I took the NCLEX on March 4th and got the good pop-up. Today I paid for quick results and found out that I passed. I also got the NCSBN Candidate Report in the mail stating that I successfully passed. Right now, I'm just waiting for my license #. (It was my first time taking the NCLEX).
I am sharing how I prepared for the NCLEX. I read several similar posts before I tested which is what inspired me to write this one. But, please note that not everyone's exam is the same. What might work for one person, won't for another.
1. You should know your content very well. You can learn as many strategies and practice as many questions as you like... but if you don't know your content (& what the question is asking), you're not as likely to get it right. I spent over a month just studying Saunders for content. I would recommend that you take the practice test that are after each chapter BEFORE reading the chapter and seeing your score without reading the rationales. After you read the chapter and go through the questions again, you will know why you got it wrong. And hopefully this will reinforce the concepts in your head.
2. While reading the chapters from Saunders, highlight the important points. And then about 1-2 weeks before the exam, review what you have highlighted.
3. I also recommend taking a pretest before you begin studying so that you know what your strengths and weaknesses are. Definitely focus more on your weaknesses while studying. For me it was Peds.
4. When you're good on content, you will do better on the questions. I recommend NCSBN and PDA by LaCharity for practice questions. The wording was most similar to the NCLEX. They will also be very helpful with priority and SATA questions which I got a lot of.
5. Kaplan does have some good strategies. I checked out their NCLEX-RN strategies book from a local library and went through the questions (about 600). It also comes with a CD. I checked this out from the library as there was no way I was going to pay $500 for their course.
6. I did go through all the Saunders questions as stated above, but I personally felt that they were easier compared to the other resources that I used.
For those who are curious, I answered <3000 questions for practice. I scored the highest on Saunders, about 70% on Kaplan, 65% on PDA, & 60% on NCSBN.
Don't get questions wrong by misreading or reading them too quickly. Make sure you know what the question is asking. Also NCLEX tests us on textbook nursing not on your real life experiences. Take your time when answering the questions. Don't rush!
Oh, and remember - about 85% of people who take the NCLEX pass their 1st time. So you're more likely to pass if you prepare well!