- 2So I promised myself that I would write my success story after passing the NCLEX because this forum truly helped me when preparing for the NCLEX. I want to give back to the allnurses community.
List of main resources I used:
Kaplan qtrainers (I didn't finish all of them!)
Saunders Comprehensive Review for the NCLEX-RN Examination 5th Edition (No, I did not read the entire book, and no, I did not do all the ?'s)
The RN Course Book
That awesome PDF with NCLEX tidbits that has been circulating around the site (I read this several times!)
... and tons of other resources (I think this confused me way more!)
My advice for NCLEX takers:
Set time for yourself to study with no interruptions, even if is an hour, a few hours, etc.
Don't overwhelm yourself with lots of resources, you will start getting confused with the inconsistencies
Don't pressure yourself with trying to finish everything, read everything, learn everything... I say this because I was honestly stressing myself out by doing this (on top of taking a class and working part-time at a restaurant) --- I was somewhat against just doing tons of questions because I truly felt like I was lacking on content but doing a bunch of questions really does help, and you start to realize how you should answer certain types of questions
Study how you learn best, don't feel pressured to follow others' learning techniques (for ex. I had a friend who would study by doing tons of questions, no note taking. Heck, I had to write everything down!)
I sucked at pharm and I even avoided studying for it, until the night before. I had so much anxiety when I realized I did not know any meds but I listened to the audio of the Saunders CD and that surprisingly helped
Focus on what you feel you are weak in, even if you don't want to
I read forums of others' success and advice/tips from here
Day of the test:
Don't let anyone drive you to the test center (lol), I did and ended up fighting with the boyfriend
Take a deep breath before the test and remind yourself that you've learned multitudes in nursing school and you've most likely done everything you could to prepare yourself at this point
I listened to my favorite song right before the test for some good vibes and energy
If you start losing confidence or start getting tired, take a break! I ended up having to take a break because I started getting angry and upset over the fight I had earlier
Feel free to ask any questions, add comments, etc.Last edit by Joe V on Dec 17, '12 : Reason: spacing
- 1Hi Sandra! I had 75 ?'s and I finished in about 2 hrs? Complete shock and panic when the computer turned off. Half way I started feeling a little discouraged but I kept telling myself "the test wants me to pass... that's why it's giving me more questions!!!"
For study habits, I have to admit I was a bit overwhelmed with the studying and workload for a class and working part-time while studying for the NCLEX. I typically tried to set aside approx. 4 hours of dedicated time for studying daily (I always aimed for more!) - this didn't always happen with work and school. For Saunders, I tried to do as many questions (per system! this is easier for me to process, rather than questions from random sections) as I could on study mode rather than exam or quiz mode because this allows you to look at the rationale right away, and I knew that there was a good chance I might get lazy after doing questions and not look thru ALL the rationales. I also took notes while studying, so I would not forget. Most people recommended 200 ?'s a day but I honestly wasn't always so lucky.
Anyways, I dread dread dreaded pharm. Luckily, by doing questions by system, drugs particular to that section were covered. Besides studying pharm through this way, I also read the PDF from here, which had drugs that seemed to be popular for NCLEX prep, and I listened to that audio lecture the night before. I took down basic notes which included the ending of drug types and what they do. If you listen to the lecture, it's really basic. For me, it was sufficient, but it's hard to say for others since every test is different.
Focus on your weaknesses as much as it sucks to study. While I was taking the exam, I realize I didn't study some of the fundamentals, and I wanted to scream when there were things I really should know but didn't.
- 0Dec 13, '12 by mzmaeCongratulations and the part about the bf, I was actually thinking that maybe this time around he shouldnt be with me. the last time i took it he drove me and actually waited for me, maybe that added on more pressure. hehehe. As you probably read in my other post I too am writing everything down, note cards are my best friend. But with that said it's taking me more time to finish the saunders book. It's okay I guess. I dread pharm as well, do you mind sharing materials you used study pharm? my email is email@example.com I would truly appreciate it. Again, congratulations and happy job hunting. Oh and if you dont mind me asking was that your first time taking it?
- 0Dec 13, '12 by killerbeeCongrats! I have been studying since oct. It's nice to have read your story because I too have been studying after work for 4 hours during weekdays (and trying to sneak in 1-2 hours of review during work). Yes I agree that each person has their own style of reviewing. Im planning to take my exam on Feb I'll try to be competent and confident so I can pass my exam too.
- 0Quote from bw2012I'm not quite sure I understand what you mean but let me try to see if I can address this for you. I had a lot of prioritization questions and honestly, you couldn't really prioritize unless you knew what the diseases were and what was an expected s/sx vs. an emergent unexpected situation. Does that kinda answer your question?Hello and congrats on passing! Im graudting friday and plan on taking boards sometime in february. Did the test have a lot of knowledge base questions or more questions that you have to apply&comprehend. Im not sure if this makes since..
- 0Quote from mzmaeYes it was my first time taking it. I actually took it in October, but I forgot of the promise I made to write back on the forum. I found a job a month after passing my boards. I didn't get a chance to finish the Saunders book with all my commitments so congrats if you are able to get through the whole thing! The paranoid, studious side of me would have loved to read that book cover to cover but it wasn't very feasible for me.Congratulations and the part about the bf, I was actually thinking that maybe this time around he shouldnt be with me. the last time i took it he drove me and actually waited for me, maybe that added on more pressure. hehehe. As you probably read in my other post I too am writing everything down, note cards are my best friend. But with that said it's taking me more time to finish the saunders book. It's okay I guess. I dread pharm as well, do you mind sharing materials you used study pharm? my email is firstname.lastname@example.org I would truly appreciate it. Again, congratulations and happy job hunting. Oh and if you dont mind me asking was that your first time taking it?
I do recommend that you drive yourself (if able to) because it gives you time to clear your head and only focus on the NCLEX. No added pressure. I must admit that when I was waiting for him to pick me up, I drove myself CRAZY thinking "oh man, I didn't pass, how am I going to tell everyone?" I was waiting and walking around for a good 30 mins. Right before he got there, I did the PVT (so I could just get it over with and tell him I didn't pass) and got the good popup!