Published Jun 12, 2009
Hi. I've been very frustrated with the NCLEX Exam process in the past two years. It's been two since since i graduated nursing school. After finishing 4 years of nursing school, i felt relieved and happy that finally i'll be able to work as a nurse with is my passion and what i really love. But graduating turned to hell for me. I've been studying for the NCLEX-RN exams since i graduated, had taken 3 exams and all i FAILED in. I took the first exam in Nov 07, studied for 2 months, used the Saunders review book, and read it twice before taking the exam. I felt prepared and took it, i answered 75 question, finished in two hours, i felt confident that i passed. even the pearson testing center person told me "You finished quickly, that's a good sign" (which i thought was very inappropriate cause, they're not suppose to do that right?) So, with her saying that, i felt more confident, cause they know the results after you take the exams, but they're jus tnot allowed to tell you.....After 3 days, i went online to check if i passed, but my name wasnt there..a week had gone by, i was starting to worry, then i got "the envelope" i was so excited to open it, to my surprise it said i FAILED!! I was devastated, i didnt know what to do next, called my mom and told her what happen and was crying, i felt depressed for days even skipped worked for a week...But after encouragement from friends and family, i picked myself up, did the reaaplicaiton and signed up for another exam.
I studied again for 3 months, reread Sunders, and read Kaplan strategies...took the test in June 08 hoping that I would pass as a birthday gift. After answering more than a hundred questions, the computer stopped, so did my heart...i didnt want it to end, i knew i didnt do well on the last couple questions..so i left the testing center, sad, knowing that i failed. A week later, i got my results and i did fail again.. But this time i took it more positively, filled up the reapplicaiton form as soon as i got it and submitted it the next day. I've been so happy that my family and friends had been so supportive of me in this whole process.
I was determined to pass it the third time! As they say, "Third time is a charm!" I enrolled at Kaplan for a review class which i really enjoyed, it made me understand the question styles more. I met new people, who were going through the same thing as me, on having difficulty with analysis type of questions. After the class, i felt prepared, i did well on my readiness exam, and got good scores on the Qbank, so i signed up to take the test in Nov. 08. This time, i took my time in answering questions, i answered 120 questiosn and took me a little over 4 hours to finish, then the computer stopped, i didnt know how to feel after the test, i went home and recalled my last question then looked it up if i got it right...but i didnt answer it right, i cried, cause i was sure i didnt pass again, cause i got the last question wrong. FAILING the third time, hurt more than failing the first time. I was thinking of all the time i've wasted, the money i've spent in taking the exam and yet still FAILED. I felt i was a disappoinment, especially to my parents who were always supportive to me. I felt even worst when my classmates from nursing shcool ask if i pass or not, and i would just lie and tell them i havent taken the test yet, cause i was embarrassed to tell them i took it thrice and FAILED all of them...:imbar
I decided i needed a break, at the end of the month, i decided to go home and visit my family, spent the holidays there to recuperate and remind myself of why i wanted to be an RN, which is for my family..to provide for them...they were my inspiration for striving and achieving the best. Now, im studying for the 4th time again, but im taking my time now..i took a kaplan class again (it's free or 50% off if you failed, so it was a good deal)...and hoping that when i take it, i would get POSITIVE results this time, for me..and for my family.
I decided to share my experience to see if there are other out there like me, struggling and having a hard time passing the nclex exam..maybe you have advices for me so i can pass this time. i need your inputs..thanks.. :)
The exam is a hard one especially if you didn't train in the US. Taking a break is definitely a god thing. When you start again after your break study as if you haven't studied before and just concentrate on practising questions and reading the rationale. Don't over do it with questions, aim for approx 100 questions a day and give your brain chance to assimilate what you have been doing.
Don't give up and good luck in whatever you decide
Don't feel bad..... keep trying and take your time. I pulled out all of my nursing books, bought the review cards and two different types of books. Flunked the stupid thing three times. Decided to totally forget about it and let it go. I've been working with my Medical Assisting degree and getting pay of an MA. My boss came to me and said you're smart, we can promote you to a nursing position, but I have to have that license. The doctor that I worked for encouraged me, so I went to take the test again..... FAILED...... AGAIN. I knew when it hit 75 that it was not good. I didn't feel like I really knew anything on the test. Pulled out the old books and reference books, started to make my own study guide on what I felt I was weak in, xeroxed pictures, graphs and tables and put them in a three ring binder. Weekly, I would add more stuff. I had about 50-75 pages. Signed up for the Kaplan review, at this point, had nothing to lose except 500 dollars. Something I didn't want to do. Went to the classes, took my preliminary test and flunked. What a shock....NOT!!! Took notes on test taking, evaluating the questions using the 5 step tree thing, all the tid bits she handed us. If it uses words like FIRST or Most, etc. Took the test there after the class to see if there was a difference before the class and I increased my score 10% to the borderline. Finished the class mid May, gave myself 1 month to study. When back to my home made binder and had all my books open going over all my weakness. Memorized the entire ABG chart because I had a bazillion questions on values for respiratory acidosis/alkalosis. Took all my materials to the test center with me along with my nursing pin from graduation to remind me how important it is to get this done. Studied to the very last second before I walked in that door. Got processed, given my dry erase board, sat down and wrote down EVERYTHING i was afraid I would forget drew the ABG chart, the insulin diagram, values like 1 grain = 60mg, test values. Started my test, read every question word for word. Asked myself what is it that they are looking for??? Analyzed the answers, narrowed it down to two and chose the best answer. DO NOT even question "what if" read the question at face value. You overanalyze and you're done. Got to 75, given a math problem no genius could figure out and said "screw it" I'm done. Hit the Next button, and it still gave me a chance. Continued a few more questions, stopped at 82 and shut off. Checked on line today with the state, and my license expires 2011. WHATEVER YOU DO, NEVER GIVE UP. FIND WAYS TO STUDY AND FOCUS ON STUFF THAT YOU ARE WEAK AT OR REALLY BORED WITH. The endocrine system was my downfall and of course I had 4-5 questions on Addison's and Cushings, but none on the ABG's, insulin stuff I had before. Revert back to your books. Take your time and if you get frustrated, raise your hand and take a break. I finished 82 questions in 3 hours. I was out of my seat 3 times before my scheduled break at 2 hours. Keep trying, I did it in 5 tries
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