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?


10/28/2013 9:33pm

The book that I'm using for review content is Saunders & Mosby & i bought the PDA by LaCharity. I am really anxious to take it again (2nd time) :( i feel like i am ready, sometimes I'm not ready at all, specially if i answered wrong, i doubt my self i over think.. But i know I'm doing my best to understand the content & thank you for all your help ms.carina.

05/19/2014 9:02am

I'm taking the nclex on Thursday. I'm scoring in the 50's on Kaplan. Do you think it's still wise to take the exam? Also, is it too late to go but the la charity book to study?

05/19/2014 7:59pm

Are most of your scores above 50? Although Kaplan recommends 60% and above, if you are getting above the 50 mark, that's a good thing. However, you can always change the date if you don't feel completely ready for it. If you have read all rationales and understood the reasoning behind them so I would see no need to change anything. At the end of the day it's all up to you.


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