Sharing my NCLEX Journey!

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    Through my journey studying and preparing for the dreaded NCLEX after graduation, I read many different posts on this site. Some that were enlightening, some that gave me relief, and some stories that were inspiring. So I thought I would share my success story to help others who are now in the place I was a month ago.

    Sharing my NCLEX Journey!

    I graduated in May 2018 and immediately started testing with Kaplan a few days after graduation. As much as I wanted to take a few days off to enjoy my graduation, I got right down to business. I'm not going to lie, it was hard studying and watching all of my friends celebrate and take vacations!

    Kaplan made me anxious at first. Watching the intro videos the instructor said many times "Even though you did it this way in nursing school, do it this way now" or "you may have learned to answer your nursing tests this way, but this now". How frustrating You watch many tutorials about the NCLEX, how the test works, how to use the site, etc. After, you take several trainers before you start either the live/online course. I started out with lower scores on my trainers- I thought the questions were somewhat challenging and had a difficult time picking "the best answer".

    I originally signed up for the live class and found out 4 days before the class that they had to cancel, leaving me to sign up for the 3-day online course because the other live locations were too far away to drive. I don't learn well online but found that it wasn't as bad as I thought it was going to be. The instructor I had the 3 days of class was very engaging, the gave you breaks often, and you were able to ask questions that were answered right away by the instructor. The class was very interactive.

    After the class, you have an exam which gauges your learning in the class, after that is completed you move to phase 3. Phase three is essentially more trainers, the readiness exam, and qbank practice questions.

    Anyways, enough about Kaplan.....I got my okay to test about a week and a half after I graduated and signed up to test on June 4th. I made it through all of the Kaplan course except for finishing all 2,000+ of the question trainers before I sat to take the exam.
    I went the Friday before my test and checked out the location of my testing center, timed the drive down, and even went up to the room number I was given (I strongly recommend this because it helped decrease my anxiety on test day).

    I stopped studying the day before my exam (I will admit that I looked over labs and some meds the night before- I couldn't help myself). I tried to get decent sleep and got to my testing center 45 minutes early the next morning I was beyond nervous once I sat to take my exam, it was hard to concentrate but I just had to keep trying to calm myself.

    Many of my classmates that were scoring similar to me on Kaplan were passing in 75-80 questions, so I automatically assumed I would do the same. DO NOT DO THAT TO YOURSELF! I can't stress that point enough. After I passed question 75, 90, 100, 120, 130 I was a nervous wreck. I had the optional break offered to me at question 139. I took the break and broke down in the hallway. After I collected myself, I went back in, answered one more question and my screen turned blue I couldn't believe it.

    I walked out of the testing center very unsure of how I felt about my performance. I blew threw 140 questions in a little over 2 hours (my friends were finishing 75 questions in the time it took me to answer 140). After finding this out, I accepted the fact that I probably had failed and was discouraged and upset with myself. Looking back I wasn't even sure what had happened, everything was a blur!

    I gave in and did the PVT 4 hours after my exam and got the good popup and again in 24 hours with the same result. I know the PVT isn't 100% but it helped calm me down a smidge. I got my quick results today and found out that I PASSED.

    Sorry for the long post but I hope this post helps out another fellow graduate taking the NCLEX! Study, study, study. Take questions and remediate on every single question- whether you got it right or wrong! Brush up on your weak areas of the testing plan (Kaplan was good at pointing these areas out to me).

    There is no way to describe the feeling you see when you get your passing unofficial results. Keep pushing- it's so worth it in the end!
    Last edit by Joe V on Jun 14
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    About jbowers_1, BSN, RN

    Joined: May '18; Posts: 6; Likes: 2

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    7 Comments

  3. by   2016srnfcc
    do you know if any of your classmates used uworld, if so was it helpful to them?
  4. by   jbowers_1
    I'm not 100% sure if my classmates used Uworld. I know while we were still in classes I heard people talking about it. Sorry I couldn't help you much with Uworld!
  5. by   hopetopassnclex
    Hello, Congrats! Do you think the Kaplan qbank was the same level with the questions you saw on the Nclex. Thanks
  6. by   Itwillallbeworthit23
    Congratulations!!!!
    Did you happen to do Nclex questions during your program? I've heard a lot of people say to do this and it can help emensley by the end of the program.
  7. by   jbowers_1
    Hopetopassnclex, Sorry I haven't been on to reply and thank you! But to answer your question, I felt that the Kaplan program and the questions I practiced with their course were similar difficulty to the questions I was answering on the exam. I wouldn't say that I felt Kaplan made the NCLEX "easier", but I would say that it almost felt like I was doing practice questions just more nerve wrecking because it was the actual test! If your doing Kaplan, I would recommend doing as many of the practice questions as you can and understand the rationales for each even if you got the answer right. If you don't understand the rationale (some are pretty vague), look over notes, search the web etc.
    Last edit by jbowers_1 on Jun 10 : Reason: Adding username in reply
  8. by   jbowers_1
    Itwillallbeworthit23, we weren't required to do practice questions during the program. We had PrepU (I don't know if you're familiar with that program) throughout the two years...I personally think those questions were a lot easier than what I was given during my exam. I downloaded the RN Mastery app and would set a goal to get 25 practice questions done a day during my last semester of nursing school (this app is more content based) so it helped me brush up on things I might not have been thinking about for awhile! I would recommend doing some sort of practice questions in your program! The more studying, the better!
  9. by   hopetopassnclex
    Quote from jbowers_1
    Hopetopassnclex, Sorry I haven't been on to reply and thank you! But to answer your question, I felt that the Kaplan program and the questions I practiced with their course were similar difficulty to the questions I was answering on the exam. I wouldn't say that I felt Kaplan made the NCLEX "easier", but I would say that it almost felt like I was doing practice questions just more nerve wrecking because it was the actual test! If your doing Kaplan, I would recommend doing as many of the practice questions as you can and understand the rationales for each even if you got the answer right. If you don't understand the rationale (some are pretty vague), look over notes, search the web etc.
    Thanks, I appreciate. Good luck as you move on in this profession.

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