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265 kicked my @ss


I took boards last week and I was certain it would shut off at 75!! The questions seemed soooo easy in the beginning , when I got to 76 my nerves really kicked in. It took me ALL the way to 265 with extremely difficult SATA's and I ended up with a BIG FAIL! I am devastated and I dont want to ever go through it again, but of course I will. Towards the end I started just rushing because I was running out of time...I most likely screwed myself by doing that!! I'm so frustrated ...I should have passed this exam! I know my stuff, I studied my ASS off :(

I'm not sure what to study this time around, I did all KAPLAN q bank and q trainers and even dabbed a little in NCSBN...what now?


Has 3 years experience.

Sorry. :(. For future reference, our review instructor said definitely don't rush through the questions, because if you run out of time, the computer will make the determination based on the last 60 questions you answer. I know it's no help for your first attempt, but now you know for next time. Good luck!

You could try Lacharity...a lot of people find that helpful. Also, a lot of people I know used Lippincott's Q & A Review...it has over 6000 questions and is a very good review for systems, peds, and OB. It also gives you 6 (?) comprehensive reviews at the end.

As a side note, one thing they taught us in my NCLEX Review was that when you start running out of time to SLOW DOWN and try to get as many right as you can in the end. I hope it does not come to this again for you but if it does...slow down, take a deep breath, let time run out, and try to get those last few questions right.

If you had all 265 questions you were probably close to passing. Just look at your CPR and focus on your weak areas.

You can do this!

Sorry..reading your story,i think what happened was that you were expecting to finish at 75 and yet when it didnt happened you panicked and lost control..maybe for now try to calm yourself for a while,think things over.and when you feel ready then get back to it. All the best to you..

Thats exactly what I thought would happen, I was certain I would shut off at 75. When the questions kept rolling the more nervous I got and it went quickly down hill!! I'm sure was soo close, and that kills me...ugh !!!

Do you feel Kaplan helped at all? I'm doing it now & I'm so confused with the decision tree

Kaplan did help, the questions were very similar.


Specializes in Emergency Medicine. Has 1 years experience.

It's really test taking strategies... If you are getting knowledge base ?'s that are easy means that you're not passing... I tutor people who don't pass... And they all lack test taking strategies... My 2 cents...

akulahawkRN, ADN, RN, EMT-P

Specializes in Emergency Department. Has 6 years experience.

The fact that you went the entire length of the exam means that you were "near passing" for basically the entire exam but not clearly above or below passing standard. For the future, expect to go 265 and if it shuts off earlier than that, then the computer had determined that you've definitely passed or failed... but expect to go the full distance. If you're getting close to the end of the allotted time, and you think you might have to rush through to reach 265, it's probably better for you to let the timer time you out than to rush to "complete" the exam.

Remember, the NCLEX has some very specific rules about how it determines pass/fail and will apply those rules continuously from question 75 onward. You might have passed if you'd let the clock run out and not rushed through the questions at the end just to reach the maximum. You might not have passed either... but your answers wouldn't have been rushed and you probably would have had a "cleaner" result that's more indicative of your strengths and weaknesses.

Probably the biggest piece of advice for this kind of exam (there'll be very few like this you'll ever have to face) is to never rush through. Let the exam either run out of time or run out of questions, but do it at your speed and take each question one at at time without regard to previous questions or the clock. You're still in the game if you get another question and you've not reached 6 hours or 265 questions. If it shuts off, it should be a surprise because you're going one question at a time.

While my exam did shut off at 75 and a little over an hour in, I honestly didn't keep track of which question I was on. I remember noticing a few question numbers here and there and noted that I was on 74 at some point, but I truly didn't realize I was on 75 until after it shut off. I think I was kind of expecting to get another question! I was going just one question at a time. If I'd failed, my CPR would have had a good clear indication of what I would have needed to work on for next time.