The NCLEX-RN is your ticket to a rewarding Nursing career. However, preparing for this exam is very challenging for all fresh graduates, especially those who are aiming to take this exam only once. If you’re looking for a simplified, no nonsense guide to successfully pass the NCLEX-RN on first try, this list will surely come in handy.
5. Take the Mosby Assessment Test.
This book contains 265 questions that will help gauge your readiness to take the NCLEX-RN. This pre-test can potentially show your weakest and strongest points as well as measure your skill in understanding questions and choosing the correct answers. It will also provide you with tips on how to establish effective study habits.
Through this test, you can get an insight on what areas of study you should focus on and get help from your professors while they’re still accessible.
4. Get an NCLEX-RN preparation book as early as possible.
Purchase books that offer NCLEX style questions. Some of your best options are the following:
- Saunders Comprehensive Review for the NCLEX-RN® Examination, 6e (Saunders Comprehensive Review for Nclex-Rn)
- Lippincott’s Q&A Review for NCLEX-RN® (Lippincott’s Q&A Review for NCLEX-RN (W/CD))
- NCLEX-RN Strategies, Practice, and Review, 2013-2014
These materials will help you get used to the type of exam questions and will give you lots of insights on what to expect during the test.
At this point, you must already develop an effective plan of study. With the help of the results of your assessment exam, identify your problem areas and create a study plan that focuses on improving these weak spots. Study common health problems and avoid restudying information you already know.
In planning the course of your study, also remember that setting realistic goals is better than having strict, rigid, and unrealistic ones. If you know that you process and absorb information more when you’re studying alone, then continue your studying habits. Otherwise, you can always form a study group if that strategy is what makes you tick.
3. Don’t forget to take sample NCLEX-RN tests online.
You can also purchase a book with a CD-ROM and practice answering questions. The disk usually comes along with almost all preparatory testing books. This will help you get acquainted with the actual examination platform.
Remember, familiarity reduces anxiety so try your best to read and answer test questions on a computer screen.
To successfully pass the NCLEX-RN, time management is also a key. Do not rush and make the most of your time to accurately answer all the questions. Avoid spending too much time on one question. Use your critical thinking skills to make an educated guess. There is no deduction for incorrect answers so as much as possible, don’t leave an answer blank.
Lastly, don’t over analyze the questions. More often than not, your first guess is the correct answer, and you should not change your answers without any reason at all.
2. Build a strategic answering technique.
Create an analysis scheme in dissecting complex problems in order to come up with the best solutions. This technique involves prioritizing, delegation and assignment making, issue identification, use of elimination process to name a few.
Here are some of the best tips in improving your test-taking skills (Source: Mosby’s Comprehensive Review of Nursing for the NCLEX-RN® Examination, 20e (Mosby’s Comprehensive Review of Nursing for NCLEX-RN)
- To avoid errors in judgment, do not read information into questions and avoid speculating.
- Make certain that the answer you choose is reasonable and obtainable under ordinary circumstances, and that the action can be carried out in the given situation.
- Avoid selecting answers that state hospital rules or regulations as a reason or rationale for action.
- Look for answers that focus on the client or that are directed toward the client’s feelings.
- If the questions asks for an immediate action or response, all the answers may be correct, so base your selection on identified priorities of action.
- Do not select answers that contain exceptions to the general rule, controversial material, or responses that appear to be degrading.
1. Enroll in a NCLEX-RN preparation class.
Many schools coordinate with independent institutions to have their students undergo a review course. Other review centers even offer reimbursement fees if you fail. You should grab the opportunities offered by the review centers and learn from them as much as possible. Seasoned instructors have also some experiences that they can share on how you can better prepare for the test physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually.
Aside from the 5 general tips mentioned above, you may also consider other basic preparations such as eating the right meal before the examination starts, getting into the testing center as early as possible to avoid stress acquired from traffic, using the bathroom before taking the test and other simple conditioning techniques to prepare your mind and body.