I'm Dumb and I Passed NCLEX!!!!

Okay I'm exaggerating. I'm average, the biggest procrastinator on earth and absolutely lazy to study. Sounds familiar? So you can just imagine how scared I was to take this freaking exam. And I cannot conceive the thought of failing because I don't want to go thru it all over again!!!! Or waste my parent's hard earned money because I did not prepare well for it. Or worst not have a us RN license my future very much depends on it. Nursing Students NCLEX Article


I'm Dumb and I Passed NCLEX!!!!

I won't go into details on how to answer questions; there are gazillions of tips here on that subject. I understand how difficult it is to stick to a schedule to study and not allow yourself to slack off or be distracted by other things. That's what this strategy is all about. Getting the job done!

I enrolled in Kaplan and studied Saunders from cover to cover and frantically answered as many NCLEX questions and tried to understand each rationale as much as possible, I studied long and hard for this exam. I gave my blood, sweat and tears to pass. I know of some people who just breezed thru it or studied for a month or so but I'm just wired differently. I knew that the only way I was going to pass was if I worked really hard on it. And I did!

So bottom line is I had to come up with effective strategies to get me thru! And after passing the exams years ago and procrastinating on this post..... I finally gathered the courage to post here some sane and some insane things I did to pass. I just feel I need to give back and help others succeed as well.


I freeze up and can't think when I'm scared. Hence, I had to talk myself out of my fears and anxiety and hallucinations of failing. I needed to focus on my goals. Easy for me to say... But it was really hard to do. I had to employ the famous quotes of great motivators like Vince Lombardi, Brian Tracy, Rick Pittino and many others. I looked up quotes, read books, watched you tube motivation videos, believe in miracle videos, any thing that would push me out of my comfort zone and think about conquering my fears and winning this challenge. Believe me, you will need to constantly motivate yourself from beginning to end to accomplish things.

And most of all allnurses NCLEX discussion forum- the insights shared by the many posters who went thru the same ordeal and were generous enough to share their experiences and tips and selflessly took the time to inspire others with their success stories helped me tremendously! I owe you guys a lot!


I really mean seriously countdown everything! I worked in sales before I got into nursing... And we were trained to hit a target everyday no matter what. I guess that somehow made I use this strategy and it was so damn effective. This is what I did.

  • First, the moment I got my copy of the Saunder's book, I almost buckled down... It was quite thick! How was I supposed to go thru the whole damn book without falling asleep? So I took the time to examine it. Chapters, summaries, number of pages, introduction, and test taking tips... It was quite interesting... It wasn't as boring or complicated as I thought it would be. In fact I liked it.
  • I tried to read a chapter at my normal pace... And realized I can finish one chapter or 10 pages in one hour. I'm sure everyone has their own pacing and speed... So I'm slow compared to others but at least I know how to work around this. I placed colored tabs in every chapter so I am motivated to reach my finish line - which is the next chapter. So it's like cutting it into chunks and not being intimidated by the amount of material I needed to cover for the exams. So that means if I studied six hours a day that would sum up to 60 pages and another 2 hours for my 100 q&a. Drill. Not bad at all.
  • I counted the days to my exams. And divided it by the number of pages I need to complete. I used index cards to track my daily goals.

Here's an actual sample of what my daily countdown would read:

Dec 15, 200x
Day 17
779 pages to go
56 days to exam

Then at the back I would note how much I have accomplished for that day. Including 100 or 30 or 20 q& a. Or how many pages I read. And what points I needed to work on. Sometimes I exceed my goals and sometimes I don't. I just keep going and as long as I know how much I need to catch up on it would keep me on track.

And yeah I have a calculator next to me... Just like em sales people counting their profits and quota...I keep counting the pages sometimes on hourly basis... Less 10 pages less 12 pages 500 to go this much hours left much days left... Just so I know I'm moving forward inch by inch. Yeah it sounds ridiculous but self talk is also effective. Jerrrrr.... But please note its not just simply reading.... You also have to understand the material. Sometimes you need to reread and refer back and all that... So its not simply going thru it... Its more of getting the most out of it as well.


Commit to your goals. This means temporarily giving up unnecessary chatting, watching tv, and surfing, texting friends, yapping on phone anything that would sidetrack or distract me from my goals. Though these things are inevitable. It's the hardest thing to give up... Of course I still indulge myself in these activities for a while but then I set a time to stop to get back to studying. Most of you maybe don't have to do such drastic measures but in my case I had to. Sacrifices were in order. There was no other way around it.


It won't be easy. The only way to succeed is thru hard work. I tell myself that I won't stand unless I finish a chapter. I'm glued to my chair and my book until I finish a chapter. Once I'm warmed up, it's amazing how I can read more in less time. Gradually my speed increased and even my comprehension improved I have to admit though that sometimes I would be really lazy to even touch a page but when I get back to it I make sure I make up for lost time. I do my best to do 100 questions a day. And read every rationale. I think I completed around 8,000 q an a all in all


They say music is good for your brain. I tried Mozart but he just put me to sleep... So I tried other songs .... Name it from the Latin drum beat ...Ricky Martin's La Copa de La Vida to Santana, Shakira's hips don't lie to Indian Bollywood beats, Spanish to r&b guns and roses or red hot Chilli Pepers to Aerosmith.. And it worked!!. Id play it before I start studying..Just so to cheer me up and jump start my energy level. The moment it ends I get down to business with high adrenaline! Ok don't laugh... Lol.. Those were the songs back then... Maybe if Justin Bieber rocks your world in this day and age ..Lol ..Then maybe that will work too! Make learning fun!


I don't think I could have gone thru this without god's help. I beg god for strength and miracles everyday to make it thru. I start and end my day with a prayer. I believe god heard me and granted my prayer.


I must admit.. That despite having a countdown and a schedule sometimes there are days that I'm just too numb to lift a page or absorb anything. There are days when I just break down in tears because of the stress. Sometimes you need to step back and recharge, breathe, meditate, calm your self and focus your energy for the task ahead.


On the day of the exams I did my best to remain calm and focused. I was not confident but I figured having a sharp mind on the day of the exams was more important than anything else... I have worked too damn hard for this and I can't screw this up by being anxious or allowing panic to set in. I just had to focus and work at it one question at a time. And I have to trust that god will help me because I gave it my all.


To each his own. Everyone has their own way of learning mechanism. Chose what works for you and make the most out of it. The things I've posted are probably some of the tips I also picked up from many generous and helpful people here. I just modified it to suit my needs. I failed to mention that I didn't go thru this on my own.. I had the support of my family and friends for which I would eternally be greatful for.

All the best!

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Specializes in "Wound care - geriatric care.

The only dumb thing here is to say that you are...dumb

This has inspired me a lot! Thanks for posting this! :D

:D My pleasure!!!!

Good job there. I found out I passed the NCLEX-RN yesterday. I'm not the brighest person around, but I passed first time with 75 questions in one hour. I did about 4500 practice questions with rationales in the space of one month, and I looked at my class notes. I didn't really look at any review books as I don't have the money to buy one. I think it's good to take your time with each question, but don't take too much time. Hit the button ASAP if you come across a question choice that you think is correct. I think the computer likes it when you are fast at answering questions and getting them right. Anyway, good luck there as a new nurse. It's a great relief to pass this exam!

Congratulations to you tooo!!!

Thanks for posting your insights.

I wish you the all the best !!!:D

Specializes in Med-Surg; Transplant; Trauma.

:yeah::nurse: CONGRATULATIONS!

Your post is awesome!!! For certain, I know it will help others!!!

Thanks!!! I really do hope so!!!:D

This is the lest I can do.:D

Love the frog video! I've been eating this @#$% frog everyday for five weeks, can't wait to be done eating that frog!

((testing Tuesday!))

This guy blistered my ears!:D

Temme what you guys think lol!!!!

Thanks alot this was very encouraging!!!!!!!

dumb said:

I had to employ the famous quotes of great motivators like VINCE Lombardi, Brian Tracy, rick Pittino and many others.

Hahahahhahahhaa...(Vince Lombardi?!?!?) You have made my day......... I may need to tackle this NCLEX like the NBA finals..for real.

I will now be determined like Michael Jordan...............for real.

Thanks for this post. very helpful