I wanted to write this post about my experience, including how long everything took and how I prepared, and then tomorrow after I take the exam, I'll update it with my thoughts. As much as I love live-Tweeting, that is obviously impossible in this situation, haha! I've been using allnurses a lot throughout my nursing program and in the month afterwards to study, so all though some of this may be repetitive, maybe it will help someone out there.
Ok, so: I graduated from an accelerated second degree BSN program July 31. I was eager to take my exam ASAP so I had already submitted my license application a few weeks earlier then (I'm in PA). My school sent my transcripts to the Board of Nursing August 9, and I didn't receive my ATT until August 31. I signed up for my exam that same day, and the only three test days available in my area -- within 40 miles of Philadelphia -- were Sept 10, Sept 25, or Sept 26. I was very surprised at this, because I had assumed that testing would be offered every day at a variety of times.
After graduation, I took a weeklong vacation and then started studying. Me and four other friends all chipped in for one UWorld account, which has worked great for us. I don't recommend this if you absolutely feel like you need to track your performance, though you can always write down your score after you take a quiz, or if you and your friends all want to take the self-assessment. I did varying numbers of questions per day...my goal was 200 but that did not happen, haha. As of right now I have done 1800 questions total. As everyone else has said: read the rationales! UWorld is great, and their rationales are super helpful. I did some ATI because my school used that, but it's not my favorite so I used UWorld way more.
I also received a pink ATI book for attending ATI's live review offered at my school, and that book was pretty helpful. I read two chapters: fundamentals and leadership which had a lot of information in them that I felt I missed in class so I feel more confident now in these topics.
Today I just did about 50 questions and reviewed lab values. I am really sick of studying and am finding it hard to make myself do anymore, so I'm not going to force my precious brain at this point. I'm going to the gym soon and then will watch a movie tonight to relax. My exam is at 2pm tomorrow, which is great because I am not naturally a morning person. I'll sleep in, have a good breakfast and probably a light lunch as I get more nervous. My husband is walking me to the train at 1pm, and I"ll arrive 30 minutes before my exam, as they recommend.
Right now I'm feeling good. I have been scoring above 50% consistently in UWorld, and usually in the 60s, and even sometimes getting 70-75%. I think I will pass tomorrow, but I'm worried that my confidence will get shaken when the questions get hard and when I feel like I'm guessing. I'm scared that the computer won't shut off at 75, but if I'm honest, I think that's mostly my ego talking! I could pass even if I get all 265 questions, though I don't know about my endurance.
Let me know if you have any questions about the application process or anything like that, and I'll update this tomorrow if I am emotionally stable enough to do so