Today I did my first attempt at the NCLEX-RN. I am a Canadian educated RN. I graduated about a year and a half ago, and have been practicing as an RN for about 10 months.
I started studying early september (at a very low pace). I used Saunders Comprehensive Review for the NCLEX-RN Examination as well as Feuer's audio review. I answered practice questions on the CD that came with the Saunders book (I probably studied approximately 600 questions). I intensified my studying as the exam date approached.
I felt very, very, very overwhelmed by the amount of material that had to be covered. In fact, I found that Saunders went too much in-depth. In the end, I tried to focus only on the "Pyramid Points" (which are the topics typically covered in the NCLEX exam as per the author).
I presented myself 30 minutes before to the test center, and started the exam 15 minutes before by exam time. Overall, I found the exam to be quite challenging. It was by far the most difficult exam I have attempted in all my life. What surprised me the most was the amount of SATA type questions. I personally find these questions very challenging. In the Saunders book, you will typically find 1, maybe 2, SATA-type question at the end of each chapter. However, I can recollect answering at least 20 of them on the NCLEX! Some questions were easy and straight to the point, whereas most seemed to be lacking information in order to answer them with confidence. I got a few questions where I had no idea what they were talking about and had to do an educated guess based on the question, the choices of answers and the test-taking strategies I learned through Saunders.
After answering 75 questions, the test ended. I felt relieved, as after only 3 hours of sleep, I don't think I would have survived 265 questions. I then headed home to try the PVT, and got the positive pop-up, indicating that I most likely passed the NCLEX-RN examination. Thank god!
I think that what helped me the most were the test-taking strategies, as outlined by Saunders. They were quite helpful in guiding me to "best answer". I did also find the audio review to be quite helpful.
Anyways, I hope that sharing my experience taking the NCLEX-RN exam will help some of you out there. I will follow up in 48 hours when the quick-result comes out to see if the PVT does indeed work.