Took my NCLEX 6-16-15


Hello! This is my first post, but I wanted to share my NCLEX experience. This was my first NCLEX. I read so many NCLEX threads here that helped me get a better understanding and I appreciate everyone who shares their experiences.

Review course #1. I started my NCLEX journey by taking Hurst last December. I actually took it to help me with my entrance HESI for my final semester and it has done absolute wonders for me. I loved it SO much, that I took it a second time that same month (btw, it's free to repeat the course). They simplify content and make it easy to understand. They also give you a fill in the blank notebook and it is awesome because it really helps you pay attention and follow along (and they are southern and funny :up:). It really changed my way of thinking with nursing. I HIGHLY recommend Hurst. After taking Hurst twice, I did well on my HESI and went about my final semester.

Review course #2. At the end of my semester, I took Hurst a third time (still free!). It wasn't as helpful by that time, but I'm not a very disciplined student, so I figured that I would go and make myself hear it again. I graduated in late April and later I took Kaplan. Kaplan was also really helpful!!! The course was not what I was expecting it to be, but it was still helpful to go.

Studying on my own. By the time I finished the Kaplan course, it was early May. From here on out, I ONLY did Kaplan. Kaplan recommends that you do ~75 questions (or their question trainers) every day and review the rationales. Well.... I'm ADD and there was no way I could do questions that already take me longer than most people, plus review every single rationale, especially since I typed up every rationale to enhance my understanding. Here is what I did, along with my scores...


Diagnostic 52%

Readiness 56% (reviewed about half)

QT 1 57%

QT 2 53%

QT 3 53%

QT 4 52%

QT 5 53%

QT 6 55% (didn't get to review)

QT 7 50% (didn't get to review)

Qbank 1 56%

Qbank 2 57% (didn't get to review)

Qbank 3 61% (didn't get to review)

Qbank 4 57% (didn't get to review)

Sample test 3 70% (all priority questions)

Sample test 4 30% (all alternate questions)

Taking practice tests. I'm no genius, and I definitely was not making scores. I did the QT's in order, but I would slip a Qbank between the later QT's because the hundreds of questions was overwhelming. I was never too discouraged about my scores, but I knew they were borderline.

I went to the library most days. I had some cheat days where I stayed home, but I was quickly reminded that there were too many distractions at home. I mostly typed up my rationales when I was at the library. I would have good weeks and bad weeks (they seemed to alternate). But I stayed consistent with Kaplan. Even though Hurst had review tests, I didn't want to confuse myself jumping between review courses.

Utilizing YouTube. When I didn't know a topic well, I would go to YouTube to get a better understanding. I was watching A LOT of YouTube (some absolute favorite channels of mine are Nucleus Medical Media, Michael Linares with Simple Nursing, ReMar Review, Nurse Nacole, Intermountain Moms [for OB]). YouTube helped me better understand and visualize procedures, disease processes, etc. And it was a break from questions.

One week before NCLEX. My last week before the test, I was sort of slacking. In fact, I only did 4 tests in June (QT 7 about 10 days ago, then I did Qbank 4 on the 13th, Sample test 3 on the 14th, and Sample test on the 15th). The sample test 3 and 4 were SO helpful!! I was typing up the rationales for sample test 4 yesterday and that really helped me a lot (but they were hard!!!!).

It also didn't feel real that the NCLEX was coming up. The days leading up to the test went by SO SLOW for me. The day before and morning of the NCLEX, I read this old thread that had good tips and really helped me chill out some:

Finally, the NCLEX day. I actually didn't feel too nervous... mostly numb. :no: But I was trying really hard to keep my cool so that I didn't freak out and make stupid mistakes. :wacky: I got checked in, sealed up my phone in a bag, and put my stuff in a locker. (Btw, no jackets allowed, but they kept the room pretty warm) I sat down at my computer and started. I kept calm, took deep breaths, and answered the questions like I was taking a Kaplan test at home. The screen looks identical to the Kaplan test screen, so it was nice that it looked familiar. I remained calm and did questions for 2 hours, then took my first scheduled break. I came back for another hour and tested. I got to 75 and I told myself that if the computer went to 76, then that was okay and to keep calm.... then my computer shut off at 75!!!!!! :roflmao: It kinda scared me, but I was excited. I don't want to "jinx" myself, but I feel very confident that I passed. The test was much easier than Kaplan or HESI. I had 27 SATA, 3 where you place steps in order, 1 med math, 1 picture, 1 where the pictures were the answers, and 1 exhibit. 27 SATA may sound overwhelming, but it really wasn't. In fact, during the test I was HOPING for SATA and got discouraged when I didn't get one. I was expecting the NCLEX to be really hard, but by practicing with Kaplan's crazy hard questions, the NCLEX was a breeze. JUST KEEP CALM!!! :yes:

Reflecting. I'm not calling myself dumb, but I am not genius. I feel that I was successful because of both review courses. I would recommend both, but if you can only afford one, then I would recommend Kaplan (even though Hurst was a lot more enjoyable). Hurst built a foundation for me that I just didn't have and it helped me in school. I was not a strong nursing student... in fact, I almost failed adult health 1 in the middle of my program. I got very lucky by a grading error and got to move forward. I ended up graduating with a 3.45, which to me is average. I don't like school and I don't do great in it, but I worked incredibly hard for NCLEX and I wanted it really bad, that I worked my butt off.

The studying process was challenging with my ADD and I would have days where I felt really discouraged because I was not consistently studying for 8-10 straight hours like some people I was reading about. But I know that I just don't function like that. You need to find and know what study habits work for you. For example, YouTube videos may not help you at all, but I needed that visual aspect for understanding rationales and to improve my critical thinking.

Overview. If my post was just way too long to read, then here's a quick summary. I prepared with Hurst and mostly Kaplan. Kaplan made the NCLEX seem easy.

I did not use any books. I kinda looked at the first 2 chapters of Lippincott's NCLEX-RN Alternate Format Questions. It was good, don't get me wrong, but it was kinda weird for me personally to go from questions on the computer, to doing questions in a book. It was a good source, but I stayed consistent with doing Kaplan. Btw, I found it at my local library!

My experience will likely not be yours, but I hope that this insight of my experience helps you in some way! :)


26 Posts

Specializes in New grad in MICU.

Thanks for all the encouragement. I also used Kaplan and this makes me feel very good as I am testing tomorrow. Congrats!


11 Posts

Glad to hear this helped! I was so grateful to many others who posted their stories. Best of luck to you!!!! :up:


17 Posts

I took my test yesterday and my experience was similar to yours. My test shut off at 75 questions with 26 SATA, 3 drag and drop, and the rest mostly prioritization or delegation. Every SATA that popped up, the better I felt. The more time that goes by the more anxious I become, but I keep telling myself that based on my test and questions, I hopefully passed. Good luck!


11 Posts

I'm glad to hear your NCLEX experience was similar!! Good luck to you too! Let me know if you passed


17 Posts

I am officially Trisha BSN, RN :)


11 Posts

Congrats!!!!!!! :) What an awesome feeling! I'm so excited for you!!! You have got some celebrating to do :up:


11 Posts

Update: I got quick results and found out that I passed! :)


1 Post

OMG I read your post and I felt the exact same way... I too tested on the same day and had a lot of SATA questions. I was like not another one... LOL. I found out today that I passed as well. Congrats to YOU on passing.


316 Posts

Congratulations to you and all! I love reading these type success stories! Have faith I'll soon return to share my story.


11 Posts

OMG I read your post and I felt the exact same way... I too tested on the same day and had a lot of SATA questions. I was like not another one... LOL. I found out today that I passed as well. Congrats to YOU on passing.

Congrats to you as well!! It's comforting to know that people feel the same way.


11 Posts

Congratulations to you and all! I love reading these type success stories! Have faith I'll soon return to share my story.

I love success stories too! I probably read way too many when I was suppose to be studying :sarcastic: Thinking of you!! Good luck!!