Hi everyone!! I took my NCLEX 3 days ago and just wanted to share my experience because it was really unusual and super scary for me but it ended up working out fine. I hope this can help someone prepare for their upcoming exam during the pandemic.
My intention was to take my NCLEX in about 3-4 weeks from now...and I planned to do the most studying after I got scheduled and I took the few weeks after graduation pretty relaxed as far as studying goes. I got my auth to test last Thursday.
As many of you probably know the testing centers are booking out quite a ways and I couldn't find a spot until October which was a huge bummer because I'm impatient and also didn't want all that fresh knowledge to leave me.
One of the testing centers a bit further away had a single opening two days later and in a panic I scheduled it because I really REALLY wanted to have a shot at being done with this whole thing. So, I did a whole bunch of questions on ATI for the next two days but I didn't over-do it because I figured if I knew the information...I already knew it.
Fast forward to test day and I was optimistic that somehow it would be easier than I imagined...I graduated top of my class so this was going to be cake!
The staff at my local testing center were so sweet and that helped me calm down quite a bit. But when I got into that test room I felt like a toddler...and like I didn't know a single question aside from the first one. I felt like such a jerk for thinking I could possibly pass the test with a day and a half of serious studying when some people study for months. I actually considered giving up at one point, that's how much I felt like I was bombing.
The computer shut off at 60 and I didn't know what to think. I called my mom on the way home and after reviewing some information and realizing what I got wrong I was CERTAIN that I failed. My mom even said that she had all the confidence in the world in me but when she heard my voice it "wasn't the usual self-deprecating tone...this was different.".
It was a long 48 hours but yesterday I found out that I passed! So, I want to share my experience with others because I wish I'd known what I know now.
1.) You very well may feel like you don't know anything during the test...please don't let that discourage you. If you're getting consistently hard questions and you were a reasonably good student you are probably doing great and the questions you're getting are at a higher level.
2.) Don't cram the day before. Give yourself a rest and don't assault your brain like that. Test day is so stressful and you're going to need max brain capacity!
3.) Don't forget to breathe!! Very important.
4.) I found that the test questions were not like I experienced with practice questions. I've seen some other folks say that they found the questions to be very straight forward but I found everything very vague. (Don't get me wrong, practice questions are the best way to study in my opinion so keep doing them!!). I had to infer a lot of information from the questions and there were a lot I didn't know. But my instructor told me that they're not testing your knowledge but they're testing what you do with your knowledge in order to recognize and address the things that are most dangerous to the patient! So even if you haven't a clue what the question is asking, break it down and really consider the answers, use your ABC's and think about patient priority.
I think you'll do just fine!
I hope I helped some of you fine people who are gearing up to take your exam!!