Tips On How To Pass The NCLEX The First Time
When you were studying to become a nurse, you must have heard about the NCLEX. In nursing school, you probably didn’t think much about it since you were more focused on end-semester exams. Before you know it, you’ve graduated with a nursing diploma or a degree and the NCLEX is the only thing standing between you and becoming a licensed nurse.
Now that you’re counting the days before you sit for the NCLEX, it is crucial that you pass the NCLEX on your first try. Fortunately, there are many nurses who came before you and passed down the tips on how to pass the NCLEX the first time. Want to know how it can be done?
Understand the NCLEX Format
If you want to conquer something, you have to understand it first. The NCLEX is based on the Computerized Adaptive Testing format which means your exam will be modified to suit you. In other words, the CAT algorithm predicts your next question depending on how you answer the previous question.
Moreover, you can answer a minimum of 75 questions up to a maximum of 265 questions. But who decides when the test ends? Until you prove to the CAT algorithm that you can answer enough questions correctly with 95 percent confidence, the test will continue until you met the minimum threshold.
Usually, if you answer an easy question, the CAT will present you with a harder question until it determines your competency. The opposite can also occur; whereby if you fail to answer a question, the CAT will present an easier question for your next lineup. However, just because you keep on getting ‘easy’ questions consistently doesn’t mean you’re below the pass rate.
Make a Study Timetable
Even if you know every single detail about taking the NCLEX, the exam won’t pass itself if you won’t study for it. Now get off your seat and go make a study timetable! The core objective of the study timetable is to determine which days and hours of the week you will be studying and which areas you should cover.
Organizing a study timetable will only take you a few minutes but it will save you a lot of hours of time-wasting. You don’t want to wait until the last minute to start cramming, do you? Start now!
Work on the Most Effective Learning Method
Don’t just read and re-write notes like a robot! Try to focus on an active studying style that emphasizes different learning methods. For instance, you can use mnemonic devices to understand hard nursing concepts. Alternatively, you can sketch diagrams and charts to make it easier to grasp concepts through visual representations.
For those who prefer auditory learning, there are numerous audiobooks and YouTube lectures that you could utilize. But if you want to get a little bit social, you can host a discussion group. Remember, it is not just about memorization but critical thinking too.
Take a Lot of Practice Questions
After you’ve studied until you can easily remember the contents of your topic, the next vital step is to take a lot of practice questions. Partaking in a mock NCLEX exam will prepare your mind to know the type of questions to expect. Furthermore, you will be able to revisit the topic of the questions you answered incorrectly and work on your weak areas.
In case you’re wondering, there are plenty of practice material resources online such as Kaplan and UWorld. The more practice questions you answer, the better your chances of acing the NCLEX on your first trial.
Learn How to Eliminate Incorrect Answers
It is inevitable; sometimes you will come across questions where you’re not certain of the correct answer. In such scenarios, you should learn how to eliminate incorrect answers depending on the presentation. Avoid answers that include absolute words such as all, none, never, always, just, every, must, and not.
By answering plenty of practice questions, you will notice there is a way you can identify the correct answer by eliminating the obviously wrong choices. For example, there are answer choices that don’t relate to the questions. Whatever your strategy, deductive reasoning should be a part of the process when you’re not so sure.
Reduce Your Stress Levels
Did you know that the lower your stress levels, the higher your chances of passing the NCLEX? Don’t just go throw yourself in a dungeon and study while you neglect the rest of your life. Balancing your study routine will help to avoid test anxiety; which can make even the best candidate to flop.
Make sure you have some free time to do recreational activities like exercising, skiing, running, hiking, swimming- anything that makes you feel refreshed and energized. Not to forget, adequate sleep and a well-balanced diet are important parts of the ritual to calm your nerves.
Assume you Have No Internship Experience
If you have prior clinical or work experience, you know sometimes procedures are done differently in the real world. However, the NCLEX is designed to test nursing graduates with no prior working experience. Hence, the answers to the questions are based on what you learned from the textbooks.
You don’t want your ability to answer questions to be clouded, do you? That is why it important to dismiss whatever you learned during the internship and approach the NCLEX like a nursing graduate with no work experience.
Apparently, at least 90 percent of first-time candidates pass the NCLEX exam. As long as you follow the above tips and cover all grounds, you have no excuse to fail the NCLEX the first time. What are you what for? There is no better time to start preparing than right now!