Hello friends, I have to start by saying thank you to all of the other friends who were following me on my posts about my concerns taking the NCLEX for the second time, and I also want to thank the Lord for being with me this whole time.
Alright so Ill start by saying that I took my first NCLEX on July 31st at 8am and i gave myself 3 weeks to study. I only used Kaplan Qbanks, Qtrainers, and the Sample tests as well. I did nothing by answer questions for those 3 weeks. My scores in all the Qtrainer never really got above 61% and most were between the 52-61.1% with a 59% on Qtrainer 7. So i took it the first time with 104 questions and I failed it. The minute I walked out of that test center, I just knew i had done horrible, i just did. I had only gotten 5-7 SATA, a few Priority and a few math questions, the rest were normal questions. I was off course devastated.
BUT...... I didnt want to wait, I payed for my early results, I had really failed! So I payed the $200 to Pearson again, and called DORA where you get your ATT# and i asked them to lift the hold so i could schedule again, i knew i had to wait 45 days and i was fine with that. So i scheduled for October 1st at 8am.
-So i had more than 5 weeks to study this time. I took about 2 weeks between the time i received my Performance report to see where i had lacked. I was low on 3 categories and NEAR PASSING on the rest. I took a few more days to iron out where i would start, and between those days I realized that I was missing the biggest thing ---- CONTENT!!!!! I needed CONTENT, if i didnt know symptoms of a disease, if I couldn't relate them, how could I memorize so many of them? How could have know if s/s of ICP were more important than others and how could I recognize those? I know it sounds too easy, "Well you went to nursing school for 2 years, you should know all of it" , but do you really? Do you really remember ALL OF IT? NO! It is impossible, I needed something to go over everything in quick details, so i could refresh my memory and understand what the question was talking about, so I did HURST for my lack of content. Never took one of their tests but i LOVED their content, I listened to ALL of their content from Fluid & Electrolytes to Respiratory, Neuro.....etc, i knew it was the only way i could refresh on everything in a short amount of time. So I did. I spent less than 2 weeks counting only Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays listening to all of their lectures, I took notes, and then after, I recorded myself, so when I drove, I could also listen to my lecture and remember things, Specially GI(i always had problems recognizing what Upper Right Quad pain could be and so on)..... after my lectures, I decided to start Kaplan again (I called them and got it renewed for another 3 months) I started with Question Trainer 1 which is all COntent - I figured, I did all this content, I have to score better than a 50% like I did last time. My grade on that was: 73% not the best but HOLLY, it had gone up alot!! I reviewd the rationales, one by one, REALLY understanding what each meant, and WHY I was getting them wrong. So I did Qtrainers all they way like that and writing rationals down on my notebook. I would review those every day at night in bed so it would stay fresh.
-Also I used that Study Guide going around 35 pages, I didnt use all of it but I did read all of it once and remembered some things, the Isolation Precautions helped me A TON!!!!!!!
At night, I would also get my Kindle and google "LABS NCLEX" on quizlet. I would test myself until I memorize each one of them, it also helped me on the actual test, to rule out the normal values. INR and APTT were my biggest ones, along with Bili, Liver Enzymes, and Pancreatic Enzymes. I would practice those a few nights a week.
-So for 5 weeks I did CONTENT, Kaplan for Strategy(best way to learn how to take NCLEX in my view) and Quizlet, and the 35page Study guide.
-I know, for the SATA questions, I dont know how many times I searched on the web how to master answering those, I really dont know, i googled it alot, but what really really helped me was knowing my content, in SATA questions, they are usually looking for something RIGHT or WRONG most of the times, even if its RIsk Factors of Osteoporosis you are still looking for something RIGHT, so I knew that the only way for me to answer those correctly was to just know my content and really take my time on those.
-I used to grab a sheet of paper and write 1234 or 12345 and cross out the ones i knew were wrong or didnt apply, so I wouldn't have to go back to them, I know thats silly, but I never did it before, and I did it this time, and it helped me stay focused and didnt allow me to go back to that answer at all, there is a reason why I had crossed it out already. And I did it the same exact way during the test. I used 3 laminated sheets due to writing so much and my 1234's. I would write facts about the question, TOPIC, MAIN PERSON(pt or pt's family), so i would stay focused again on how I had to look at the question, I would also write for Priority questions on each number i would write an "A" for airway, B for breathing and so on, so again, it would become clear to me which one to choose, and believe it or not, it worked for me, but it took me a second try to figure that out, oh I also wrote, at the beginning of each sheet, every time i kept getting new ones too, I wrote this:
"YOU CAN DO IT, THE LORD IS WITH YOU" It was very encouraging!
-MOST of all, I prayed, every single day, I prayed to the lord that he would be there with me, and that he would help me recall the information that was asked in order to choose the correct answer. It is beyond my knowledge, how much strength a prayer brings to your personality.
-The day before my exam, I did study, I didn't on my first try, and I wanted to do things different this time, i know it works for some, and it doesn't for others, it just depends . But i answered questions, no more than 90 so 10 questions at a time on each category just to be able to recognize them on the test. So i would feel comfortable. I also reviewed some of that 35 page study guide too and all of the lab values again. I listened to a podcast on my Iphone that talks about CONFIDENCE, and how knowing content is great, you dnt have to, in order to picture that you will PASS. I started to tell myself, "I AM GOING TO PASS" and i started to see that in my mind as well. The podcast gave me more reassurance thats all.
Right around 6pm, my husband told me to stop studying and he was right. I called my mom on the phone and we spoke for about an hour. We talked about funny things, and things that made us both laugh and it relaxed me so much, i wasn't worried about the NCLEX. She also kept reassuring me that everything was going to be GREAT and that I was going to pass, somehow I was believing that too. I went to bed right around 8pm ish..... tossed and turned for about an hour, and went to sleep downstairs on the couch (husband wasnt happy), I couldnt fall asleep either. 1040pm comes, I go back upstairs and wake my husband up and tell him i cannot sleep, so I lay with him, and he wraps his arms around me and somehow I just fall asleep.
-Morning of test: woke up early, took a shower, didnt want to drink coffee, drove to my mom's and said prayers with her and my dad, and took off. At the center, she gave me her blessing and I walked in. I took a deep breath in, and looked up and said to myself: "You can do this, the Lord is with you today, and you will PASS"
- During the test: I prayed everytime a SATA question popped up which were about 35-40 of them, i answered them with confidence and moved on. At my 2 hours, I took a break and didnt rush back this time, crazy. I went to the bathroom, ate my snacks with some gatorade, took about 10 minutes, no rush, didnt think about the NCLEX at all while i was eating. I went back to the bathroom, and told myself again: "You can do this, the Lord is with you today, and you will PASS" I went back and in less than 30 minutes the computer shut off at 75 questions, oh by the way I kept telling myself, "HEll no girl, remember, you'll probably be the one who passes with 265 questions, so go to town you got a long way to go still" but it wasnt like that. When that comp shut off I just had this feeling that I had actually passed, I just knew that I had passed, I wasnt scared anymore, I knew, I knew. I promised myself then, that i would wait my 48 hours, instead of trying the trick. NEver logged in to check the trick, I stuck to my guns and waited until 48 hours and i saw the big PASS!!!
Sorry for the long story, i wanted to be as detailed as possible, because I want all of you to know that we can all do it, we just need some more confidence sometimes to gt back up and do it! I know we can do it!!!!! and I wish all of you out there who will be taking it soon, that you are all successful and that you all may pass your boards !