Jump to content

Study NCLEX Now or Later?


Hello! (: I was wondering if it would be wise to study for the NCLEX as I go through nursing school, or wait until I graduate and then study leading up to the actual exam? I have heard that it has gotten a little harder the past year or so, so I want to be fully prepared.

Any advice? Recommendations? Warnings?



Specializes in Cardiac, ER, Pediatrics, Corrections.

I agree with JustBreathe. Just focus on actually getting through nursing school. You will have time after you graduate to really focus on NCLEX. Studying for NCLEX is like reviewing Nursing school all over again. Don't worry! :)


Specializes in Orthopedics. Has 2 years experience.

I completely agree with the two above. You need to gain the foundational knowledge that nursing school will teach you first and foremost. Also, so much of prep for the NCLEX is just making sure you understand the concepts presented in nursing school. Understand those, and you'll be better equipped to take the NCLEX when that time comes.


Has 1 years experience.

I, too, am in agreement. I didn't even think about the NCLEX until my last semester. During that semester I was only taking 2 classes and found I had extra time, so I would study occasionally, but then as soon as I graduated, I didn't take a break - I just studied for 3 weeks straight then took the NCLEX 3 weeks after I graduated and passed.

Agreed with the rest! You need the foundation, and plus NCLEX questions are different from some nursing programs. Focus on getting a good foundation first


Specializes in Ortho-Neuro Rehab, CRRN. Has 7 years experience.

I would say buy the Saunders comphrensive NCLEX review book and use it to help you as you go through nursing school. I got that my second year and WISHED I would have had it day 1. Then after you graduate you can focus on NCLEX!

Nice thing about a book like Saunders is it breaks it up by subject area. You can use it throughout to study content. And nclex. That being said. I did not concentrate on the nclex until after I graduated.

blueskies1, BSN

Has 7 years experience.

I used Lippincott's NCLEX-RN Review for my last year of nursing school in preparation for the exams. Some of the questions on our exam were almost identical to those in the book. Everything is divided up by topic to let you study what you're being tested on plus it's good prep for the nclex.

Thanks everyone for responding! I see the majority is to wait until I get closer to graduation, learn the foundation, and pace myself focus on the concepts I learn throughout nursing school; sounds like a plan!

However, if I happen to come across a Saunders or Lippincott review book, I won't pass it up! ( :

Thanks again!!!

Funny, what I was thinking was "of COURSE you're studying for the NCLEX while in nursing school....it's called NURSING SCHOOL!"

If your school is worth a p*** in the wind, it will have been preparing you for the licensing exam with every test it gave you.


Specializes in Acute Rehab, Neuro/Trauma, Dialysis.

Nursing school is what prepares you for the NCLEX. I have heard good things about the Saunders book. Many people say they wish they got it sooner to help them through nursing school. I'm not sure how your school is set up but mine required so many hundred question be done each week from an NCLEX question book/bank as part of our homework through out the entire program (BSN degree) so by the time we graduated we had done thousands of NCLEX questions. It may be helpful for both your nursing school exams and for prepping for the NCLEX to start doing questions. I would not stress over the NCLEX right now. Get through nursing school first.