NCLEX Tips - One I Never Knew

  1. 8
    Ok everyone - I am going to make this quick. Before I took my NCLEX, I too was freaking out. I get horrible test anxiety and was terrified. I did the online Kaplan class and had scores from 55-78 on the trainers. I had a zillion practice books too - some in my car for when I was in traffic, apps on my phone, you name it. Now that it is all behind me (and I passed!!!), I have a couple of quick tips I would like to share:

    1. Dedicate a certain number of hours per day to study and don't go OVER those. Spend the time doing practice questions and reading the rationales for the ones you get right and wrong. It makes all the difference. But be aware of overstudying - it can deteriorate the test taking skills you worked so hard to develop.

    2. DO NOT study the day before or the day of the exam. Just put it away, get out of your house, and go do something FUN.

    3. PRACTICE taking questions with earplugs in!! This is the tip I never read before but wish I had thought of it. If you get test anxiety like I do, hearing nothing except my heart pounding as I began the exam completely freaked me out. I never thought how much of a difference the earplugs was going to make in my test taking. Even if where ever you study is super quiet, I highly recommend doing this. You will immediately see what I mean when you try it.

    4. Believe in yourself. I know this is written everywhere but believe me when I tell you at least 50% of the exam strategy is going in there feeling prepared and confident. You survived nursing school - you will pass the NCLEX-RN Exam.

    GOOD LUCK EVERYONE!
    Joe V, Lossea, stewartfamily2010, and 5 others like this.
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  3. 10 Comments so far...

  4. 0
    Yes. I took the NCLEX with the earplugs and it was VERY helpful.
  5. 0
    Hmm interesting tip. Thanks! I used earplugs (Hearos brand) for the first time on the plane and wow, they made a huge difference.
  6. 3
    My one tip....despite all the talk about one question per minute and how you need to practice doing that...before I sat down for NCLEX, I thought to myself "Why bother with one minute per question?" I have SIX hours to complete as many questions as I want. So I sat down for the NCLEX, tried to remember to breathe deeply, and I did one question at a time, giving each question at least 2 read-overs and then thinking it through and using all the strategies I learned through Kaplan (from reading the book, not the class). I also thought about priorities, and ABCs. Next think you know, it shut off at 75. (AND I thought I failed, but logically I knew it should have taken longer for them to figure out I was a failure-lol). I can't for the life of me figure out why they put so much emphasis on the timing. If each question is really so important (technically, to pass with 75 questions, only 60 questions truly count for your pass), then take as much time as you need on each question. That isn't a lot of questions to determine basic competence.
    Lossea, kmwk, and Miss_Piggy.RN like this.
  7. 0
    I 100% thumbs up #1 and 2. Your brain NEEDS to take a break to help with long-term retention. If you have the time, take a break in the middle of your study schedule (eg, I had 3 months to study, and I took a whole week off right in the middle). When you come back to it, you're amazed at how comfortable you are with the material.

    And don't do something like veg out in front of the TV if you think you'll be tempted to study at the same time. Bcs then you're neither studying nor relaxing effectively. Get out of the house. I went to a sauna, where it was so hot, I couldn't even go over stuff in my head!

    My additional tip: if you're using Kaplan, write down the Decision Tree on your white board. Even if you don't really use it or didn't use it while studying. Just having it there will give you an anchor if you start to panic. If you didn't do Kaplan, maybe write down something encouraging and simple, like, "Calm down and think about what the question is really asking." Just having a little grounding mantra there for you to look at if you get anxious.
  8. 0
    i heard we aren't allowed to write anything on the white board anymore that doesn't pertain to the question we are on. is this not true?
  9. 0
    I don't think that's true. You're not allowed to start writing on the board until they say so (info dumping), but once the test starts, you can write whatever you need whenver you need it. I don't think it would be practical for them to monitor what everyone is writing and make sure it pertains to whatever question they're on.

    I definitely didn't have anyone say anything to me, and at one point I drew an angry face on my board!
  10. 0
    You can't write anything during practice test. Once you start actual exam you can write whatever you like. BUT if you need extra space you need to rise your hand and they need to erase it.
  11. 0
    I am bummed, i ran out of time. I thought like you to take as much time per question and it messed me up. so we have 265 in 360 mins that comes out to 1.3 mins per question. i didnt do this math until after the nclex. My kaplan instructor told us "speed kills" i took that to heart. I answered 215 questions in 6 hrs and ran out of time, so the last 60 rule applies to me but i m so not confident its going to work in my favor so sad. I was doing great with kaplans timing but my anxiety took the best of me. I tested on July 18th and still dont have my results, i m so scared i failed.
  12. 0
    Quote from nursechand
    I am bummed, i ran out of time. I thought like you to take as much time per question and it messed me up. so we have 265 in 360 mins that comes out to 1.3 mins per question. i didnt do this math until after the nclex. My kaplan instructor told us "speed kills" i took that to heart. I answered 215 questions in 6 hrs and ran out of time, so the last 60 rule applies to me but i m so not confident its going to work in my favor so sad. I was doing great with kaplans timing but my anxiety took the best of me. I tested on July 18th and still dont have my results, i m so scared i failed.
    Did you try the pearsonvue pop up trick? Google it.


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