I passed NCLEX with 75 questions!! Here's how I did it...

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    I just want to give back to this site. I am posting my NCLEX experience in the hopes someone gets something out of it. I graduated the last week of May 2017 and took NCLEX Aug 15th, got the results today, Aug 17th.

    I passed NCLEX with 75 questions!! Here's how I did it...

    Hey guys,

    Here's what I did to study. I took the Kaplan class the 3rd week of June. It was okay, but I don't think it's going to make or break anyone so don't sweat it if you don't take the Kaplan class, no big deal.

    3rd week of June (8 weeks until NCLEX):I began studying 30 minutes a day the third week of June just to keep lab values fresh, and started memorizing mnemonics. I purchased NCLEX Mastery app.

    (7 weeks until NCLEX): The last week of June I began doing the question bank approx 30 questions per day and took time to read the rationales just like allnurses recommends. It's true what they say on here about NCLEX Mastery app. It's a good app for quizzing yourself on lab values and signs/symptoms of diseases. 30 bucks well spent for the NCLEX Mastery app. I found myself doing questions in my car, while I waited in line at the store, etc. My scores were terrible at first(around upper 40's and low 50's). I saw from my scores, I was horribly weak at maternity/peds, and pharm, which helped me realize I better fix those areas over the next six weeks.

    Beginning 4th of July week(6 weeks before NCLEX): I cranked it up to one hour per day of studying(lab values and NCLEX Mastery app questions, 30-50 questions per day. My scores were terrible(40's-low 50's percentages).

    2nd week of July(5 weeks until NCLEX): I cranked it up to an hour and a half studying per day. I did Kaplan question bank questions minimum 50 per day, along with 30-50 NCLEX Mastery app questions. My scores for both were still terrible(upper 40's, around 50 percent). I began to make notecards from the rationales of important concepts such as trach care, and colostomy care. I watched 1-2 Kaplan vids per day on procedures and common diseases.

    3rd Week of July(4 weeks until NCLEX): I did an hour and a half to 2 hrs per day. I did 75 Kaplan questions in the morning and 30-50 NCLEX Mastery app questions at night. I made more notecards from the rationales. My scores were improving on NCLEX Mastery app. around 55 percent, but not improving much on Kaplan(low 50's percent). I watched 1-2 Kaplan videos per day on procedures and common diseases, and researched youtube and internet to clear up any confusion I had.

    4th week of July(3 weeks until NCLEX): I read on allnurses how UWORLD app is the best app there is. I wanted to leave no stone unturned, so I paid 70 dollars for the UWORLD app. I did 2 hours a day minimum of nothing but UWORLD questions. I FREAKING LOVE THE UWORLD rationales! BY FAR THE BEST!! I made note cards from the rationales. I did at least 150 UWORLD questions per day(in 50 question chunks), and read the rationales just like other threads have recommended on here. My score started out rough the first few days but quickly got better. By the end of the first week, I was in the mid to upper 50's.

    Last week of July(2 weeks until NCLEX): Two hours per day. 150 UWorld questions per day. My scores improved even more by the end of the week I was in upper 50's to low 60's. I was feeling more confident. I watched NCLEX youtube videos and read allnurses to pick up extra tips.

    First week of August(1 week until NCLEX): The first day of the week, I took the UWorld sample NCLEX exam and got a 80 percent chance of passing. I studied at least 2 hours per day. 150 Uworld question(in three 50 question chunks). My scores were above average every time now(upper 50's, low to mid 60's). I would also do 50 questions per day of incorrect questions.

    Week of NCLEX: I finished the UWorld question bank with 4 days to go until NCLEX. I continued to study 2 hours a day and started the UWorld question bank over again at the beginning. I did 150 questions per day(three 50 question chunks). Now I was getting in the low to upper 70 percent every time which gave me a HUGE boost of confidence. Some of the questions I flew through because I easily remembered the answers from before. I also studied the allnurses PDF study guides religiously at this point starting with about 7 days to go until NCLEX.

    NCLEX day: I treated it like a normal day as much as I could. Woke up, got a good breakfast, nothing too heavy. Strong cup of coffee and headed out the door with 2 and a half hours until NCLEX. I got to the testing site 2 hours early. Went inside introduced myself and asked what to expect in 2 hours when it's my time to test. The lady was very nice and walked me through their procedure, which took some of the edge off since now I knew exactly what to expect. I went out to my car and watched youtube nursing videos and went over the notecards I had made the last several weeks until it was time for my test.

    ABOUT THE NCLEX: The exam shut off at 75 questions, and took approximately 2 hours for me to complete. Funny thing about NCLEX is I had zero dosage calculation questions! I had at least 20-30 select all that apply, around 10 priority questions, a few which patients to discharge in the event of natural disaster SATA questions, a few contact precautions questions, few airborne precautions questions, a few delegation questions, a which pt to assign to LVN and a floating RN from med/surg to psych unit questions, a few procedure questions, a few thyroid disorder questions, side effects of ace inhibitor questions, a few psych questions, a couple of trach care questions, one chest tube question, a few pregnancy related questions(one which asked what is done during a 30 week gestation non-stress test), an alcohol withdrawal question, an STD question about s/s of syphilis while pregnant, one burn question, a random question about Buspirone.

    Now that it's over I will tell you UWorld is the best, most accurate study material you can get, it even looks identical to NCLEX. So glad I paid the 70 bucks and went through question bank.

    NCLEX Mastery app is pretty good too. Better rationales than Kaplan. You get what you pay for and there's a reason NCLEX Mastery app is only 30 bucks vs the 70 bucks you pay for UWorld. Kaplan is very hard, I would say harder than the actual NCLEX. I didn't like the rationales for Kaplan, I kept having to look stuff up online to help me understand their rationales, whereas UWorld had amazing rationales, and NCLEX Mastery app had pretty good rationales too just not quite as good as UWorld. I did over 2,000 UWorld questions, over 1,000 Kaplan questions, and over 1,500 NCLEX Mastery app questions. Overall, I would rank the study programs UWORLD head and shoulders above the others, NCLEX Mastery second, and Kaplan a close third(Kaplan has great tutorial videos, the others dont').

    Allnurses(YOU GUYS) helped me immensely, so I wanted to give back.

    Good luck to everyone! YOU GOT THIS!!!
    Last edit by Joe V on Jun 15, '18
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  3. by   DaniTheEnchanted
    Congratulations!!! I wish to pass it as well!!!
  4. by   hopetopassnclex
    Congratulations and thank you so much for your input. All the best as you move on in the Nursing profession.
  5. by   RNbubu
    Wow that is a lot of studying. Good for you for the effort, it paid off. I took my NCLEX years ago. I did no studying the weeks before the test, passed with 75 questions too.

    I feel we all know the information - we all spent at least 2 years in nursing school learning. It is good to know what works for you individially. But remember that what works for one doesn't necessarily work for another.
  6. by   Ahahnrn
    This makes me a little sad, a good nursing school should prevent you from needing this much additional studying to pass your NCLEX. i took mine the Monday after graduation from an excellent ADN program and passed with 75 questions in 30 minutes, granted i am a fast test taker and don't like to over analyze questions, but I also feel like the purpose of nursing school is to prep you for not only the exam but work knowledge without needing a bunch of additional resuoursec.
  7. by   she244
    Congratulations! I have been in Nursing for 20+ years and was fortune to pass the exam with 75 questions also. Like you it took me about 1 hour and 45 minutes. I had completed 73 questions when the machine cut off for a break. The proctor of the class asked me how many questions I had completed. When I told him 73, he said I probably would not have time to finish the test. I was stressed out after him saying that. When I went back to start the test again. I answered 2 questions and the machine cut off again. When talking with others, the main thing I have come to realize is reading each question completely and the answer choices are fundamental to passing. I would pick out 2 answers I though might be right and then choose 1. Best Wishes for a Successful Future in Nursing.
  8. by   KimmiejsRN
    The year I graduated from nursing school, 1994, was the first year the test was no longer on paper. We were the first to take the boards on computers. It did take 2 weeks to get our results. I prepared for the test simply by reviewing any practice test I could get my hands on. I also reviewed a little pharmacology. The day of my exam was unforgettable. In Macon due to a tropical depression that had stalled over Georgia and caused wide spread flooding there was no running water. We went almost a couple of months before we had running water. It was a bit rough. Since the testing site was less than a 5 minute drive from where I lived, I met a friend about half a block from the testing site for a relaxing lunch and a vodka tonic. It paid off for me since I passed the test in 75 questions and in under 90 minutes.
  9. by   Kratoswife
    Omg this is giving me stress anxiety!!

    We both taking ours around the same time.

    I feel that is way too many sources!

    But you passed!! So congrats on that.

    UWORLD Was just enough for me.

    Oh and nursing school!
  10. by   Oemgee
    I passed in 75 but instead of cramming and endless review I relied on the fact that I already had a base of knowledge. The morning of I reviewed lab values and cardiac drugs. I didn't allow myself time to second guess myself, took me about an hour. You can review all day every day and stress yourself out with the feeling that you don't know anything but if you got as far as the NCLEX then you're not without knowledge. You know what your weaknesses are, just brush up on those before you go in. There is literally no way to know what will be asked, there were questions both incredibly easy and those that were entirely outside my knowledge base (literally the only thing I retained that applied about HIV drugs is that they ended in -vir), but the important part is that I passed.

    Do what works for you, don't let others freak you out with their prep and how it's different from yours. There is no better or worse, only what works for each person as far as retaining what you need.
  11. by   spike52
  12. by   meeekeee
    where is the all nurses PDF you speak of???

    and congratulations!
  13. by   SilentscrubRN
    Hello i graduated year 2007 and long time since college. So i hope i dont forget the theories Im still practicing nurse though here in uae.. will take nclex rn soon this yr.. God help me pls... i have a son and working also..i only read and understand per chapters of saunders now..
  14. by   QueenV,RN
    Congratulations on passing!! Where can I find the allnurses PDF study guide you referred to?