Thoughts from a Kaplan user&NCLEX-RN passer...

Posted
by nclexRNtaker nclexRNtaker Member

Specializes in Telemetry. Has 1 years experience.

I realize that my tips here would work best for those enrolled in Kaplan, but I wanted to share them anyway as I believe in paying it forward.:D

I took the NCLEX last Monday. I had 75 questions (and I used the decision tree for all of em), 25 SATA, 3 math, 1 ekg strip plus LOTS of meds&prioritization. I was very convinced when I left Pearson that there was no way that I passed that test:eek: It took me three hours to finish the 75 questions, my mind was all over the place when I was taking it so I had to keep on telling myself to focus, and I had major goosebumps.:smackingf I checked Pearson 10 minutes after I got out of there and got the good pop up which helped me get through the 48 hours (plus some heavy drinking:D)

Here are some tips that helped me pass the NCLEX for the first time...

1.) I studied everyday since graduation for about 6 hours. We started Kaplan immediately after graduation, so I took every single day (while doing the Kaplan class) to listen to the Lesson on Demand videos, along with book. I also started doing the qbank at this point.

2.) After the Kaplan classes were over and I finished listening to the LOD videos, I started listening to the LOD class questions. Some of the questions on those videos were already discussed in class, but we always ran out of time anyway to finish a whole set. I also kept on doing the qbank and started the qtrainers. I've probably done 1-3 at that point.

3.) By the time we got our date, I was done with the videos and about half of the qbank.

4.) About a week and a half before my date, I started thoroughly studying the book. I made notes about labs, diets, drugs&antidotes, infection control (they have a great mnemonic here called infection control mnemonics), questions that I frequently missed and also pulled out my good notes from nursing school (ekgs and math). I also finished and reviewed qt 4-6.

5.) 7 days before my date, I took and reviewed qt 7. I also finished the qbank. I still kept on studying the book (I was down to the last 2 chapters) and started retaking the qts. I retook 1-5 until I was in the 90s (about twice each).

6.) 3 days before my date, I just kept on reviewing the notes that I made. I also answered all the questions that I initially got wrong on the qbank until I was down to 0 incorrect questions.

The point is, there are probably a million practice questions out there. I truly do believe that it is a matter of doing as much as you can AND understanding the rationales behind each correct answer. I did not know a lot of things when I graduated school that I learned only from Kaplan. Sometimes I doubted myself if at one point I was just memorizing questions...but you can't get to the right answer unless you know why you got there, right??

I did not use any other resource but my ekg&math notes from school. Heck, they guaranteed our money back so I used every single thing they had on our course syllabus. I even took that alternative question format where it was all SATA and got a 33% initially!:uhoh3:

Did I think that the NCLEX was harder than Kaplan? NO. Seriously. NO.

If anything I was over prepared but the emotions I had about taking the MOST important exam of my life seemed to make it harder when I was taking it.

I wasn't brilliant or anything in nursing school, I was always only on the top 15 or so. But I can say that I was one of the most hardworking ones. If I can do it, anyone can do it. It's just a matter of who took the exam first.

All of you who haven't taken it, don't lose hope. You just have to go through the motions. You can do it.

Know your core content and things that differentiate similar diseases. The tables on the Kaplan book really helped me.

I made it. You all can too.:D

Maybe I should change my name now from nclexRNtaker to nclexRNpasser :dancgrp:

Angelrina,CCRN

Angelrina,CCRN

Specializes in Critical Care. Has 2 years experience. 111 Posts

This is a really helpful post!! Thank you so much. I'm testing in less than a week and have used Kaplan for the most part. Posts like these give me hope!

2011nursetobe

2011nursetobe

64 Posts

This is inspiring. I am not using Kaplan except for their strategies book. I don't know how you do 6 hrs a day though. Today I was at about 3 and my brain couldn't take it anymore. Most days I'm around an hour and a half to 2 hours. I graduated 1st in my class, have had ridiculously high ACT scores, never failed a test in my life, got one B in all 4 years of college, yet I am freaking out about this darn test. I know I just have to go into it with a positive attitude KNOWING I will pass. Thank you for the detailed inspiring post. I, too, struggle with SATA questions and I am getting a book specifically on them to help me out.

nclexRNtaker

nclexRNtaker

Specializes in Telemetry. Has 1 years experience. 35 Posts

This is a really helpful post!! Thank you so much. I'm testing in less than a week and have used Kaplan for the most part. Posts like these give me hope!

You're welcome. I've benefited a lot from the posts here so I thought I'd do my part. You can do it. Kaplan does work. Believe. ;)

nclexRNtaker

nclexRNtaker

Specializes in Telemetry. Has 1 years experience. 35 Posts

This is inspiring. I am not using Kaplan except for their strategies book. I don't know how you do 6 hrs a day though. Today I was at about 3 and my brain couldn't take it anymore. Most days I'm around an hour and a half to 2 hours. I graduated 1st in my class, have had ridiculously high ACT scores, never failed a test in my life, got one B in all 4 years of college, yet I am freaking out about this darn test. I know I just have to go into it with a positive attitude KNOWING I will pass. Thank you for the detailed inspiring post. I, too, struggle with SATA questions and I am getting a book specifically on them to help me out.

Actually, I was being modest with 6 hours a day. My last week I was up to 10:eek:. My friends scold me for being too OCD, but it's how I got through our program and all the tests I've taken passing the first time. With your credentials, it sounds like you're going to be fine. Please just believe. It's the fear of the unknown that makes this test so scary. Plus. the SATA questions that I got were NOT that complicated. It was either I knew it or I didn't. And for those that I didn't, Kaplan worked. You can do it.

al228

al228

36 Posts

Thank you for your time and effort putting all these together. It's very helpful.

caliotter3

38,333 Posts

Thanks for posting this.