My NCLEX - for what it's worth

  1. 12
    My preparation for the NCLEX was not stressful or lengthy. I graduated on May 3 and took the test on Sunday, June 3. The first two weeks after graduation I studied about 2-3 hours a day maybe 3 days a week. The third week I studied around 2-3 hours a day 4-5 days. The last week studied 2-4 hours 4 days. I had a couple of iPad apps that I used, Davis mobile NCLEX-RN Q&A, Davis mobile NCLEX-RN Prioritization and Delmar’s NCLEX-RN Review Online with CAT Logic. I didn't spend any set number of hours or questions per day with these and I took frequent breaks while studying. I did use the practice questions to look up diseases and conditions I was totally unfamiliar with, but if they were very obscure I didn't give them much attention at all, because the NCLEX isn't a test that will be heavily concentrated on obscure diseases. Instead I focused my attention on memorizing and reinforcing my normal values and normal ranges more than anything else, as I figured this would allow me to reason out most questions. I'm glad I did.

    The Pearson center I went to was small and comfortable. The staff was very friendly and let us know that if we needed a break before our scheduled break that was OK, just raise our hand and they would help us. They will supply you with earmuffs or earplugs if you feel like noise might distract you. You can't wear any necklaces or any watches or bracelets. There was a small locker to put your belongings in while you take the test. You start with some practice questions before the real test starts. I read ALL of my questions twice, taking time to identify key words and information. About 40% of my questions were SATA (select all that apply) and it was pretty heavy on patient teaching, delegation and safety. Know your normal lab values and normal ranges. Other than that it was just a little of everything. I think I had so many SATA questions because I was doing well, even though sometimes it certainly didn't feel like it.

    I finished in 76 questions. SATA questions make my stomach hurt but I was pretty sure I'd done fairly well when I walked out. As soon as I got out to the lobby of the building I took my test in, I pulled up the Pearson VUE website on my iPhone and did the PVT. I got the pop-up message, broke out into a little dance and ran around the furniture and the potted plants.

    It wasn't easy, but it wasn't nearly as hard as I'd made it out in my mind to be all this time either. An important key for me was to keep stress to a minimum and to remember I didn't need to know every single question to pass, and not freak out when I wasn't sure of an answer. Keeping it simple helped me keep my sanity.

    In the end everyone needs to do what they are comfortable with. No single approach is best for everyone. I'm just saying that you shouldn't feel like it's not possible for you to pass unless you spend hundreds upon hundreds of hours in extra study and plow through thousands of pages of prep books. The handout they gave me at my test said that about 86% of United States-educated students pass the test on the first try. The odds are on your side. Do what is comfortable for you - and good luck.
    Last edit by Blanca R on Jun 6, '12 : Reason: formatting for easier reading
    moksi05, MA_Davis, Blanca R, and 9 others like this.
  2. Get our hottest student topics delivered to your inbox.

  3. 15 Comments so far...

  4. 0
    Congrats to you
  5. 0
    Great job...Congratulations RN...Thank you for sharing!!!!
  6. 2
    WOW! out of soooo many posts that I have read on this website, I think yours helped me the most.
    I am a naturally anxious person and I have been freaking out since day 1 of graduation about NCLEX.
    Everything has been running through my mind, from when is the right time to take the exam? to how long to study?, what resources to use? and how to study? is all I can think about! Needless to say, when all you are doing is thinking about these things, you don't exactly get much done. Thank you for sharing your experience.
    Nurse Maru and Amy'sGrandbaby like this.
  7. 0
    Quote from d_martinez09
    WOW! out of soooo many posts that I have read on this website, I think yours helped me the most.
    I am a naturally anxious person and I have been freaking out since day 1 of graduation about NCLEX.
    Everything has been running through my mind, from when is the right time to take the exam? to how long to study?, what resources to use? and how to study? is all I can think about! Needless to say, when all you are doing is thinking about these things, you don't exactly get much done. Thank you for sharing your experience.
    Thank you for letting me know that. It means a lot to me that this information was helpful to someone. May you soon enjoy your own joy of accomplishment and relief
  8. 1
    Congratulations and thank you!
    Nurse Maru likes this.
  9. 1
    Congratulations and thank you for the words of encouragement to those of us that will be testing in the near future!
    Nurse Maru likes this.
  10. 1
    Great post! Thanks for the input and advice, I am hoping to be doing that happy dance next week!
    Nurse Maru likes this.
  11. 1
    I took and passed my first NCLEX back in January so I just wanted to second everything OP already said and tell you all good luck and study hard. Remember there's no way you can cover everything. So do your best and you should be fine. My school in particular had a 100% pass rate first time for the last 3 graduating classes so that gave us confidence but it also stressed us out a lot. Study hard (don't kill yourself studying) get plenty of sleep, and eat well. The Pearson vue trick does work so don't doubt it! Mine shut off at 75 questions and I swore I failed. I did not feel competent but apparently I was. So even after you take it, don't freak out just relax and be patient! Good luck to you all!!'
    Nurse Maru likes this.
  12. 0
    Quote from chaisaci
    Great post! Thanks for the input and advice, I am hoping to be doing that happy dance next week!
    lol, I did not even care what I looked like.


Top