I took and passed the NCLEX RN exam on November 22, 2016. I had two part time jobs during that time, so I had to manage my time carefully. Before starting my formal review, I browsed different websites and blogs about how to study for NCLEX-RN exams. Whenever I saw something applicable to study habits, I wrote them down in my notebook and read them often.
After receiving my ATT, I scheduled my test 2 months later in order to give myself plenty of time to prepare for the exam. I didn’t study for long hours because of my work schedule. But I always made sure not to skip a day without studying. During my work days, I studied after work for 2-3 hours. But during my days off I studied for about 8-12 hours in a day or sometimes more.
During my days off, my husband drove me to the library and picked me up after many hours of studying. We live close to the City College, where there’s a very nice and quiet place to study. The college also had books that I was able to use for reference.
Resources I used during my review:
I tried to stay within a budget with my review materials, and I decided not to enroll in a review center because they’re not only very costly but I also didn’t have time to attend one personally. I bought a book called NCLEX-RN Exam Review by Saunders from Barnes and Noble. It cost me $70.00. The book had a key code to access the online tests. The book was very detailed and specific and it seemed very helpful as a refresher for test takers who graduated years ago. I finished reading this book and took down a lot of notes, but I didn’t continue answering their online test questions because I found them too easy compared to the actual NCLEX RN exam questions.
While reading the Saunders book, I also watched some Hurst review materials. This is the opposite of Saunders book. If you are procrastinating and want to make your review quick, I would suggest that you take the Hurst review. I didn’t get to see all the review materials because it’s only available online to download when you purchase the entire review package.
I also rented a book called Prioritization, Delegation and Assignment by La Charity, and I really loved that book because it helped me analyze and prioritize situations. The book divided things into two parts and had different chapters arranged according to the system. I didn’t answer the second part of the book though, but I would recommend it to anyone studying for the NCLEX-RN exam.
I also purchased a month’s worth of access to UWORLD. It was worth the money and time to read and answer the test questions. During my first week I was scoring from 50-57%, and then 3 days before the exam I was scoring 55-80% on 75 items tested. I would advise everyone studying for the NCLEX not to focus too much on their scores but more with the rationales. I wrote down all the rationales from the questions even when I got them right. By doing this, I was able to look back at the subjects that I needed to review.
For anyone taking the NCLEX, a day before the exam, I would recommend resting. But if you want to study, it would be better not to study for long hours.
I would also suggest trying to memorize and understand the common laboratory values, infectious control, blood transfusion, and prioritization.
When I took the exam, it stopped at 75 questions, and it took me about an hour and a half to get to that point. I got lots of prioritization, infectious control, oncology types of questions. 45 questions were “select all that apply,” 5-6 were drag and drops. I did not have a math problem. I also was tested on lots of medications that I had never heard of before, along with their actions.
Study, pray and believe in yourself. Good luck