I just took my NCLEX last week and wanted to share my experience for those currently studying or taking their test soon. I hope to ease any test anxiety and answer any questions. I prepped for about four weeks, and no I did not use UWorld. I decided not to purchase UWorld because it was pricy and I just didn't have the money for it. I realize many nursing students highly recommend using UWorld, but if it is out of your price point you will still do just fine! Don't worry!
I studied the Saunders comprehensive review book for any topics that I needed to review and used NurseAchieve for practice questions and CAT practice. I would highly recommend the CATs for exam prep (free for 30 days with the code FREE30). I devoted a few hours a day for content review and practice questions. I did about 3 CATs a week (my tests would shut off at around 64 questions and I would get a Pass-Pass each time). These were very helpful and get you familiar with computer adaptive testing.
I took my test and felt that it was very hard. I felt I was guessing on most of them and when the test shut off at 60 I felt defeated. I only had a hand full of SATA so I thought I failed for sure. I got the good pop up 1 hour and again 4 hours after the test. What a relief! 2 days later got the quick results and passed! It is normal to feel that you did poorly, try not to stress to much after the test and hope for the best!
All in all, NCLEX is really not THAT difficult. We went to nursing school, we can do it! Something I wish I heard while prepping for the NCLEX is that you remember more than you think you do from nursing school. You have the information already, so don't stress if you find that you are crunched for time or can't purchase the pricy resources. Just think positive, take deep breaths, and read carefully. You will get through it! Good luck to everyone!