A little back story.
I studied for my first attempt for about 2 months. If you read my previous post, you know I used a lot of materials to study for my first attempt.
Read the Kaplan book
Did all the Kaplan trainers and Qbank
NCLEX mastery app
Saunders Comprehensive review book
Listened to Mark Klimek lecture
My Qbank was 51% average but my Qtrainers were 70% average.
My NCLEX mastery app was 73% average.
Mind you, I'm not the best taker nor the smartest student. In nursing school, I did have my fair share of 2.0s but the remainder were between 3.0s and 4.0s
The day of the test, July 8, 2017, I was nervous and anxious to the max. The whole experience was intimidating from having your picture taken to having the vein scan every time you took a break (I took one break at question 112). My hands were so clammy that it took them several tries to get the vein scanner to work, did not help with my overall anxiety.
Took the test and got all the way to 265 questions. At that point, I knew I failed. I was in there for about 4 and a half hours. I tried the PVT trick the following night and of course, it let me go through. However, I waited 48 hours for my quick results only to find out that I did indeed fail.
I was devastated. I put in a lot of work at least 4-6 hours a day studying/reviewing anything and everything that I was weak in. Plus using all of those study sources, I couldn't fathom how I failed.
After a good cry, I started researching other NCLEX resources such as UWorld, Hurst review, NCSBN review. They all looked so promising and had good reviews. Hurst and NCSBN would cost the most. Uworld wasn't exactly cheaper but it was within my budget. After reading reviews on Uworld, I didn't find many users that have failed with Uworld. So I purchased it for 30 days and its only cost $80. I also received my report from NCLEX highlighting my weak areas ( I was near passing in every subject )
After I started playing with it, I realized that set-up was literally just like NCLEX. I did one test from Qbank and the screen, the buttons, even the font looked like the NCLEX. I also purchased the prioritization, delegation, management book, I didn't use the new edition I think it was a few years old. I also reset my NCLEX app.
My plan was to do 75 questions a day for five days a week, then after I took the test I would read each rationale thoroughly. On weekends I would read the Kaplan book again and do one Qtrainer or sample test on Saturday or Sunday. However, with Kaplan this time around I did not use the Qbank nor read the rationales (maybe some if I was really curious). I also would do about 2-3 chapters from the prioritization, delegation, management book. The app I sped through during the two weeks following up to my test. However, I ended up only reading about three sections of the Kaplan book. I hate that thing. It boring and doesn't really tell what's pertinent.
Mind you, I was mentally drained. I had no motivation to study. I already started a new job as a GN working 5 days a week and every day after work I would come home plop down in front of the computer and do my 75 question test then read the rationales, whether right or wrong I would write them down in a notebook and later look at them for reference (when I was at work mostly). It took about 3-4 hours after that I would go to sleep and do it all over again.
After the 30 days were up I renewed Uworld for another $20 to extend my subscription for another few weeks. I used this extension to review the rationales again. I really read them in depth, all of them right or wrong answers or why the other answers didn't correlate with the questions. After my extension was up, I did the RN assessment 1 and 2.
My scores from overall study resources were:
NCLEX APP: 66% (I didn't read the rationales for this one either, was running out of time).
Kaplan Qtrainers: at least above 60%, I know I got a lot of the 70s though
Readiness Test: 80%
Practice Test # 2: 88% (they were able to reset it for me)
Uworld Qbank average: 56%
RN assessment 1 & 2: 61% (68th percentile) and 61% (73rd percentile) both a high chance of passing.
After I took both assessments again I read the rationales in depth up to a few days before my actual exam. I did not read the rationales for the readiness test.
Then August 26, 2017 rolls around, its Test day.
I get their an hour early and I walk in where they allow me to take my test immediately. After going through the motions I'm not as nervous as the first time, I know they're going to ask me to read their statement and rules, scan my veins, take my picture etc. After I sit down I breathe and I begin.
As I'm getting through the nitty-gritty of the test I find myself knowing the right answers. Of course there were some I was torn between two but for the most part, I knew what I was doing. My anxiety was down to a 1 if I was going to use the pain scale. The format reminded me so much of Uworld, I felt like I was just taking another one of their tests. I took my time on the test. I wrote down concepts that I wanted to reference after the test or jot down info that I knew pertaining to the question to get my thoughts in order. I did not keep track of the number of SATA questions I had, last time I did (I had about 50), this time I think I had 20. I honestly thought I was doing bad since I didn't get any math, hotspot questions, put in order questions, or ABG's, cause I figured those were harder questions. Some questions were almost too easy, that I thought "Great I'm going to fail this one too." I got to question 75 and hit next, it gave me another question. I thought, "Great, I'm still in the game...or I'm doing really bad." A few more questions and the computer stopped at 78. Once more I thought, "Either I did super good or I bombed it." I agreed with the latter.
I was done in an hour and walked out to my car to do the PVT (I know too soon, but why not). I got the 'good pop' however I was skeptical. I kept checking every few hours till the following day, still a 'good pop.'
Sunday and Monday still were receiving the good pop-up. I was anxiously waiting for my quick results to become available. It wasn't available till 11 am, about the time I finished my test. I could hear my heart beating as I paid $7.95 and for my results and there was the beautiful word, 'Pass'!!!!!
I was at work at the time so I didn't cry or jump up down but inside I felt like I was on cloud nine. All the hard work had paid off and I can finally say I'm an RN.
Now I don't want to come off cocky or boastful. The NCLEX is no easy feat and is no way an easy test. UWorld was the best study tool and I wish I would have known about it sooner. Uworld eased my anxiety and actually taught me relevant concepts. Kaplan was issued through our nursing school, so I figured it was a good system. However, I never liked their set up. I didn't like their decision tree never used it for any of my tests. You can't really use it for the harder questions. Their rationales were poorly explained and lackluster. Uworld had pictures, diagrams, flow charts, explained why this answer is correct while the others were not. I loved that. Kaplan literally said, "not appropriate" as a rationale. That's crap, that doesn't explain anything.
I would highly recommend Uworld to anyone, whether you are doing poorly on the tests or not. READ THE RATIONALES. I can't express that enough. I learned new content in UWorld and understood the content better, then just saying, "because that's the answer." I like knowing the ins and outs of the info. Uworld would be my number one choice for all graduating RNs who want to be successful on their first attempt. I'm so happy it is over I can't finally go on with my life and focus on my new role as RN