Failed first CPNRE attempt, PASSED second.

World Canada CRNE


How I passed my CPNRE on my 2nd attempt:

Hey guys! I'm making this post to give support to my fellow nursing students who failed there exam on there first or 2nd attempt. First thing... IT WILL BE OKAY! YOU ARE NOT ALONE AND YOU WILL PASS EVENTUALLY. I found after I failed there was no resources on what to do especially anything up to date.

I find reasons why students don't pass there first time is reading too much into the question, guessing answers or changing your original correct answer.

Heres a list of tips on how to finally pass your CPNRE:

1.) Find what works for you and study wise.

Personally, I had so much advice on using all types of resources - Uworld, PN mastery, mosbys, Saunders, prep courses, tutors. There is a lot of sources out there to help you succeed but what kind of learner are you? And what are your areas of WEAKNESS?

What worked best for me was "Saunders NCLEX-PN review textbook" (Yes guys you will need to do some serious readings if you want to pass, but as you read you will find a lot of valuable information). This textbook has all the information you need.

The great thing about Saunders is that it comes with a online learning program inside the book. You can login with the access code and use the program right away. I strongly recommend using this program along with reading the textbook.

2.) Limit your resources. I used my NCLEX saunders book and the program that comes with the textbook. If you have 4 study aids you cause yourself more confusion and anxiety. You only need two study aids. Prep courses? In my opinion, not worth it. UNLESS English is your second language and/or you've been out of school for a while. Even then, they are money grabs. I spent $1000 on a prep course in Toronto offered through and it didnt teach me to my learning needs. It was a classroom (also what I didnt like, I'd prefer a one on one tutor) so there wasn't much interaction between the teacher and student. You can teach yourself, you can study and pass on your own.

3.) Use the PREDICTOR TEST. I wouldn't recommend purchasing the prep guide, but purchase the predictor test. Its $40, 85 questions and that will show your readiness for the CPNRE. I'd suggest purchase the predictor test before you start studying to see your areas for improvement. They offer only one predictor test with a set of questions. You will only need to purchase it once.

4.) Study groups? They have there advantages and disadvantages. Share your study habits, ideas, help one an another. But spend quality time studying alone. Brainstorm ideas with peers and practice questions together. Your area of weakness may be there area of strength or vice versa. Ensure you study your own areas of weaknesses.

5.) Dedicate 1-2hours of quality study time a day. Use this time to read over the chapters in your Saunders book, highlight, take notes and do the review questions at the end of the chapters. Spend time reviewing question in the using the program that comes with the book.

6.) RELAX. THINK POSITIVE. YOU ARE WORTHY and you passed nursing school. You can and will pass your CPNRE. and once you get how to approach the question, you get it and it will be a breeze.

As nurses we are here to help eachother, feel free to post and add comments on how you succeeded in passing. Thanks guys!

Editorial Team / Admin

dianah, ASN

8 Articles; 4,145 Posts

Specializes in RETIRED Cath Lab/Cardiology/Radiology.

Congratulations on passing!

And thank you for sharing your tips and thoughts on taking the exam!

We wish you success in this next phase of your nursing journey!


8 Posts

Congratulations on passing. I found the prep guide really helpful especially 3-5. As well as the predictor test. I found the prep guide to be very similar to the actual test. I also used the Saunders for content and the online questions that comes with the book. I feel the Saunders is enough but I also used the NCLEX mastery app. Did every question over and over but of course you have to read the rationale rather than the answer. Passed first time. I wish you all the best.


43 Posts

I'm glad you brought up minimizing study resources I feel this is the best way to keep your studying focused and reduce overloading yourself with information. I was given the same advice by people who took the exam before me and though I was worried at times that I wasn't' studying enough it truly was effective for me. I mainly wanted to focus on understanding the format of the exam questions and I had to give myself a better understanding of the rationales for right AND wrong answers.

Study Materials:

  • CPNRE prep guides 3-5 & predictor test
  • Saunder's Nclex-pn book
  • Theory lecture notes

Primarily, I studied the questions and rationales in the prep guides for about 2 hours a night for 3 weeks and used my Saunder's book and theory notes occasionally for clarity on certain areas. I did the predictor test a few days before my exam and that gave me a breakdown of areas to focus my studying on.

During the exam though I told myself I wouldn't I went back over my answers and actually caught a few details in some questions that I missed prior so it's important to stay focused while reading questions and take your time but also keep in mind if you spend to much time on a question you will start second guessing ALL your answers and that may be your downfall.

After the test my emotions were all over the place somedays I felt I passed others I was sure I failed. Honestly the wait is the worst part but luckily I passed on my first attempt :)

Best of luck to future test takers!

I also failed my 1st attempt last yr but the reason behind is because I never studied. I'm an international nurse who graduated 8yrs ago and I'm just so damn and lazy reading coz of my everyday 12hrs work, I only got every other weekend off and I told myself I will challenge myself on not reading anything and honestly yes I didn't read or took any review materials. I went to the testing center empty you can say.. I was like going to the battle without any weapon with me. I received my result few weeks after and found myself devastated. It was my 1st time to fail and exam and I learned my lesson pretty well coz it struck so bad I decided to go back to school for my RPN refresher course.. So yea! I too made it to the 2nd time thank goodness!! So my advise is, don't underestimate the exam and make sure to take enough time to read and understand the rationale of each questions you take on the given sample cpnre questions. It would help a lot. And eat before you go take the exam because you might end up being hypogly and you won't be able to focus anymore. Good luck guys!!! You can rock this :)


22 Posts

Thanks for the information, I just recieved my result and I did not make it.please can I know the latest Saunders edition ?


43 Posts

Thanks for the information, I just recieved my result and I did not make it.please can I know the latest Saunders edition ?

The lastest edition is the 7th it's a green book you can purchase it here

Saunders Comprehensive Review for the NCLEX-PN Examination: Linda Anne Silvestri PhD RN, Angela Silvestri MSN RN: 978


22 Posts

Thanks I just purchased it


21 Posts

Yep thats the one I used. It comes with a program at the front of the book, scratch off the access code and login with the details. The program is excellent for practicing questions, you can even choose the content you'd like to study; application questions, priority, ABC's etc. It can help you really focus on those weak areas. Make sure to read the rationales and study the chapters you may be weak in, take notes, highlight, really understand what your reading. It may look like a lot, but once you break it down by chapter and section its actually an easy read. A lot of valuable information. I studied the maternity section thoroughly. There is a chapter in the beginning for test taking strategies also a good read!


22 Posts

Thanks so much for your help


22 Posts

Is there any examination window this year?


21 Posts

They shouldve provided you with the information of the next examination window

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