Out of school for 18 months. Passed NCLEX on first try with 265 questions.


Just wanted to share my experience, particularly for those who have been out of school for so long.

I graduated from nursing school 18 mo ago but I was unable to take the NCLEX up until last Thursday. I had ZERO nursing exposure until 2 months before my test date. That means I had no reviews whatsoever.

I used both uWorld and Kaplan to study for 2 months. I started with uWorld first, and only averaged 52% on the entire qbank. I wasn't too worried since I treated it as a memory refresher but I made sure that I read EVERY SINGLE RATIONALE. Right after uWorld, I finished Kaplan's qbank, which I felt more confident with, and averaged 60% for that. I also read the 30 something NCLEX study guide floating around the web. Two days before my actual test, I did 75 question NCLEX mastery test simulation, which I scored 60%, and that was my last review day. The day before the test, I just kicked back and relax.

When my test day came, I got there feeling a little nervous. However, I felt prepared and confident that not only will I pass the test, but that I was going to be done in 75 questions. 45 minutes into the test, I was at question 76 and the test hasn't stopped, so I told myself "if it stops at 100, that's ok too." Then it got to 100, 125, 175....and the test kept going. Fast forward to question 220, I finally accepted the fact that it was going all the way to 265. I leaned back in my seat, took a deep breath, and kept going. After the test was done at 265, I was sure that I had failed. Two days later, I checked the breeze website and saw a license number with my name on it. I've never felt so happy in my life.

So what's the point of all this? It might sound cliche, but if I did, there is no doubt in my mind that YOU CAN TOO. I was out of school for nearly two years and by no means am I an honor student. If you can beat the grueling task called nursing school, you can sure as hell pass the NCLEX. As far the number of questions go, trust me, everyone wants to finish at 75 questions. However, you need to accept the fact that not everyone will, and YOU NEED TO BE OK WITH THAT. It's ok to have confidence in yourself that you can pass in 75 questions, but don't make it the only priority because if it does not happen, it can affect your mentality negatively, which is something you don't want to do. Remember, when you get your license and apply for a job, NOBODY asks how many questions you got on the NCLEX. All they care about is that you HAVE a license.

Good luck to everyone!


16 Posts

Congratulations, very motivational.

Specializes in ICU.

Congrats!! Now the hard part. Securing a job. It's great you passed, but what about how you will explain why it took you so long to take NCLEX? I'm just wondering how that will go? I hope you can find a great job!!


7 Posts

Yes I used Kaplan's qbank on top of the uworld qbank.

As far as securing a first job, I am fortunate enough that I have plenty of connections who are doctors in hospitals in my area. So basically, they've already promised be a job, it's just a question of which hospital and what unit it will be. However, I have waited nearly 2 years to finally become an RN, and I for one will take ANY job that I am offered.

Specializes in Emergency. Has 6 years experience.

I don't just LIKE this post, I LOVE it!


1 Article; 1,101 Posts

Specializes in LTC, Rehab. Has 5 years experience.

In 2012, I had the *#&$ 265 questions too... I was pretty surprised by that, but I think there were several reasons. Like you, I thought I had failed it, but thank Gawd, I did pass it. Congratulations to you for passing it too.


149 Posts

Congratulations on passing your NCLEX!! Love the post!

Specializes in School Nursing. Has 9 years experience.

Can I pry a little and ask why you waited 18 months to take the exam?