First of all, I believe this is my first post. Long time account holder/lurker, first time posting.
I graduated in December 2010 and against the advice of my professors, decided not to take the exam within 6 weeks after graduating. I had a lot going on and was happy to be done with school and needed to relax. I started studying in late January. Anywho, I took the NCLEX yesterday and found out this morning that I passed! I was so excited because I was sure that I had failed. I'm SO HAPPY that I'm RN, BSN!!! LONG time coming!! My test stopped at 75 questions after 2 hours. I had about 15 SATA, 15-20 med questions, 3 infection control, 1 picture question, 1 pediatric growth and development, NO maternal questions (I was upset about that since I studied alot of maternal/ob),2-3 questions on procedures, 1 psych question, and probably about 5-10 priority questions. I got a lot of med surg (Addisons, DM, hypoparathyroid). I had no delegation or med calculation questions. Here's what I used to study and a few tips:
KAPLAN RN BOOK & Q BANK:
I didn't take the Kaplan course, even though our school made us pay for it. We could access the videos/materials online. I watched 1 video and it seemed like they were just reading from the book anyway. The book itself to me is very straight to the point, a little unorganized and in my opinion is very vague (I like details). A few of my classmates liked the fact that it was straight to the point. To each his own, I guess. The Q bank questions are easier in my opinion than the actual NCLEX questions. I felt that the priority questions on the NCLEX were much harder than those from Kaplan. However, the Kaplan questions really prepare you to "think" like the NCLEX... how to figure out what the question is actually asking. I was scoring anywhere from 59-68% on the qbank. I went through every rationale, even the ones I missed. If I didn't understand the rationale, I looked it up. I kept a notebook and wrote the key facts down and reviewed the notes every couple of days. (I ended up having about 20 pages front and back of random facts).
These questions really helped me get into the "NCLEX" way of thinking as well. They're a bit harder than the Kaplan questions. The rationales were very helpful. If I didn't have time to sit down and go through a test, I would click "Review" so that I could read through the rationales. VERY helpful. I was scoring 58-70% on these questions. I did a "Review" test the night before the NCLEX, just kind of as a refresher on random facts.
Mosby's Pharmacology NoteCards:
This book has very helpful, funny mneumonics for memorizing random facts about drugs. I highly recommend it if Pharm is not your strong suit like me!
The posts from nurses who passed really helped me. Especially this one: How I Passed NCLEX on 3rd attempt
Gotta give glory to GOD! Proverbs 3:5-6 was my motto and also Hebrews 10:23. God is so faithful!
I'm not going to lie, the NCLEX was the hardest exam I've ever taken! It really is CUMULATIVE and so random, so please study everything that you can. I had 3 infection control questions. The mnemonics are easy to remember and will at least help you get a few right! I really do believe the NCLEX finds your weaknesses. I studied the hell out of GI and got one GI question! Same for psych. A lot of people told me that pharm was rarely tested on their exam, however I got about 15-20 med questions (Lasix, Viagra, Allopurinol, other randoms). Know the contraindications, patient teachings and lab values to watch for. Lab values are another easy thing you should know to guarantee you'll at least get a few right. I took my time and read through each question once or twice. I tried to figure out what the question was asking for and came up with an answer usually before I looked at the answer choices. I had protein/carbs right before the test. I used the erasable board they give you to write out things! I took a bathroom break. I recited Proverbs 3:5-6. If you know that your "gut instinct" is usually right on tests, trust it! Take a break the night before if you can and relax. Most importantly, think positive! Come on to allnurses.com and read stories of others who have passed and use it to encourage yourself.
If you got through nursing school, you can get through the NCLEX! Good luck and God bless to everyone!