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How I passed NCLEX !!

I took my test last Thursday and found out today that I passed. I had 75 questions and it was the hardest test I ever took thus far in my life. This is what I did and I feel it helped me a great deal.

Content is VERY IMPORTANT. We are expected to know content because we graduated from school. The problem is how much of content did we really learn in nursing school. Some schools give out study guides before the exam and the focus is on getting good grades in the exam not necessarily learning EVERYTHING there is to learn in those big fat nursing textbooks. But for the the NCLEX it is impossible to predict what are commonly tested content areas, so in short - know everything. Sounds impossible but that should be the goal so at least most of it will be covered.

Saunders is a good review book- certainly more indepth content than Kaplan and as good as Reviews and Rationales. I strongly recommend going back to your nursing textbook if there is something you left out while you were in school.

I subscribed to Suzanne's plan and I have the greatest admiration for her and for the time and effort she puts in to help those of us who are clueless. But I feel that doing Saunder's alone is taking a big risk. I am not arguing her statistics nor the effectiveness of only using Saunders. I did every single one of those questions because our school used Saunders and ATI as NCLEX material. But I also did Lippincott, Davis, reviews and rationales, and Kaplan. I doubt I would have passed if I had done Saunders alone.

So to summarise - KNOW your content ( everything there is to know). Even if it feels overwhelming because you cannot tell where the questions will come from. Try many different sources of questions to broaden your way of thinking. You will find that as you do all these questions from different sources the way you think through a question will become more automatic and you will develop your critical thinking skills. It will become second nature to eliminate wrong choices and think through the plausible ones.

My exam was by no means an easy one, but I felt I passed at 75 questions because I focussed on mastering my content and I did many many questions from different resources to broaden the way I approached a question.

Hope this helps, good luck to all who are waiting to take the test or for results. It was the hardest 48 hours of my life.


Specializes in heart failure and prison.

congrats on passing your test. Thank u for the nclex tip. Good in your new career as a RN:nurse::yeah:

yes i do agree with you that using only saunders book to aim for a passing mark is not a very good strategy.:banghead:that is what i did for my 1st attempt and i failed. i only relied on saunders and its cd. i did not practice on harder questions that is why i failed. saunders QAs are too easy........not a good way to prepare. :no: i am researching new info. from this website to make a new strategy . i want to pass this time coz the 1st failure was way too traumatizing. i don't want to experience it again.:no: i want to pass!!!:lol2:


Silverdragon102, BSN

Has 32 years experience. Specializes in Medical and general practice now LTC.

Congrats on passing

I think everyone's study is different. I used many books before I sat the third time and by that time I passed using Saunders and learningext but I found Saunders offered me the best support. As long as you find what works for you then stick with it but doing too many review books can be confusing


Specializes in LTC, case mgmt, agency.



Has 4 years experience.

:) congratulations on passing the nclex~! :) :yeah:

There is no need to go over many books for content review. Saunders and nursing textbooks are good books for content. All I'm saying is that know your content really really well and understand the concept behind it. Know the logic behind each intervention and be able to extrapolate it to other situations.

Here is my reason for not sticking to just Saunders for practice questions. Saunders may help you get above the minimum practice standard but only by a narrow margin. So yes, if you can consistently stay above the passing standard albeit a very narrow margin then you will surely pass. But to maximize your chances, you have to get way above the passing line in the test and that only higher level questions can do which I'm afraid Saunders will not do for you. I have nothing against that book and we used it extensively in school. I am a 4.0 student, breezed through nursing school and aced every single subject including pharmacology and yet I felt that if I had stuck to Saunders I would have taken a big chance, hovering dangerously close to the passing line and increasing the risk of having to prove myself by answering more and more questions. Doing a wide range of questions put me in the " safe zone". That's all I'm saying. I'm not anti Saunders at all !

Hope this helps.


Specializes in ER.

Congrats on passing! I also just took my NCLEX on Friday and received my unofficial results today and passed. The test cut off at 75?'s. I had finished my program in 11/07 and waited a year to test. I used Kaplan's and Measure Up from pearson education. Both helped me understand the way questions are written (what is being asked) and allowed me to review facts in all areas of care quickly. The items that were very fuzzy I reviewed in Brunner and Sadarth's med-surg. Hope this may help someone and good luck to all future test takers.

congrats! i'm using saunder's only for my review.. i don't have enough time to review other materials.. anyway, i'm still hoping i'll pass the exam.. thanks for the post. :)

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