Jump to content

NCLEX Resource Review - Kaplan, Hurst, UWorld

Updated | Published

A personal insight into NCLEX study resources and tools. What helped me and hopefully you too!

What's the difference between Kaplan, Hurst, and UWorld?

NCLEX Resource Review - Kaplan, Hurst, UWorld

I just finished Nursing School in July so I understand the confusion on how and what to study. Along with my anxiety-ridden journey here's what I found. I hope it helps someone!

Let me start by explaining what works for me...

I never learn by reading; med surg textbook with over complicated words and no way to establish priority? NOPE. Never helped me in school, not going to help me on the NCLEX.

Old notes that I'm never going to look at again? Nope threw those out the day I finished Nursing school. Why? Because NCLEX isn't testing on patho. It wants application. It wants you to take simple concepts and be flexible with them.

I learn best by hearing, seeing, doing, and WRITING. Concepts to me need to be broken down and simplified so that they stick. Example: magnesium and calcium are sedatives so their signs and symptoms will sedate you if you have too much of them.

So far I've used UWorld, Kaplan, and Hurst. I did not pay for UWorld, my friend let me use hers. Kaplan was paid for with my tuition to school. And Hurst was my choice.

Here's what I found on these websites...


Great concept based questions with amazing rationales. But that's it, questions. Unorganized content review. The questions are harder than the NCLEX from what I have been told. My friend also used UWorld and failed NCLEX.


They offer a course that teaches you how to critically think through questions. Which I liked and found helpful in getting questions right on their website. It also allowed me to better understand the "Who do you see first questions". (The person with something going on RIGHT now. Not the potential for injury person). But the decision tree is not the end all be all. You have to have content to back it up. At times the decision tree will get you out of a bind and guess and other times it just doesn't. They have tons of questions in the Qbank (1800). And trainer tests that simulate NCLEX. The questions are more like the NCLEX than UWorld but they questions are still harder than NCLEX. The rationales are basic at best. Overall Kaplan is my choice for questions and practice because of its NCLEX like questions. They also offer videos for content review (300 of them) but they are at your own will to watch and are out of order so you can't build upon topics easily. A book also comes with their program which has tons of content including drugs. But the drugs don't differentiate between Side effects and Adverse effects. Remember side effects are bothersome. Adverse effects are never good.


My savior at this point. I'm using the Hurst option that lets me move at my own pace. Hurst is content review and at the end, you get 4 practice tests. Hurst has videos that you watch in order and a (you print) study guide that you fill in as you watch the videos. At the end of the course, these study guides are your notes. There are options for closed captions that are accurate to what is being said. The content review videos are AMAZING. They break down confusing topics and giving the real explanation to WHY someone has these symptoms and why are we treating them without overcomplicating things. Hurst is allowing me to connect the dots between conditions and making feel like I will be a better Nurse. It's filling holes that I didn't fill in nursing school in a simplified way. Honestly, Hurst should have their own Nursing school. I have yet to do their practice tests but I'm over halfway done with the video content. They don't go over medications in detail in the videos but they bring them up and mention basic stuff about them enough for you to say hey I probably need to look more up about this medication but I'm glad it told me to check BP and HR before giving it and explained what it does. They have an Ebook that gives you the detailed information about the drugs they mention in the videos too. Also, the ebook includes content like infection control and giving blood which they don't go over in the videos. Hurst takes 5 days to watch the videos, but this doesn't include going over the ebook material and going back over your notes. They recommend you study the notes for 1-2 weeks and then coming back to do their tests. I also find myself crying laughing over some of the videos. The instructors are so funny!

So which do you choose?

If you feel like you don't know where to start and want the content review - choose Hurst. The Kaplan book that comes with the course is great with content but I can't sit around and read concepts and expect for them to stick. Especially when the book doesn't give rationales or priority or break down concepts to make the memorable.

After content you need practice questions, it's a must. I pick Kaplan. Simply because of its a tried and true resource. And is similar to NCLEX questions.

UWorld- Although I enjoyed the resource, I didn't feel it was necessary or as close to NCLEX as Kaplan.


I'm using the Kaplan book for medications, you can also buy their companion drug book. Focus on medication stems and major drugs. Ex. lithium and digoxin, antithyroid medications, Synthroid, anti-infectives. I never got a great review of pharm either in school so it isn't my strong suit. Davis's Q&A also has 10k questions, it's sitting on my shelf and I haven't touched it yet. I plan to after I finish content videos.


Kaplan and Hurst are in the 300's. Hurst offers payment plans. Each site has a money back guarantee if you fail NCLEX, stipulations do apply. Read into these beforehand. Look for coupon codes online before purchasing. Sometimes you can find them on AllNurses. UWorld is 80 per month.

When to study?

I recommend 1 week after graduation/last day of class. Why?

Are you really going to be focused on NCLEX when you are studying for your final exam? No, not really. Is the undue stress worth it? No. It's stressful enough. And you deserve a break after you finish Nursing School. It's an amazing accomplishment you deserve to celebrate it. Take time to reorganize life and do something you love. Then hop back into the "grind". You will feel refreshed and ready to take on the world. This is the confidence and energy I needed to face the NCLEX.

How long to study?

It's recommended you take 4-8 weeks to study for the NCLEX. Remember you want to pass the first time. So make it count and give yourself time. You never know when a family emergency will interrupt your studying, or when your internet will be out for an entire week because of your terrible internet service provider. Truly plan for these emergencies and give yourself time.

TIPS: Do practice question sets 75 at a time and then go back and review all of them and read the rationale. This can be painstaking and boring, so if you aren't fond of doing this, you'll be glad you didn't schedule your test as soon as you graduated. Take notes of everything you didn't know or want to remember as you read the rationale. This will help it stick. Also about half of NCLEX is select all that apply questions. Also, check AllNurses for study guides others have made via the search bar!

I hope this helps! Good luck on your NCLEX study journey!

1 Article   31 Posts

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

82 Comment(s)

chris21sn, BSN, RN

Specializes in CVICU, CCRN. Has 5 years experience.

100% percent agreed with this! I passed With Kaplan! 75 questions in 1 hour, came out of the testing center believing it was the easiest exam in the world. Like you, I did mock exams of 75 -- even 265, just to get me used to test taking! I also want to note I hate Uworld with a passion, and never believed it was remotely close to the exam! Excellent article!

chris21sn said:
100% percent agreed with this! I passed With Kaplan! 75 questions in 1 hour, came out of the testing center believing it was the easiest exam in the world. Like you, I did mock exams of 75 -- even 265, just to get me used to test taking! I also want to note I hate Uworld with a passion, and never believed it was remotely close to the exam! Excellent article!

This your belief that it was the easiest exam is melting my heart lol! Congrats for calming me down a bit. Many people here are saying UWORLD UWORLD, I don't want to put my hope there and feel i can only pass with it, so thanks for your input.

I did Saunders, Hurst, Kaplan, and Uworld in that order. I have learning disabilities. Saunders did nothing for me because it was part of a capstone done during the last semester. Hurst was a very good program but as a live review. I did it twice! Kaplan was way too confusing for me. I had Uworld for a year. It didn't help me during school but it is what I used last after almost breaking my computer from Kaplan. I went through all of the questions once and did it again. Read the explanations. It dumbed things down for me and explained things out. I did feel like Uworld mimicked the test plus I felt better after the Nclex.

Just remember everyone is different and have different learning styles. I also passed with 75 questions.


Specializes in Operating Room. Has 13 years experience.

The HURST live review was the best thing I ever did. Passed NCLEX in 75 questions in Feb. 2009 and couldn't have done it without Hurst!

Hi everyone, I finished Nursing School a few months ago and have been studying to take the NCLEX. I was able to obtain the Hurst videos but I am missing video 1 & 2. If anyone has it and anything that could help me I appreciate it. I would love to be able to purchase them but I truly don't have it, after paying my school off and being a single mom of 3. Thank you

bunnehfeet, BSN

Specializes in RN-BC, SCRN. Has 4 years experience.

I took NCLEX this morning, it shut off at 75 and I got the good pop up this afternoon. Will wait for quick results, but I feel pretty confident. I did UWORLD for 3 weeks after graduation, I did about 1200 questions and both practice tests. I reviewed all the rationales and made some notes from them on areas I was weak in.

The UWORLD post-test analysis for the practice exams gave me a "very high" chance of passing with scores in the 70s. My overall rank was in the 97th percentile, my overall average correct for all questions was 73%. The majority of my NCLEX questions were SATA (just like UWORLD), and the color of the screen and the way the questions were presented for NCLEX was nearly identical to UWORLD; many of the questions were similar content. It worked very well for me, and only cost $79 for 30 days and 2 practice tests.

I used the UWORLD app when I was on my exercise bike, or on breaks at work; I was able to do a few questions whenever I had down time, which I also think motivated me to do some questions every single day. I would highly recommend this for learners who did well in school (for example on ATI) by taking practice tests.

hi congrats....What Kaplan book or study materials of Kaplan did you use?Can you share it with me that will be a big helps..thanks


I been reading lots and lots of discussion on the scores for the Kaplan when it comes for NAU. I am having such a hard time with it! I've taken it now 4 times and I score low! I don't know what else to do! I do study guides I take multiple Quizlet test which I always score 89%-97%. I walked in today feeling super confident because I been studying none stop! Well my final scores were overall 47%, Reading 41%, Math 43%, Writing 48%, and Science 60%. My nursing friends that are currently in the program are advising me to still apply because my "highest" score is science. Also because I have a 3.4 gpa. Which I've heard that it does not matter how high it is if you don't score high on the Kaplan your application is basically useless. If I don't make the cut this time around, I don't know I could be a sign that this is not my calling...it pains me so much to see all my friends in the program some in 2nd semester and 3rd. I feel I'm not smart for this field, I feel so stupid!

Can any of you reading this just give me some light! Show me there is hope!

I'm falling apart here... :(( It hurt deep inside, because i want this so bad!!

I'm planning on taking my NCLEX towards the end of October and I'm unsure as to what I should use to study with to be successful? I was unable to test after I graduated (which was last year) due to some issues with the board. However, I FINALLY have my ATT but since it's been so long since I graduated I don't know what to use to study with. I have the LaCharity book as well as the Saunders NCLEX one. I'm looking for a program to use. I've heard of Kaplan and UWorld but I'm unsure which I should purchase. I just would like to know if anyone has had success with any of these programs and which they prefer? I reaaaaally want to pass this attempt since it's been so long waiting to take it.

I like Uworld much better than Kaplan. It is also much cheaper; since you are testing in October you can purchase it for 1 month. I believe that is 79$.

Do you have any review books from when you graduated? I would use those. Also, I used uworld to prep for my NCLEX and I loved it. The membership is affordable and the program is great. It gives you very thorough answers.

I was off school of 3 years and 2 months before my test date i used saunders nclex pn 6th edition online question, i did 100 a day for 2 months. I passed at 85 question with 45 sata in 1 hour

bunnehfeet, BSN

Specializes in RN-BC, SCRN. Has 4 years experience.

UWorld. It's all I used for about 3 weeks after I graduated. I passed in 75 questions. The question types are similar, the color and the look and feel of the online platform is the same as NCLEX, the practice exams show you how well you're performing and the rationales are the most thorough I've seen. My exam was a lot of SATA questions, and so is UWORLD, so I was prepared. A majority of my cohort for my BSN program also used UWORLD and they all have passed, many with minimal questions. It's not hype, it's as good a program as they say.

Kaplan is not as successful as it once was. I just passed my boards on the first try. Computer shut off at 77. I used Nursingthelaneway.org and RN NCLEX mastery. I highly suggest the Lane Way. She has samples of her videos on YouTube. I promise you will learn more with her than you did in nursing school.

Welcome | Nursing The Lane Way

Edited by Nurse_Drea_RN
Adding a link


Has 8 years experience.

Another vote for UWORLD here! I had the 2 month subscription, started with the predictor assessment, did about 1400 questions from the qbank and took the second predictor assessment a couple of days before I tested and it said I had a 'very high chance' of passing. The rationales were the best I had seen. So even if you are getting questions wrong, as long as you are reading the rationales you are actively learning and engaging your mind!

Best of luck to you!

Listen I am taking the remar review now, on the second week It's ok, I am debating if I should use Hurst Review instead, bc I had use it under my friends account I felt like I remembered more, Remar is short like just the things you should know for NCLEX. Send me a message and I'll email or text u privately if u are still studying