NCLEX September 2016 Kaplan + PVT


Hey everyone!

Today was the BIG day. I took NCLEX! After approximately 4 weeks of studying using Kaplan, I took my exam this morning at 8 AM. It is a little after 11 PM as I am typing this. I felt compelled to post a thread here because I am hoping to give some encouragement and information to anyone who (like me) is surfing the allnurses forums every day looking for similar passing Kaplan scores, helpful tips, etc. I must have visited allnurses several times a day during my studying period.

I'll say right now, I DO NOT know if I have passed yet. When I find out, I will be sure to post an update! But for now, to keep my mind busy, I want to share my honest opinions on Kaplan, my scores, what I feel helped me prepare for the NCLEX, and what kind of test taker/student I was in nursing school. Maybe it will help you feel more confident or maybe it'll help you gain some more insight into Kaplan, etc.

I graduated last month in early August 2016. About a week after graduation, I decided to purchase Kaplan. Most of my former classmates opted to take the in person version, but my best friend and I decided to purchase the Online Self Paced version. It was significantly cheaper and we were able to use a promo code provided to us by one of the Kaplan reps who had visited our school prior to graduation. The promo code was originally only good for a certain period of time, but I emailed her and asked her if there was a different code we could possible use and she provided us with a valid one given that we put down our school, etc. So if you're looking to purchase Kaplan, shoot them an email and see if there is a promo they would allow you to use! The lady that helped me was extremely helpful and timely.

Anyways, we opted for the online self paced one. And I loved it to be honest. I'm sure the different course versions work best for different people. I have always had difficulty focusing during long lectures and to be honest, I do not prefer the long classroom setting. The online version has everything you would get in the in person version I believe. I was able to go at my own pace, enjoy catching up on sleep that I missed out on during nursing school, and could go back through videos if I had questions or didn't catch something. I was a pretty average B student in nursing school. A few A's, a couple C's, mostly B's. It was by the grace of God that I passed Med/Surg (by .02%). I always struggled with exams for pretty much every class. But I graduated with a 3.4 and THAT is an accomplishment! :)

My first week of Kaplan studying consisted of the Phase 1/Orientation videos, the Diagnostic Exam, and the first 3 Q trainers (which are more content based to give you a gauge of where you're at).

My second week was primarily focused on completing Sessions 2-8 which were grueling but definitely necessary and helpful. If I can say anything about Kaplan, it's that they prepare you for the NCLEX style questions and show you how to go about reading them and answering them. While I had my ups and downs with my feelings about The Decision Tree, it truly is an invaluable tool to use when answering questions.

My third and fourth weeks consisted of completing Q trainers 4-7 & doing Qbanks. I completed probably about 65% of the Qbanks.

The day before my exam, I did 1 Qbank and went over lab values. After about 2-3ish, I was DONE for the day. I didn't even go over anything the morning of my exam.

So these are my scores using Kaplan:

Diagnostic Exam: 53%

QT 1: 59%

QT 2: 59%

QT 3: 53%

QT 4: 51%

QT 5: 56%

QT 6: 53%

QT 7: 58%

Readiness Test: 64%

Average on QBanks: 52%

As you can see, I scored consistently above 50%, but definitely did not get above the golden 60-65%. And I will say this... After having taken the exam (and getting ALL 265 questions) and considering I do not know if I passed or failed (yet), I will say that you definitely WANT to shoot for that 60-65%. I feel that my scores were probably pretty accurate. I got the maximum number of questions, which means I was hovering above and below the line so much to the point that it could not determine a consistency above passing level.

Now, when you get 265 questions...the way it determines if you pass or fail is with your last question. If you are above the passing line after answering your last question (whether you got it right or wrong), then you pass. If you are below the passing line after you answer the last question (whether you got it right or wrong), then you fail. I honestly have no clue where I was. My last questions seemed like all passing level style questions (most at risk for, priority, who see first, etc.) but we shall see in the morning!

Back to the Kaplan results. I felt pretty unsure about my results. I had seen so many postings about people with scores like mine and PASSING (a lot even after just 75 questions). SO DON'T GET DISCOURAGED IF YOU'RE GETTING IN THE 50'S. The majority of my classmates got similar results and almost all have PASSED. However, just take into consideration that 50's scores do indicate a "hovering over the line" stance. Whereas 60's and up mean that you're well above the line.




Even if I failed, I KNOW that with 265 questions, I was SO CLOSE to passing. And I feel confident that I would not have even gotten to that close of a stance without Kaplan. I felt the questions on NCLEX were extremely similar to Kaplan. And I was able to implement the Decision Tree to the best of my abilities to answer questions.


These are my tips for Kaplan:

- Take very light notes during the Sessions and Q Trainers. Write down meds, diseases, etc. that you're not familiar with and look them up.

- Do several tutor mode Q Banks. I know that your goal is to do them timed, and you definitely should do timed practice tests, but being able to pick an answer and then click the explanation to see if you got it right/wrong right away w/ the rationale helped me remember content better related to that question. Do a few tests in tutor mode.

- Remediate every test and question. I did not do this with all of my Q trainers and Q banks toward the end because it was exhausting and grueling, but I definitely recommend it for best studying and best practice.

- Watch the content videos. I didn't watch many, and I wish I had.

- Use another source of study material. In the later days, I used NCLEX Mastery App and it was amazing for learning content! Many have recommended Saunders and PDA by La Charity, which several of my classmates really liked. I wish I would have used another source to help me brush up on content

- Complete ALL Q trainers and Q Banks!!

- PRAY and have FAITH. You have come this far and no matter what happens, pass or fail, you are AMAZING for having accomplished what you have so far. Some of the BEST nurses have failed NCLEX once or twice.


All in all, I do recommend Kaplan. Whether I passed or failed, it helped me tremendously and I encourage everyone to practice practice practice until they are consistently getting in the high 50's and 60's (aim for that 60-65!!).


I DID attempt the Pearson Vue Trick 3 times so far and have gotten the "good pop up" each time. I researched, watched tutorials, and read reviews on this trick. And while initially before I tested, I said I wouldn't do it, I just could not help it.

I'll admit, I was/still am EXTREMELY nervous and anxious. I tested for 5 hours and 50 minutes (just 10 mins to spare!) which did take it's toll. Within a span of 7 hours after the exam, I had my fair share of crying and breakdowns. I decided to go ahead and give the PVT a shot around 8pm, which was 6.5 hrs after my exam. Got the good pop up. I called my best friend and had her try it. She got the good pop up too, which encouraged both of us. I tried again at 9:30pm, and at 11pm. So I am praying and hoping for the best. I will let you all know if it worked or didn't work for me.

Here's how I did it:

I entered in my correct CC info, EXCEPT I put a wrong exp year. From my research, IF you decide to put in the wrong exp date, and it attempts to charge your card (you'll get a pop up saying to call your bank/wrong info entered), then you are presumed to have failed. If it doesn't even attempt to charge your card because "another exam cannot be scheduled at this time," then you're presumed to have passed. It makes sense to me and I am hoping it's accurate. I know there is always room for error so I am not celebrating just yet.

Sooooo this was incredibly long. I hope someone may find some encouragement or helpful insight in this post. I'll be sure to update with my pass or fail score tomorrow morning! (AZ BN has been posting results within 24 hours for all of my classmates).

No matter what, YOU CAN DO IT! :)


112 Posts

Specializes in Pediatrics.


I tried the PVT again at around 6am and still got the good pop up :) of a little after 7am, I am OFFICIALLY AN RN!!! I PASSED!!

PVT worked for me!