How to use Saunders text book effectively

by mariavj1 mariavj1 (New) New


I am preparing for my third attempt on nclex-rn, wish me luck. I used Saunders Comprehensive Review 6th edition for all my studies last time, but still I I think I am am not able to use it effectively.

What are some tips I can use to use the text book effectively?

I am also wondering how I can align the text book contents with the actual test plan, so that I can find topics related to the section in the exam.

Thanks a lot!



Specializes in Geriatric-Psych, Med/surg. 21 Posts

I used the Saunders PN, but maybe you will find my technique helpful. If you take the assessment on the online portion, the results will give you a break down percentage score based on the topics. Those topics are aligned with the test plan, and are even further broken down via content. You should study based on the percentages that you scored low on (only review the things you did well on).

Don't bother reading the entire book because it's very lengthy and you may or not get through every chapter. Personally I focused on the online component questions and strategies. I would skip straight to the questions at the ends of the chapter. If I scored 80 or above then I would move on to another chapter, but if I scored lower than 80 percent, I would study that chapter thoroughly and then create an exam out if corresponding questions/topics online. I spent a great portion of studying via the online component and all of it was based on the percentage scores via the assessment.

I hope this helps you out. If you have any questions, or find that I wasn't 100 percent clear please do ask. Good luck with your studying.



67 Posts


Third time's a charm! Saunders is a great book for content but that is simply it. Many people fail the NCLEX because they do not understand how the NCLEX is formatted. If you are having trouble with content, Saunders is a great way to go but it does not provide NCLEX-style questions. You've taken the NCLEX before, so you have an advantage in knowing that the exam questions are very different than the content-based questions provided by Saunders. Therefore, my suggestion to you is to pratice NCLEX-STYLE QUESTIONS. Kaplan, UWorld, TootRN (Instagram), all great references for NCLEX-style questions. Google them. You will be amazed as to how many free questions there are on the web that are worded similar to the NCLEX. EMPHASIS ON PRACTICE, PRACTICE, PRACTICE! If you are having trouble with narrowing down selections, I suggest understanding how to take the test. Strategy tips (Kaplan). If you are having trouble picking an answer when you have narrowed it down to two choices, read the question over again and simplify the question. What is the question REALLY asking? If you don't know the answer at all and are having a what the heck moment, slow down. Read the question and try your best! Most importantly, read the rationales. Understand why you got it wrong and then study what you need to work on to improve. Good luck :)

Divatologist, ADN

Specializes in Med/Surg. Has 6 years experience. 80 Posts

I used Saunders too. Each rationale included a reference to my textbook from school. I would read the section in my textbook it refers to. I mostly did it if I missed a question and if I didn't really understand the question even though I got the question right. I used my textbooks to review even though we were told by the Kaplan instructor not to.



4 Posts

Thanks a lot every body for the inputs. This really helps.

@CaramelApplePop_LVN, LVN, were you using the evolve website which was shared along with the Saunders text book?

@cttruong, BSN, RN will give Kaplan a shot. I tried kaplan a year back when I tried first time and I dont had much idea about the test then. I believe kaplan make more sense now.

@Divatologist, ADN, RN thanks a lot for your inputs. Hope I could get it done this time :)