Taking NCLEX-RN for the 3rd time!!! Need encouragement and advice!

  1. Hi All. I just graduated in May 2009 and I have taken the NCLEX-RN twice already because our school was allowed to take the exam prior to graduation. We used ATI as our study tool and I did really good with that. When I sat for the test in March I got very nervous and it was a lot different than I expected. I thought it was harder than ATI. I ended up failing after 188 questions. Then I decided to take the exam again in May, one week before graduation. I didn't really study too much and I felt calm and relaxed during the exam. I had 78 questions and once the test was over I felt great and "knew" I passed for sure. Unfortunately that wasn't the case. Once again my heart was crushed when I read "fail" on the quick results page.

    Now, I am applying and interviewing for jobs and I have set a date to take this PASSABLE test!! I will be taking NCLEX-RN for the third time on July 8. I have been studying my butt off, using ATI and some Saunders and Kaplan books. I do about 50 questions a day, reading the rationales. I also am focusing on my weak areas according to my previous results. My worry is that I must of really stunk it up the second time with 78 questions and how can I pass when I had that low of a score!?!? Does anyone have any other study tips and suggestions or words of encouragement. That would be great!!! Thanks again and good luck to all who are taking the exam soon!!
  2. 9 Comments

  3. by   TakeTwoAspirin
    My only suggestion would be that 50 questions a day seems low. Before I took my exam I was doing 200 to 300 questions a day. About 150 Kaplan questions, and the rest from Saunders. I also read the entire Kaplan review book at about 1/2 chapter a day during this period. Intense I know, but worth it if you pass. This schedule was for the two weeks leading up to exam date, and I did nothing the day/evening before the exam except try to relax. Good luck with whatever schedule you decide on.
  4. by   caliotter3
    I think you need to amp up the number of questions you do each day and it might be a good idea to set aside your job hunting until you have passed the NCLEX.
  5. by   nmaracle3834
    I think you really need to focus on areas that you're not confident in and bump up your daily questions. It took me 5x to pass the dumb thing. Good luck
  6. by   2bNurse4life4ever
    Quote from nmaracle3834
    I think you really need to focus on areas that you're not confident in and bump up your daily questions. It took me 5x to pass the dumb thing. Good luck
    im going to take my exam the second time, what was ur trick on passing the exam the fifth time ? how did u do it this last time? and if u dont mind, can u tell me how many questions u got when u passed and when u failed the last time? i just foun dout i failed with 76 questions!! i feel so dumb!
  7. by   Silverdragon102
    Take a short break before you start to study again. Set to study as if you haven't sat the test before, set a plan that works for you and read the rationales, make sure you understand what is being asked
  8. by   nmaracle3834
    I graduated in 1997 and failed the test 3x after graduation. Did refreshers, every book I could get a hold of and nothing. Back then I failed with 75 questions twice and 265 once. I gave up, took a step back and walked away. Used my medical assisting degree working at a doctors office. Come to find out, they were weeding out MA's and wanting only nurses. I had 12 months to do what I needed to do. I put in all my paperwork last fall, got my ATT in November and checked Pearson Vue for available dates. Chose Feb 10th. Got a hold of books, study guides anything and everything I could get a hold of went on February 10th, walked out sobbing uncontrollably. My mom went for moral support, but she tried to cheer me up. Two days later, found out I failed for the 4th time. Talked with the dr that I worked for and she said not to worry, just to keep trying. She wasn't going to let them replace me so long as I showed that I was actively working on getting my license. Did not tell the office manager that I failed, didn't need any reminders or pressure. She did ask and I told her I would do it in June because I was looking at some courses. I signed up for the Kaplan review in May. Before the class started, I pulled out my old nursing books, started taking notes on my weekest subjects (and most boring to me) which was endocrinology, psych, and even one that I didn't use much maternity/peds which I was not recently exposed to. Went to all the classes faithfully, took notes and asked questions. I talked to the teacher there and I said I think I have test anxiety and I always pick the wrong answer. She said if you don't know content, you are in the wrong class. Realized towards the end that it wasn't the content, it was how I was reading and answering the questions. She made it make sense. I took what i learned, went back to my notes, books and made a study binder of all the stuff I needed to brush up on and even stuff that I remembered from the test that I wasn't familiar with like traction, all the values for ABG's, etc. Set up my appt for June 10th. Studied daily and refreshed my notes. Each time I got a different book and it had something different on Addisons that wasn't in my other books, I added it to my notes. So all my notes weren't from one book. Studied to the very minute I got out of my car and walked in those doors. Then I realized I made my appt for the 10th. 10 didn't seem lucky last time. Went in Sat down, first thing I did is used my dry erase board and wrote down every little tidbit I thought I needed like the ABG values, 1000mcg=1mg values stuff that I would probably freak out about and totally leave my brain. Did my test, had question 75 with the dumbest medication question, I could not figure out if I sat there all 6 hours. I just said ok, typed in a number, hit next and expected it to shut off, it didn't. Then I panicked that it's giving me a chance to redeem myself. I raised my hand and asked to go to the bathroom. Went out, walked the hallway, took some deep breaths, drank some water and calmed myself down. Went back in and acted if #76 was question #1...totally disregard the others and acted like I was just starting the test over. Shut off at 83 on a question that I was 150% sure on. Walked out of there confident like never before. Drove all the way home and then doubted myself. Two days later, my name, number and expiration date was on the bon. I have weird study habits, I am very OCD and organized. Sometimes that helps, but it hurts also. I wasn't happy about spending 500 on Kaplan, but I think it made a difference. I don't know if it's for everybody, it depends on what you're looking for. They teach test taking techniques, not content.
  9. by   Nurse4life09
    Hi There,
    First off. Breathe. Relax. Take a day off. Get a massage. Try not to get too stressed about the exam because it doesn't help you retain the information. And dont think that if you failed the exam you are a bad nurse. NO correlation! Its basically about how well you take tests. And who is??

    I passed after the 3rd try...and it took me a year. July, January, June. I waited several months while working as a nursing assistant on the floor that I was hired as an RN. The first two times I got 255 and 75 questions, the third (and passing!) I got ~188. I took 3 review course (Kaplan, and 2 others that I don't remember the names of). I also bought some review tapes from Drexel University....you can listen to the information while on the bus to work or while working out. It really helped me retain all that information.

    The Saunders book REALLY helped me, both review information and then all of those questions!! I decided I would study one section each day, or week as the case may be. I also didnt study more than about 3-4 hours a day, especially if I was working that day. You have to push yourself hard, it will pay off in the end (job and nice paycheck) Good luck! Its tough but well worth the effort!
  10. by   Desconocido
    Once on number 60, pause and take a deep breath. Do your best in the succeeding numbers.
  11. by   Desconocido
    Prayers will help a lot