My Testimony: What I did to Pass NLCEX on 2nd Try. You will Too. Here's Some Tips.

Can I really pass the NCLEX?

I passed on my 2nd try at around 190 questions in 4 hours!! Thank God!!

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Can I really pass the NCLEX?

Like many others, I told myself when I pass, I would also share my experience and give back. (this is a long story and for those who could not sleep after hours of studying, like me)

First off, I was born and raised in California and I graduated with a BSN from the Philippines in 2014. I am married with twin boys in Kindergarten.

Here is what I did to study:

First I had to get organized, I printed a blank schedule with times and filled in time slots of my day, which included waking up at 7am, getting the boys up and ready for school and making breakfast for the family. Then I headed to the local library to study. I knew I was to take my exam at 2pm so I studied till 12pm and headed home to eat lunch. At home, at 1pm I did practice tests until it was time to pick the boys up from the bus stop at 3:50pm. After that, we did their homework, made and ate dinner and put them to bed at 7ish. After they fell asleep, I'd do household chores. Then I'd help my hubby get ready for work (He works PM). After he left for work at 10:30ish, I'd study some more until 2:00am.

Last Year in November, I enrolled in Kaplan. I completed Phase One - Before Class in a month which included Question Trainer 1,2,3 and Online Content Review. In December I attended the 4 day live review and completed Phase Two . Parts of December , all of January and the beginning of Feb, I completed Phase three. I did all 1,300 questions in the qbank plus the sample tests and the rest of the question trainers. I followed what Kaplan recommended which was space the Question Trainers and Sample Test with qbank tests in between. I made sure to do at least 1 test a day (75 questions) (on the weekends) but for the most part I did 2 tests a day (my goal was to finish the QBank) It took me 27 tests (75 questions) to finish the Qbank (I put it on Incorrect and Unused, Timed mode). I really liked Kaplan because of their timed qbank. I wanted to prepare my mind and body for the long 6 hour exam by taking tests every day until 2 days before my exam. The videos were long but well worth watching because Barbara does a good job enforcing the decision tree into my brain. Every question she would explain how to critically think to get the right answer because that what you need to do during NCLEX.

After every test, I read the rationale. I took the time to look up what I did not know. I also printed out pictures and graphs and articles of it too to help me remember. I started taking notes on a notebook, I also started taking notes on post its and then at the end, I ended up making flash cards (to me that was easier)

Backing up a bit, I also did Hurst Review. I enrolled last year in April and attended their 3 day live review. Honestly, I attended their live reviews 4 times (all in different cities and even a different state, because we moved)! (Got my moneys worth) I really liked their review book and videos, I was able to follow along and understand the material. I completed their Q Review tests but felt I personally needed to do more questions.

Last year, I also bought the PDA book by La Charity and did the questions online. I highly recommend this book because it's straight to the point. I became a lot better at prioritizing, especially delegating and assigning questions, ust what the title says it is. I especially liked the case study at the end because that really made me critically think.

Like most of us, I found those notes with a link lingering around here. I printed it out, read it and kept it with me. It has some good pointers, mnemonics, all summarized notes by past students.

What else, oh, I also got the NCLEX Mastery app. I highly recommend that app because I'd open it up and do some practice questions here and there, on the go. It has 1,800+ questions, I still have around 500 left on my app. I really liked as part of their resources, their lab values. It had a * on the lab value that you should have memorized. I also liked that it has terminology broken down with stem and prefixes to help you remember, and mnemonics and test. Highly recommend and worth $30.

I didn't finish the Saunders book, I started reading it back in October 2014 when I first started studying. Then did some Kaplan QBank questions in November afterwards and then did the NCSBN 5 week review (to me it was a lot of reading, a lot of reading online and my eyes were hurting afterwards.) before I took the NCLEX my first time in December 2014.

To pass the exam this time, I realized I needed to change my study habits. It was only towards the end of last year, was when I got my act together and made my schedule. I was able to follow through with my schedule when my boys started kindergarten. Before that, I really didn't have a routine. I took supplements to help me focus, I made bullet proof coffee to stay awake. I tried to take breaks from studying every 30 mins, I'd walk around or just stretch, to get my bottom off the chair. I also prayed every night.

The day before my exam, I was told NOT to study and to stay busy so I got a haircut, got my eyebrows threaded and my nails done. My hubby sacrificed his sleep to go with me to the beach where we just walked on the shore. That night, we ate take out. I got a good night sleep and woke up the next day refreshed.

Exam Day

The day of my exam, I couldn't help but read over my notes one last time. I took 2 showers that day, once in the morning when I woke up and another right before my exam (It was at 2pm, so I had time for a 1 hour nap before my shower while my hubby took the boys out so I can be extra refreshed) Last time I took the exam, it was at 8am and I felt rushed, I recommend picking a time when you're at your most optimal and highest functioning, mine is certainly not in the morning) I arrived there 30 minutes before the exam (as recommended), I left my purse and my phone in my car, so no distractions and just took with me my Amino Acids drink, a protein bar, some trail mix and my ID. I dressed in layers, because last time, I was asked to take off my jacket and I was cold. This time, they asked me to take off my jacket but I was ready, but this time they asked me to roll up my sleeves (hahaha) Last time, I wore a head band to keep my bangs or stray hairs off my face but was asked to remove it, this time I didn't wear one and just put my hair in a pony tail with some hair spray for my fly aways. Last time, I went in jogging pants, t shirt and bearpaw boots, this time I went in with style. I really got ready this time and felt more relaxed and confident, like going to an interview. Last time, when the computer didn't stop at 75 questions, I panicked. This time when it didn't stop at 75 questions, I thought, Yes I still have a chance!! This time I took my time, I used the white board (I used 3 of them) I tried to take a break every hour but when the 3rd hour came, I felt I was running out of time so I didn't take it. ( I recommend taking a break every hour) I must have gotten a string of correct answers right because it stopped, blue screen in my face! But I was like, OMG! I should have taken that break!! I recently read you can hid the timer? I'm not sure but if I'd known I would have done that because towards the end, I kept looking at it and to see what number I was on, very distracting but a good way to pace yourself.

Anyways, I left the exam, with tear in my eyes. I came home thinking I didn't pass, thinking what do I tell my hubby and my family. At home I cried and told my hubby I'm sorry, it was really hard and that I'll start studying again soon. I texted my family who prayed for me that I wasn't sure but thanked them for their prayers.

Last night, I cried myself to sleep after saying my prayers. Tonight, after my husband went to work, I went online and at midnight, I went to to check and "verify" my license, I searched my name and bam! My name showed up in front of me with my license number! I clicked my name and saw my license was insured this very day! I also login to check. I was in total shock!! I screen shot it on my phone and sent it to my hubby and family. They were all super excited for me, I was trembling and shaking. God answers prayers, all in His time. Glory to God.

My 2 cents of advice:

You can do it!! Study hard and study smart. Your sacrifice of time and resources will pay off in the end. Stay strong and healthy so you can endure hours of studying, sleepless nights and a 6 hour test. You do need your sleep, stay hydrated and focused. Believe in yourself. You gotta want it with all your might, if you do, you will surely pass!!

Message me if anything. God bless and good night ?

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733 Posts

Congrats great inspiration


14 Posts

Hello, I am trying to pass my LVN but no luck. I am from the Philippines but I went to school here in U.S. What supplements you took to help you out to focus on studying? :) I am reading Suanders & swithced to Kaplan. Thank you


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Congratulations! But don't you think you used a lot of resources??!! :cautious:

Hurst review, Kaplan review, La Charity, Saunders, NSCBN, RN-Matery App. OMG! I suppose it worked for you so kudos.