Passing NCLEX (first try) UWorld/Kaplan

I promised myself that if I passed NCLEX I'd make a post talking about this topic since there were a lot of posts on this site that helped encourage me as I was preparing to take NCLEX! Nursing Students NCLEX Article

Passing NCLEX (first try) UWorld/Kaplan

First off give yourself credit for completing nursing school and getting to this point! So many wish they could be in your shoes, so never discredit yourself although it's hard to not doubt yourself as you're going through the brutal studying that is NCLEX prep.

I know we've all heard the stories of those who passed and didn't pass. Each story is different and unique to that person; yours will be too so never get down or allow yourself to listen to just one person and draw comparisons. Everyone gets different questions on NCLEX & everyone studied differently to remember to run your race and do what works best for you!

I personally used Kaplan and UWorld to study. I signed up for Kaplan because it was the most "popular" in terms of passing the first time so I took the live version. I was very adamant about passing the first time so I wanted to cover all bases; I heard amazing things about U-World from recently licensed nurses (within the last 2 years) & this website. I LOVE U-world. If you're making a choice between one or the other, pick Uworld. Looks exactly like the actual test and I learned SO much! Amazing rationales and everything just made more sense as opposed to Kaplan. I felt Kaplan was purposely trying to "trick" you on a majority of their questions to make them harder and the real NCLEX isn't going to do that; U-world was straight forward and just like the NCLEX.

Study Schedule:

I gave myself 3 weeks to hard core study after I completed the Kaplan review. I studied for about 12 hours a day taking breaks to eat/relax my mind in between. I did about 300 questions per day and watched 20 Kaplan videos per day to combine content (the review videos) with practice questions. I also studied every rationale whether I got the question wrong/right. I cannot emphasize that enough; read every single rationale especially the rationales on U-world. I made notes on the videos from Kaplan and read those notes over again at the end of my study week, which would be Sunday. I also took the Kaplan NCLEX readiness tests and one of the predictor tests (rates your chance of passing NCLEX) a week out from my testing date. I completely finished the q-banks for both Kaplan/U-world and turned my attention to U-world during the last 4 days of studying before my test date. I went back over each Uworld tests (about 9 per day) and made notes on the rationales and studied those every day. I saved the second predictor test from U-world to take two days before my test day. The day before the test they say do not study; well I could not do that so I just went over notes (LIGHTLY) but I didn't do anymore practice questions so I didn't get mentally fatigued.

TIP: I stayed off social media the entire time I was studying. I didn't want to see people passing or failing because I knew it would psych me out and put extra pressure on me. I only talked to my close friends/family during this time and I think it's worth while. I literally ate/slept/breathed NCLEX. Pretty sure it helped me pass only having that in my head.


I tested on a Wednesday, I had late morning exam since I function better around that time. I kept calm even though I was nervous. I reviewed notes and prayed from the time I woke up until I pulled into the parking lot. You have to realize you'll never know EVERYTHING and that's not what the test is about. You just have to be confident and if you've been scoring well on your prep-tests then you just have to trust in yourself. If you walk in there self-defeated, you'll psych yourself out. So practice positive self-talk. I got about 12 SATA, one calculation question, one multiple choice that involved pictures, and the rest were standard multiple choice. I was done in 75 questions and honestly I felt good afterwards. There were questions I know I got right but I still felt nervous because now comes the dreaded waiting period....

Finding Out I Passed:

I waited about 24 hours for the results. I did not do the PVT because I didn't want to obsess over passing/not. I could not sleep that entire night; honestly everyone second guesses themselves in the waiting period. It's only natural so just distract yourself. My boyfriend took me out for drinks and we had a wonderful time so that helped. After 24 hours it didn't show up on the Pearson site (freaked me out) but I checked on my state's board of nursing website for kicks/gigs and saw my license posted! I am officially an RN and I could not be more proud!

Final Thoughts:

I honestly think U-world is the reason I passed in 75 on the first try. The test looked so similar to U-world it was crazy. Even if I didn't completely know a question just the constant practice of eliminating the wrong answers helped me select the best right answer. When I got SATA's I was actually happy; I've heard it means you're doing well. Plus, U-world gives you so many SATA's that I just became comfortable with them I could knock those out of the park (which probably kept me at a high "above passing" level). Staying off social media during my study period really helped me remain focused and only have NCLEX stuff in my mind; I could not be happier now that I am an official RN and all my hard work paid off. NCLEX studying is brutal/'ll have good days, bad days, and ready to throw your computer out of the window days but they all will work out in the end if you stay consistent. Be confident in yourself guys! You can pass this test!

Since everyone looks at these, here you go....

Kaplan Scores:

✔️ Diagnostic Exam: 67%
✔️ Qtrainer 1: 69%
✔️ Qtrainer 2: 67%
✔️ Qtrainer 3: 62%
✔️ RN Practice (session 7): 70%
✔️ Qtrainer 4: 64%
✔️ Qtrainer 5: 63%
✔️ Qtrainer 6: 65%
✔️ Qtrainer 7: 54%
✔️ Overall Q-bank Average: 63%
✔️ NCLEX Sample Test 1: 66%
✔️ NCLEX Sample Test 2: 66%
✔️ Who Do You See First: 83%
✔️ Readiness Test: 74% (99.6% chance of passing)

U world Scores:

✔️ Overall Q-Bank: 66% (92nd Percentile)
✔️ RN Self Assessment 1:69% (88% chance of passing)
✔️ RN Self Assessment 2: 76% (96% chance of passing)

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Awesome!!! Congrats & thanks for the insight!