Need a confidence boost? How about a kick in the pants? Either way, you’ve come to the right place. Below is a list of 7 do’s and don’ts for passing the NCLEX, and whether your days or months away from test day, take solace in knowing that there are literally thousands of other nurses just like you who are worrying about it. So sit back, take a deep breath, and soak in the tips below.
Don’t Freak Out
You’ve already made it through the hard part – Nursing School. Testers are given 6 hours to complete the NCLEX if you’re taking the RN test, so you’ll have plenty of time. By now you’ve taken so many tests about about assistive devices, contraindications and pathophysiology, what’s just one more? You’ve totally got this.
Trying to cram massive amounts of information into your brain at the last minute is a recipe for disaster. Whether or not you’ve already learned the information, cramming helps no one and doesn’t help you do anything other than give you a false sense of security regarding how you think you’ll do on the test. Do yourself, your wallet and your nerves a favor – don’t cram.
Do Review Content
This one comes on the heels of “Don’t Cram” for a reason – reviewing content for weeks, maybe even months before your test date is vital to your success on the NCLEX. Many test takers who passed on their first try say that they started looking over the material at least a month in advance. Everybody is unique in how they study/review best, but find a system that works for you – if that means blocking out an hour every day to review or spending every Saturday doing all day ‘review sessions,’ make sure you find and use a method of studying that will actually help you effectively review the material. If you’re someone who finds a lot of usefulness in studying flashcards, Mometrix Test Preparation has developed a fantastic set of NCLEX study flash cards you can get here.
Do Form a Study Group
Study groups are great places to review, discuss and theoretically apply all of the information you’ve been reviewing with other people who are in the same boat you are. Being able to have people to review the test with allows for a great place to talk over things you aren’t 100% sure about, help others clear up their misunderstandings and generally get a better feel for the scope of the information. As the saying goes, “two heads are better than one.”
Do Practice Tests
For many test takers, practice tests are the best thing since sliced bread. There are a number of great NCLEX practice tests available out there, so pick up a few and begin working through them. Doing practice not only tests your ability to recall and apply the information you’ve learned, but it also helps prepare your mind and body for what exactly test day is going to be like – the more things you can do to familiarize yourself with the experience of taking the NCLEX beforehand, the better you’ll do on the actual test. I know I mentioned them earlier, but Mometrix Test Preparation also has a great study guide book that includes practice questions. Check it out here if you’re interested.
Do Get Plenty of Rest
This one should go without saying, but don’t be that person that struggles to get through your NCLEX test because you’re having trouble staying awake. Make sure to get plenty of sleep, and this doesn’t just mean the night before. Being ‘well rested’ means having at least a few nights in a row of long periods of uninterrupted sleep, so do what you have to do to make sure this happens. Having a well rested mind and body are imperative to being able to recall and apply all of the information you’ve worked so hard at reviewing for so long.
Don’t Test Hungry
Right along with getting plenty of rest comes this one: don’t be hungry. Don’t gorge yourself on a gigantic plate of comfort food immediately beforehand, but make sure you aren’t and won’t become hungry during the test. Eat a decent meal beforehand, and be sure to bring a snack with you. Two hours into the test your are given a scheduled break, so make sure you utilize that time to fuel up so you’ll be as sharp as ever once your resume testing.
Keep these tips in mind, and you’re going to do great! Good luck!