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.