My NCLEX Success Story!

Nursing Students NCLEX


Specializes in ICU.

i took my test on friday afternoon and, well, caved in and got my quick results for $8 and found out i passed! i also did the pvt trick before this and it worked for me. i am so excited to be writing one of these stories and i loved reading them before my test. so, i thought i would share my story as well.

i passed with 75 questions in about 1 hr and 15 mins. i never thought i'd be done in 75.

this is a long post, but i highlighted my main points, so feel free to just read what you want.

materials i used (yes, this is alot of material. i could have probably done without a few of these, so i will share my thoughts on each. i put ** by the materials i found the most helpful.)

q&a review for nclex-rn by lipincott

i was told that you should do about 5,000 practice questions by graduation. i took it literally, so i made up a few sheets of papers with 5,000 strikes that i crossed off. the majority of the questions came from this book. i felt like an idiot with this book, lol, as my scores were pretty low. i started this book the may after my first year (2011) to about january (2012) of my second year. i did about 75% of the book. again, i read all the rationales for the questions i did.

**nclex-rn alternate-format questions by lipincott

i heard that there were alot of sata questions on the test, so i picked up this book. very easy read! i also loved this book because its not a big clunker so i was able to bring it on car rides and to work for my breaks. i recommend this one to become comfortable with satas.

**kaplan course, qt, qbanks, tests, videos online

i think, like others have mentioned before, that kaplan was good for allowing me to just slow down and read the question right. i was getting questions wrong for reading too quickly and missing key words. i did every question on the qbank and i did all my trainers, the diagnostic exam, the readiness, and watched 4 out of 7 of their videos. make sure you read the rationales for wrong and right answers. they provide you with information without overloading you with paragraphs of rationale. i used to jot down information in a notebook for things i thought were important.

**kaplan rn course book (the book they give you when you sign up for the kaplan review course)

great book. i actually read the majority of this book because it was such an easy read. the page numbers are even in little bubbles so you could highlight the pages you have read. i started to read this book around feb-mar of my last year, especially doing pages that related to what we were studying in class at the time. i read about 8-20 pages in each sitting between feb-june.

kaplan nclex-rn: strategies, practice, review for the kindle

i am all about study materials with mobility. i am sure they have this in paperback, but i wanted something i could use on my kindle so i could lazily read it while in bed and before class started. easy read, mobile if you have it on an e-reader, 265 practice test, and good tips. i think most of this information will be discussed in kaplan course, though. $10-15 dollars.

kaplan nclex-rn medications you need to know for the exam

i definitely could have done without this. i bought it because i wanted to stick with kaplan - as not to mix myself up with other materials. it was a 300 page book with meds written almost in a flashcard style. i got to about page 75 and lost the book. i think i was freaking out because i didn't have medication flash cards for on-the-go and this was a small book. but, i could have lived without this! saunders comprehensive review for the nclex-rn examination (5th edition)

i got this because it seemed to be a well liked book on here. i bought it late in the game (about april of my last year.) i've completed about 16 chapters of practice questions. i read about 1-2 chapters thoroughly, and then skimmed through some trouble areas. this helped me alot for my final semester of nursing school! i would read the topics we were covering for tests. if i were to do it all over again, i would have bought this earlier in my nursing school career and used it as supplemental reading. maybe even nix the big lipincott book.

[h=1]rntertainment: the nclex examination review game[/h]a friend got this for me for christmas. i joked and said i am only going to use this to study for the test. it's a quick, simple, nclex style board game that we found at b&n. it is also on amazon. i played this maybe twice a month with my boyfriend. we played for fun and i rarely read the rationales during the game. however, a couple days before my test, i went through every category pile and pulled out all the sata, order response, and math cards. i read them all with the rationale book. it's a neat way to spice things up, but isn't necessary.

**topic du jour

this is not a book, but something that i came up with that i found helpful. basically what i did was i wrote down any topics or drugs that i was fuzzy about (or just seemed to pop up all the time in practice tests.) for instance, amputations, hip replacements, bucks traction, dumping syndrome, tb, fhr, addison's disease, etc. i would pick a topic a day and look it up in my kaplan rn course book. i jotted down a few important information about the topic - nothing more than 3 or 4 sentences. keep these in a journal or small notebook. when you have some free time, just read them over.

how i studied meds

to begin, our program required us to take one nursing elective during the program. i took pharmacology and i believe it helped alot. so, if you are a current nursing student and have the option to take this, please do.

basically what i did was go through the kaplan rn course book and divided all of the class of drugs from the medication charts into 8 different groups.

endocrine: insulin, hypoglycemic agents, hyperthyroid meds, hypothyroid meds, etc

cardiac: diuretics, antihypertenseives, antiplatelets, antidysrhythmics, shock, etc

respiratory/pain meds: bronchodilators, tb, opioids, nsaids, etc.

bone and eye: pagets, carbonic anhydrase, miotics, etc

anti-infectives and antineoplastics:

men and women health, minerals, vitamins:

gastrointestinal: anti-ulcers, antidiarrheals, etc

psych: antianxiety, antidepressants, antipsychotics, bipolar, antiparkinsons, adhd, etc

in the text book, i wrote four dashes by each class _ _ _ _. basically i just read one group a day for 3-4 weeks. so i ended up reading them over 3-4 times total. i checked off each class when i read them. the book is also nice because it allows you to write down notes on the side. i wrote down the main s/s of the drugs in each class and anything else that stood out as extraordinary.

i was going to attempt to make flashcards as well. but, i quit after a few classes. i read the ones that i did make them for, but i really didn't feel like making any more. i think just reading them over from the book was enough for me.

to make it less boring, i had my boyfriend help me read at times. so if you have a willing friend, loved one, or classmate, ask them to help you read them! it was nice to say them aloud and also have someone else say them.

other tips and pointers

-if you are still a nursing student, start doing questions early - maybe 50-100 per week when you can. more during breaks. it truly has been a year of doing questions for me.

-if you are a current student, just do your best in class and with your studies. this helped me alot for the test.

-don't let anxiety get the best of you. i am usually an anxious person, but i knew i prepared enough, my kaplan scores indicated i had a good chance of passing, and i saw many classmates of mine pass successfully. i really wasn't nervous for this test except for one pang on anxiety going towards the building. the worst that can happen is that you can take the test again. not the end of the world!

-make sure you do a test drive to the center before test day. this will alleviate unnecessary stressors. likewise, make sure you check that you have your id and att before you leave for the test.

-don't be too concerned with your scores from practice tests. just read all of the rationales for right and wrong answers. you are learning from them.

-try not to analyze the questions nclex is asking you. i would be lying if i said i didn't do this myself, but really try to just focus on what the current question is asking. i hear that many people get a lot of delegation and priority questions. i felt like i didn't get an overwhelming amount. i know some people record the # of satas, but i thought that would just cause me more anxiety/work, so i really don't know an exact number. i felt like every 3rd one was a sata on my test.

-read slowly and carefully. i found myself stating the question in my own words after reading it. i noticed i was getting a few questions wrong just for reading fast.

-do memorize labs, isolation precautions (what disease is droplet, airborne), and some immunizations. also look up mnemonic devices that might help. i was have trouble remembering the different precautions. airborne: my chicken hez tb (measles, chicken pox, herpes zoster, tb.) little things like this go a long way.

-this may sound like a lot of work but it really wasn't. i guess because this was spaced out during a year (though i did a good chunk during breaks and the month leading up to my test.) but, it really didn't take long to do these things. i was not putting in 8 hour days, by any means. i tried to do a little something every day.

-also practice taking tests in a setting as close as possible to the real test. sit at a chair and desk, do 75-265 questions in a sitting, turn off your phone, and don't text, or eat while taking the test. this helps with endurance and preparing for the real setting.

congrats :hrnsmlys::yeah: ur story shows ur hard work n really inspires thanks for wonderful post...

YAY!!! thank you for this! and congrats x1000!!!

Specializes in ICU.

Thanks all! Good luck to all of you about to test!

:)CongratS to you and BIG:hug:for the TIME and EFFORT POSTING your AMAZING INFORMATION that is so VERY HELPFUL!!

VERY KIND HEART:saint: NURSE ---- Scarlettz,RN:thankya:

Wow, thanks for all the great advice and congrats!


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