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10 Tips To Help You Ace The NCLEX Exam

Lilianna Parker

10 Tips To Help You Ace The NCLEX Exam

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Preparing for a test that is as important  as the NCLEX can be pretty nerve wracking. However, getting ready  for this test may be simpler than you might have originally believed. Like studying for exams in nursing school, studying for the NCLEX should be done over time, which helps with taking the pressure off. Here are 10 tips to help you ace the NCLEX exam.

1. Know How It Works 

Our first to on our list of 10 tips to help you ace the NCLEX exam is knowing how the test itself works. Knowing how the NCLEX works will help you to  prepare better while studying. It will also help with easing some of your nerves on test day. Everyone has an allotted time of six hours to take the test unless otherwise specified, and the number of test questions varies between which NCLEX exam that you take. The NCLEX PN test has 85 to 205 questions, which includes 10 unscored practice questions. Meanwhile, the NCLEX RN test has 75 to 265 questions. Both exams are computerized adaptive tests. This means that the questions start off easy and increase in difficulty the more questions that you answer correctly. There is a ‘pass line’, so you just need to get above this to pass the exam. When you begin you are on the line, and every question you get right or wrong will put you higher or lower on the scale respectively. You can find out more about computerized adaptive testing here

2. Don’t Procrastinate 

Procrastinating is not your friend when it comes to preparing for this exam. The NCLEX tests the knowledge that you have accumulated over years of studying, so it is only natural that you will need plenty of time to brush up on old concepts to perform well. Creating a long term study schedule can help you to avoid procrastination. 

3. Create A Long Term Study Schedule

As mentioned before, creating a long term study schedule can help you to avoid procrastination. This step may seem daunting, but it is much easier than you may think. All you need to do is set aside days of the week and times that you will study consistently over an extended period of time. This is entirely customizable to how much time before the exam that you feel you need to prepare and how much time that you think you need to study each week. 

4.Make Study Goals 

Having a goal for each study session will make your studying more productive. These goals can be anything you want from memorizing  a certain number of flash cards to mastering broad concepts. It will make you feel more accomplished after studying as well. We have another great article on study tips if you are looking for more ways to optimize your study time. 

5. Know Your Learning Style 

Knowing the way that you learn best is another way to get the most out of your study time. Considering you have already gone through nursing school, you probably have a pretty good idea on what kind of learning strategies work best for you. If you do not know how your learning style, however; here is a quiz to help you figure it out. 

6. Do Practice Questions 

Practice questions are essential for helping you see what you have and have not mastered yet. This will help you to focus your studying on your weaker areas. Doing lots of practice questions close to the exam helps you better prepare for the test as well. 

7. Don’t Be Afraid To Buy Some Study Materials 

Although there are many free study materials for the NCLEX out there, don’t be afraid to purchase some materials as well. There are many beneficial books and practice questions that need to be bought, but they are definitely worth your while. 

8. Remember Your Test Taking Skills 

The NCLEX is an extremely important test, so it is crucial that you remember some test taking skills. For example, don’t psych yourself out over specific questions. If a question seems easy that does not necessarily mean you are failing. Just focus on the question at hand, use deductive reasoning, and read the questions fully. You can find more test taking tips for CAT exams here

9. Don’t Psych Yourself Out Before The Exam 

It is crucial that you don’t psych yourself out too much before the exam. Although it is normal to feel nervous, you should not spend your time the night before the exam cramming. Instead make sure that you are well rested and completely ready for the exam. Going to bed early, putting gas in your car the night before, and making yourself a nice breakfast are some things that you can do to set yourself up for success while also calming your nerves. 

10. Remember, You Got This!

Throughout all of this it is important to remember that you got this! You have already made it through nursing school, and this is just one more test before you get your license. The finish line is so close, and you will make it there!