I took the NCLEX the first time on 05/31. In preparation, I did about 900 uWorld questions and averaging around 60s each pass through. I took both assessments with a borderline result for each. I was reading rationales and thought I had a good idea of the content. But came test day, my anxiety was out of the roof. I felt like everything just left my mind. But nonetheless, I gave it my all. Before you begin the exam, you have a tutorial, and then you start the exam afterwards. I could honestly say I was not 100% confident in any of my answers. When I got to question 75, it kept going..and going..and going. By question 150, I felt defeated and kept questioning why they would torture anybody with this many questions. 265 questions and 6 hours later, I was finally done. I did the Pearson vue trick, and sure enough, I got the bad pop up. I went through the sulking and depressing stage for a couple days, but immediately signed back up to retake it. Mind you, TX has a 45 day waiting period for retakes. I had to wait for another ATT in order to schedule again, which took about 8 days to receive. The soonest date I could schedule was for 07/16, which was pushing my deadline for a job I had lined up contingent upon passing NCLEX. No big deal, right? To add to the pressure and stress, the nearest location that had the 16th available was 2 hours away from me so I had to go with that. I arranged hotel to arrive the night before and got all that situated before configuring a new plan to study.
This time around, I knew I had to change my strategy. I only had about 30 days at that point to focus so I had to plan my studying strategically. I took off work 2 weeks prior to exam and dedicated it to just studying. I knew UWorld wasn’t going to be enough for me. By the kindness of a nursing school friend, I was given a study guide that broke down almost every topic in a very simple way. It was about 50+ pages long and I took my time, page by page, to really understand the material and know how to actually apply it. In conjunction to the guide, I discovered sarahrn.com. I struggled with meds so I bought her Med guide and wow! Her guide is the exact breakdown of uWorld and all the rationales. After studying her material, I did more questions on uWorld. My scores significantly improved! I was averaging high 60s to mid 70s. I felt a lot more confident this time around. Come 07/16, I was less nervous than before. Maybe because I knew what to expect and felt more confident. When the test started, I felt so confident as the questions seemed a lot easier than the first time I took it. I felt so confident that I had a feeling it would shut off at 75 - I was wrong! I got to 100 - still kept going! By 150, I broke down and ugly cried a little. I decided to take a break and recoup. Came back and questions kept going. Unbelievable, 265 questions AGAIN. 4 hours later I was ready to run for the hills. I didn’t even bother with the research questions at the end. I just put down whatever so I could leave. Even though I felt confident in the questions, I had a feeling I failed yet again due to getting all 265 again. At that point, I half accepted the fact that I’d be testing again, but nonetheless, I did the Pearson vue trick. I couldn’t believe it, I got the good pop up!! I did it a few more times days after, and sure enough, I passed!!!
So if you ever find yourself at 265 questions, DO NOT GIVE UP!! That means it has not ruled you out as a fail. You are still in the game and the test is giving you another opportunity to determine your success rate. Do the work and keep your head up! And remember, it’s not about where you start, but it’s about how you end!