questions, how would you answer med questions? That's important too. I hope this helps. Everyone is different, but the common denominator is, Know Your Facts. Think about it, you're going to be nervous walking in to take the test. You'll want to have your facts firmly studied, so you don't get confused. Best of luck.
  9. by   EricJRN
    I'm all for focusing on as much content as possible, which is where I think the Saunders Comprehensive Review offers the huge advantage.
  10. by   RN 4 U
    You have got to know your content inside and out to cover all your basis, also it is very important to think critically outside of the box and utilize your test taking strategies to their fullest. This is the only way to be successfull in my opinion. Taking NCLEX type questions will really help like Kaplan.
  11. by   missjulzzy
    i believe i am very good with content. i graduated in 2001 and am challenging the nclex as i am from the uk. i have failed nclex twice and i would have to say the critical thinking as the nclex requires is the most important. i have just completed the kaplan study course and they broke it down into easy to understand critical thinking tips. you do need to know your content, but the critical part takes you away from answers you would consider correct.

    i would say its 75% critical thinking, and 25% content. (just my opinion)
  12. by   Nuieve
    The more test questions I answer the more I start believing that you just have to know everything. I think it's 95% knowledge (if you have it), 5% basic application of the knowledge. Sure, critical thinking is nice, but it's very tricky and can easily lead you to a wrong conclusion... And in many situations logic will be helpless... If the question asks you about when to administer food with gastrostomy tube... what will you think? Wait for decompression, or is the stomach supposed to be decompressed already (NPO client, suction), should you wait for incision to heal, or is it safe to pump food into stomach which has a fresh incision... should the food be warm, cool, small portions, medium, should it contain carbs, fats, proteins? should it be administered every 15 min, or every hour, or every 4 hours? How are going to figure all of it out without any knowledge using only common sense?

    I don't know how about you, but my intuition (which is always a part of critical thinking) is most of the time fails me when I have to chose between two possible answers. If I feel the answer is right - it turns out to be wrong, if I try to pick the other answer because I know my intuition is wrong - I'm still wrong. When you know the fact - it's a single truth and you have no doubts. When you don't know the fact, and try to critically think, you may come to 100 possible explanations of the problem all of which seem real and reasonable... or all be wrong because you base them on faulty educated guesses rather then solid knowledge, and/or looking in a totally wrong direction than question asks.

    For example, a question (From learningext) gives you 4 women in birth, and provides information only on their labor status (station, dilation, contraction duration...) and asks you whom you will attend first. Of course you might think, the one who has the baby at +2 station, full dilation and strong contractions because she's about to give birth and needs more frequent monitoring of her and baby status. But the correct answer is that you should choose the woman with the highest station (-1) and narrowest dilation because she's about to break water (or just has broken), which poses a danger of fetal umbilical cord prolapse. It's absolutely logical and at the same time totally insane. If you had similar question you will know how to answer it, but if you didn't (don't have knowledge) - I have no idea what in the question wording could possibly lead you to the conclusion stated in the rationale. I don't think even Einstein would figure it out.

    So I think knowing the material is essential. Strategies are nice as an occasional substitute, but material is what one needs.
  13. by   ORNURSETOBE
    You need to know both. For example...

    You need to know lab values to decide which may decrease the cardiac output.

    You need to know Addison's disease to know what is an expected finding or a finding in which you need to do an intervention.

    You need to know what to teach a type 1 diabetic or a person with celiac disease.

    But...
    You could also have 4 correct answers and you need to know how to determine which is the correct or most beneficial answer for that patient in that scenario.

    So...
    In the end, focus on both. Review all content, then focus on your weak areas.
  14. by   DutchgirlRN
    I read the question. Did not look at the answers. Closed my eyes and thought it through and then looked to see if my answer was there. If you have no clue what-so-ever, go with "C". Good Luck!

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