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FAILED the NCLEX 3x! HOW to pass?!

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CAgirl23 CAgirl23 (New) New Student

HELP. 😢 I have failed the NCLEX 3x now and it’s DEVASTATING every time I failed. I need insights and positive feedback on those who have failed several times too who can tell me what you guys used to pass.

Couple things about me, I’ve been out of school since 2017! I understand that’s a factor in which may make this test more difficult for me too. I’m also just a C average in school- so def worked my butt super hard to finish nursing school...

How I studied: used UWorld the first time (7mos after graduated) but was going through sister’s lung transplant so didn't put too much time studying. It took a hard hit so I didn’t hit the books again until this year and retook it Feb 2020, using the Kaplan book only- failed again. I honestly didn’t like the book, felt like it didn’t have much info in it. After failing, I immediately re-registered (took it yesterday). This time, I used UWorld again (I actually really like UWorld), LaCharity PDA + Mark Klimeks audios. Listened to MK twice but failed again! Heard great things about Mark but when I tested yesterday, majority of my test was rarely on what he taught! This time, my test consisted of at least 20-25 SATAs and on meds I swear I’ve never heard of before (at least not in school)... felt like I had less prioritization q’s this time VS my 1st and 2nd time. I got a lot more med q’s this time too and also felt like it tested me on meds I’ve never heard of (which is one of my weakest subjects) and content I haven’t seen since since school (nothing Mark taught).

For those who aren’t strong test takers, those who are NOT an A and B student in nursing school, those who been out of school for so long, and those who failed more than TWICE- how did you pass boards and what did you use? What’s also good for content review?

Edited by CAgirl23
Missing info

Hi,

I am sorry that it happened to you. Have you tried nursing.com? They have a NCLEX prep program and 2,4,6 and 8 weeks study schedule. They have a lot of video contents and a lot of NCLEX questions. They also have the SIMCLEX, which is an adaptive test just like NCLEX. I used nursing.com during school and preparation for NCLEX. I also used UWorld. Are you having trouble with the contents or just test anxiety?

I believe it’s more content material I need to focus more on. I was thinking of using NCSBN as I heard they wrote the NCLEX. Is that the same thing?

10 hours ago, CAgirl23 said:

I believe it’s more content material I need to focus more on. I was thinking of using NCSBN as I heard they wrote the NCLEX. Is that the same thing?

If you are having trouble with the contents, then I strongly suggest trying www.nursing.com. I used it throughout nursing school and it helped me a lot. Sign up for the 3 day free trial to see if you like it. It has a lot of contents in video format for you to review and drill down the concepts.

Tito, ADN, RN

Has 2 years experience.

On 6/27/2020 at 5:36 PM, CAgirl23 said:

HELP. 😢 I have failed the NCLEX 3x now and it’s DEVASTATING every time I failed. I need insights and positive feedback on those who have failed several times too who can tell me what you guys used to pass.

Couple things about me, I’ve been out of school since 2017! I understand that’s a factor in which may make this test more difficult for me too. I’m also just a C average in school- so def worked my butt super hard to finish nursing school...

How I studied: used UWorld the first time (7mos after graduated) but was going through sister’s lung transplant so didn't put too much time studying. It took a hard hit so I didn’t hit the books again until this year and retook it Feb 2020, using the Kaplan book only- failed again. I honestly didn’t like the book, felt like it didn’t have much info in it. After failing, I immediately re-registered (took it yesterday). This time, I used UWorld again (I actually really like UWorld), LaCharity PDA + Mark Klimeks audios. Listened to MK twice but failed again! Heard great things about Mark but when I tested yesterday, majority of my test was rarely on what he taught! This time, my test consisted of at least 20-25 SATAs and on meds I swear I’ve never heard of before (at least not in school)... felt like I had less prioritization q’s this time VS my 1st and 2nd time. I got a lot more med q’s this time too and also felt like it tested me on meds I’ve never heard of (which is one of my weakest subjects) and content I haven’t seen since since school (nothing Mark taught).

For those who aren’t strong test takers, those who are NOT an A and B student in nursing school, those who been out of school for so long, and those who failed more than TWICE- how did you pass boards and what did you use? What’s also good for content review?

I am sorry to hear that you failed the NCLEX. However, do not let that feeling discourage you from preparing and trying again. NCLEX Passing the NCLEX involves consistent study/content review, daily practice questions, developing testing strategies, and self-care. I advise you to work with a tutor or join a study group if you have problems applying testing strategies. A study group or NCLEX tutor would help you understand how to analyze questions. One thing that throws most students off is the inability to choose between two correct options. A strategy to use in such a situation is to pick the option that relates to the question the most. I wish you the best in the next NCLEX.

BONBON, BSN, RN

Specializes in Surgical Transplant.

On 6/27/2020 at 8:32 PM, CAgirl23 said:

I believe it’s more content material I need to focus more on. I was thinking of using NCSBN as I heard they wrote the NCLEX. Is that the same thing?

I have someone in my program who used an NCSBN (and I believe paid over $100 for it) and she found it to be useless and not worth her money she said. I personally only used UWorld and then took the first three tests out of the Lippincott 13e Q&A book. Perhaps you could try finding a site where there's commonly tested concepts for each section (mental health, pediatrics, maternal newborn, medsurg, fundamentals) and if any of those topics sound unfamiliar with you, I'd go to Registered Nurse RN (website or Youtube vids) and brush up on that material . As far as pharm, again, try finding a list of most commonly tested drugs, focusing in on their suffixes. Pay attention to action, adverse effects, and pt teaching.

That is so me. C student, out of school since 2010. I didn't even worked as a nurse in a hospital.

I took last June 8th, it stopped at 60, checked the results via pearson vue quick results after 48hrs and said I passed. Sadly I haven't gotten my license yet until now. Anyway, here's what I did + some advice:

-Kaplan and UWorld (did all qbank questions and recycled some incorrect questions)

-Youtube 😉

Thats it!

Some advised me to read the whole Saunders book before doing questions which I ended up reading only about 1/4 of it. Im not a book person and I doubt I will ever be. (Kaplans complimentary books are still in mint condition). I also tried taking notes which I used only 5 pages. Then, I jumped straight to answering the questions..felt great and at the same time I felt real dumb. On UWorld I was averaging 40 while the mean score(other users) is about 54 if I remember correctly. The same thing is happening on Kaplan. I went through all rationales and if I didn't understand a topic I use Youtube! You'll be surprised on the contents you will find on that site. Also, be mindful of your attention span. I study for 30mins to an hour at a time and then watch an episode of a show I like, sleep, eat, play some basketball etc and study again. don't force information on you or it will just go to waste. As time goes by, I noticed that im averaging at the same level(if not better) as other UWorld users.

The bottom line is, find a study method that works best for you. A method that works on another person might not work for you.

And don't quit. Good luck!

42pines

Specializes in Occupational Health; Adult ICU.

It could be that you are trying to pass by "learning answers to questions." By this, I mean that many use literally thousands of quizzes and testing platforms so that over time they have answered maybe 10,000 answers, and may have done so repeatedly so they got better than 90%.

However, there is a huge problem with this. Practice testing till the cows come home may not help one bit. Why? Because the questions are written specifically to determine if the potential nurse knows the underlying CONCEPT.

Here's a true example, albeit one from a few decades ago. I figure it's OK to restate it twenty + years later, a bit modified but it gets the point across.

Question: "A patient presents with a painful chancre on her genitalia," what is it?

a) Syphilis

b) gonorrhea

c) unable to determine

e) Chlamydia

This was my last (75th) question, and I believe it was one of the hardest questions. I answered it, and *poof* it was over. I had passed. I had come to the testing center a bit late and was told I had to use the sound-proofed room. When I read the question, I laughed out loud and chose....no, not "a" but rather "b."

I went back to school and asked several professors the question. All answered "a," after all, it was a chancre, and everyone knows that chancre are a symptom of syphilis. All got it wrong.

The reason is, yes, a chancre is a type of sore, almost always associated with syphilis--but the question maker wanted to know if the potential nurse practiced safely. Thus, the answer was "c" unable to determine.

"C" was correct because, if one knows the material, the "concept," chancres on genitalia are virtually always "painLESS." The question says: "painful."

There will be many, many practice questions, but few will be tricky questions and this one was intended to be tricky. The test wanted to know if the potential nurse knew he did not know what it was.

I enjoyed the test. I never found my score. I enjoyed my two years of nursing school. I read a lot but I never took practice quizzes.

Btw, in HS I received a "social pass," and did not even attend the final semester. I imagine my grade average was a D. I did work my tail off in nursing school, and did receive an A- average.

If your grades were "C" average, it's likely that you simply do not understand the underlying concepts and basic knowledge to practice safely. That is what the NCLEX is telling you.

Perhaps you might consider re-taking some of the core nursing subjects. At any rate, I wish you the best.

Note: Chancroid (a different disease have painful lesions) and syphilitic chancres in the oropharanyx are often painful.

CKPM2RN, ASN, EMT-P

Specializes in Emergency/Med-Tele. Has 3 years experience.

It would be crazy to memorize every medication that could possibly show up on the exam! Instead of rote memorization learn the prefixes, roots and suffixes of medications so you know the class and likely use. That way even if you have never heard of a particular medication, a suffix like "olol" or prefix "cef" or "ceph" will tell you it's uses, cautions, etc.

Edited by CKPM2RN
incomplete

Thank you everyone! I won’t give up and will have to just keep finding different ways to study. Appreciate all the advices.

ValerieFutureFNP, BSN, RN

Specializes in RN-BSN. Has 2 years experience.

this is taken from https://nurse.org/articles/how-to-pass-NCLEX-the-first-time/

Test-Taking Skills

The NCLEX is just as much about knowing how the test is written as it is what knowledge it tests. Utilize test-taking strategies to eliminate wrong answers, avoid “extremes” like ALL or NONE answers, and remember to always put patient safety first.

With practice, you will notice themes in answers:

Always assess the patient first, calling the doctor right away isn’t usually the best first step,

Use Airway-Breathing-Circulation approach, etc.

Use deductive reasoning even if you have no idea about the concepts behind the topic.

If all else fails, rely on that budding feeling that we like to call “nurse intuition.”

You will no doubt encounter the dreaded select-all-that-apply questions. Use the same, systematic approach to eliminate incorrect answer choices based on knowledge and wording of answers.

In addition:

I also used UWorld, it is great for learning and understanding rationales. But, you have to study! For every answer I did not understand I studied the pathophysiology and followed the nursing process ADPIE (assessment, diagnosis, planning, intervention, and evaluation.

Also ask yourself why this is happening until you answer the question.

TriciaJ, RN

Specializes in Psych, Corrections, Med-Surg, Ambulatory. Has 40 years experience.

Here's what worked for me, back in the Stone Age:

Use Mosby's Comprehensive Nursing Review. It's all sample questions and will show you where you're weakest.

When taking a multiple choice test: just read the question and do not look at the answers. What immediately pops into your head? Check if that's one of the answers. If it's there, mark it and MOVE ON.

If your first thought isn't one of the answers you will have to ponder a bit.

When you get through the test make sure the answers line up with the questions properly but DO NOT go back and review your answers. Do not change your answers unless something glaringly obvious occurs to you.

This will be a fast process and it is nerve-wracking to finish so quickly. That's why you practice with Mosby's to become confident with this technique.

If you're already studying you know your stuff. The trick is to not second guess and undermine yourself on the test. Good luck.

nursemarion, BSN

Has 36 years experience.

A lot of it is based on critical thinking. Memorization only gets you so far. Solid knowledge helps the critical thinking process. I took mine a long time ago but I never used any test prep- just my textbooks. I also wrote test questions for NCLEX -PN once. It is a complex process even writing them.

I was fortunate in that our school taught us and tested us in the same way those questions were written from day 1 and we did have 100% pass rate. It is very stressful and that can distract you from really reading the questions and every single one of the answers.

I would say you are lacking a solid baseline knowledge. I would hit the books again. Test prep only gets you so far- it teaches you to be a smarter test taker. But that knowledge has to be in your head. What are your weak areas? What did you struggle the most with- on the NCLEX and in school? If you have no idea where to start, start there.

It is hard to think about hitting the books, but every time I have changed work areas I have dragged out my books- just to review. I replaced them with newer books over the years, but even now, I find it helpful to have a med-surg book around for reference.

You cannot remember everything forever. Much of that nursing school knowledge was in short-term memory to get you through the tests. But you have to know enough to function as a nurse. If someone has TB or is pregnant or you see a child with Chickenpox, even if that is not your primary area, you have to be able to know what to look for and what to do for it.

I would read and review and then take a little time- not too much- to settle your brain before you test again. We are all subject to the limits of our own abilities, but the C student can be a better nurse than the one who got straight A's but lacks common sense.

Sorry to hear that you failed NCLEX. If its content that you're missing then you should give the virtual trainer from Remar Nurse a try. It's a comprehensive review focused on content and based off of the NCLEX test plan can. Good luck and don't give up