Taking my exam in 4 days! Last minute advice please!!

  1. 2
    Hello! First, I'd like to present with some background information: The first time I took my exam in December 2010, I forgot that I signed up for it so I really only studied for a few days. Of course, failed after answering all 265 questions. (But that's pretty good considering I had been out of school for 4 months and hadn't studied much at all) With the initial depression and discouragement after that, I didn't take my exam again until September 2011 and failed at 88 questions =/ This was surprising that I did worse since I actually went through some content videos on Kaplan and did questions from the test bank (but didn't do the question trainers).

    Present day: I have about 4 days (less than 3 FULL days to actually study because I have 1 day of work between now and then AND it's already half way through today) until my NCLEX-RN exam. I've been studying off and on for the past couple of months... I've done some (not all) of the Kaplan q-trainers:

    Diagnostic Test: 180q 63%
    Test 1 75q: 68%
    Test 2 75q: 76%
    Test 3 100q: 63%
    Test 4 150q: 61.3%
    Readiness Test: 57.78%


    After I lost access to Kaplan, I began doing questions from the Saunders book (4th Edition) as well as Prioritization, Delegation, and Assignment (LaCharity, 2nd Ed.) My average Q-bank scores were in the 60's, but sometimes hitting the 40's, depending on how my day was (I currently work, but have cut down to 2 days per week so I can study). I also do practice questions on my iPhone from the Kaplan app, averaging at about 60-70%. I'm also answering questions from Kaplan-RN strategies, practice, and review (2011-2012). And I have flashcards for electrolytes and labs that I go over whenever I can and I have yet to go over the All Nurses cram sheet .pdf that's been going around.

    I definitely feel MORE prepared than the last 2 exams, but I'm SO NERVOUS! I realize that most people who take this exam "never feel completely ready for it"... and I KNOW I don't feel super comfortable with ALL the content (which I'm not gonna bother going over this close to the exam) so I just want to know what I should do to prepare these next few days? Should I focus more on the Kaplan book questions? Saunders CD questions? LaCharity book questions?

    Of course, I also have a relaxing day planned before my exam. I'm going to get a massage in the morning, then have lunch and go to a movie with my best friend. After that, I plan on getting into some music (I play a couple of instruments), then ending the night with a quiet dinner with my parents, taking a hot shower, and going to bed early. The morning OF the exam, I will be getting a light workout in (to get some oxygen flowing), and having a comfortably filling protein breakfast with Green Tea (enough to wake me up, but not make me anxious before the exam).

    Any advice will help! THANK YOU SO MUCH! Hoping to hear all your suggestions!
    diana2520 and nurse671 like this.

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  2. 11 Comments...

  3. 0
    Good luck to you!! I am taking my n 5 days for the first time so I really can't advise. Practice question won't hurt though.:spin:
  4. 0
    Good luck to you too! =)
  5. 0
    good luck- on your exam DAY, eat a good breakfast, and my advice to you would be to not overthink questions..go with your FIRST instinct please!
  6. 0
    Just walk away from studying now. You either know it or you dont at this point. Take the time to relax as best you can.
  7. 0
    All the best. May God Bless you
  8. 0
    GOOD luck to you. my advice to you is do TEST 7 of kaplan. and PRAY!
    God Bless
  9. 1
    Hey ALL!! Just an update!: I took the exam earlier this morning... it was sooo stressful, but I remained composed and took lots of deep breaths. I tried the PVT trick about an hour after my exam had ended and it said that my results were on hold... I tried again after my nap and OMG!!!! I GOT THE GOOD POP-UP!!!

    Passing the exam this time was ESPECIALLY awesome because it's my 25th birthday on Tuesday!! BEST BIRTHDAY PRESENT EVER!!! A part of me is STILL a bit skeptical about the PVT trick. But I'm going to put my faith in all the posts that I've read that have proven it to be accurate. YAY!!! Can't wait to find out OFFICIALLY!
    diana2520 likes this.
  10. 1
    good job and congratulations!!
    its finally over!!!
    jamestheclaw likes this.
  11. 1
    i don't think i'm able to reply to your private messages, so here's more info:

    i got all 265 questions... it really was a blur... but i remember getting quite a lot of sata and priority, delegation and assessment questions... only about 3 "put in correct order" questions... about 3-5 ecg strips... but every exam is going to be different... so this really won't help you much. i know some people who've gotten lots of maternity/ped's but i barely had any... definitely know your lab values and electrolytes (na, k, ca, etc.) know respiratory and cardiac... especially abg's, signs and symptoms, hypo-/hyper- everything (lol) got some psych, but it was focused more on therapeutic interventions. also, i got a lot of dm questions.

    to study, i used kaplan (i highly recommend taking the live online or live class)... you don't really need to review all content if you're pressed for time, just focus on questions and read rationales. understand why you got the questions wrong: do you not know the content? did you read too fast? etc. also kaplan has really good strategies that help pick out the most correct answer for priority. "priority, delegation, and assessment" by lacharity also helped me a lot... i noticed i got a lot better on "who do i see first", priority and delegation-type questions. if you can't afford kaplan, the kaplan text book (nclex-rn: strategies, practice, and review) has really good questions. also, the saunder's book and cd were helpful. do not do more than 150-200 questions per day (unless you are doing the kaplan question trainers)... you will burn yourself out. instead, focus on your answers and rationales and reviewing the content that you need refreshing on... make sure you understand! at the same time, practice every day. even if you work and/or have kids and can only manage 10-25 questions during your lunch break... before/after work. keep your mind thinking like a nurse! don't bother doing questions, though, if you've got the kids running around and bugging you. you really need focused, quiet, time. the real exam won't have kids running around, so you have to get used to simulating test conditions. i changed my password to facebook and have not logged in since i started seriously studying. no cell phone or social networking!! i know it's hard... but you must not be distracted! i didn't see me girlfriend as much either... and my friends probably don't even know if i'm alive! (morbid joke, i know...) you need a strong support system though. so if your friends aren't understanding, screw them cuz this is your life! if they're not supportive of such a huge part of your life, you're really better off without them. trust me! think about how much you want this! and how you want to pass!

    also, if you have an ios (apple ipod touch, iphone, ipad) device, i recommend kaplan nclex-rn qbank. it's free!! and although it only has a bout 150ish questions, the questions are really good and it's useful to have this when you don't have your books with you and you find yourself waiting around for an appointment, a bus, eating breakfast, etc. i work, so i found myself doing on average about 15-25 questions during my lunch break the last 2 weeks before my exam. i also did about 10 every night before bed.

    and if you are religious at all, it really helps to center yourself before the exam and pray... i'm not very religious but i do believe in my god, so i tried it this time around. otherwise, try meditation or relaxation methods. the worst thing is getting questions wrong because you are so anxious. take your time... breathe... and believe you can do it! do something fun and relaxing the day before (i went to a spa and got a massage!), watch a movie, do not go out drinking!, instead, hydrate yourself... i drank a tall carton of coconut water... go to bed early, and have a good nutritious breakfast... hope this helps! =) good luck!
    nurse671 likes this.


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