My How To's To Pass Nclex

  1. Hi,
    I graduated in 1998 and never took the NCLEX until this year. I had a business degree before 1998 so you go figure why. If you have an extra time. Please check my intro.
    My test computer at Sylvan shut itself down and told me that I was done after 78 questions. I thought it was not normal since I missed some of the instructions given by the proctor. (Maybe one cute examinee caught my attention. Heh..heh..). The proctor informed me that it's OK. Chances are, I passed the exams and did quite well because the passing mark was 70. She was right, I did pass - and in one try, after 8 years.
    Concerning my review techniques, I just employed the basics and I'm quite sure a lot of our colleagues in the forum have the same style.
    First, I obtained a not-so-new Lippincott Comprehensive review book (2004), a newer Mosby's Q&A book, a couple of CD's that came with them. My old books, Fundamentals of Nsg., Med-Surg, Psychiatric, Pediatric, Maternity, Nutrition, Drug Calculations, and Social Science book (Don't get overwhelmed because these are for reference only, keep them handy if you still have them). I also reviewed the end-of-chapter questions on each book (Note: some questions are already in the reviewers that you have. I chose to do it this way because it reinforced all the information which I already have). I planned to do this step by step so it did not create any confusion. Length of review - 3 months.
    One point, though. Read that Management concepts, please. Very important. If you can master it, please do so. This area identifies you, your job responsibilties, accountabilites, and specific systematic approach in managing people based on their positions.
    Also: The documentations, documentations, and more documentations. (Sigh).
  2. Visit Ronnie G profile page

    About Ronnie G

    Joined: Sep '06; Posts: 6

    13 Comments

  3. by   RNKay31
    Congrats
  4. by   DolphinRN84
    Congratulations!!
  5. by   BORI-BSNRN
    Congratulations to you new RN!!
  6. by   vamedic4
    Congratulations@@@!!!
  7. by   augigi
    Congrats - that's a great achievement!

    I hope I can repeat your success - I graduated in 1996 and have been working in nursing (Australia) since then and planning to take NCLEX soon. I am also taking several months to study systematically.
  8. by   EricJRN
    Congrats! Have to add a couple of disclaimers though:

    - There's no passing percentage score (70 or otherwise) like on a standard nursing school exam.

    - The odds are greatly in the candidate's favor for a pass, regardless of the number of questions received.
  9. by   augigi
    The odds are greatly in the candidate's favor for a pass, regardless of the number of questions received.
    ...unless you're a foreign-trained RN, in which case your historical chance of passing is ~40%!
  10. by   Ronnie G
    1. I have been working a week after I received my license. Concerning taking the exams, believe me, I was a little "anxious" at first because I didn't know what to expect. But once I answered the first couple of questions it finally hit me, (modesty aside) it wasn't difficult as I thought it would be. All my life I have been an A- to B+ student and my study habit is pretty much like everyone else. The questions in the exams are very similar to the exams they gave you in school and chances are what the instructors gave you will show up in the exams. They know, they've been there and they keep themselves abreast of the latest trends through the results of the exams their student partake and managed to pass or not pass. My instructors invited me after they were made aware of the results and conducted an informal interview. They want to make adjustments for the future candidates. As for my study habit: A later Lippincott comprehensive review will do. supplement it with Mosby's Q&A (all are questions), You will use Lippincott for the review. If you can get a hold of one late edition Saunders it will be great. I've heard great results from nurses who used this book. When you read, try to relax and focus on what you are reading. NEVER think of the other chapters or segments yet. You will retain information better this way. Once you've read the subject area proceed to answer the questions. Don't worry, this is just a self-test and you will be amazed how much you retained over this particular subject area. Once you made the wrong answer, read the rationales then go back to that page in the book where you will find the rest of the information. I am able to retain 30-35% information in the first reading, like an average person. The difference is the rest of the approach. If you found you made a mistake, read the rationale, and then read back. It is time consuming but if you try this method faithfully, chances are, you will pass the exams with one shot. I forgot to mention, keep a medical dictionary handy. It's been a long time since. This is to take a quick look for terminologies that you may have forgotten. Understand your lab values, medications especially side-effects and the action you must take FIRSTHAND, THE NEXT, and so on and so forth. If you can devote at least 2 to 3 hours of undisturbed reviewing, this will be great. With a couple of 15 minutes break in between. Answer all the questions in the book. Even if you find similar or very similar questions. They may or may not have the same answers. You will encounter this along the way. About the NCLEX exams, you must have 70 correct answers in order for you to pass. This is out of 265 questions, this is what the proctor told me. The earlier the computer shuts down after 70 questions, a congratulations is in order. The mode the question with which the question is generated depends on your weakness. Meaning, if you are weak in Maternity Nursing, the computer will generate more questions in Maternity Nursing. You will be bombarded until you get the correct answer. But the computer is programmed to remember this as your weak area. You have to be adequately strong in each areas. Forget what others tell you that they passed and didn't find questions concerning drug calculations. Believe me those questions are in there. Even if not, you will be using this tool throughout your professional life anyways, along with your Pharmacology. Nothing new to it. Just spend "free and clear" time for yourself to study. As for me, I work in a cardiac care hospital, alternating ER and Med-Surg units. Lotsa luck, you can handle this. I know you can.
  11. by   TexasPediRN
    Quote from Ronnie G
    1. About the NCLEX exams, you must have 70 correct answers in order for you to pass. This is out of 265 questions, this is what the proctor told me. The earlier the computer shuts down after 70 questions, a congratulations is in order.
    Ronnie - First off, congrats on passing the NCLEX!

    Second, just so you know, there is no magic number that you must get correct to pass the NCLEX. You are going to get as many questions as it takes (up to 265 for RN's) in order for the computer to decide with a 95% accuracy that you have passed the NCLEX. That can be 75, or 265, or anywhere inbetween. Your proctor was incorrect in telling you that you need 70 correct.
    Also, the earlier the computer shuts down after 70 does not mean an automatic pass, it could mean an automatic fail and the computer has decided that by 75 questions, you did not meet the minimum requirements to pass the NCLEX and will not meet them, even if you continue to 265 questions.

    I just wanted to clarify that for you, and for anyone else reading this thread. Someone please feel free to correct me if I am wrong.

    Congrats again!
    -Meghan
  12. by   suzanne4
    Quote from MeghanRN
    Ronnie - First off, congrats on passing the NCLEX!

    Second, just so you know, there is no magic number that you must get correct to pass the NCLEX. You are going to get as many questions as it takes (up to 265 for RN's) in order for the computer to decide with a 95% accuracy that you have passed the NCLEX. That can be 75, or 265, or anywhere inbetween. Your proctor was incorrect in telling you that you need 70 correct.
    Also, the earlier the computer shuts down after 70 does not mean an automatic pass, it could mean an automatic fail and the computer has decided that by 75 questions, you did not meet the minimum requirements to pass the NCLEX and will not meet them, even if you continue to 265 questions.

    I just wanted to clarify that for you, and for anyone else reading this thread. Someone please feel free to correct me if I am wrong.

    Congrats again!
    -Meghan
    Definitely not wrong, 100% correct.
    And that proctor was 100% incorrect, all nurses taking the NCLEX exam get 50% correct and 50% incorrect, the issue is what level that they are getting them correct at..............that is why this exam is so very different from anything else.
  13. by   EricJRN
    Quote from augigi
    ...unless you're a foreign-trained RN, in which case your historical chance of passing is ~40%!
    That's a great point, augigi. I usually include 'for first-time, US-educated candidates' in my spiel, but I left it out this time. Good catch!
  14. by   Ronnie G
    My, my, I was misinformed. Thanks for correcting that.
    As for me, it stopped at 78 questions. I got my professional license. And I'm very happy. What else can I say.

    I really do not pay attention on the passing percentile, to be honest. What I know, at that certain period of time, satisfied most of the questions presented to me. I studied hard and was rewarded.

    So, in essence, what I was trying to say is: study, study, and study more.

    Concerning the 265th question? If you can, please try to avoid reaching this number.
    Last edit by Ronnie G on Oct 2, '06

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