NCLEX nerves took over and I failed

  1. Help. I just recently took the NCLEX and have always had a hard time taking timed tests. This time I fooled myself in thinking I was calm, but the first question turned out to be a fill in the blank calculation question and freaked me out. All the time I spent preparing and studying went right out the window. I felt like I was falling behind and stuck on the first question with the time just clicking away. When I finally told myself to relax and stop setting up the problem again and again to convience myself I was right and get on to the next question, I think I just lost all confidence in myself. Which is really foolish since I did well in school and have lots of support telling me I'm going to make a great nurse. Does anyone have any ideas on how to control the nerves? I'm going to take it again asap, but I really need to be more confident! How does one get through fear of timed tests when it is so important to pass! Help!:uhoh21:
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    About da227

    Joined: Sep '06; Posts: 1

    10 Comments

  3. by   Tweety
    Welcome to Allnurses.

    I'm sorry to hear that you failed. I moved your post to the NCLEX forum where hopefully someone can relate and help. Cruise around this forum, there's lots of good hints, especially at the top, the "stickey's".
  4. by   ashley_michelle
    I'm not sure how bad your nerves are... but a couple students that I graduted with... that did well in school.. and failed the nclex the first time. They went to their doctor and got on a temp. script for anxiety. Not sure if this would be the right thing for you, but it definitely worked for them. It gave them a clear head and they were able to think through the questions like they KNEW they could do... and passed the 2nd time around. I went to the Kaplan review before I tested the first time.. and they actually suggested the same thing. Getting on some kind of medication if your nerves couldn't handle it. I just prayed a LOT ... but whatever works.
  5. by   EricJRN
    Hang in there, da227!
  6. by   DolphinRN84
    Good luck to you! Prayers help to calm down..as long as you have God by your side..you can do anything...(if you are religious). I wish you the best of luck.
  7. by   RebeccaJeanRN
    If it were me, I'd be a bit nervous about taking anti-anxiety medication, just because I react strongly and would be afraid of 'brain fog'...but only YOU know how nervous you get. I will confess that I felt PARALYZED by fear when I took the exam, and yet I passed (so surprising!). And honestly, I might have looked into that (anti-anxiety med before second exam) if I had failed because I felt HUGELY stressed, so I understand how you felt. And, like you too, my first question was quite hard (I thought they started with easy ones?) and it threw me because of it. Anyway, the NCLEX forum has LOTS of suggestions for how to be more likely to pass the exam the second time (using Saunders seems to be a great suggestion- both the comprehensive review AND the CD with questions that comes with it). Do check it out! Also, the Kaplan course I took made the suggestion to not worry so much about time and to spend all the time you need on the very first 10 questions. It helps to calm you. To be honest, I took the whole first 75 really slowly...really slowly...and then, guess what? It shut off at 75 and it turned out I passed. So taking your time really seemed to be good advice too! Best of luck to you! We'll be pulling for you! :wink2:
  8. by   kingallnurses
    Hi, this is just a tip. It worked on us. All of us made it on the 75th item and it might worked on you too.
    1. ASAP ( Always Say A Prayer)
    2. Aim for 75
    3. Don't be in haste and time pressured, go SLOW, SLOW, and SLOWWWW
    (You have 360 minutes to consume. Finishing 75 items in 6 hours won't
    matter)
    4. Always use your scratch pad if needed ( It is not for computation only,
    you can re-phrase and re-phrase the question so many times on your
    scratch pad until you really understand the question)
    5. You can also ask for some ear plugs if needed ( your neighbors' key pads
    are sometimes irritating)
    6. Watch out and be on guard if a subject matter is being asked again for
    the second time....you must be wrong in that topic and the computer
    knew your weakness and this can be your pitfall.
    6. Keep your poise and sit properly your video monitored.
    7. Stay cool , calm, and focused
    8. @ item 75, before pressing the enter key, breath deeply, relax for
    awhile and pray that the computer will stop. c."$
  9. by   Chiefy
    Reading the first post reminded me of myself. My first question wasn't the same but I hear ya on the rest.

    The second attempt at the boards were much different for me. I dished out the money for the kaplan question bank and went back to my review class. They offered a retakers class.

    But my mind set was different the second time. I actually got to my site early. Just in case. But it was to early for me to go in. So I walked and went into some of the stores in this beautiful downtown. I relaxed!!!!!! Told my husband thats it Im going in.

    Went and went to it. Approached my questions differently this time. I turned the answers into true/false. At least if I really didn't know it narrowed it down to two.

    But I did it! I was in there for a short period of time compared to the first. Kept telling myself to slow down. But I had the answers! It shut down at 75 and I had a complete panic feeling. The first time I had all 265 and I knew I hadn't done it. This time I knew. I knew I had it in the bag. I felt that I was comfortable with what was presented and handled myself in a better way. I don't work for Kaplan! But I truely believe that their question bank questions gave me great practice.

    I hope the next time is better for you~
  10. by   Daytonite
    hi, da227!

    here is a website that specifically addresses test taking anxiety. perhaps you will find some suggestions to help you manage your test anxiety at this site.

    http://www.ulc.psu.edu/studyskills/test_taking.html - test taking and anxiety from penn state university learning centers.

    welcome to allnurses!
  11. by   EricJRN
    Good advice, except for all of this talk about the number of questions. A pass is a pass, at 75 or 265. Don't get so hung up on 75 that you flip out if it goes further. >85% of US-educated first-timers do pass - and they pass at all different numbers.

    I agree that you can go slow. You have 360 minutes to do only 265 questions. Even spending a full minute on each question, there's still plenty of time left over.
  12. by   RNKay31
    Sorry to hear that you failed, I too had failed before and passed the second time, if you need my help am always there, all the best to you.

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