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How long before your NCLEX test date did you start studying?


Has 1 years experience.

So I graduated at the end of last month and my school just sent our transcripts to the board on the 3rd. So obviously, I don't have a test date set just yet. I feel like I really need to start studying a lot, but I'm finding it really hard to study without a date to work towards. So how long before your test date did you start studying???

I kept studying, something different each week but it seemed I was getting nowhere because you just don't know what is on the test. I had a nclex app on my phone with 500 questions with rationales and I was on that every time I got a few minutes to myself. Several nurse friends finally told me to quit worrying, if I didn't have it after all that school, a few more weeks of study wasn't going to help much. I couldn't just stop so I took every test I could find. Some were on a study disc, many on line, phone apps, etc. Eventually a trend seemed to come to light, it seems simple but on test day it's what got me through.

1.) A B C's first and foremost

2.) Nursing process, (assess, diagnose etc)

3. Maslow's hierarchy.

4.) Lab values.

It's important to remember we are not doctors so anything in a question that requires us to think like one is wrong.

Sounds simple but applying these 4 topics to any question seemed to make it easier.

As far as meds go, there are places on line that have the most prescribed meds for each category and that's all I did.

Hope this helps, I was overwhelmed until I concentrated on testing and using this info and test day was a breeze.

Good Luck


Specializes in LDRP. Has 2 years experience.

I think how long you study before taking the NCLEX depends on how good of a test taker you are. Test taking usually isn't a problem for me, so right after I graduated from nursing school, I took 1 week off, then studied (along with some study buddies) every day for 3 weeks, took the NCLEX, and passed. Everyone has their own speed and style. Some of my classmates studied for three months or longer and then proceeded to pass the NCLEX after their first attempt.

IMHO, you shouldn't wait TOO long to take the NCLEX after you graduate, because you do start forgetting material you learned in class. And do NOT overdo the studying - take adequate breaks when needed; I truly believe that it is possible to study too much. Also, the day before you take NCLEX, just RELAX and clear your brain so that the information you will need to recall the next day will come through easily! Good luck! :clown:

when i got my ATT , i studied for 4 months to kinda give me a feel and a lot of reading time on certain topics and last 2 months is answering questions 150/day

NurseLoveJoy88, ASN, RN

Specializes in LTC. Has 6 years experience.

OP I know how you feel. I graduated last month and our school does not send off our paper work for 4-6 weeks, therefore I still don't have my ATT. At first I was very motivated but now I'm not because I don't have a set date yet. Even if I do no more than 10 questions a day, at least something.

Im about to take the nclex feb 15 i graduated dec 15 n got my att mid jan. I have yet to study u either know the material or u dont. I think Im going to study 2 weeks every day prior to the test and hopefully i pass.

Pinklady8888 I test 2/15 too. GOOD LUCK TO US!!!

I took Kaplan 3 weeks after graduation. It was a 2 week course. I have been studying a bit each day, for 5 days a week. I take to 2 days off. As it gets closer I get more nervous, but I think I am good. Just need to keep plugging along!

The earliest date that I could sign up was 3 weeks away. However, I don't think all that studying did me any good. In fact, it made me even more nervous. At that point, I remember telling myself, "you've been been preparing for this exam for 2.5 years. Three more weeks isn't going to change your fate."

I passed on first try w/ 75 questions.


two days to go for nclex! pretty nervous. feel that the saunders book is so detailed and im reviewing that book like mad. I was told that they pull the select all that apply out of the tables so i did flash cards for those. i did a evolve review course and heres some tips: absoulte words: always, never, only, etc. are not the correct answer..cuz nothing is absoulte in nursing..most answers are "encourage fluids, small frequent meals" etc. and THINK SAFTETY BEFORE ANYTHING! apparently according to my friends most everyone passed, and there was PLENTY OF MEDS. so my main focus is meds. know the trick with meds ACE inhibtors end in "pril"- they give u a bad cough "give me an ace, ill cough in ur face", beta blockers end in "lol"- dont give to asthma pts cuz they are a vasoconstictor to push the card output more. and calcium channel blockers are "very nice drugs" meaning some drugs start with v, most start with n and 1 starts with d..and know lasix, give k with cuz it excretes it and **** like that. know cholestrol drugs end in "statin" and protein pump end in"prazole" and h2 pump end in "tidine".

i believe in faith, u studied ur ass off and god will see that and help you pass. plus u just need to be calm going in the test. read each question very carefully. put the question in ur own words and think of the answer before u look at the options. think what would i do right now! and then narrow down. go with ur gut. apparently they said they want to see how ud react in a emergency sitiuation so go with ur gut and DONT OVER THINK. just breathe. u will pass. dont rush tho either. everyone comes out saying *** idk if i passed or not. but nclex bases the first few questions on ur ability level and if u stay above a 50 on the level they think u are, u pass.

dont freak out and breathe. success will come.

im starting today, just failed friday, i cant take it for 45 days i believe so hopefully 6 weeks will be good enough for me, the att is good for 90 days right? some one correct me if im wrong

how was the test? what advice do u have

I got my ATT December 30, but couldn't decide on when to schedule. So I waited for my review session to start studying (which was Jan 3-5) and studied everyday for a month. I took it Jan. 31 and passed with 75 questions.

im nervous to take it on wed, any advice?

Do practice questions and zone in on your weaknesses. Whatever your weaknesses are, just spend some time on it. But just make sure that everything you study, you understand the "why" behind everything. This eliminates the need to memorize things. If you understand why, you don't have to memorize. Also, I did a lot of practice questions the day before. I know it's hard, but try to relax! Trust that you prepared yourself well!