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My unconventional approach

by simba7523 simba7523 (Member)

I've been a long time lurker to the forums here and finally decided I'd post my journey after I tested today. This post is gonna be long but it's worth a read I promise.

I'll start off with admitting I'm lazy....lazy about studying. I did really well in my nursing program mind you. I would put forth the efforts needed for testing and managed to get good grades throughout the program. I did have a bit of trouble sometimes disciplining myself with studying though. I often found things that needed to be done other than studying, "oh gee, that pile of laundry needs to be folded", or "Hmm, it's been a long time since I've scrubbed the tile in the bathroom with a toothbrush!" that kind of thing. Made many excuses to not study but when it came down to it, I would bury my nose in the books and get the job done and learn my material.

I graduated this past May and took off a week or so because I felt like I was just overwhelmed with all the school stuff that had just happened. Exit Hesi, Med Surg 3 Hesi, Peds Hesi, blah blah blah. I just had enough at that point so I stopped. My HURST review was for the last week in May and I really liked it. It was the only review company I used. I had heard of Kaplan but had no idea about it. Don't know what LaCharity is, don't know what ATI is....never even gave them a second thought to be honest. Just had read about them on here.

I began my studying for the NCLEX around the first week of June. Slow....VERY slow at first. Our school piloted a program called PassPoint (from the same company as PrepU) and another one on evolve that was adaptive quizzing styled. (both are question based) I delayed scheduling my test cause I didn't really want to have a definitive date in mind to be honest, but finally it came down to me setting on June 27th. There, I set the date. Done. Now it was time to get serious.

I started using the yellow Saunders book. I would go through each chapter and read it and as completed it, I would reference it to the HURST material. I did questions related to that material on the evolve site and the passpoint site. After getting more than half-way through the Saunders book, I got bored. It was too much. I was burning out. I would study for an hour or two then stop. Then 20 minutes the next day then stop. I just varied my study time each day and I began to notice something...I was doing better by taking breaks and giving the material time to absorb. I ditched the Saunders book and only used it as a reference and possibly some questions at the end of the chapters. I relied solely on HURST for content and did questions on the two aforementioned sites then began doing questions on the Q Review (Hurst). Scored 72.8,60.8 (super tired that day), 68.8, 66.1, and 73.6% on the q reviews. Did lots of questions every day on those two programs. The passpoint one was cool because it set up mock nclex tests for you and scored it like the nclex does (above the line/below the line pass/fail) and I passed all 5 of them I took except one and it was close.

Yesterday was my "nclex-eve" and I didn't do anything study wise. I spent time with family, and my dogs and just had a really good day all for myself. I was anxious all week long leading up to test day (today) but when I woke up this morning, I had the weirdest sense of calm. I just felt like it was gonna be okay no matter what. I was gonna march my tail end in there and do what I could and if it wasn't good enough then I'd try again later!

Test time was supposed to be at 2pm but I got there early and was allowed to go in about 20 minutes early. My biggest and best advice ever: read every question TWO TIMES before you answer it. That way you understand what it's asking. If you have to, then back away from the machine, breath, and read it again. Think about the question. You will more than likely have a pretty good idea what the answer should be when you begin to look at your choices. I had a dozen SATA's, two rhythm strips, one drag and drop, many delegation, and many priority q's and my one lonely calculation questions. I got to question 74 and said, "well, okay, the next one submitted might be the end all so here goes." I read question 75, selected my answer and POOF, the machine went to blue screen. I did the survey and walked out of there nervous as a cat with a nine foot tail in a room full of rockin' chairs!

Got to my car in the parking lot and checked the pearsonvue site but my test hadn't yet been delivered so I decided to wait a little bit. I FOOLISHLY decided to check it again while I was on the road. DON'T DO THAT...PULL OVER AND CHECK IT! LOL I got the the last "next" button and hit it and VIOLA the good pop up hit me! I literally almost squeezed my phone in two I was so excited.

All through nursing school my friends would have breakdown moments. A test that was too hard, a clinical that was too tough, a situation that was just overwhelming. Not me. It never hit me. I never had that breakdown moment....untill I got that good pop-up. I cried for 10 minutes going down the road. All that frustration of nursing school, the anxiety of 4 semesters worth of hard work came flooding to the surface at that moment. It was a good thing.

So...it was an unconventional method in studying for me...it worked for me...provided that PVT works and I'm hoping that it does, I'll have a license in a couple days. There's NO one path that works for everyone. My path wouldn't work for a lot of people...and there's a lot of folks that studied even less than me and made it just fine. Just relax, and think like a nurse that wants to solve the problem. You got this!!! :)


Specializes in Acute Rehab, Neuro/Trauma, Dialysis.

Wow your experiences sound exactly like mine!

Just_Kidney, ADN, BSN, RN

Specializes in Nephrology. Has 6 years experience.

"I often found things that needed to be done other than studying, "oh gee, that pile of laundry needs to be folded", or "Hmm, it's been a long time since I've scrubbed the tile in the bathroom with a toothbrush!" that kind of thing."

OMG I do this so much it's not even funny. The closer I get to a test, the cleaner my house gets. It's insane.


Congratulations!!!!! You did it!!!