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The dilemma of mind wandering


Hello everyone, this is my first post on this site but I have been lurking and reading your posts to get some inspiration from those who passed the NCLEX-RN examination and those who have not as well.

I will be sitting for the test in the following weeks, however this is not my first rodeo. I have been trying to overcome this "monster" so to speak and hopefully it's a win this time.

I am currently utilizing UWorld. I have not been doing great but I have been learning and in the process of going back and doing the questions that I have not answered correctly. I find that I am having difficulty focusing and remaining focused as I easily get derailed.

Perhaps someone can point me to the right direction and give me tips or other alternatives that might help me...? You can call me desperate but I do need it.

Thank you and I hope everyone is staying calm and healthy. Take care!

Edited by Prosperity

Do smaller tests at a time, then take a break between them. 20 is about my max at a time for doing the practice test and then reviewing all the questions, and then I have to shut off for a little bit.

For the actual exam, you're allowed to take breaks. As soon as you notice you're not focusing anymore, take a break for a couple minutes and let yourself think about something else. You have almost 2 minutes per question to be done at 130 questions. Use that time. If you're not focused, don't keep answering questions.


Specializes in Surgical Transplant.

A few things that come to mind,

Is it lack of sleep?
Too much going on in your life outside of NCLEX that's keeping you distracted?
Is it your actual environment in which you're studying?
Perhaps you're studying for too long at a time?

For me, I lost focus if I did more than 30 UWorld questions at a time. When I studied, I took a 30 question quiz on ALL topics/systems and read the rationales as I went along. I did 30 question quizzes 3x each day. Along with looking up easy content/areas in which I got wrong that I knew I needed to know for the exam. A week before the exam, I only did one 60 question test each day. Those days I took just the exam and read all rationales after to mimc the actual test as best as I could. I woke up at the same time as I would test day (6am) and would sit down in a quiet spot in my house at 8am (actual test start time), and complete a 60 question quiz. Just keep your end goal in sight. The way I looked at it was, 'I would rather put in the time and energy NOW and pass, than to fail and wish I hadn't slacked off.' Best of luck to you!

Thank you both for the great advice. I will heed this. I constantly push myself to practice more despite the fact that I am exhausted and is unable to soak in any more information.

Choosing to put in the time and energy now and pass rather than fail and wishing I've done better and go through this again is absolutely right.

Thank you for the great words. I hope all is well.