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Passed NCLEX in 75Q on 6/17

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Hello all! I recently passed the NCLEX with 75 questions. This forum gave me confidence and helped me maintain my sanity while preparing for it. (For the week leading up to NCLEX I obsessively refreshed the page to read stories of those who passed which really made me feel better) To pay it forward I wanted to share my experience so I can either help someone with theirs or at least ease some anxiety. Long post ahead!

ABOUT ME:

I graduated with a 3.78 from a traditional four year BSN program May 9th. I have always been very studious and cared a lot about my grades. I feel my anxiety and fear of failing exams and papers fueled me to perform well, oddly enough. I got my ATT May 22nd and scheduled my date for June 17th, which I chose so I could have 3 weeks to complete the NCSBN study plan online.

BEFORE THE TEST:

I started studying the day after graduation and did not stop until the day before my exam. (Yeah, I overstudied) I practiced questions every single day. I started off with Kaplan's 2015-2016 book because it just so happened to be at my local library. I finished it in two days. I didn't really care for this book and if you want it, see if you can get it for free because I don't think it was so great.

You've heard it a million times and I'm gonna say it again - Priority, Delegation and Assignment by LaCharity is a must have. The book is tough. I do feel the questions in this book gave me a bigger challenge than the actual NCLEX. I always heard of people getting tons of priority questions on NCLEX so I decided to rent this book for $23. Not disappointed.

ATI. My school made us take the tests and I have heard ATI is harder than NCLEX so I used online ATI practice tests here and there as well as the book I was given to me at a 3 day review my school held. I was given a 99% chance of passing the first time, so if anything at all it was a confidence boost. I think it was good practice, I would recommend it but in hindsight I could have probably passed without it.

On to the big dog: NCSBN 3 week online study course. I heard great things about it and I realized I did not have a lot of questions to practice yet so I figured why the heck not. Also, it is reputable and I figured I would see high-quality questions. It was $50. I did not study content, just did all of the questions. In my opinion studying content should be reserved for those who are weak in it and should still study questions, but that's just me. It is hard for me to say with certainty as it's all a blur, but maybe the questions on here were more challenging than NCLEX. I think this can definitely help someone out there to prepare.

So to make a long story short, for around 4 weeks I studied several hours per day, usually 150-200 questions per day, give or take. I could have gotten by with less, but my anxious nature did not allow me to do so. I wanted to sit my butt in that test chair knowing I did all I could to prepare me. Which leads me to my next point......

None of the studying really helped me with what I saw on the exam! I know that's not something people want to hear but I am telling you that so that you can know that there is no way to study and/or know everything! I truly feel that no more studying and no less studying on my part would have affected my test outcome. I know that is not reassuring. But for me honestly the things I saw were not what I was expecting. Some of it was obvious, but mostly not.

TEST WEEK:

I was a nervous wreck. Couldn't eat or sleep. The day before the test I tried to relax but couldn't. I laid around the house feeling miserable. I would say not studying the day before is a good idea. The day of the test I woke up super early even though my test was at 1400 because my adrenaline was just through the roof. I forced myself to eat a banana (it's been said they help with nerves!) brought a water bottle and a snack with me, in case I had to endure the whole 265. A word of advice: LEAVE YOUR PHONE IN THE CAR! You can't use it anyway and it is frowned upon. I was even asked if I brought one up front and when I said no they said "good job." Just not a good idea people. I was escorted to my desk and began. The noise canceling headphones were a godsend. I heard my heart beating in my ears because my adrenaline was just at an all-time high. I took a minute to breathe and refocus. Surprisingly, I kept my cool during the exam. I just read the question, did not read into it too much, picked an answer that seemed logical to me and moved on. I did not dwell on questions, for fear of running out of time. Towards the end of my test in the 60 area I felt like I was getting "easy" questions, so I started sweating. I thought, "if I am getting easy questions it means I am failing." When I answered 75 I just absolutely knew it was going to shut off - and it did. I felt absolutely numb. I truly felt I was doing so poorly the computer had given up on me and failed me.

THE AFTERMATH:

From the minute I left the test center until 2 days later at 1600 when I saw my quick results I was absolutely wrecked. I was so certain I failed I had decided on what I would tell my family and friends. I even started thinking of a new study plan to use for the next time I would test. I mean, I felt it in my heart. The day after the test was one of the worst days I have had in quite a long time. I knew my results wouldn't be up and I had nothing to do but sit and worry. Friday rolls around and I am obsessively checking quick results until finally the results were available. I paid the $8 and found out I in fact did not fail. I was an RN! I could not believe it.

Why am I telling you this??

Because you should not read into what questions you are getting on your exam!!!! I thought I was getting easy questions. All that worry was for nothing!!!! Do not let what others say about NCLEX scare you. Your test is your test. Just answer that question in front of you and carry on! Just because you got only a few SATA doesn't mean you failed. Remember 15 questions aren't even scored, so maybe those "easy" questions in my test did not even matter. Oh and this is worth repeating: SATA are not necessarily high-level questions! You can get 1 you can get 40 - neither of those indicate you are passing or failing. What an easy question is to me is not easy to another person. So do not leave that testing center like me freaking out mentally. Just know you did your best and the types of questions are just questions!! I was also so stuck on the 75 thing. I thought for sure I failed because I did not think I was capable of passing that quickly. I knew I was capable of passing but I will admit I did not expect to pass in just 75.

If your test goes past 75: Keep calm baby! You are still in the game. You should not freak out because it means you still have a chance to prove you can pass. I was fully prepared to go past 75 because it meant I hadn't failed yet and when it shut off at 75 I wanted more! I wanted to keep proving myself.

You may notice I did not disclose the types of questions I got as many others do. Why is that? Because it doesn't matter! Your test will be completely different than mine! The amount of SATA or whatever kind of questions I got mean nothing to you! I am not saying that to be rude I am saying that so you know your test is unique and will target your weaknesses, not mine.

Ok, this is post is long enough, I should wrap it up.

Closing tips:

You cannot know everything! I don't recommend NOT studying, but I think practicing questions in general is what helped me pass, not the content I saw because like I said the stuff I saw on my test is NOT what I spent time studying.

Test pretty close to your graduation date. I know a girl who tested 2 weeks after graduation and passed and looking back I should not have waited a month.

Do not let others scare you. If you got "easy" questions or only a few SATA that doesn't mean you have failed!

You are capable of passing!

Oh, and do not try the PearsonVue Trick. It is not your official results and means nothing!!!

Best of luck to all of you future RN's!

strawberryluv, BSN, RN

Specializes in LTC, Med-surg.

None of the studying really helped me with what I saw on the exam! I know that's not something people want to hear but I am telling you that so that you can know that there is no way to study and/or know everything! I truly feel that no more studying and no less studying on my part would have affected my test outcome. I know that is not reassuring. But for me honestly the things I saw were not what I was expecting. Some of it was obvious, but mostly not.

I keep hearing people say this. I am royally scared. Seriously. Btw, thanks for the tips! Enjoy your nursing career.