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Passed at 75 on second attempt!

I just wanted to tell my story and to give hope to others! I graduated in December '14 and I was a B/C student throughout nursing school. So if I can pass these boards, you can too!

First attempt (2/7/15), I focused a lot on Hurst and knowing content. I did a few Kaplan Qbank questions but not a lot. I did the 6 practice exams Hurst offered and scored within their 84 range. The range they state most people pass NCLEX on the first try. Well except for the 6th exam, where I received a 64 due to burn out. I had a job lined up in an ICU, very ecstatic for the opportunity but had to release the job back out because I failed. Entering the exam, my anxiety was sky high. I hit 75, and it just kept going up...my anxiety and the questions! I went all the way to 265, shaking my head in disbelief throughout the entire 5 1/2 hours I was there. I took maybe two breaks, not recommended! I had a lot on me to pass, getting out of my tech job, starting a new career, friends/family. I went home, drained emotionally and physically. I did the PVT like all my other classmates and out went $200. In the end, I failed. All my friends were moving on and I was stuck as a tech with an RN degree.

I took a week off to vent, sleep and work. Paid for another ATT, and scheduled the next exam for 3/25/15. Asking all my friends what they did to prepare, they stuck with Hurst and Kaplan too. I was baffled! That's exactly what I did the first time! So I read several posts on here saying that Kaplan and LaCharity are well respected materials to use. Only if I would have done that the first go around. It wasn't the material that was getting me, it was the way I approached the question. I felt like knowing how to answer the questions was my problem. After doing all the chapters from LaCharity (scores ranging from 45-86%) and ALL trainers and Qbanks from kaplan (qbank avg 60%)...it seemed to lower some of the anxiety a bit, well that and a prescription for propranolol haha. Going into this exam, I seemed more cool and calm. Reading each question carefully and determining why each answer choice was right or wrong. Two hours passed by quickly, and without keeping track with the number of questions I have done, the computer screen turned blue asking if I wanted a break. I clicked yes and ate a blueberry muffin I made the previous day and did the whole pep talk in the bathroom. When I sat back down to continue, I saw I was on question 75. Pretty easy multiple choice question...answered it and the screen went blue again but this time with the NCLEX survey. Went straight to the bar and spent yesterday recovering haha. Woke up this morning and checked the licensure website and there was that glorious license number beside my name!

So my words of wisdom...do questions until you can't go anymore and read the rationales! Kaplan is difficult but so is NCLEX. Kaplan trains you on how to answer questions and I feel it was the most helpful in my studies. LaCharity played a big part as well because I had quite a few priority questions.

Good luck to the first timers and even the many-timers. Don't lose hope. I've been there, and it was a tough pill to swallow. If you get bucked off the horse, take time to heal and hop back on. Getting through nursing school isn't an easy stroll in the park...you've gotten through it and now you have one more task! You got this!!!

Congrats dear, happy for you and thanks for your input.

Congratulations! How long did you study for the second attempt? Did you do Hurst Remedial course or did you even use Hurst again?

Congratulations! How long did you study for the second attempt? Did you do Hurst Remedial course or did you even use Hurst again?

I pretty much started studying from the week after Feb 7th until the 25th of March. I told Hurst I wanted the remediation, but they were all about material. I couldn't even redo their practice tests...so I only looked at Hurst just to clarify rationales and relearn some sign and symptoms. The 80+ page document they sent...I maybe did the first three pages but that's it. Material wasn't my weakness...controlling anxiety and learning to break down questions was my biggest problem.

Congratulations to you! I appreciate your post and I am looking into investing in LaCharity. Did you brush up on any information from the textbooks or simply Kaplan and LaCarity? I've heard that a lot of people don't study from the textbooks but I was just curious.

Other than Hurst for material and of course the 6 exams Hurst provides...I only used Kaplan and LaCharity. I haven't touched any of my texts since school. But I did bring out some cardiac rhythm slides to refresh.

The first go around I had a good three or so EKG strips and zero my second time around.

Edited by TroyM

Did you get meds? Was your 2nd attempt harder than your first? Did you get some of the same answers? Did you encounter more diseases/other info you didn't know?

Did you get meds? Was your 2nd attempt harder than your first? Did you get some of the same answers? Did you encounter more diseases/other info you didn't know?

I did get meds. Some I had no clue about...I just went with clues that were in the steam and based my answer off of that. I felt the second time was much easier for me. Because I have been to the testing center before, I know how it all works with the palm scan, etc. Between both exams, I don't remember getting the same question. I feel like most of the diseases that I got came from Hurst and Kaplan.

My advice when going in the testing center is don't expect it to end at 75. Like I said, I had no idea I was at question 74 when I took my initial break. Focus as much as you can and keep your eyes on the price. Just do your best and make educated guesses if you don't know the answer. Because you don't the med, doesn't mean you have to spazz out and panic. Carefully read the steam, look for the reason the patient is receiving this medication. If the steam isn't helpful...look for likeness in the answers and eliminate the silly answers. Good luck! I know you will do well! Have confidence and do something to reduce stress throughout your study days.

Thanks bro! Congratulations again and wish you the best!

Congrats Troy & welcome to the RN community. Enjoy the RN journey wherever it takes you.


Specializes in Med-Surg.


Thank you everyone. I'm overly excited to begin my nursing career!

Congrats, looks like this time you nailed it! :)


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