Honestly, after my 4th try, if I did not pass, I was considering another path in life. Or maybe that was just how I felt and I would have kept pushing forward
A little bit about my background. When I did my nursing pre-requisites, I did very well. When I was in nursing school, I was borderline of failing a couple quarters. Why? Not being consistently productive and proactive. Once nursing school was over, I took a vacation.
1st Attempt: I jumped right in with zero preparation. I was not being careless. It was just that one of the nurses I was working with told me the NCLEX was super easy. She went in with no preparation, immediately after her program and passed with 86 questions. Took the NCLEX and stopped at 255 questions
. I walked out and felt like I probably passed. So when I found out I failed, I had only myself to blame.
2nd Attempt: I decided to use Kaplan. I was not consistent with my studies. Kaplan had sessions, trainers, nclex sample test, etc. I did not complete everything. Felt a little better and felt like I learned alot. Felt ready. Went in, test stopped at 265 questions
. Seems good to me...until I found out I failed.
3rd Attempt: I restarted Kaplan all over again and I told myself this time, I am going to complete everything. I completed all tests, sessions, trainers and about 70% of the question bank. For the readiness test, I scored a 63% (which indicate a high chance of passing). I took the test and it stopped at 105 questions. This time I feel very good about it. If on my 2nd attempt I got 265 questions, and this time I got 105 questions
, it must have meant that I passed. I can only do better, especially since I prepped much more than any other times. Wrong!
4th Attempt: I decided to do something different. I was thinking maybe my content needed to be stronger. So I purchased NCSBN Learning Extension. I really liked the format. The program was presented in a smooth and organized powerpoint sort of way. There were interactive learning too. I completed the whole program in 5 weeks. The only thing I could complain about it was that the questions were too easy. During that time, I also purchased Uworld. This time, I studied consistently and I spent no more than 2-3 hours a day (with weekends off). I think when you overwhelm yourself, you sort of go into autopilot and you do not retain the information as well. This time, the NCLEX stopped at 76 questions
. I remembered I immediately cried a little bit. Based on my last experience, I did worse on my 3rd try. Now, stopping at 76 questions? Yup, I did complete garbage. I was waiting for the failure notice. My boyfriend encouraged me to do the quick result but I was too scared. He end up doing it for me and when I found out I passed, I cried some more
Life looked beautiful again.
My advice, find out where your weakness is. Re-learning the content again helps tremendously. It definitely gave me more confidence. Even though UWorld
is just a bank of questions, the questions helps build your critical thinking and the rationale is EXCELLENT. Doing the questions alone, I learned so much. I took notes on what I was not familiar with and I would review them. I read all over the internet that it is very important to read all rationales, whether you got the questions right or wrong
. I did not feel like the questions on Kaplan or NCSBN helped me much. Either the questions were too easy and/or the rationales were poor. Study consistently and try to understand the reasons behind the correct answers. NCLEX is not about knowing every single little detail but it is more about keeping your patient safe. Please do this and success will be within your reach.