I know people say this but I had probably read every NCLEX post on here. I lurked for weeks, didnt have an account but boy did I benefit from what people were kind enough to share. I vowed I would contribute something to the pot of bliss this site has been for me. I'll try not to ramble but I do want to share because Ive seen how helpful people sharing their experiences can be.
To start off Nursing school- I did very well, I worked very hard and fortunately, it paid off. However getting ready for NCLEX is vastly different, it was adaptive- to you. I was a slow studier but fast test taker. Prepping for NCLEX I learned the necessity to read so carefully, reading quickly was damaging. I knew I'd need to prepare and do it differently.
I did an online review with Feuer Nursing- online. Do not recommend. Poor lecturers, they didn't explain concepts. Grammar spelling mistakes and even their tests had inaccuracies. Also, the videos would freeze. Then all the hype I did U WORLD. It was soo helpful in actually teaching me knowledge and test-taking strategies. I completed about 1600 questions, first test 45%. I thought Oh boy- I made notes, watched videos, created Q cards and made sure I knew key concepts well enough that I could teach to it (not that they really listened) but something about hearing yourself explain concepts was helpful. All in all- I felt I was on the right track by the end of 1600 questions I was consistently scoring 65- low 70's%. I know it's not everyone's experience but my UWORLD marks did improve. I did sets of 75 questions, 150 per day (literally ALL day) and after about 500 questions- my marks were better but more importantly, my knowledge base grew until of course some random drug or disease would come up- and I'd be like "What where and in what language is this a thing"? Some answers I'd get wrong & be like "Ah yes that makes sense" Some I'd be like "Shut the front door...how". My NCLEX was scheduled the end of April 2019 but I had to change it earlier by 2 weeks but felt pretty ready.
1. Day before exam
I know people say don't study but I did- when I'd get into my zones, I felt I did better with more questions. Like I'd start cruddy then get better- I felt like I needed that momentum but I didn't go as hard as I was before. I tried to eat something and get to bed early- which I needed to do because I was writing in a different city and had a morning commute ln a weekday (another consequence of changing my date). I was SOO nervous and anxious I knew I wouldn't be able to sleep. I went to bed at 8- took melatonin and didn't fall asleep till probably 11. I woke up at 1:30 AM - I know to cry or to cry. Insomnia and anxiety are a wicked combination. I knew I wouldn't go back to sleep- I had planned to leave at 5 am but decided instead since I was up Id get ready and drive into the city. I felt nauseous- had a smoothie and got there at 3 am! The parking garage was closed, I couldn't sleep in the car, so I flipped through my notes and did about 10 questions. Felt tired and I can't drink coffee- I don't tolerate caffeine well and was thinking 2.5 hours of sleep and no food, rough start but I WILL push through this- even if I have to vomit every 30minutes. Id invested too much, so much riding on it- splashed some water on my face and gave myself a pep talk (i needed it lol and everyone I knew was sleeping)
2. The EXAM
Not surprisingly, I was the first person there even before the staff. After all the security (Photo, palm scan, photo ID, signature, putting ur belongings in a locker and confidentiality form) you get a computer. There are big headphones and whiteboard, marker and a brief tutorial before the exam.
Yes the NCLEX has SOME similarities to UWORLD but this my first time taking it and was taken back by how VAGUE Many questions were. The difficulty was not content but ambiguity- because I got used to teasing questions apart in UWORLD. This hurt me in NCLEX because it was mostly bare bones.
Tips- You have to take the question exactly as it is- no ifs or in this or that scenario. Exactly as they tell you- how do you proceed.
There is no crossing off incorrect answers like in UWORLD so use the notepad to keep track if you can't remember the answers u don't want to select. Words like PRIORITY or FIRST are bolded however " require further teaching' or " is appropriate teaching" or "would clarify" or "is correct understanding" are NOT BOLDED or emphasized. You have to read carefully, one question I thought they asked is appropriate teaching but it actually said clarify teaching- when I read it a second time.
Exhibit questions- they can have multiple. I had a scenario question and one exhibit item was an ECG, another vitals and the third a progress note. If its say 1/3 you have to look at ALL three unless it says 1/1, otherwise you'll miss pertinent information.
SATA- I did feel UWORLD helped me with these but do not think if you get a SATA and then regular MC u aren't doing well. I was fixated on the SATA and assumed if I didn't get ALL of them I was doing poorly. At about 25 questions I had about 8 SATA but 17 other mostly MC, I figured I was doing poorly but I was JUST at 25 questions and felt some SATA were easier than some of the MC. Some were real head-scratchers.
I know everyone tests differently but I took my time and honestly because I was SOO tired I knew I needed to be extra cautious. I prayed before, throughout and after. I was in no kinda hurry. I took 2 hours 45min to do the test. At 74 questions, I had maybe 15-20 SATA, 3 order the following, one calculation, lots of maternity, mental health and fundamentals- a few priority delegations. BUT LET ME tell you I WAS DRAINED. I prayed to GOD " OH DEAR GOD PLEASE LET IT BE OVER". I was gonna go the 265 if I needed but by God's Mercy, it shut off at 75. I didn't know if I passed but my last two were SATA and felt pretty confident about the last one. The rest maybe 2 I was 80% the others maybe 50-60% but I supposed that is the adaptive nature of the test, test ur individual ability against the benchmark.
AFTER: I researched and wrote everything and because I had spent SOO much bloody time staring at each of the 75 questions, I remembered alot. I found out the first question I got wrong for Sure. Several others as well. I immediately went into panic nausea mode- convinced I failed and regretting the awful state in which I wrote such an important exam.I read EVERYTHING I could find online about the aftermath
I read about the Pearson vue thing but felt my HEART could not handle "a bad pop up" without more certainty about it and many posts were old so I didn't know if I could trust them. I could do nothing but think about the test, it was all-consuming, you'd think Id sleep but no I ruminated about every aspect of the test. It was MADDENING. I was going to do the 48 hours Quick results but I tested on Thursday and Friday (today) I checked the board site and PASSED. Most beautiful 6 letters I've ever seen. I refreshed over and over, signed out and back in and checked on two devices LOL I know it's much but the anxiety of the NCLEX was unlike anything else for me.
I DO NOT RECOMMEND what I did but on 2.5 hours of sleep, no food, nauseous anxious mess, I somehow passed in 75 questions, I am sure you can too. I want to offer help if anyone has questions, I'm new to this but will check and hope some of this Ramble is helpful.