Hey everyone. I used this site a lot when I was preparing to take the NCLEX for tips about prep, info on how the exam will be, and to find information about when I would get results, etc. So here is my experience to help others!
I live in Missouri.
Prep: I graduated May 5th. I got my ATT on May 21st. (I think the time on this varies though depending on when your school sends the final transcripts to the BON in your state). I DID NOT STUDY ANYTIME from May 5th to May 21st. However, I did buy UWORLD on May 10th (the 60 day subscription with the 2 practice tests) with intentions to start studying. Again, I did not use it until May 21st.
Specific Studying Methods:
May 21st-June 4th: I did 75 questions daily. I did section by section (ie. one day I did peds, OB, Psych, Prioritization, Med Surg-Respiratory, Med Surg-cardiac, etc). I used the TUTOR mode where you get the rationals right away. I would carefully take notes on these (wrote them down on paper and made some google documents where I typed the information) and made flashcards within UWORLD. I felt this was the best way to study (for me) because after I read the rational, I would get a question about the same topic later and be able to use what I had learned about from previous questions to help me answer the new question about the topic. It helped to reinforce the knowledge.
** Give yourself approximately 5-6 hours a day to complete these tests. Going through the rationals take forever but it's SO worth it. ******* You can break it up into 2 3-hour study sessions if you would like. Also, I would recommend doing this in a distraction free environment. I did not have my phone with me or any other tabs open so I could focus on just the information I was learning.
June 3rd-June 9th: At this point I had finished going through the individual sections (some of them, I would do 2x (depending on the amount of questions they had) if I was bad at it. For example, I went pediatrics 2 with unused questions because that is my weak area. I always made sure I left a fair amount of questions though so that I could do MIXED 75 question quizzes.
So that's what I from 6/3-6/9. I did 75-150 questions a day on the TIMED MODE (take it just like the real NCLEX). I found this helpful because I was so used to getting the rationales right after that it took me a few days to get used to just sitting through the questions and not knowing the answers right away. Also, do not use your phone, notes, eat, or stop during the time that you take the tests. Act like you're taking the NCLEX. When you finish the questions, go through the rationals. At this point, I still read through all the rationals but I didn't write down tons of stuff as I had seen most of this information before. On the rare questions about "minor" topics (ex. Sjögren's syndrome), I wrote down the basic patho/ MAJOR sign and symptoms and went on. I didn't worry about memorizing everything. Also, every other day, I went through my flashcards that I made on UWORLD. I only made flash cards on major topics (what I needed to study). This helped me a lot though.
I did the 2 assessments on June 3rd and June 8th. My scores were 76% and 78% (both very high chance of passing- 97th Percentile).
My UWORLD scores during my whole time studying ranged from 57% to 81%. Most of my scores were in the high 60's and low 70's. However, as I kept going through questions I got better scores/higher percentages. Some days at the end (closer to NCLEX I mean), I got a lower score (like low 60's). Don't worry. You were probably just distracted or something. Just go through the questions and review what you got wrong. Don't let it freak you out. My overall percentage when I finished UWORLD was 70%.
NCLEX: I did a practice test the day before NCLEX (just a random 75 question one) and reviewed it. The day of NCLEX (Monday, June 10th), I studied major medications (insulin, heart meds, diuretics) and lab values but no other questions. I arrived at the facility 1 hour early. Walked for 30 minutes to help clear my head then I went in. I went through the registration process and then was allowed to start my test. The NCLEX looks exactly the same as UWORLD (colors, exhibits, calculator).. It was comforting. While taking the test, I personally did NOT keep track of the amount SATA questions (That would freak me out). I had a fair amount of them though. About every other question was SATA. I had 3 drag and drop. No hot spots, audio, math, or anything like that. While I was taking the NCLEX, I pretended I was taking UWORLD. I just told myself to think through the question and to try to anticipate what the answer would be.
The test shut off at 75 and I was so happy because I felt that the test went well. I used a lot of knowledge from UWORLD that I learned to help me answer. I would say if you are doing well with UWORLD (above 60% I think is what UWORLD recommends) you will do great! Just pretend you're taking another UWORLD test and breathe. You can do it!!
Results: I did try the PVT when I got home (1 hour later) and got a good popup. However, I saw some people say that they got false negatives before so do this at your own risk, lol.
I checked Nursys 28 hours after my test. My name and RN license was posted (this was in Missouri-not sure how long it takes other states). Yay! So I did NOT pay for the unofficial Pearson Vue results 48 hours later.
Conclusion: You can do it! UWORLD is awesome. NCLEX is not a huge scary monster like it is made out to be in school. Still... take it seriously and give yourself some time to study. I only studied for 3 weeks which worked for me. I would recommend maybe giving yourself a bit more time (6 weeks) if you don't learn quickly/need more time to review. Do what you did to pass nursing school!! Trust yourself. You can do it!!!!!!!