I am thrilled to report that I found out this morning that I passed my NCLEX! I'm really glad that my results were in so quickly (I got them through an automated phone line within 24hrs). I even happier that I PASSED!!!!! It is such a relief. Incredible. I thought I would share some info about my experience and how I studied. One of the things I did while preparing was look at the posts of those who had passed for information and encouragement. Sooo...-I used Kaplan's online course. I highly recommend this course. The NCLEX is different than any other test and it is really helpful to know HOW to take it, not just be familiar with nursing content. If you feel weak in content, they have videos to watch which are very thorough and correspond to the outline/notes in the book that Kaplan sends you. The diagnostic test and Question Trainers helped me see what I needed to study more of, and provided me reassurance as my scores went up. The Q-bank was great because I could customize it to take tests according to my weaker areas, and also use it in tutor mode to instantly see the correct/incorrect answers and rationales behind each one.-I typed up a study sheet with all the important lab values, vital signs and groups of medications with their side effects and nursing considerations. This took awhile but helped me memorize some of it while I was typing. NCLEX is mostly focused on critical thinking and prioritizing but you DO have to know the basic numbers and facts in order to answer the questions. I found having my own study sheet that summarized what I wanted to know was really great. I used this technique all throughout nursing school and got A's and B's on my exams. The typing can take forever but if you are a fast typer it's not a big deal- and it's part of your study time anyway!:typing-Keep in mind the general things that go along with meds. There were probably a total of 5 medications on the test I had never even HEARD OF, but I think I was able to get some of them right by thinking it through. Like if there is an answer related to drinking alcohol while taking a med...that's usually the correct one, as long as it states the patient will NOT be drinking it. In other words, remember no alcohol with meds! Knowing the general side effects for each group of medications is more helpful than trying to memorize the particular ones for each med. This is what Kaplan reccomends, although like I said there were several meds I never never seen before at all! I just guessed at their classification based on how they sounded. (For this reason I always try to note the meds that sound alike in the same classification)-I did not use all of the materials available to me through Kaplan. There is alot included with the course. If you are feeling really weak in content then make sure you book your test far enough in advance to have time to go through all of the videos and material of whatever study course you are using. I did not do this but only needed to get stronger in 2-3 areas. Remember that the way the CAT works, you will walk away feeling like you did terrible. It is really hard during the test to figure out whether you are answering questions at a passing or failing level. Especially since half the questions are ones you totally don't know and have to guess at! (It's hard to explain, but the computer does that) It's not about getting them right or wrong- it's about getting enough questions right at the level of difficulty/competency you need to pass. Darn computer testing is confusing, I know. Don't try to figure it out. The best thing to do, in my opinion, is to take lots of practice questions and GO OVER THE ANSWERS. As many as possible. This not only solidifies content but helps you have confidence and good critical thinking skills for test day. Being confident and relaxed during the test is one of the keys I think. I have always been really good at multiple choice tests and that helps me alot with getting better scores...the better I do the more confidence I have and then I do better on the next one. Which is why Kaplan helps with their practice exams. Sorry this is long. I hope somewhere in my babbling I have helped someone. I am sooooo happy to be done and now I can focus on getting ready for my baby girl to come. :heartbeat (I am due in 5 weeks)Good luck to all those who are getting ready for their test!!! Thanks to everyone who offered me encouragement. Feel free to ask questions or comment on my advice. I'm just trying to help out if I can.