Hi New Grads!
This post is to give my 2 cents on my experience with the NCLEX that would've been helpful to me when I was totally freaking out before, during and after the exam.
A good friend of mine from school was sitting next to me in the other cubicle and finished at 75. So many people think if you get 75 you definately passed and 265 means you failed. That's not the case. It doesn't matter what number of questions your computer shuts off at. I was so upset when I get to number 76. I thought, "Great. What am I doing wrong?" Then I hit 150 and definately thought I blew it. I left the center and went straight to the bathroom to ball my eyes out. And as soon as I got into my car I continued to freak out and cry. For 2 days I began to make arrangements for a new job, a back up loan for income, and an application to retake the NCLEX-RN. Daily phonecalls from classmates asking, "Did you hear anything? I know so-and-so that failed at 130" and so on didn't help the anxiety. I was so stressed out I was sick when I sat for my board exam.
I studied for 3 weeks on and off for my exam. I held a GN position on my med/surg floor for experience which really helped me when I was stuck on a couple questions. I suggest to keep in mind the difference between the real world and the NCLEX world to answer questions. I used 4 prep books, but the one that helped me was Kaplan. It helped me break down the question so I didn't jump to conclusions and pick the wrong answer. I used the little eraser board they provide you to eliminate 2 questions right off the bat and kept thinking, "I have all the time in the world with this patient and all the supplies are here. What is my immediate next move?"
Hope this helps anyone with test anxiety. Wear comfy clothes, drink water, not coffee or you'll crash midway, and clear your head of everybody's comments and opinions. Believe me you'll be surprised at who fails and who passes when your classmates tell you. Worry about you and only you. You'll have enough time in your carreer in nursing to hear what others have to say about this one and that one, unfortunately!
Good luck and God bless!