I’ve been waiting for this day to post my testimonial! These posts of what people experienced are what really helped me when I was feeling anxious during studying so I hope this helps some of you too! Sorry this will be long but I want to make sure I cover everything! I passed NCLEX-RN first time in 75 questions in just under 2 hours 20 minutes.
I graduated in May 2016 and landed my dream job in maternity and have been working there with a provisional license since then AND my boyfriend and I just bought our first home so I had LOTS of pressure riding on me to pass this exam! In nursing school I was an average student/huge procrastinator/studied the bare minimum that I know I needed just to pass. My goal throughout nursing school was just to get 50% lol. Since I didn’t study to the max like I should’ve during nursing school, I KNEW I needed to get strong in content before taking the exam.
I did the Hurst online review. I need things to be very very simple when I’m learning and I loved how Hurst covers a lot but makes it easy to understand. My coworker passed the NCLEX her first time by just reading the Saunders textbook and gave me that to study too. I read 2 pages for one day then gave up on Saunders lol. I found it very dry and the thickness of the book actually gave me anxiety because I thought that there was no way I’d be able to read all of that in time for my exam AND understand it since I could barely read a paragraph and grasp what they were trying to say! So I basically did this (I was working part-time in my maternity position as well): all of July I watched 2 Hurst videos a day on my days off. Days that I worked I listened to MK audios and did maybe 20 questions on UWorld when I came home. Some days I was so drained from work I didn’t do any questions at all. All of August I spent reading the Hurst lecture notes (maybe 2-3 a day) on my days off. I only read a few a day because I need to read very slow in order to truly understand things. Then I did maybe 20-30 UWorld questions a day.
THEN I discovered Mark Klimek from this group! I listened to all of his audios whenever I had spare time (getting ready in the bathroom, driving, walking my dog, breaks at work) and made notes from all of his audios.
2 weeks before my exam I made sure I only had about 2-3 shifts booked so I had lots of time to study. These last 2 weeks before my exam… I had no life lol. I read the Hurst lectures notes again (2-3 a day) and did max 30 UWorld questions a day. I would make tests of 10 questions each and do that 1-3 times throughout the day. I found if I only did 10 question tests at a time I was able to really read the rationales and understand it.
The day before my exam I studied then started to feel anxious because I was reading posts on how people used 100 resources to study and did 75-150 UWorld questions a day. The anxiety of having my test tomorrow was making me doubt myself. I thought did I use enough resources? Did I not do enough UWorld questions a day?! So I decided to STOP studying and just relax for the rest of the day so I could stay confident.
I took the NCLEX on September 12 (which is also my birthday!). When I sat down and put on the noise cancelling headphones, I removed them right away because all I could hear was my heart beating out of my chest. After maybe 5 questions in, I started to get select all the apply questions for 20-30 questions straight. I was nervous but at the same time thought that I must be doing good if I’m getting a ton of SATA since I’ve heard they’re considered “higher level questions”. I took a bathroom break at 40 questions. I came back from my break and felt calm… I thought this can’t be good. Why am I so calm? Shouldn’t I be so focused and hopped on adrenaline? Looking back, I realized I felt calm because it felt familiar. It felt like I was just at home at my desk doing UWorld questions. The layout looks exactly the same. The only difference? UWorld is SO MUCH HARDER. I was even thinking halfway in, when am I going to get ridiculously hard questions?? I was so used to UWorld, NCLEX seemed so easy! My last 10 questions were not SATAs. I had a put in order question and my last one seemed easy so I was shocked when the computer shut off at 75 questions. I was the first one to leave the testing center so I was scared because I was usually one of the last people to leave exams during nursing school!
I came out feeling unsure because my last 10 questions seemed easy and I always thought if you end at 75, your last questions need to be higher level questions. I tried to do the PVT trick in the parking lot waiting for my boyfriend to pick me up after getting the email and I thought I got the bad pop up (I actually didn’t press submit so I didn’t even do the trick correctly lol) so I had a sad car ride home. I decided to do the trick again at home and did it CORRECTLY this time following a youtube tutorial… and I got the good pop up! I couldn’t believe it. I tried to have faith that it was true but still felt uneasy because I wanted to know officially.
This morning I woke up at 6am because I couldn’t sleep knowing my results were coming out today. After refreshing my email every 5 seconds for the past 3 hours… I found out that I passed J I can truly say this was the best birthday ever!
Overall my tips are:
- Study in a way you know is best for YOU. People may be using textbooks, online videos, audios etc. but only use resources that you know is best for what kind of learner you are! Saunders/textbook reading was not for me. I can honestly say I would have failed if it wasn’t for Hurst and Mark Klimek because they were SIMPLE!
- Make a study plan and stick to it. I missed out on so many social events these past 2 months because I knew if I went I would fall behind on my study schedule and being on schedule reduces my anxiety!
- Reading the rationales to UNDERSTAND is key! Most days I only did 20-30 questions on Uworld. The last few days before my exam I only did 20. I only did a few because reading 75 questions’ rationales burned me out and I wasn’t truly understanding it
- STAY POSITIVE AND CONFIDENT. Studying for the NCLEX was a roller coaster ride of emotions. I get very anxious so staying confident and positive for me. I listened to Joel Osteen sermons (Houston-based pastor) on YouTube the days I was feel defeated. I listened to one the morning before I took my exam! His words “have a warrior mentality, you can handle this!” repeated in my head throughout my exam
- When taking the exam think “How can I be a safe nurse?”. I even wrote that on my board that they gave me during my exam and when I’d be stuck on a question I would look down at that and pick the answer that would show that I’m being a safe nurse.
Good luck everyone! We got through nursing school and as Mark Klimek says… it shows that we have perseverance and a strength of character! Believe in yourself! If God put you to it He will definitely get you through it if you stay strong and positive!