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My Journey on Passing the NCLEX!!!!

NCLEX   (1,816 Views 3 Comments)
by tranguyen tranguyen (New) New

426 Profile Views; 2 Posts

Hi!

I have never really posted on here before, but I did spend a great amount of time on this website when preparing for my NCLEX (I think I read every possible thread about NCLEX). I told myself I would share my experience after I was done to help others get another perspective on this torturous test.

A little background of myself:

I graduated from an accelerated ADN program that consisted of 16 months. I made 2 B's in the first semester and the rest were all A's throughout my program. Aside from my first semester, I scored pretty well on my lecture exams. I received mostly A's on all of them. Our school used ATI extensively and I did pretty well on them. I graduated December 2014 with a 3.7 GPA, with an exit exam of a 98% chance of passing the NCLEX.

So, since I graduated on 12/12/2014, I told myself that I would start studying right after New Years. I wanted a little break and a treat for finishing nursing school. When New Years rolled around, I tried to get back into the groove of studying. Let me tell you, it was the hardest thing ever. It felt like torture. I studied so hard in nursing school that when it was all done, I was completely burnt! The break that I took was nice...but I really did not want to study anymore. In addition to not having the motivation to study, I was actually overwhelmed. I didn't know where to start or how to get organized. So I was struggling with studying for the first few days, but I finally got into the hang of things again. I studied for approximately three weeks for about 6-8 hours a day. It was such a nightmare, but I knew I had to discipline myself if I wanted to pass NCLEX first try.

I only used two books to study for the NCLEX. Our school gave us an ATI Live Review which I thought was a great review. They also provided us with an ATI NCLEX COMPREHENSIVE BOOK. This was the only book I used in terms of content. It was straight to the point & concise. I did try using the Hogan NCLEX book...but it was too much and I didn't want to overwhelm myself. So, I just read through the ATI NCLEX book back to back and brushed up on materials I needed to review on. The second book I used was PDA by LaCharity. It is an amazing book and I do highly recommend it. Although it was focused mainly on priority, delegation, and assignment, it really help you critically think and brush up on your content as well.

As for practicing questions, I used my old ATI practice codes and Kaplan (my friend was nice enough to give me her login to do questions). I probably did 75-100 questions a day. Kaplan questions were much harder than ATI and the NCLEX itself. Oh and by the way, if you can get a study partner for NCLEX, I would highly recommend it. I did questions with my partner and we threw information back and forth with each other. You always learn/remember better when you teach or talk about it out loud.

I tested on a Thursday, but by that week, I was over it. OVER IT. I could not study anymore. I actually found myself on this website reading NCLEX success stories rather than studying. It was bad, lol.

Night before the test:

People say you shouldn't study before the test and you should relax. Well, it was hard to relax when you know you're taking a test that determines your career. So, I ended up studying. I studied things that were not that taxing on the body, just reviewed lab values and some other simple stuff.

Day of the test:

I was pretty calm, surprisingly. I think it was because I've been mentally preparing myself for three weeks and told myself everyday that my anxiety will not get the best of me. I've seen people take tests and their anxiety is so high that it clouds their judgement/thinking skills. I prayed for the strength to take this test and it worked! I was calm. Maybe a little nervous, but it kept me determined.

All of my classmates that took it so far, passed with 75 questions. I wanted 75 questions too, but told myself not to worry if I didn't because it means I'm still in the game. So when my test did not shut off at 75, my heart sunk. After that, I just expected to get the full 265. I wasn't even paying attention to the number anymore, but my test shut off around 80 questions. I received 15 SATA, 2 drag & drop, 3 math, 1 exhibit, no audio or EKG. The test had some easy questions and a lot of hard questions. There was probably only 10 questions at the most I was certain of. The rest were educated guesses that I did with process of elimination. I don't think the questions were hard or tricky in anyway. It kind of worried me because I thought the questions I got were not critical thinking or analysis questions. I thought I was flunking it and was way below the competency line. I had hardly any priority or delegation questions! I was freaking out!

After the exam:

I was a complete mess. I did not know how to feel. I really felt that I bombed it, there was no way I could've passed. I know this is a common feeling for NCLEX takers, but it's totally different when its actually you that feels this way. All my classmates were telling me to do the PVT trick, I was way to chicken to do it. I went home, had dinner with my girlfriends, and watched a movie. But when I got home, I eventually ended up doing the PVT trick (due to the great persuasion of my friend), and I got the good pop up!!! I was so happy, but skeptical at the same because it was official results. Woke up the next morning, when onto the BON website, and saw a big fat bolded PASS. BEST DAY EVER!

Soooo, yeah. That's my long story with NCLEX. My tip to you guys is be confident, don't let anxiety cloud your judgement, and know your content!!! People keep saying that NCLEX isn't content base and just practice a ton of questions. Well friends, if you don't know your content, you won't know anything! I got a bunch of content based questions and it scared me because it didn't seem like high competency questions. But I've learned that 'hard' and 'easy' is completely varied by different people. What you think is hard/easy, is not sometimes not the same for everyone else. Don't freak, just keep trying your best on NCLEX. Good luck to all the future NCLEX takers!! You guys can do it! Hope this helps :)

RN :nurse:

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