Guys, I can't believe it, I passed NCLEX-RN on my second attempt.
Here's what I did on my NCLEX journey:
Did 1550 questions 3 times and took lots of notes.
Finished all the questions, scored 65% average, typed out hundreds of pages of notes and memorized notes 10 times over.
Kaplan QTrainers 4 to 6
Took it few days before exam with average score 61%
I studied assiduously. I dedicated my days, afternoon, nights to NCLEX. I was thrilled to reach the desired "passing" score Kaplan recommends.
Exam Day: December 8, 2015
On the exam day, however, my NCLEX exam felt nothing like Kaplan. 15 questions into the NCLEX, my heart was pounding as I was guessing my way with each question. What a nightmare! It was as if I can almost hear Beethoven's 5th Symphony playing in the background.
The exam churned out 265 questions, in which time I was no longer critically thinking from the panic and anxiety. I took breaks during the exam, but the breaks did nothing to relieve the stress. I felt like vomiting after finishing exam.
A week later, I get my CPR results: 1 above passing, 1 below passing, the rest near passing. Failed!
Clearly, Kaplan did not work for me. So I decided to change my game plan. This time around I used LaCharity PDA and got a 3 month and 1 week subscription to UWorld.
This book is very helpful and a needed study supplement. I am foreign educated, so I had no clue about delegation LPN, UAP etc.
I did this book 2 times, typed notes up to Chapter 9. I did not bother with the case studies in the back.
I only finished 1475 questions out of the 1840 questions with an overall average of 64%.
My initial average was 56% and climbed very slowly to 64%. I was plugging in 10-12 hours a day studying for 3 and a 1/2 months.
I would do a 75-questioned exam and then type out 100-paged notes (using font size 20 times new roman). I only did 75 questions every 5-6 days, but spent the majority of the time typing notes and memorizing the notes.
For this, I did lots of active learning. I would close my typed notes and recite them out loud from memory. My Dad would check if my memory work was correct. I would memorize each 100-paged notes 5 times until perfect. As I do not have photographic memory - doing this helped me enormously. I retained information better and had faster recall. I had about 1300 pages of memorized notes. I went over all of them one last time 3 days before the exam.
Reading the Qbank is only passive learning, I feel. Give the voluminous information, it is impossible to retain information just by mere reading. Also, cranking out 200 questions a day on the Qbank is not ideal. I believe in quality over quantity. I didn't even get to finish the Qbank.
Exam Day: March 30, 2016
My exam had 75 questions. 43 of my questions were SATA, 3 exhibits, 5 priority questions, the rest multiple choice, no math, 2 pharma questions.
I thought the NCLEX exam was ridiculously easy. For over 3 months of grinding away at UWorld, the real NCLEX looked like child's play. There was not one question on the NCLEX that wasn't discussed in UWorld. UWorld discussed all topics to death and in such intricate detail. Even the UWorld SATA's were infinitely harder than the NCLEX SATA. By my 75th question, I was 100% sure the exam would shut down.
Just got my exam quick results: PASSED
Okay, for those of you taking it a second time or more. I hope this helps. Do not give up and be willing to put in the long hours of study. Your NCLEX success is possible.