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As Promised - HOW I STUDIED FOR NCLEX (Thorough Review)

NCLEX   (4,825 Views | 10 Replies)

1,676 Profile Views; 17 Posts

Hello Everyone ,

I apologize for my lateness in posting this. My time was preoccupied with familial issues and other stressors. However, I know that my study tools may be beneficial to someone out there. So , here it goes. On to the good stuff that you all really care about :)

I graduated college May 4. After graduation, the Monday of graduation weekend, my classmates and I did a Kaplan review for about 5 days, which was paid in full by our school. The money was most likely taken out of our tuition. Anywho, the in class review was ok. The in-class review entailed a "readiness exam" and various sessions where the Kaplan instructor tried to teach us how to answer questions and decipher traps. During the in-class sessions, the Kaplan instructor will try to help change the way you approach and tackle NCLEX questions by helping you utilize their decision tree. I honestly did not use the kaplan decision tree during the NCLEX. However, the Kaplan Review was good in helping me to get rid of distractions .

KAPLAN QBANK- With the Kaplan Review you are given access to 7 Question trainers and a Qbank. I SWEAR BY THE KAPLAN QBANK AND QUESTION TRAINERS, mainly question trainers 6&7. I completed all of the of the question trainers , read the rationales for EACH QUESTION, and i completed 100% of the QBANK. My scores were as followed :

Readiness Exam 49.4% (Offered at the beginning of the class)

QT 1 - 53.3%

QT 2- 57.3%

QT 3- 53.0%

QT 4- 51.3%

QT 5- 52%

QT 6- 64.5%

QT 7- 55.8%

QT 7-(Retake)- 85.9% (Two Days before my exam).

QBank Average - 54%

QBank Sample Tests :

RN Sample Test 3, Priorities - 70%

RN Sample Test 4, Alternative Format- 36% (Don't judge me lol)

Kaplan was VERY beneficial . I had two SATA that were almost, if not, verbatim like two Kaplan questions that I had in the QBANK. If you dont have time to do all the question trainers , I suggest that you do questions trainers 6 & 7. For, they most resemble NCLEX style questions.

Bola's Content Review - After the kaplan review I did a content review with a woman in Maryland named Bola. I can post her review information if requested. The content review course was $400.00 . However, I paid $350.00 because I went in a group with some of my classmates. This review was very good. Bola reviewed every disease that she felt we needed to know. The review lasted for 10 days. However, in those ten days Bola will cover everything you need to know from OB- Psych (including telemetry etc). In this review I felt as though I learned everything that I should have learned in nursing school.

NCSBN Review - 3 week course- The cost for the 3 week course is $50. At first glance the course can seem to be a bit overwhelming because they provide you with SOOOO MUCH content . However, you also provided with a schedule that you can use as a day to day guide. For those of you who feel as though you may need more time there is a 15 week course. I did go through ALL of the content. Some faster than others. In addition, I did all of the questions included in each lesson and read all of the rationales. There are questions outside of the lessons all the way at the end. If you feel as though you do not have time to go through the content/lessons I suggest you do the questions at the end. This review was helpful and I would recommend it.

There is a false yet VERY popular misconception that the NCSBN review course is written by the same people who create the NCLEX. NCSBN Examinations staff does not participate in the development of the NCSBN Learning Extension NCLEX Courses. I REPEAT the Examinations department staff does not work on or review the NCSBN Learning Extension NCLEX Review Course. that would create a conflict of interest. The review course offered by the Learning Extension is written and produced by Learning Extension staff who have access to public information about the NCLEX.

(Extra Info - 3 week course review - $50, 5 weeks - $70, 8 weeks - $80, 15 weeks-$160)

Prioritization Delegation and Assignment - Linda LaCharity 3rd edition- When the 3 week NCSBN course ended , I did LaCharity's PDA for the last few days before my exam. This book was AMAZING. I HAD A LOT OF prioritization, delegation and assignment questions. This book was extremely helpful. My scores for each chapter are as follows:

Chapter 1 : 66%

Chapter 2: 57%

Chapter 3: 55%

Chapter 4: 70%

Chapter 5: 64%

Chapter 6: 57%

Chapter 7: 66%

Chapter 8: 67%

Chapter 9: 65%

Chapter 10: 67%

Chapter 11: 68%

Chapter 12: 47%

Chapter 13: 64%

Chapter 14: 72%

Chapter 15: 75%

Chapter 16: 62%

Chapter 17: 68%

Chapter 18: 61%

Chapter 19: 63%

Chapter 20: 42%

Chapter 21: 34% (Dont judge me) lol

35 pg Study Guide - Extremely helpful , for my exam, in terms of infection control. The mnemonics were extremely helpful.

Spirituality - I fasted and I prayed for about 10 days before my exam. However, I prayed every single day.

If I had to narrow it down to the most helpful , I would say absolutely do Kaplan , PDA, 35pg studyguide and Bola. Everyone has their own way of studying and everyone uses different things .

If you had to do one and could only do one, I say hands down, DO KAPLAN. Kaplan's interface matches the same interface/layout of the NCLEX.

A lot of people like to say , I tried this or that and it didn't work. At the end of the day, nothing really works. It is up to YOU to put in the effort. It is up to YOU to put in the work. It is up to YOU to do endless questions and read each rationale. If you are doing questions and not reading the rationale, you might as well not do any questions. You learn a lot of content just from reading rationales. It is up to YOU to take your studying seriously. I had to deactivate all my social networks until my exam was over. You cannot party every weekend, go out on outings every other day, mess around AND expext to pass NCLEX . You sole focus at this point should be studying/prepping for NCLEX. Work now, Play later.

The NCLEX, even after all the reviewing and practice questions that I did was still extremely challenging. I literally felt like the devil had made my exam. I felt like they had given me the wrong exam. I honestly thought that they had given me a Med School exam. I had 95 SATA, 4 ECG, 2 pictures, 2 drag and drop, the rest were priority and delegation and infection control. I had 265 questions. I went in expecting 75, don't do that lol. My exam was so crazy that walking out of there I felt defeated. I cam home and cried because I was sure that I had failed. At that moment, I felt like no review had been helpful. However, my studying proved to not be in vain and the reviews helpful because I passed the first time. A lot of questions on that exam will be very bizarre. Eventually, you will get to a point where you will just have to look at each outcome and see which would bring the least amount of harm to the patient. Take your time, do not rush. I know a question in particular that I missed because I read through, selected the answer and immediately hit submit. However, I knew that I had chosen the wrong answer. Read the question, read the option choices, select your answer and ask yourself why you chose that answer. Read the question again and your answer. Be sure, then submit.

Only YOU know what studying techniques work for you. In nursing school i pulled all-nighters. So, when studying for the NCLEX, I pulled all-dayers and all-nighters. I studied from 8am- 12am each day. That may be extreme to some but it worked for ME. Find what works for you. I know people that only studied for 4hrs each day and they passed. "Experts" say that you should take your NCLEX within 60days of graduation. However, I say, DO NOT take the NCLEX if you feel as though you are not ready. You will never feel 100% ready. However, do not take the NCLEX at an earlier time because you feel pressured by statistics. I took my exam 127 days after graduation and I passed on the first try. If you can take it an earlier time and you feel ready . Great. Take it. Take it while the information is still fresh. I didnt feel as though what I had learned in school was sufficient so I did a content review.

I hope my study tools help as many as they can. I tried to be as thorough as possible. If you guys have any further questions, feel free to ask.

When all is said and done, you got through nursing school. So, you will get through NCLEX. God did not bring you through nursing school to leave you at the NCLEX door. He's got your back. Even if you have failed. You will pass. Don't lose hope. YOU WILL HAVE VICTORY OVER THE NCLEX. God bless :)

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380 Posts; 9,237 Profile Views

BamItsJanJan Congrats on passing!! I failed the board first time using kaplan & PDA.. Now I am using Kaplan which my score improved from 40% to 60%, Kaplan strategy book, Hurst content videos and I will be doing NCBSN too for 3 weeks. Thanks for the tips! so happy for you!

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17 Posts; 1,676 Profile Views

Hmahdoui No prob ! I hope the tips were helpful ! You will pass NCLEX:)

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33 Posts; 1,068 Profile Views

Congrats JanJan! Hope I will pass too the second time around.

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7 Posts; 289 Profile Views

This was very helpful thank you!

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13 Posts; 813 Profile Views

Congrats on your success. May God bless you he is a awesome God.

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17 Posts; 1,676 Profile Views

Thank you so much ! Yes indeed, God is good !

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ArrowRN has 3 years experience as a BSN, RN and specializes in Med Surg, Vascular, E.N.T.

5 Articles; 1,145 Posts; 29,055 Profile Views

Congrats and thanks for the tips

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