Pre-nursing: How to answer NCLEX q's before RN school (or mastering them)

  1. Hello, all!

    I am a semester away from applying for nursing school, and I am concerned as to how I am going to be able to answer NCLEX style questions which I'm sure are on exams, yes or no?
    Does anyone have advice as to what a prereq/pre-nursing student should do to prepare for these or where they can go to learn about NCLEX style questions? Like a crash course? Somewhere you can go to learn about the first things nursing students learn in nursing school and how to prepare for NCLEX style questions. For example, I don't know what the ABCs are and how to apply them to the questions.

    I have read an NCLEX style question. For example, an active shooter is in a hospital, a baby was shot in the head (Glasgow coma III), two people were shot in the legs, and then the shooter was shot in the abdomen by police, and then out of those shot at, who was the first to be seen by the nurse? Ans: Shooter. I thought about that question, and it made me think "Start in the center of the body and work your way out in levels of importance, the center being the most important." I don't know if that's a good way to look at it, but it seems the sky is the number of questions possible. Is there a way to narrow every NCLEX question you're thrown at or should I have to worry about NCLEX questions in nursing school and do they teach you NCLEX questions and how to answer them? Is there practice?

    So many questions!!!! Good, educational answers can help remove the plaque of anxiety caked into my cortex!!!!!!

    Ps. I didn't even know what a Glasgow coma III was...but I thought it was the baby being most important, until the nursing students that were helping the other student answer the question said Glasgow coma III means the baby is brain dead or literally dead and it's pointless to try and save it. The shooter was shot in the organs which is more vital than the legs (where the other two were shot at).

    Also, another scenario that I always complained about how to answer NCLEX was I would ask my fellow friends who were/knew nurses things like "How do I know what is most important to answer if I'm giving a question where a patient has a sprained ankle, bruising, and problems breathing, which would be more important?" And they said breathing would be more important. Also, I think someone on here was once told "You can live with pain, not without oxygen".

    But this information that I'm starting to get isn't nearly enough for nursing school, is it?

    I am also taking a class for the BSN program called nutritional development across the lifespan and it's online, teacher doesn't teach, power points have voice overs from a previous instructor that use to work there so they're unchanged, and there is no tutoring for it. Exams are somewhat NCLEX style. All you can do is read from the book and power points. There's a file we were given on the first day of class that had advice from students in the past that took the class on how to succeed. They mentioned using Quizlet, but the wording wasn't "use it for the exams". I use quizlet for flash cards, but when I take the test, I see the questions from there so I think why don't I just use quizlet for the exam questions? I don't want to but the book is very vague with typos and it's very dificult to comprehend. Plus, I'm not even in nursing school yet, this is just required for the program.

    I hate the habit of using google for answers on an online test, but I still read my book and power points out of integrity of trying to be a good student and learn the material. 2 nursing students who graduated the same program I"m trying to get into and took this class and advised Quizlet but for the exams, unlike the sheet of advice that didn't specify to use them for the exam.

    These questions on the exam are NCLEX style, but maybe I'm not reading enough or studying enough, but I don't want bad habits not know a better choice.

    Trying to retain the information from the books is difficult. There's practice questions, over 250 of them, and I don't know if they're helpful. Fellow students say they don't help the exam. All I have left is A&P II, so is worrying about NCLEX style questions a big deal now or is pre-reqs more important? Do nursing schools give you a lot of resources on how to answer NCLEX questions? Or is it pretty much "Here's your wings, now go fly"?
    Last edit by Beldar_the_Cenobite on Jul 17, '17
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    About Beldar_the_Cenobite, CNA

    Joined: Aug '15; Posts: 418; Likes: 201


  3. by   vanilla bean
    Quote from TheAtomicStig_702
    so is worrying about NCLEX style questions a big deal now or is pre-reqs more important?
    Pre-reqs are more important. You have a habit of putting the cart before the horse. Once you start your nursing classes, you will be able to apply the information being taught to learn how to answer NCLEX style questions. You're having a hard time trying to answer them now because you haven't yet learned the information necessary to answer them. Focus on mastering the information you're learning now in your pre-reqs.
  4. by   Here.I.Stand
    I didn't even know what "NCLEX Style Questions" were until a good 3 semesters into my program! You need to focus on learning the content SO THAT you can successful. Real pts don't give you four multiple choice answers when caring for them
  5. by   JKL33
    Quote from Here.I.Stand
    I didn't even know what "NCLEX Style Questions" were until a good 3 semesters into my program! You need to focus on learning the content SO THAT you can successful. Real pts don't give you four multiple choice answers when caring for them
    So true!

    And I'll go a step beyond that: Lots and lots of people who have passed NCLEX didn't spend all this time fretting over "NCLEX-style questions" at all.

    Learn material > pass test.
  6. by   Guy in Babyland
    NCLEX books are designed for people preparing to take NCLEX. They are either graduated or near graduation. NCLEX questions are application questions, meaning that they require you to apply knowledge from nursing school to choose the best answer (there may be multiple correct answers, but only one is the best answer). Since you have not gone through nursing school, studying those questions will be of little benefit to you since you will be guessing at the answer.
  7. by   T-Bird78
    Just finish your prereq's and then focus on learning in the program. Your instructors will likely format their exams in NCLEX style. Just remember, there's multiple right answers, but NCLEX wants the MOST CORRECT answer. A joke I heard early on in nursing school was if in doubt, the answer is airway or handwashing. Good luck!
  8. by   SaltineQueen
    I think your worry about this is WAY too premature. You have all of new nuring school to learn how to answer NCLEX questions. That's what nursing school is all about. But, since you asked, start with the ABCs (airway, breathing, circulation) and then think safety, safety, safety. Body systems & pharmacology question knowledge will come with classes. Good luck!
  9. by   llg
    I agree with the previous posters. Don't go looking for trouble. You are worrying about something that might not even be a problem for you!

    There is really no such thing as an "NCLEX-style question" that is unique to NCLEX. They are simply questions that are written to test a higher level of knowledge (application) than most grade school and high school test questions. Most of the tests that kids take in school simply measure whether or not the student has a basic understanding of the material -- knows what the words mean, can recite the factual information, etc. At the application level, the student is asked to use the information in life-like scenarios -- which requires a higher level of knowledge and the ability to interpret the situation correctly ... the ability to prioritize ... to anticipate consequences ... etc.

    You should learn most of what you need to pass those higher levels of tests in school. If you struggle mastering the material and higher level of thinking required to pass the tests, you will discover that in school and can then take some steps to improve your performance. It's silly to waste time, energy and focus on that now -- and probably counter-productive as you are building the test questions up in your mind to be some big "scary monster," when all they are in real life is test questions written at an adult, professional level rather than at a beginner level.
  10. by   ItsThatJenGirl
    Worry about the issue you're having with nutrition.

    I swear you're your own worst enemy.
  11. by   pixierose
    Nursing school will give you PLENTY of practice with NCLEX-style questions. Many programs want their students to pass the exam the first time around; by the end of nursing school, you'll be absolutely sick of choosing the "best" response.

    And in keeping with Jen's response, focus on your pre-reqs... you're your own worst enemy. Focus on the present.
  12. by   Beldar_the_Cenobite
    Quote from ItsThatJenGirl
    Worry about the issue you're having with nutrition.

    I swear you're your own worst enemy.
    This nutrition class sucks. Two students who have graduated in the program I'm trying to get into say you can use quizlet for the exam questions. Two of my friends who are in nursing school say they hated this class or it sucks. All 4 have taken this class. The ones that say they hated the class, I agree with them. I hate using quizlet but my time managing is horrible at the moment. Things will be different "enviornmentally" once I get accepted into nursing school.
  13. by   Beldar_the_Cenobite
    Thank you, everyone! So, the things you learn in nursing school, are they things that they test around? I was told once by a girl who told me about this piece of **** nutrition class to "focus on your classes", and you guys are repeating basically what she said, but I just don't want to feel like I'm going to use my GI bill and then end up failing the school because it just slams you and overwhelms you and it's impossible to handle.
  14. by   Beldar_the_Cenobite
    Is it possible or wise to practice NCLEX questions once you've finished nursing school? Or is it easier or advisabel to do them while you're in nursing school? How much of it do they teach it to you? Enough to get you to be able to do them while in or is it just best to wait after you finish? I hate this nutrition class. It just makes me wonder if the two students who graduated told me I could use quizlet were being nice to say yeah it sucks or use quizlet so you can't get in? Has anyone else taken a pre-nursing nursing class required for your program that was online like mine is with no tutoring but from the teacher and the class was helpful for nursing school?