1. what are the materials that you used?
i was supposed to read saunders cover-to-cover but i was unable to do so because i have been working 12 hour shifts lately (toxic!). i have read saunders only up to chapter 21 (sheesh). i figured that i won't be able to finish reading saunders so i just tried to answer nclex style questions from cds during my rest day and when i have free time. i used nclex-rn review made incredibly easy and the saunders cd.
2. how many hours per day did you study? how many questions did you answer per day?
it depends. when i received my att, i even made a study schedule, but i wasn't able to follow it because our schedule changes every week. it's very hard to establish a fixed study period because i'm also working and i work different shifts (and most of the time, 12hr shifts) every day or every other day. one day i'm from night duty, the next day i'm on a morning/afternoon duty. it's very difficult especially when i'm already very, very tired from work. i usually spend 30mins to an hour to answer questions but it's not on a daily basis. i make up for it during my rest days by answering a lot of nclex questions the whole day. i have answered only around 1500 questions all in all.
3. how many days or months in total have you studied before taking the exam?
around 3 months, but as i mentioned earlier, not on a daily basis. i only had 12 rest days during those 3 months wherein i had the chance to really seriously study. i was scheduled to write the exam on the last week of november but i had it moved until the final day of my att validity because i am so not prepared to take the exam. i just had no choice but to take it at this time because it will expire already. have i had no work and more time to study, i would've studied more thoroughly.
4. what are the specific strategies that you used or the test taking skills you applied during the exam?
prioritization, maslows, abc. good thing there was a chapter about that on the early part of saunders. however, i still had difficulty on prioritization questions during the exam because most of the time, the choices/cases/situations all require the nurse's immediate attention. it took me a long time to answer those questions because i still have to analyze each situation. i was putting myself in the situation and kept asking myself that if i am the nurse, who will i assess first. i also had difficulty with the select all that apply questions! it was even harder for me because i have not memorized normal laboratory values, foods that are rich in this and that, cranial nerves, etc. i guess it's the combination of stock (and unstuck) knowledge, good test taking strategies, and sheer luck. read the questions and choices carefully and analyze. when i took my nclex, i hid the timer button so i won't get conscious of the time i spend answering the questions. i'm not telling you to ignore the time or take too long answering the questions, it's just because i can't think properly when i'm constantly reminded by how much time i have left. i have encountered a lot of questions where i have totally no idea of the answer! i try to make an intelligent guess and make sure that i get the answers right on the questions that i am familiar with (which has been harder for me because i have a lot of select all that apply questions-one wrong check, everything's wrong). i have also used a lot the process of elimination... and lots of prayers!
5. take one or take two?
take one. passed at 75 items. thank god!
though i passed, i am still wishing that i was given the time to really study for the exam... that would probably make my nclex experience less excruciating. what i have written above is just my own experience of studying while working. have i been given more time, i would've studied more thoroughly.
i have been waiting so long to contribute to this thread and now i finally can! thank you for all your inputs. it has helped me a lot.