Best NCLEX study book?


I have done 2 hurst reviews, the blue saunders, the green saunders(for the most part), Mosby delegation and assignment, Hesi study guide

I failed the NCLEX this week with 265 questions

what book did you use and what book have you found to be most similar to the NCLEX?

please only reply if you have taken the NCLEX!

I dont think that any of the books i used were close

thanks guys i really really want to pass i need help

Editorial Team / Admin

Silverdragon102, BSN

1 Article; 39,477 Posts

Specializes in Medical and general practice now LTC. Has 35 years experience.

I think it depends. I took the exam three times with Saunders and NCSBN online as the ones I liked and found before I sat it the third time but no book is really going to be anything like the exam due to the format. Suzanne's program using the latest Saunders has excellant results and is free, maybe something to consider

Good luck

racing-mom4, BSN, RN

2 Articles; 1,446 Posts

Specializes in ICU/ER.

I am so sorry you did not pass. It sounds like you worked really hard and I am sure your extremely frustrated. Knowing that you took all 265 it makes me think you were right there, right on the edge.

Here is what I did to prepare for boards, I have no idea if it will work for you, but here goes:

Week 1. I did all of the ATI (my school bought us the subscription) content test to see where I was at. Some body systems like renal I scored well on 80% range- where as others such as muscoskelatal I did poorly on 65%. So once I had all my systems done, I started my studying with where I scored the lowest. I did the Saunders muscoskelatal 100 question test then I targeted my Davis (my personal favorite) disk towards the muscoskelatal questions. I then re took the ATI to see if my score improved. It did, so I moved on to my next lowest score. etc etc etc. I did this for one week.

Week 2. I did hundreds if not a thousand random questions. I would set my Davis disk up for 20 at a time so I could instantly see my score, I was shooting for 80% or better. I then read all 4 of the rationals for every single question.----FYI in the mix of week one and two I also met with a friend 4x and we did the entire prioritization and review book( you mentioned you had this book---I liked it) Those two weeks I did nothing but Nclex, when I was at the kids dentist, I had my Nclex note cards out. When I was driving into the city, I had my kids read me my Nclex note cards. I breathed, ate and slept Nclex.

Week 3 I again did my ATI content test to make sure I had retained what I had learned. The ATI content test do not give you the right or wrong answer they just grade you, so it is not like you can memorize the answer's and cheat yourself. Again I wrote down all my scores and then targeted Saunders/Davis and Mosbys for those areas. I had a drug book, Springhouse that had a disk in the back with Nclex questions, to shake things up I would do 20 out of there, they were very hard and honestly I dont know if I learned anything, but I did it anyways. I also did the Kaplan book. Just the book, not the disk.

That was it, I test the following Weds. I stopped studying on Saturday, had a relaxing Sunday and cleaned the house Monday and Tuesday and rented movies and took the kids and dog on walks. I just vegged.

But I knew I was prepared so I truely was not stressed out. In my humble opinion I think the anxiety of Nclex is worse than the actual test. I did a lot of positive self talk over the course of those 3 weeks, I would visualize my screen turning blue at 75. I would visualize a black horizontal line and a red upward sloping line to me that symbolized me getting harder and harder questions.

During the actual exam when I got a question I thought was tough I told myself I was doing good that I was in the higher level of questions. At question 65 I took a deep breath and looked up and said "Ok lord-10 more" at question 75 when I knew the answer I about jumped out of my chair, and said thank you god, I got this. Then when the screen turned blue I knew I had passed.

My heart truly aches for those that dont pass this test, only because in my mind you know it. You made it through nursing school and that alone is something to be very proud of, you passed your final exams, you did your clinicals. You know it. People just get so stressed out over this one test. Rightly so, it is your final nursing test the one that allows you to practice as an RN. Alot is riding on this test and the anxiety gets the best of you. That is why I probably went over board with doing questions, I just wanted to know that I did everything I possibly could do to prepare, I did not want to drive up to Pearson vue thinking "gee I probably should have studied more"

I wish you the best of luck...give your self a pat on the back for giving it your best shot. You now know what to expect and know how random the questions are. You know 1st hand what a true Nclex style of question is. You can do it......Best of luck....


6 Posts

You made my day just so you know. I took my test Monday with my best friend. I got 265, she got 75. She passed, I failed.:( I could not have studied harder, but she was calm and I wasn't and I think that's what screwed me in the end. I just bought saunders 4th edition and I am going to do 150questions/day up until I take my tests again in 43 days. I am going to take your advice and veg beforehand and I am goingto visualize myself passing as u did:) I almost cried when I read your post because it comforted me so much. Thank you SO much! I appreciate you so much right now. I needed your exact words!

Angel love

290 Posts

try kaplan, i think its a very good investment..


38 Posts

i used kaplan rn course book. it contains essential content excluding facts that you don't need.


29 Posts

I would definitely recommend Kaplan. Its the closest to NCLEX style you will get. It's expensive but worth every cent of it. It was the only source I studied from. I tried some Sounders and Mosby's questions but compared to Kaplan they were too easy (not passing level of NCLEX), so I just focused on Kaplan (doing a lot of questions and reviewing rationales). Passed with 75 questions.


1,602 Posts

Specializes in L & D, Med-Surge, Dialysis.

SAUNDERS, exam cram etc .......... but all depend on what you're comfortable with. Wish you luck!

Specializes in Rehab, Geriatrics.

I used the Saunders 5th edition. I would tell you this, Saunders is awesome. I did not have money for the expensive review and all my books cost me close to $150 and they were new books too! I took 8 weeks to study for the boards. I read each chapter from Saunders based on the personalized study calendar from my initial assessment. After I study each chapter, I make sure I made notes of the pyramid points and then I review the chapter practice questions. For the next 2 1/2 weeks, I practiced questions with exam cram, Linda LaCharity PDA and NCLEX 4000.

What matters most is understanding the concept, learning strategies and believing in yourself. I know people who use them expensive review and still failed twice.

Good Luck!


38,333 Posts

Hope the OP has passed by now.

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