I just got the results and I passed! I always loved reading these while I was reviewing so I told myself I would post this once I passed. I've been out of school for a year and 9 months! So I don't want to hear anything about being rusty cause all I did was sit at home for that long. You can pass as long as you review.
My first and second take I failed at 265 items and the first time I needed to get my priorities in order. I put a lot of BS before my exam which led to my downfall. The second take I barely reviewed because I still couldn't move on from my failure and I was broke, unemployed and was living with my mother who took every opportunity to put me down. After my first failure she told me I wouldn't pass even if I took the exam again. She told me I was useless, stupid and was just a problem to her. Hearing this everyday and crying everyday put me in a bad place. I was depressed for months during my review for the second exam. I was even contemplating suicide at one point. I was so down on my luck and didn't know what to do. Eventually, I got up and told myself I can't live like this anymore. A big factor during my exam was always anxiety. I picked myself up and said enough is enough. So what if I'm broke, unemployed or a loser? Only I have the power to change that and sitting around crying and being depressed isn't helping anything.
So I grieved for a while and then started getting back into the review and I studied at my own pace. Remember, there is no right way to review so just do what you feel is comfortable. I got the results today and passed. Here is what I used to review:
Kaplan Course/Basics Book
: On my 3rd take I did no reading at all because I've read these books so many times. I really like Kaplan, very good questions so if you decide to take this review take advantage of it. I took it during my first take but barely used it. It's expensive too so really use it.
Kaplan Question Trainers
: I used these online for free and they were very good. My scores were QT 1
: 63%, QT 3
: 63%, QT 4
: 59%, QT 5
: 57%, QT 6
Saunders 5th Edition QBank
: I had a CD but no book. I LOVED this. This was the most help of all the review materials. I answered maybe 1300 questions. Most of the just on Physiological Integrity since that's where I was weak. Very good for content. I started getting scores around 64% or above.
: I had a CD but barely answered it since I didn't like all the tiny details that weren't even going to be important in NCLEX. I also didn't like the way the questions were worded. It seemed way too content based.
NCSBN 3 week Review
: I was very short on money and I feel like this was a waste of money. I didn't like it. I barely read the content and was only after the questions which I didn't enjoy at all. They say get over 75% but I only got over 75% maybe twice. I didn't even finish it.
I hope this can help even one person with their review. Don't rush into the exam if you don't feel ready or if you're still grieving over your last attempt. Take your time studying and don't cram. I answered maybe 50-100 questions a day and sometimes I just rested. Really review the rationales and don't worry too much about score cause that'll just stress you out more. I used to get so frustrated when I didn't end up getting the score I wanted but the bad things is when you start to focus on the score more than the content or rationales, you aren't learning anything. During the exam just breathe. A big tip someone gave me on here was to write your name with an RN at the end so you can visualize your goal and I did that on my scratch pad they gave us during the exam. Take your time and think like an RN and you'll be one. Be confident in yourself cause when you aren't confident your anxiety goes up. I have had so many problems with anxiety and what I learned is ask yourself why you are anxious. Anxious because you feel unprepared? Then BE PREPARED! counter that anxiety and it'll help so much. Also, NEVER EVER EVER compare yourself to people who passed. I watched my friends and classmates all pass before me, I saw people younger than I was passing but you don't see me comparing myself to them. We all have our own pace. Focus on YOU not others cause if you're hungry they won't feed you. Only you can help yourself. Good Luck to all you future RN's out there.