Tips for managing your NCLEX® study time

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    We often take for granted how challenging it can be to study for a standardized exam like the NCLEX® study time. It can be difficult to create a study plan that both fits within your busy schedule and satisfies your remediation needs.

    Tips for managing your NCLEX® study time

    We often take for granted how challenging it can be to study for a standardized exam like the NCLEX®. It can be difficult to create a study plan that both fits into your busy schedule and satisfies your remediation needs. Your study schedule might include in-person or online classes, practice questions, practice exams, and time to review topics from nursing school, not to mention the other responsibilities you might have. Sometimes, there are other barriers in your way to creating an effective study schedule. Nevertheless, the NCLEX is an exam that demands some serious study time. Whether you have a job start date coming up, a planned vacation or something else important in your life, studying for the NCLEX needs to become your top priority if you are hoping to pass the exam and begin your career as a licensed nurse.

    In fact, when I was studying to take the NCLEX, I encountered a situation that made it difficult for me to focus on the boards. After my college graduation, I began the arduous task of studying and preparing for my NCLEX exam. I attended an in-person three-day course and made a plan for studying based on a six-week timeframe. Then, without warning, my study plan suddenly came to a screeching halt. A friend of mine unexpectedly passed away, and the grief was so overwhelming that I found it very difficult to focus. Studying seems insignificant in comparison to supporting and spending time with family and friends. When I was able to get back on a routine study schedule, I realized that I now only had a short time left to finish studying. My time available had shrunk significantly. As a result, I had to change my study plan to fit the few days I had left before test day and focus on the content that I knew were my weakest areas. Thankfully, I successfully passed my NCLEX, but the experience taught me a few lessons about how to successfully plan my study time.

    Balance your strengths and weaknesses while studying:

    Focus on the content areas identified as your weaknesses but sprinkle in some time with your strengths to refresh previous knowledge and build confidence. This will allow you to focus on the areas that need the most help while activating previous knowledge.

    Treat yourself with small rewards:

    Plan breaks every other hour and treat yourself to small rewards. For example, you might take a short walk outside or indulge in a favorite drink. Giving yourself a new point of view can not only be revitalizing but it also can be the encouragement that you need to stay focused on the task at hand.

    Sleep well and eat nutritious foods:

    It goes without saying that sleep and nutrition play a vital role in your health and your performance on exams. During your studies, I recommend sleeping at least eight hours each night. I also suggest eating a healthy snack once every four hours. These actions will ensure that your brain can rest, recover and get the nutrients it needs in order to retain information and process complex ideas.

    Surround yourself with positive people:

    Positivity and confidence can make all the difference as you get ready for test day. Especially in your final few weeks of studying, spend your free time with positive people who support your NCLEX goal. Spending time with people who are encouraging and who understand your goals will inspire you to keep going and reinforce the importance of the NCLEX.

    No matter where you are in your NCLEX journey, remember that an effective study schedule and time management can make it much easier to pass the exam. These tips should help to pave the way to stronger NCLEX results. Good luck!
    Last edit by Joe V on Apr 5

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