Sorry to hear that you didn't pass.
I'm not a second time test taker, but I did use Kaplan as my main study tool. I tested today, and got the good pop-up. So, for what it's worth, here's my opinion on Kaplan:
I took the Kaplan live course as well as utilized the online Kaplan content for my NCLEX preparation. Honestly, I don't know how much stock I would put in for the live courses. In my experience, it was a week-long session/classes. But you don't learn content - that is, the person isn't up there lecturing to you. What we did was sit and answer NCLEX-style questions for about seven hours a day.
The QBanks and QTrainers, on the other hand, are pretty much gold. The tests are broken down into a comprehensive analysis for you to review once you are done. They are broken down into the major test categories that NCLEX creates the test around (you can look it up on the NCSBN website to see the test plan and it's % breakdown of categories). But the questions go a step farther and sub-categorize the questions just like the NCLEX does. It really helps you key in on your weak areas. By the end of the course, I could see my weak areas improving through my scores on QBank.
If you go with Kaplan, I would suggest that you look into purchasing Kaplan's "RN Course Book: Preparation for the NCLEX-RN Examination
" as well. My book is the 15th edition; it's cover is brown. It's around $20.00 on Amazon
; and I've seen one on eBay for $40.00. I don't see many people talking about this book, but it came with my course purchase; my school arranged for the Kaplan purchase, so maybe it was some weird package deal. In any case, I think the book is worth a look. Here's some basic info on it:
The coursebook is broken down into note-taking, outlined format. There's also space reserved to the side to take your own notes if you're watching the Lessons on the Demand through Kaplan for content, or if you just feel like jotting something down. This book alone is gold to me in terms of Medication and F+E breakdowns! But separate from that, the book is broken down into the testing categories as defined by NCLEX. For example, Physiological Adaptation sections and related sub categories, Health Promotion and Wellness section and related subcategories, Pharmacology...every single category that is defined by the NCLEX test plan is there and nicely organized.
Good luck to you! Don't give up!! You can, and will
, pass the NCLEX!!