Wow you guys. I did it! I'm officially an RN!
I just wanted to share my experience because many people are going through this and I understand the stress.
I passed on February 4th with 75 questions in about 2 hours (plus the Special Research Section at the end)
I had 35 SATAs, a lot of priority, pharm, and unit management type of questions. The whole time I was second-guessing myself, but I did. not. change. my. answers. *phew*
I graduated in December. Our school provided Kaplan live training and integrated Phase 1 in to our final semester. I didn't get my ATT until January 20th, at which point I started studying.
I used Kaplan's Qbank and Question Trainers, completing all but 400 of the Qbank questions, and all but the last Question Trainer (#7). My scores ranged from 57-78%, average score being 68%. My remediation dedication was far from perfect: sometimes I just didn't remediate. I usually gave every test a once over, noting the places where my brain went off course or any huge dearth of knowledge.
I also used Saunder's Comprehensive Review, which I had throughout nursing school. I divided the chapters in the book by the number of days I had to study. I averaged about 5 chapters per day, flipping through the content, reading whatever seemed distant or unfamiliar, and completing the questions. I didn't do all of the Chapters, however...
In the final week of my preparation I became sick with acute bronchitis (adenovirus? still never went to the doctor) ... I plugged away, through fever and night sweats, since my brain still seemed to function. However, the 3 days before my exam, I was so burned out, that I did not study one bit!
That's right, I did NOT study the 3 days before my exam. I had *not* reviewed everything. I was off of my predetermined study schedule. But, I passed!
I was a great student in Nursing School, getting that 4.0. However, I did not remember everything, despite my honest attempts. There's no way to know everything. My success in school and the NCLEX came down to TEST TAKING SKILLS. I think the Kaplan decision tree is a great system if you struggle with test taking skills. It gives you a systematic way to break down the question. I think, if you do this enough, it becomes second nature. I think I already did this to an extent, which is why I did well in school. Only one measure of understanding, but unfortunately the main skill that is necessary to pass the NCLEX. Harness that test taking power, ya'll. It'll get you there!