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Passed the NCLEX... and You WILL TOO!! Here are some tips!!!

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I just wanted to share my experience with the NCLEX-RN with all of you and hopefully this will help some! I passed with 86 questions. I graduated with a BS in nursing from an accelerated nursing program this May and took the NCLEX about 4 weeks later. I decided to go on vacation for a bit so this is why I pushed my test date back from 3 weeks to 4. After I got back I buckled down and studied. I would say I studied about 4 hours each day up until the test. I mostly used NCLEX-RN Mastery App, Kaplan (Qbank only, no Qtrainers), and Lippincott. I studied content for about a week and did questions for the next 3 weeks. I would recommend doing as many questions as you can before the exam hits. You need to think NCLEX style not nursing school style. Reviewing rationale also = reviewing content.

Here is a review of what I studied with/how I studied:

1) NCLEX-RN Mastery App- I think I payed $30 on it, but it was worth it. I always had my phone with me so it was easy to pull the app up and do a few questions at a time. They have awesome rationales as well... write them down if you get the answer wrong or even if you get it right and still want more clarification. Do as many questions as you can. Why I love this app so much is because it let's you put a "tag" on each question. You can tag them either with Know, Don't Know, or Somewhat Know and you can go through each category again and do those questions. It's broken down into the most important and most tested on categories on the NCLEX. Another great thing about this is they will give you double your money back if you don't pass the test and you used their app.

2) Kaplan (Qbank only, no Qtrainers). I used Kaplan the most.- I believe I payed $50 for the Qbank or $60 can't remember, but it was definitely not more than $70. I purchased the 1 month one and got a plethora of questions. You can choose the amount of questions you get and always take a test in test mode not the other mode... I think it's called practice or tutor mode, but I'm not sure. Practice/ tutor mode will show you the answer right after you answer the question and that's not how the NCLEX is. So, use the timed mode and look over rationale after. I started out doing 20 questions a day slowly building up to 50 and then 75 questions. I ended up doing two 75 question tests every day for the last 2 weeks. After every test I reviewed rationale for all the questions... even the ones I got right! You'll see a pattern form on how to solve certain questions/ work through them while looking at rationales. I noticed that even for the questions I got right I wasn't thinking NCLEX style, but Kaplan would teach me how to think the NCLEX way. After I finished all the questions in the Qbank my overall score was a 65%. I then went through and did all the questions I got wrong and reviewed rationale.

***I'm telling you right now to not get caught up on the scores at all. My practice test scores ranged from 50-85%. So, even though you'll read somewhere that Kaplan wants you to get above 60% on your tests don't get discouraged if you are below that because Kaplan questions are UPPER level questions. As long as you are getting about 1/2 of them right you are on the right track. Also, if you understand the rationale you are on the right track as well!!!! Remember these are upper level questions... Kaplan is difficult!

I feel the best way to study is with Kaplan though because it readies you for the upper level questions and if you are getting them right you are staying above the passing line. My NCLEX was very much like the Kaplan tests I took. For a breif summary of how the NCLEX works keep scrolling.

3) Lippincott Q & A Book: I never really used the book, just the CD in the back. The reason I did this was because I wanted to get used to taking a test on a computer. I would take paper tests any day over a computerized exam because you can underline things on paper and you can't do that on a computerized test. With that said I used this the least out of all the study tools. I think the reason I used it less was because I didn't really need content just questions. Lippincott gives wonderful rationales and a lot of content if you need it too. The CD though will not remember the questions that you already did so I did all the questions on the CD in tutor mode/ "the one that shows you the rationale after you answer it" mode just because that would be easier, for me at least, to go through questions. I recommend this for those who need a little more content, but use this along with Kaplan.

I did try the NCSBN online review course as well. This did not help me at all and they ended up giving me a full refund which was nice. The reason it didn't work for me was because the questions seemed to be worded very differently from Kaplan and NCLEX-RN Mastery and were in a sense easier. The wording was very confusing as well. This however is a good option for people who need content because this gives you a review class online to study with at your own pace. It has different modules, quizzes, and tests on each of the most tested categories on the NCLEX... it just wasn't for me. The program cost $50 for 3 weeks and you can pay more to have it longer as well.

How the NCLEX works: This test is called a comptuerized adaptive test. This means that the computer will give you questions depending on where you fall (below or above the passing standard/ line) to determine how competent you are. The computer will give you harder questions as you keep getting them right and easier questions if you get the hard questions wrong and then it'll go back up to harder questions if you got the easier ones right. Just think of a balance beam. This test is not about how many questions you get (people pass at 75 as much as they fail at 75 same goes for those who get 265, but I'll explain that later) it's how many of the harder questions you get right. The test starts off with easy quesitons then as you get them right the become harder and harder (usually the more SATA, analyzing, and prioritizing you get the better you are doing, but that's not always true). You are deemed competent by the computer when you can answer about 50% of the harder questions right. I read somewhere that at 60 questions the computer analyzes your competence level to the passing standard and determines how close you are to that and how many more questions you need. If you are way aboe the passing standard you pass and the exam shuts off, if you are way below the passing standard you fail and the exam shuts off, if you are hovering between pass and fail and are very close to the passing line/ fluctuating with it and the computer doesn't know if he/she can pass or fail you, he/she will keep asking you questions. So basically as long as you can get 50% of the harder questions right you are good to go as far as competency goes. I also read somewhere that if you do get all 265 you fluctuating below and above the passing standard for the whole exam and you need to get #264 right. It doesn't matter if you get 265 right because that's the one it looks at and if you don't get #264 right you'll be below the passing standard and it doesnt matter if you get 265 right or not, but if you get #264 right its vice versa.

Hope this helped some of you!! I am open to answering any questions you may have as well! Don't hesitate to ask!

Edited by thocat1989

Congrats on passing! The study tips are very good, and I'm sure many people will benefit from them. Your NCLEX explanation, however, contains a fair amount of incorrect information, and people would be better off skipping that part of your post in favor of others that DO have it completely correct.

In a nutshell, the test doesn't take a look at how you're doing at Question 60; nowhere is that indicated from any part of NCSBN (creators of the test). Nor is it valid even in conjecture: Question 60 is just the same as Question 70, etc in terms of "how you're doing" and the need for further questioning.

CAT is the system used, but your explanation of it is, for the most part, incorrect in assumptions about the kinds of questions you get. For example, SATA questions presented does not EVER indicate a higher-level question, or that you are generally speaking doing better than if you did not get any SATA. It is merely a format type, and one of the most prevalent myths out there.

Determining which questions are "harder" and therefore "above passing" seems to be something so many applicants are stuck on, but it's a fruitless venture: you cannot know which questions ARE above or below passing standard; one person's "OMG, it's too easy to be a higher-level question" is someone else's "that question was a killer, it MUST have been a higher-level question. Guessing whether you got 50% of the "harder" questions correct is a huge waste of time; you cannot know, nor does getting 50% of those correct correlate into a passing exam.

Simply put, your test ends when you have demonstrated, to a 95% confidence interval, that you are competent in every domain of testing. That takes as many questions as it takes, and as many kinds of questions as it takes, up until the maximum number is reached. At that point, if you HAVE been able to get to that 95% CI in every category, you will pass. If not...you will fail.

At any rate, like I said, your studying plan was obviously good, so I'd continue to share that part, and skip the NCLEX part ;)

RNsRWe I appreciate your comment and your clarification of the nclex. I was purely basing what I know from what I have read or heard about the test. So, if not all information is correct I apologize because I heard or read it somewhere out there. In response to some of your comments though I would like to add this quote from ncsbn "At the end of an examination, a candidate is usually receiving items that they have approximately a 50% chance of answering correctly." I never said go and figure out what questions were harder or easier during the exam... that would drive me crazy!! Also, I said SATA does not always indicate a higher level question. The reason I said question 60 was because ncsbn website videos told me evaluation of competency starts at question 60 because at question 15 it hasn't given you enough questions to determine where you're at. Again thank you for correcting some of the incorrect information, but somewhere out there I read these facts about the nclex. So if this is true someone out there is getting false info too.

Oh, I hear ya! Some of their information is either misleading or downright confusing, so it's hard to get to the meat of the matter :)

One of my favorite goofy wordings is on Pearson Vue's website, which tells people that Quick Results will be available in "48 business hours" (which, to anyone who thinks normally, would mean six days!) but they REALLY mean "48 consecutive hours (two days). Gah.

Anyway, congrats again :)

Thank you!! I know what you mean! Also, people were confused because if they took the test on a Friday they were worried Sat and Sun don't count as business hours, so they wouldn't find out until Monday... not the case. It's also 48 hours from when you finished the test not started it.

CT Pixie, BSN, RN

Has 10 years experience.

Thank you!! I know what you mean! Also, people were confused because if they took the test on a Friday they were worried Sat and Sun don't count as business hours, so they wouldn't find out until Monday... not the case. It's also 48 hours from when you finished the test not started it.

(bolding by me)

Its neither 48 hours from when you begin or end the test. Its a general time frame.

I started my NCLEX-PN at 8am and finished at 840am or so. My quick results were available 2 days later at 10am (10am is neither the time I started or ended my exam)

I started my NCLEX-RN at 8am and finished at 940am. I got my quick results 2 days later at 901am exactly. Again, neither my start or finish time.

During the time my cohorts and I took the NCLEX, the quick results were up at 901am for everyone no matter what time they started or finished.

And as you said, you can get your quick results on Saturdays and Sundays...as well as State and Federal holidays.

I've noticed that you have made ALOT of posts and comments throughout AllNurses. How is it that you are so knowledgeable about NCLEX procedures and such? Do you work for them?

I guess the 48 hours is very variable!!

No I don't work for the ncsbn and I've made about 21 posts

Hi

What did you say to NCSBN to get refund as I took 5 weeks review and was unable to complete because its so difficult terminology

Hi

What did you say to NCSBN to get refund as I took 5 weeks review and was unable to complete because its so difficult terminology

I took this off the website: "Refunds are only granted within 1 week of purchase date and if the percentage of the online course completed is below 5%."

So if you have already completed 5 weeks of review or your have more than 5% of the course completed you cannot get a refund. I'm sorry!

Thanks for your reply, Yes in that case Im not eligible for refund

I'm sorry..my post was intended for RNsRWe

Its ok gradnursed!! RNsRWe does know a lot about the nclex. Always some helpful tips though.

I've noticed that you have made ALOT of posts and comments throughout AllNurses. How is it that you are so knowledgeable about NCLEX procedures and such? Do you work for them?

I do not. About 10 years ago I took an interest in CAT (the system of testing the NCLEX utilizes) and have spent a fair amount of time reading on the topic. Plus after years of message posts on this forum (including all the PVT stuff), the information compounds, and I've learned to separate the truth from the junk....and I'm happy to share what I've learned with those who are also interested. :)

I do not. About 10 years ago I took an interest in CAT (the system of testing the NCLEX utilizes) and have spent a fair amount of time reading on the topic. Plus after years of message posts on this forum (including all the PVT stuff), the information compounds, and I've learned to separate the truth from the junk....and I'm happy to share what I've learned with those who are also interested. :)

So you are saying that what you frequently post about the PVT/NCLEX is actually just your opinion or interpretation based on posts/comments of the topic you've read and not actually based on anything definitive?

So you are saying that what you frequently post about the PVT/NCLEX is actually just your opinion or interpretation based on posts/comments of the topic you've read and not actually based on anything definitive?

NO....much of what I write is based on the information provided by the designers of the NCLEX itself, the NCSBN. You can review their website if you like; I find many people don't bother to check Google for the site, or bother to read it for themselves, they just come here instead ;)

When I post about increasing frequency of the PVT being inaccurate, it most certainly is based on observations of this board, PMs received, other forums. You are never going to read anything "definitive" regarding the Pearson Vue Trick, as it is completely unsanctioned by Pearson Vue, and quite obviously just a "side effect" of using the registration software to attempt to create duplicate registrations.

The only "opinion" I post is that I believe that doing the PVT at this point, when it has become increasingly unreliable, is a foolish venture. You are right about that, THAT is my opinion :)

The rest....no, it's fact. But hey, you don't have to believe me....that's fine. For those that do, and have been made happier for it, I'm glad to have helped them. For those that don't, or wish to argue....that's up to them. I get paid the same either way, LOL....!

There's another member here, JustBeachyNurse, who is very knowledgeable about Bloom's Taxonomy, and how the C Interval works....but hey, you can choose to read it and learn from her....or not....again, it's up to the individual. She gets paid the same either way, too ;)

NO....much of what I write is based on the information provided by the designers of the NCLEX itself, the NCSBN. You can review their website if you like; I find many people don't bother to check Google for the site, or bother to read it for themselves, they just come here instead ;)

When I post about increasing frequency of the PVT being inaccurate, it most certainly is based on observations of this board, PMs received, other forums. You are never going to read anything "definitive" regarding the Pearson Vue Trick, as it is completely unsanctioned by Pearson Vue, and quite obviously just a "side effect" of using the registration software to attempt to create duplicate registrations.

The only "opinion" I post is that I believe that doing the PVT at this point, when it has become increasingly unreliable, is a foolish venture. You are right about that, THAT is my opinion :)

The rest....no, it's fact. But hey, you don't have to believe me....that's fine. For those that do, and have been made happier for it, I'm glad to have helped them. For those that don't, or wish to argue....that's up to them.

I get paid the same either way, LOL....!

I find it pretty reasonable for people to come to this site asking questions and taking part in discussions when a previously relied upon indication of pass/fail status for the NCLEX has changed. I am glad you admit that your frequent suggestions that using the PVT is foolish is just your opinion and not based on anything that is not available to everyone else.

I'd be very interested to see the post or posts indicating the inaccurateness of the PVT now that I frequently see you refer to.