Passed in 75, here's my two cents

  1. What I did:
    Kaplan was used with my school's curriculum, so I kinda had that forced on me. The Qbank was valuable, but I had already done every question before I got my ATT, so I had to use other resources. I did 75-120 questions/day (I was told the average # of questions on the test is close to 120) while I waited for my ATT.
    After I got my ATT I adapted the 3-week Kaplan study plan (from the beginning of the book) to fit my needs. I saved QT 6 and 7 for right before the test, and it made me confident in my ability to handle all 265 if it came to that. I did not review all the content videos because I didn't have time, but I did watch the ones that covered my weakest areas.
    I bought NCLEX Made Incredibly Easy and used it to review content and for the extra questions. My good friend got the Lippincott book everyone always talks about, so we did questions from that one as well. I recommend both of those resources.

    It is okay to not study everything!
    I was so sure I would watch every review video and read every page of my review books. AIN'T NOBODY GOT TIME FOR THAT. Kaplan lets you see your cumulative scores. Use that to see where you are strong and study your weak topics first. Do not stress if you don't have time to review that stuff you already know. Seriously. You got this.

    It is okay to stop!
    3 weeks before I did 600 questions. 2 weeks before I did 700 questions. 1 week before I was slotted to do 800 questions. That last week, my first day I assigned myself a 265 question practice test (QT 7 from Kaplan). I couldn't force myself to do questions for 3 days after that. It was rough man. I was nervous and tired and I just let myself take a break. Who cares about your practice question quota? You cannot afford to be burned out on questions on test day. Just let it go if you need to.

    Keep a list of weak content areas. Read up on that nonsense in particular.
    My Kaplan instructor gave me this strategy. When doing questions, write down topics you need to review (ex. hypoglycemia in infants, normal lipid panel values, cataract removal post-op, etc). Then, dedicate one day per week to just reviewing those topics (no questions that day!). Now, you could be responsible and do that, or you could be like me and let that list grow over the course of 6 weeks and not review them until the week before boards. You know, whatever works for you.

    Use YOUR study techniques.
    You passed nursing school. You are a smart person. Legit. How did you pass that really hard final? Study that way. It is tempting to take everyone's advice and study how they recommend, but you already have a working formula. Your degree proves that. Use it.

    Take a practice test that truly mimics the 265 questions it could be. Know how long you can take with each question. Know how long you can go before you just start picking answer C like you did in middle school. Practice when you will take your breaks and take them. Know when you need a snack and a drink. Consume your snack and drink or take a walk or whatever you will do on test day during your break. Turn off your phone, put in your earplugs, DO NOT STOP unless you are on a break. Seriously, turn off your phone.

    On test day:
    You got a good night's sleep, right? RIGHT? Don't stay up late studying. It isn't worth being tired during your exam. And don't review on test day. If you don't know it now it probably isn't worth knowing. Chill.
    You do not need to eat memory increasing food for breakfast. Eat what makes you happy and will give you staying power. My friend wanted me to eat salmon 'cause it is "good for your brain". Whatevs. Bacon makes me happy. I ate bacon.
    Also, wear layers and closed toed shoes 'cause dang man it was like Siberia in my testing center!

    Good luck!
  2. Visit Swellz profile page

    About Swellz

    Joined: Jun '12; Posts: 394; Likes: 534


    Thanks!!! I still have a year to go, but these are great tips
    And Congrats!!!!!!
  5. by   MsRN2b2013
    Thanks for the tips!!
  6. by   buspar
    congrats nurse !!!
  7. by   aidafm
    Thankyou for the advice !, when you Mentioned the amount of questions, wad that weekly? 600 weekly right
  8. by   melizerd
    Woohoo! those are awesome tips. When taking the HESI I found out that I start to need a break about question 95-100. I need that break. Otherwise I start blanking on things I know well. It's a great tip.

    I also think that doing NCLEX questions a few at a time the entire time your in school helps. Just reading questions/answers/rationales makes a difference even when you don't think you know the content they are worth it.

    I can't wait to be done in December!
  9. by   swansonplace
    Thank You. Great help.
  10. by   Swellz
    Quote from aidafm
    Thankyou for the advice !, when you Mentioned the amount of questions, wad that weekly? 600 weekly right
    Yes, weekly. Not daily, or something crazy like that.