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NCLEX - Passed in 75q - My Story

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I promised myself I'd come back and write a post here when I passed. This forum was so helpful in teaching me about how the exam works, how to prepare, how to NOT freak out and lose my mind during the whole process, etc. I can only hope my post will do that for someone else.

I graduated from a top tier nursing school in Georgia last month, and I knew I wanted to take the NCLEX soon after nursing school. That's definitely my first tip - take it quickly! I waited 6 weeks, and I'd recommend taking it even sooner, so everything is still fresh.

STUDY TOOLS:

1.) ATI Live Review - my school provided this 4 day course for "free" (but, really, we paid $600 for ATI at the beginning of nursing school... this was built in. Since I'd paid 3 years prior to the course, it felt kind of free, haha). This was a decent content review; the topics we covered were concepts that are most frequently tested on the NCLEX.

2.) Kaplan QBank ********** FAVORITE STUDY TOOL! I did the entire Qbank over the course of 2-3 weeks. My average at the end was 63%, but my scores at the beginning were about 60% and by the end I was averaging 70-80%. NCLEX threw questions at me with topics I'd NEVER seen before, but because I knew how to answer NCLEX-style questions, I somehow managed to choose correctly. Also, the QBank provided me with lots of SATA format questions - everyone's favorite :no: but, it was necessary that I knew how to answer them, because a third of my test was SATA.

3.) LaCharity - I finished a third of the book, but the questions were excellent. If I'd had more time, I would have completed it.

4.) RN NCLEX Mastery app - this was $30. I'm not sure if it was worth it to me, since I only finished a few hundred questions. It tests content mostly, and, again, studying content definitely didn't help me personally in passing NCLEX.

MOST IMPORTANTLY was the prep I had in nursing school. My program's test pass rate is at 94%, and it's because they really do teach us the foundations in critical thinking that are necessary to pass this exam. It's been said so many times on this forum, but it still can't be stressed enough: you cannot study for and pass this exam in a month. You need your nursing school background to be successful!

THE NIGHT BEFORE:

Okay, so, the night before NCLEX was pretty tragic for me. My tympanic membrane was perforated that afternoon, and my cat peed on my bed IN FRONT OF ME. Despite only having hearing in one ear and no clean bedding to sleep on (y'all, it was a nightmare of a night), I took advice from this forum and calmed myself. I took a shower, had a good dinner, and went to bed early. I didn't study (although I had earlier that morning).

THE DAY OF:

The next day, I drank coffee, had breakfast, and went to the site two hours early. My friend and I sat in the parking lot and relaxed, then went inside 30 minutes prior to our scheduled start time and were allowed to begin early. I was so shaky the entire test. Even though I know the number of SATA you get isn't indicative of how you're doing, I tallied at the top of my dry erase board. For some reason, this made me feel calm and helped me focus.

Guys, I knew maybe 2 of the answers for sure. The test were really iffy for me. It's not a great feeling, but it's a common one. I did what you shouldn't do, and I convinced myself I'd failed. The questions didn't consist of content I'd focused on - but I knew HOW to answer the questions. I understand now why so many people had told me to do question after question.

Less than 24 hours after I took the test, my license number was posted on the board of nursing website. I was surprised by this, since I'd heard that the test was scored again at 24 hours - but there it was, nonetheless. My test was at 2, and licenses were posted by 10 the next morning. I'm overjoyed and so proud of myself.

If you guys have any questions (obviously excluding questions on test content/questions, because that would be illegal), feel free to respond. I know how nervewracking this whole process is, so my hope is that I was able to give someone peace of mind!

Love and light.