For those who passed: Please share your study habits

Nursing Students NCLEX


I wanted to get study tips from those who passed NCLEX, and get some ideas on effective studying habits. I would really appreciate if you can answer these questions:

1. How many hours a day did you study for NCLEX, and for how long?

2. What books did you read? Any book in particular you focused on?

3. Did you take a classroom/online review from Kaplan, Hurst, etc.?

4. Did you answer practice questions? How many per day?

5. Please share any other study habits/tips/resources/books that you feel has greatly helped you in passing NCLEX.

I studied about 4 to 6 hours a day. I did about 100 to 150 questions a day, which included reviewing my wrong answers. I used Kaplan classroom online review, Kaplan strategies green book, LaCharity and NCSBN questions. I only did practice questions and reviewed rationals while concentrating on my technique for answer ing the questions. (which is in the Kaplan green book). I took my time and read each question, re-worded them while asking myself what they are asking. Then I eliminate the two that are wrong and then reinstate the question with each answer that is left. I prayed everyday before the test, during and after. That is the most important part of my study habit to me. Take each question slow and breathe deeply. When you ate taking the test make sure you take your break to refresh your eyes and brain. Take your time but at the same time give yourself a minute or minute and a half per question so that your time will not run out. This is what I did when I took the test because I failed it once so I changed my study habits and they worked for me. Find out what your style is and go from there.

Specializes in Psych & Gero psych.

1) I studied about 2-3 hours a day I broke it up into 2 sessions. To prevent fatigue. 2) Saunders for the review, mosbeys for the questions. Lots of alternate format questions esp. SATA. 3) I bought 3 weeks from the board of nursing site, since they are the ones that make the questions, wouldn't do it again. 4) I mostly did review questions. I broke up the Saunders book and set a goal for chapters cover a day it was like 50 pages day. Some more some less, about 2-3 chapters. Then questions. On topic, with focus on what was hard for me. Think exit HESI. 5) basically take time to relax and sleep. People who sleep after stud inning remember more, it been proven. Also, break up what you need to cover when booking the test. Ie 4 weeks so x chapters/ pages a day. One of my teachers told us in school study for 30 min then take a break. I set a timer and did this. So 1hr was more like 1 1/2 hrs due to breaks

Thanks for sharing!

Hi! I took my nclex 3 days ago and just found out yesterday that I passed on my first try at 75 questions in about 1 hour! I literally left the testing area smiling because for some reason I knew I didn't fail. Now I've been reading on some of the study habits of some of the people here and I can say that everybody is different...because, and i hope they don't take this the wrong way but i didn't do anything even remotely like the things they did (i.e. reading 4-5 different books, doing thousands upon thousands of practice questions, answering SATA specific questions).

I had 2 1/2 months to prepare. I only used saunders for content, Kaplan online thing for questions and the Kaplan classroom class for strategy. I mustve answered at most only about 2000 questions all in all, and i slowed down near exam date. I only answered 50 questions every OTHER day about 3 weeks going into the exam. I did all their q-trainers and scored 60-69 (69 for readiness test, test 6 and test 7) but I never finished the qbank because there wasn't enough time. I also played The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim about half the time i was studying haha. I even programmed a book of normal lab values into the game so I can study while playing.

People also said don't study before the exam. Well...i studied the night before and i thank God that i did because what came out was exactly what i read up on the night before. And of course, i prayed every day...i know it's a typical thing but I really believe i wouldn't have done it without faith. By the time it was exam day, I felt I was ready.

Everyone is different. I found my style and it worked!

Specializes in ER, progressive care.

1. hours, it felt like lol. Probably between 4-6 hours/day.

2. I had two NCLEX books - Saunders and Pearson Prentice Hall. Both are excellent.

3. I took a review course local to the Cleveland, OH suburb area and I think they held classes in Erie, PA area, as well. It was called Buszta NCLEX Review. The review was excellent and I was so glad I took it!

4. My review course met twice/week. Each day we were given a book of 275 practice NCLEX questions as "homework." I worked on those as well as review questions from my NCLEX books and their CDs.

5. For the record, I graduated in December 2010, took a month off and started my review course in January. I took the NCLEX in March and passed on the first try. Between January and March, I was studying non-stop.

1). 4-6hrs. breaks here and there

2). Kaplan Course book(with online Qbanks/Qtrainers etc.), Hurst(book only) and NCSBN 3 wk course. Preference? I just took my NCLEX yesterday and passed. Believe me or not NCSBN was the closest thing to NCLEX format. Hands down. Kaplan Qbanks/trainers are great for strategy and critical thinking practice but I felt like NCSBN questions were a lot similar and condensed. I don't understand how people think Kaplan was the closest thing to NCLEX-RN. Nope. After finishing entire course of NCSBN 3 wks and Qbanks/trainers, I'd have to go with NCSBN. As for Hurst, their questions are way too easy (didnt do any of them) so I read a bit of 'must know charts' and ' pharm in nutshell' section. Hurst review book was okay but I don't think they were that helpful.

3). Kaplan classroom. Great for learning strategy and building up critical thinking skills. Content wise no.

4). 50-100 a day for a month. I spent maybe 1-2hrs on questions. and 3-4 hours reading rationales on incorrect AND correct questions and refer back to the text(Kaplan Course book mostly) and Google (credible websites only).

5). Again, NCSBN. was the reason why I passed the second time around. Failed the first time with kaplan. My advice for you is that it is good to have 2-3 sources to study. But make sure to download the scribd notes from this website. I referred back to the notes but it is over 200+ pages(ctrl + F to search what you're looking for duh). YOU MUST MUST MUST MUST memorize the infection control. 'my chicken hez TB' 'SPIDERMAN' MRS.WEE' 'VCHIPS' etc.

I wanted to get study tips from those who passed NCLEX, and get some ideas on effective studying habits. I would really appreciate if you can answer these questions:

1. How many hours a day did you study for NCLEX, and for how long?

2. What books did you read? Any book in particular you focused on?

3. Did you take a classroom/online review from Kaplan, Hurst, etc.?

4. Did you answer practice questions? How many per day?

5. Please share any other study habits/tips/resources/books that you feel has greatly helped you in passing NCLEX.

My school paid for the Kaplan review which was awesome.

1. I did all the q trainers

2. Did all the q bank questions..maybe 100 a day and then reviewed the ones I got wrong.

3. A week before the exam, I just reviewed infection control, meds, labs.

4. The day before, I just relaxed and prayed for peace and clarity.

5. The day of the exam, I just said a quick prayer.

I had over 100 questions and felt like crap. I pushed through somehow and came home and


You will too.

Good luck, Caffeine

I took the Kaplan Review course and then scheduled my test date about 1-1/2 months after. I did all if the q trainers and about 95% of the q bank questions. I only did 50 questions a day, unless I got below a 60%, then I did another 50. I read all of the rationales for my questions. I also read through the study guide from this site a handful of times.I got 75 questions with 9 SATA and passed!I know some people that studied for hours a day using multiple resources that also passed with 75 questions. That way of studying is not for me. You have to determine what works best for you and stick with it.

ETA - I suppose I should change my user name from CST to RN. :-)

Wow! Thank you so much guys for all your answers. And congratulations on passing the boards!!:yeah:I am testing in 3 weeks. I did the Hurst online review, and right now I am trying to master the content of the book. I've also listened to FEUER audio lecture for about 5 times. I am also doing questions in LaCharity and Kaplan Q-bank. My Lacharity scores are in the high 50s to low 80s, My Kaplan Q-bank scores are in the high 40s to low 60s. Because I have read a lot of good reviews for NCSBN, my husband urged me into signing up. So far I've done the pretest and my score is 57%. I am really disappointed with my scores, but I'm not giving up. I will study harder. Thank you for sharing all your ideas and experiences. I appreciate it. I hope I pass. I am looking forward to becoming an RN! yay

Sometimes I think it doesn't really matter what I studied for the NCLEX-because you did not attend the same school as I did. You may not have the same study habits as I did. You may not be the same kind of learner I am (I am visual). So sharing what tools I used may be of little or no help to you. It boils down to if you know your content or not. I was a bad test taker in school-and I knew studying for the NCLEX I took a different approach-I read the rationales and understood the answers. I did practice questions unitl I was blue...Do you know how to prioritize? Do select all that apply questions freak you out-if they do-practice those. I could list all the things that I did or didn't do-but will it actually help you study? You need to be motivated to pass the NCLEX. Which I think everyone on this board is. I am very thankful for this board-but when people ask how did I study? I am quite curious to ask what are you currently doing? Are you reading the rationales to the correct and wrong answers and understanding what the question is asking? Once you take your NCLEX you are not supposed to share what is on the test-so I am curious as to why people are sharing how many questions they got-and the types of the questions...seems like a violation of the rules. I know that this board is here to support fellow students/nurses but how I studied is not going to help you-if you are not willing to put in the time and effort. There are no shortcuts here.

It's still fresh in my memory the rules state not to discuss the questions before during or after the exam and I have even avoided discussing anything even the topics even to my family. However, I fail to see how stating how many questions you got when you passed is a violation of...well...anything.

Does it help him/her pass in any way shape or form?

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