My experience with pre and post NCLEX tricks, tips, and anxiety
This article outlines my experience pre and post the NCLEX. I did my research regarding all of the theories and ideas revolving around whether I passed the NCLEX because my results were taking too long to post. The purpose of this article is to give some hope and to also help alleviate anxiety.... EnjoyIn early December 2010, I finished nursing school. I opted to take the NCLEX right away because I had new years eve on the horizon quickly followed by a snowboarding trip to whistler. Needless to say, I was about to lose a whole lot of brain cells, so I wanted to get the exam in before that mess.
From the time I registered to take the NCLEX to the actual time that I took it, I had 5 days. So I only had 5 days to prepare for the NCLEX starting from scratch. Now, all through nursing school, I worked in an ER as an EMT. You may be thinking, "this guy had it made, I'm sure school was cake for him..." I heard this all the time, and you would think so right? WRONG!!! Actually, clinical was easy, but exams were pretty difficult. There is the real world way to do things, and then there is the text book way. Because I worked in the field so long prior to the NCLEX, my brain was stuck in the "real world" way... This worked against me greatly and I had double the prep to get done before taking the NCLEX. I needed to leave the mind-set of the "real world" way. I made sure not to work at all in the five days leading up to the NCLEX so that I wouldn't taint my new mindset.
I enrolled in the "On Demand" Kaplan prep course and began right away... I watched some of the movies and found the following to be helpful: The Strategy Seminar and The test taking workshop. Thats it... I personally am not a fan of the "Decision Tree" because I already take a test a certain way, and to readjust with 5 days pending the NCLEX, I wasn't about to learn another strategy. The decision tree takes too long too; so many damn rules. Also, I didn't watch any of the material videos because I feel that you learn that stuff in Nursing School... Just learn how to take the test and KNOW the RULES!!!! The rules help eliminate a lot of incorrect answers. If you do study anything though, study drugs.
The five days before NCLEX, I took the following Kaplan Prep Exams:
Diagnostic Exam: Skipped
Question Trainer 1: 65.7%
Question Trainer 2: 57.3%
Question Trainer 3: 54%
Question Trainer 4: Skipped
Question Trainer 5: 54%
Question Trainer 6: Skipped
Question Trainer 7: Skipped
Readiness Exam: 56.6%
Kaplan Q bank: I took 350 questions and my average score was 52%
As you will note, I skipped quite a few exams, but that was due to the limited amount of time that I had. Those are my Kaplan statistics that you can compare yourself to. There are a bunch of postings on this site... allnurses.com, about people's statistics that I compared myself to. According to what I saw, I was well off going into the NCLEX.
The NCLEX: I am a resident of California, took my exam in Anaheim on a gloomy rainy morning. I answered 75 questions and the exam shut off. It took me about 2 hours. Of course, I walked out of the exam feeling like I failed. I know that everyone feels like that when they leave, thats just how the exam is designed. So that did not bug me. The exam is good at picking out your weak points and grilling you on them. I thought my weak point was OB, but turns out that it's Drugs. I got all sorts of questions about drugs I never even heard of before. Also, I got a ton of select more than one answer questions, probably like 10. Those are painful because in my practice exams, I never got one right. So I thought the computer was being a bit unfair. I soon came to the assumption that most of them were the 15 pilot questions that everyone gets (check out the rules of NCLEX, everyone gets 15 pilot questions worth nothing).
So at that point, I felt like I failed. I expected my results to be posted within the next few days just as I've heard everyone else's being posted so soon. But like I mentioned, I took it right before the holidays. After about a week, I thought the holidays were slowing down my results. But as more time went by, I started to worry. The only thing holding me together was the fact that my IP was still valid... That meant that I didnt fail. If my IP disappeared and my license did not appear, that meant I failed, but my IP was active, so I knew something was going a little slow. I called the BRN after 2 weeks to find out the reason for the delay. Turns out, my school lagged on sending my transcripts!!! Though, they did end up sending them about 2 weeks after I took the NCLEX, yet it would take another 2 weeks for the BRN to process them. The BRN will not post your results until all paperwork is turned in. They will not even hint at what your results are. I know that I am a good shmoozer and I tried to shmooze the BRN operator into giving me my results... It was a NO GO!! So my anxiety was extremely high at that point.
I started to research all of the tricks that I heard through word of mouth, but the ultimate is The Pearson Vue Trick: After you take the NCLEX, you go back to pearson vue and try to register for the exam again. If you cannot get to the pay screen and a message box pops up and says something along the lines of, "our record indicate that you have recently scheduled an exam and another cannot be made at this time, please contact your board for further info," it means you passed. If you can pay for the exam, you failed. At first I thought that this was total BS, but come to find out after much much much much more research, it is 100% accurate. If you're wondering, I could not pay and I did receive that message. I believe that this trick is great for calming the nerves. It doesn't satisfy you completely, but my anxiety dropped 100 notches.
To this day, it has officially been 4 weeks since I took the NCLEX. I usually work splits (2p-2a) so I was asleep at 630 this morning when my phone started blowing up. Call after call after text after text came in. When I finally decided to open my eyes, turns out that I passed the NCLEX!!!!! Though, I didn't know that so many of my friends and family were keeping track... They were logging on for me everyday, and as soon as they found out, they starting blowing up my phone. Anyways, that was the only thing that could wake me up at 630 and not put me in a bad mood!!!
So I hope my experience helps. I feel like we are all going through the same thing and if it weren't for all of you documenting the tricks and your experiences, I would have had so much more anxiety. I feel like I owe this post to you, which is why I wrote it. I suggest when you figure out your results, you should do something similar... It really helps those who are still waiting. If you have any questions at all about my experience, post on this and I'll try to get back to you ASAP... Thanks for reading and wish me luck on finding a job.....
I am a 25 y/o M that just graduated from the CSUF BSN program. I currently work in a high volume ER as an EMT. Prior to that, I was an EMT in an ambulance, and I volunteered at my local ER. I am hoping to now get a job in an ER somewhere, but we all know the new grad job market... Not even the ER that I've worked at for a while now, will hire me.... NO NEW GRADS!!!
Joined Mar '09; Posts: 7; Likes: 17.0Apr 1, '11 by fayeserra19good day! I am a Filipina and I love reading in your site. I am a Nursing grad here in the phiippines and I've taken the NLE twice and got a FAILED result. I am planning to take the exam for the third and this time I want to pass. Please give me some review materials and I my question is that.. can I take NCLEX without passing the Local Boards? Thank you and Best Regards!0Apr 1, '11 by Silverdragon102, RN AdminQuote from fayeserra19Check out the Philippine forum but in regards to NCLEX well getting licensed will depend on the state and we are seeing states beginning to ask for local license. Especially with retrogression and the several years wait for a immigrant visa for the US and employers expecting work experiencegood day! I am a Filipina and I love reading in your site. I am a Nursing grad here in the phiippines and I've taken the NLE twice and got a FAILED result. I am planning to take the exam for the third and this time I want to pass. Please give me some review materials and I my question is that.. can I take NCLEX without passing the Local Boards? Thank you and Best Regards!0Jun 30, '11 by WaitingtobeanRNYour story is definately helping calm my nerves (a bit). I got offered a job the day I took the NCLEX (June 17th) and it starts in two weeks (July 12th). I have been waiting for my results for nearly two weeks with nothing. The Pearsonvue trick came out positive. I did email the BRN with yet a reply. Did you call? What number did you use?1Jul 25, '11 by beckahqueenbi recently took my nclex pn on july 15 2011 and i havent gotten my results yet.. i tried the trick everyday like five times a day and it shows the good pop up.. but im still ify if i should believe it or not.. i took the nclex may 26 2011 and i got 205 questions the max they can ask..i didnt know about the trick i just waited for my results to come in the mail but i failed.. i took it again for the second time and got 205 questions again but this time i tried the trick and im getting the pop up..does it really work..0Jul 25, '11 by Silverdragon102, RN AdminQuote from beckahqueenbSuggest you check this thread out.i recently took my nclex pn on july 15 2011 and i havent gotten my results yet.. i tried the trick everyday like five times a day and it shows the good pop up.. but im still ify if i should believe it or not.. i took the nclex may 26 2011 and i got 205 questions the max they can ask..i didnt know about the trick i just waited for my results to come in the mail but i failed.. i took it again for the second time and got 205 questions again but this time i tried the trick and im getting the pop up..does it really work..