I took the NCLEX RN for the second time on 9/10/2013. Unlike my first time I felt way more confident walking in. I knew my content and made use of the white board when selecting my answers, especially SATAs (select all that apply; numbered 1 through 5 and put a check by the correct answer and X by incorrect). I had about 15 SATA, 2-3 pictures, 3 drop box, 3 maths and 5 or 6 meds (thankfully I was familiar with 4 or 5 of them) No audio or EKG's (thank God) and the rest were priorities and conference questions. First question and second were SATA and I ended the test with a SATA at 76. Did the PVT( Pearson Vue trick) right after once I was in the car and again about an hour later and got the good pop up on both occasions ^__^. I have to say I felt very good walking out of the testing center, not like the first time when I failed with 75 questions and walked out feeling pathetic knowing I failed.
The main reason I failed the first was because I was not prepared at all. I didn't study as much as I should have, plus I tested several months after graduation (graduated 12/2012, took it on 4/2013). Also, I made the mistake of listening to my other nursing friends who passed telling me that it was easy. Big mistake that was.
Before taking NCLEX, I would advise to first fully understand what NCLEX is all about. Research it, and learn everything about it. We know that it is a Computer Adaptive Test but it's important to understand what that means. The NCSBN site explains everything about NCLEX and I would suggest spending a few minutes browsing through it.
Here is a list of the study materials that I used:
1) Saunders 5th edition- I read the book (focused the contents that I was weak on) and did most of the questions at the end of the chapters including the comprehensive test at the back of the book. On the CD I took the assessment test and at first used it as a study guide for my weak areas (read the rationale right after I answered the question). I also took the exams (100qs) about 3 to 4 sets a day the week before my test. Overall I would say that I did about 2500 plus questions from Saunders, more or less.
2) Kaplan - Classroom review. I tested 3 weeks after the end of the review class. Took the diagnostic, readiness, all Q trainers and 100% of all Qbanks questions. Took all four sample tests and the alternate style quiz. Read and reviewed ALL rationales, right or wrong. Memorized the decision tree ( although I barely used it during the actual exam). Kaplan qbank questions were definitely similar to NCLEX and I would highly recommend it.
3) PDA by LaCharity- we used it in class during my last semester of Nursing School so I reviewed some of the questions. If you have trouble with prioritization, I would definitely recommend it.
4) YouTube- I don't know about you guys but I find Youtube to be a very great resource. I watched some of the Remar Review videos posted there, looked up developmental milestones, EKGs, etc...
5) Allnurses - I regularly visited the site for inspiration and read a lot of stories (pass and fail) posted up. Some scared me, some motivated me but I just had to keep telling myself that I could do it. Having the right mentality mattered. Also downloaded the PDF that goes around and reviewed it.
6) NCLEX apps - downloaded a few of those on my phone. The main one I used was the NCLEX-qbank app by Linda Stanford. Also used the free Kaplan NCLEX RN mini qbank.
Well, these helped me pass. I would definitely recommend Kaplan to anyone who can afford it. Good luck on your study journey! feel free to comment or ask questions. What study materials are you using?