Did the Kaplan strategies/decision tree help in answering questions on the NCLEX RN?

Students NCLEX


I am really trusting in kaplan.. and hoping it works the magic for me this time...when you were stuck on a nclex question, did you find urself going back to the kaplan strategies or the decision tree in order to answer the question?..did it help>/.. ? Im really hoping i can use the strategies on the nclex, especially if im stuck on a question.... im getting anxious :confused:


79 Posts

Specializes in ED Nursing, Critical Care Nursing.


I just took the NCLEX on July 31 at 2:00 p.m. I haven't received the unofficial results yet, so I don't know for sure whether I passed or failed. I'm responding b/c I did the fully online version of the Kaplan course as part of my preparation for the nclex. In my opinion, the Kaplan strategies were helpful on the exam (especially the ones that deal with prioritization and assessment vs. implementation). Having said that, I don't think the decision tree really helped that much, and the reason is that the questions on the nclex exam really didn't seem to lend themselves to using that decision tree. I found that, after doing all the qbank and question trainers, and going thru all the guided questions that I could 1. look at the stem and the answers and determine what the question was asking (i.e. the central issue or topic of the question), 2. Look carefully at each choice for patterns, 3. make eliminations based on any pattern that I saw (like, for example, Maslow or the assessment vs implementation strategy), and then make a better guess based on the answers that I could not eliminate. In many of the cases, the strategy that I had to use was what kaplan calls the "what will the outcome be" strategy...wherein you must think about the choices and what the outcome would be if you carried it out. I guess what I'm trying to say is that I didn't consciously use the decison tree, but it may be that I had done sooooo many practice questions and all the guided review questions, that I was using the decision tree without really realizing that I was doing it. Bottom line, I do think Kaplan helped though you have to realize that the nclex is an animal unlike any other and several of the questions just won't "fit" any of the Kaplan strategies, and you will simply have to determine the topic, consider the choices and begin eliminating the ones that you know to be wrong...kaplan drilled that over and over and over and it seemed to help. Again, I haven't gotten the results yet, so I could be in for some bad news. It shut of at 75 questions, so I really have no idea how I did. The wait is killing me. Hope that answered your question, and good luck when you take your nclex exam.

I did kaplan and passed on my first attempt. Did it help? I think it did, it made me look at some of the questions differently. But others i have talked to that passed, they figured it didnt help that much Depends on the style of questions you get, if you can use the assessment/implement strategy, ABC, MASlow! Their strategy is very basic, I think what was most effective was their Question bank! I did 100% of their questions, plus a pile from Saunders 4th edition

Thank you so much for the jlr820 and flames9 , your replies have made me more confident that i too can pass this test! So the qbank is what most ppl are saying is the best, what helped in the qbank? because its not that the questions on the qbank are the same from the nclex.. so when ppl say the qbank helped them, what do they mean by that? ....do they mean that it trained them on the strategies or to "determine the outcome" strategy as jlr820 has mentioned..and the qbank is helping me to think like a nusre.. i just cant wait and get this exam over with and become a nurse :)


79 Posts

Specializes in ED Nursing, Critical Care Nursing.

Hello again,

I think that most people find the Qbank to be helpful for two reasons...first, it gives you the opportunity to practice NCLEX style questions every day (which is one of the things that you must do to be successful...its kind of like any other skill in that you only get better at that skill by practicing it). Next, Kaplan stresses that the passing level of difficulty on the NCLEX are at the application/analysis level (meaning that if a person can consistently answer questions that are at that level of difficulty, they will pass NCLEX). Well, ALL 1100 Qbank questions are application/analysis. Thus, Qbank gives you the chance to practice with questions that are difficult, and I found that to be helpful, but you must review ALL of the rationales for each Qbank question (whether you got it correct or incorrect, go through and study the rationale and try to understand WHY it was correct or incorrect as well as what sort of strategy is used to arrive at a decision). Kaplan does a good job of including the type of strategy that you might use when it discusses rationales. One other thing I will say is to do all of the Question Trainers (all 7 of them). The first couple are 75 questions, and are at the recognition/recall level of difficulty, and as you progress through to number 7 the questions start becoming harder and they add more and more of them until by the 6th and 7th QT you are answering 200 and 256 questions at the application/analysis level. Basically, this is an endurance trainer so that you will be ready to "run the entire marathon" if, by chance, you have to answer 256 questions. With the QT's, the same thing applies about studying rationales...whether right or wrong, study each of them. By the time you answer 1100 or so Qbank questions, and then around 1000 question trainers the kaplan strategies will almost be second nature to you...you will find yourself automatically locating the question topic, systematically evaluating and eliminating answers, and making the best choice possible based on the strategies that kaplan has given to you. The key is to try to apply the strategy process to each question that you answer. Then, for any incorrect answers, you should go and review the relevant content either in the video lectures and/or the course book.

So, that is why I think Qbank is so valuable...those are tough questions. There was a saying when I was in the army, and it was "train like you fight." I think that kaplan does that to prepare you for the nclex.


201 Posts

Specializes in NICU, Nursery.

Yes. But I think before going into kaplan, try practicing other q and a's as well to enhance your nursing knowledge like saunders, lippincott, etc.. and try to answer as many practice questions as you can. You need to improve your test taking strategies to increase your chances of passing the test. And of course pray, pray and pray a lot. You may have studied, but in the end, we are all at His mercy. Good luck! :)

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