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PASSED THE NCLEX!!! Anyone (even me) can pass

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Hey everyone! So I passed my NCLEX (officially) on August 13, 2014. Having been extensively reading and re-reading the posts on AllNurses.com to both ease and bolster my anxiety, I told myself the least I could do is create a post for all the other study-ers out there. Here it is!

Okay honesty upfront, i was a less-than-stellar nursing school student. I made it through my my classes but as a whole I considered myself pretty weak in content, pharm, whathaveyou. This of course required me to triple up the effort come studying time for the test.

~BTW, I do not want to condone the idea of "i don't need to work hard in school because i can still pass the test". I believe I worked hard but of course I believe I could've worked harder. I had to pay for/make it up come NCLEX time so what is invested before simply makes it all that much easier after.

Anyhow here is how my study scheduling broke down.

Graduated in late May

Somewhere around mid June I started doing 50 questions a day with Lipincott's 2014 Q&A Book. I read EVERY rationale and googled what I didn't know. I pretty much completed the CD they give with the book (roughly 1000 out of 1300) of those questions.

The great thing about the CD (which i did in review mode) was that it explained well and was easy to use.

These were on average 6 Hr study days.

Afterwards, I started doing my Kaplan Question Trainer's on and QBank. I had completed Question Trainers 1-3 in school but 4-7 I left for later. Given that these are strong indicators of how prepared you are, this was a wise move.

My strategy with these was the same as with Lipincott. Read the question. Look up what you didn't know, review each and EVERY rationale. The wrong rationales are explained and thus teach you something about some other relevant information.

Completed 100% of Qbank with average score around 55-60%

Scores:

QT3-66

QT4-49.3

QT5-61.3

QT6-58.5 ~ taken 2 weeks before scheduled date to see how i was doing

QT7-60.4 ~ taken 1 week before test. Bumped my test back 1 week because I felt like I was on the verge but a little more studying couldn't hurt.

Also keep in mind, I completed most of the Qbank and once in a while the QTrainers would repeat a few questions here and there. I counted these as negatives against my score since I pretty much could pick out the answer simply from wording.

To tackle meds, what I did was go on Quizlet and memorized suffixes that could help me point out the med. Then I memorized the side effects of med classifications, the Kaplan Content Review Guide has very good breakdowns but I only tackled the big ones. As you go through the Qbank you get a general idea of what the "big drug categories" are.

I memorized the developmental age-markers for children (like what should you see at 3 month infant-type stuff)

I memorized Lab Values (this is a biggie)

And i memorized the random spurts of information here and there, mostly on OB and Peds and sadly, I got remarkably few questions on these.

The 35-page study guide that's floating around on AllNurses was a GODSEND. Acronyms like SSSPPPIDERMMMAn and others for airborne, contact, standard precautions saved my butt so many times on the test and i strongly reccomend EVERYONE memorize these.

There is a page on the study guide where they go through all the side effects of Hypothyroidism, Hyperthyroidism, Hypercalcemia, Hypocalemia etc. MEMORIZE THESE KNOW EM BY HEART. They are incredibly important and are often the root of many questions.

Procedures are very important to know as well, Quizlet has plenty of helpful resources.

BStrandable on Quizlet was a very useful tool as well to review material and familiarize yoruself with various topics.

I used a notebook to write down facts (part to review and part because writing things down helps people remember better) and went through almost 3 notebooks jotting stuff. I would periodically go through it with a highlighter and re-read to see what I forgot.

I also use the NCLEX3500 resource somewhat... mostly for alternative format. I feel like these questions weren't similar to Kaplan or really too the actual test itself... still good information, great for review.

http://nursing.slcc.edu/nclexrn3500/mainMenu.do

Towards the last 3 weeks before the test, I bumped my study hours up to roughly 10 hours a day.

So... yeah! This was pretty much the breakdown of my studying. For the most part I didn't focus on review since I figured questions and search would be review topics anyways. Certain topics though, like EKG, Fetal heart strips I would youtube and learn since I felt like it covered a broad scope of potential questions.

Do your best! I ended up passing at 100 questions. If I can do it, so can you!

P.S. - And now beings the even tougher job of searching for a job as a new grad...

Congratulations on passing the Nclex!

I'll be taking mine in two weeks and i feel so anxious about the test!

By chance do you think you can email me that one study page with all the hypo/hyper thyroidism/calcemia/glycemia/natremia? I'm having a hard time with those currently.