As with taking any other test, you want to prepare enough to feel confident on test day. There many different things that you can do to be ready, but the most important ones are to study effectively and choose the right study materials. Let’s look at what the NCLEX exam is and some good pointers on how to approach taking it.
NCLEX Exam Overview
So what is the NCLEX exam? The NCLEX exam determines whether you will advance onto becoming either an LPN (Licensed Practical Nurse) or an RN (Registered Nurse) If you are planning on becoming an LPN you will have to take approximately 1 year of schooling before you can take it, and if you are choosing to become an RN you will have to go to about 4 years of school in order to take it. Since the requirements for either field are different, the contents of the exam will be different as well.
The exam is done on the computer in the facility you scheduled for. The way the test is structured is that you have 5 hours to pass for an LPN, and 6 hours for an RN. You are given two 10 minutes breaks during the test so if you need to stretch your legs or get a drink of water you should do it.
To pass the test, you must complete 75 questions accurately within a set time period. There is a maximum of 256 questions on the exam, but if you have been deemed competent after answering 75 questions. you will pass. If you reach the 75 question mark and have not demonstrated that you are competent enough, you will be given more questions. Then a determination is made by the computer after answering more questions on your competency and you will pass or fail accordingly. You will also fail if the time expires and you have not answered the required 75 questions correctly. Learn more about the exam details here.
- One of the best NCLEX tips is to make sure that you take the exam as soon as possible following your education and training. Retention rates are always better when the information is fresh in your mind.
- Try to schedule the exam at a time when you are not going to have too much going on in your life. You want to minimize distractions in order to be clear headed for the exam.
- Make sure that you schedule the exam at a time of day when you are most productive. If you are a person that gets up before the birds, you might want to schedule fairly early in the day. Scheduling late in the day might leave you tired and could impact your performance.
- Make sure that you study well in advance of the exam. Having to cram right before the exam will only raise your stress levels and could severely harm your score. When you are stressed it is easy to forget information.
- To avoid any further stress before the exam make sure that you arrive at the location a day or 2 before so you aren’t scrambling to find it and risk being late. You want to be able to comfortably arrive at least 30 minutes early so you are more relaxed.
- If you are one of those people that need a good cup of coffee in the morning to get started, make sure that you don’t overdo it. A huge coffee buzz won’t help you and could hurt your performance.
- Don’t clutter your day with other activities during the day of the exam. Having too many obligations can bring unwanted stress so schedule these things for another day.
- When preparing to do something such as take an exam that will earn you a designation, such as the NCLEX, it is always a good idea to talk to others that have taken it. Of course the people that have taken and passed the exam are all nurses so they will be able to relate to what you are going through. It also important to consider some of the very helpful NCLEX review courses that are available.
- Review courses are designed to help you cover all your bases when preparing for the exam. They give you a very good idea of how the actual exam will look in terms of structure and type of questions asked. This is probably the best NCLEX advice you can get since you will be able to better determine areas you need to study up on more, and areas that you are more confident. Also, If you take a predictor test and get a good score on it, then that should alleviate much of the stress before the real test.
- If you take the proper steps to make sure that you are prepared for the test, you should do well. Getting advice from graduated nurses, using review courses, taking predictor tests, and making sure you are well rested will ensure you a much better chance to pass.
NCLEX Exam Tips & Advice
|Steps||Helpful Tips To Pass The NCLEX|
|1.||Choose the right study materials|
|2.||Study effectively and well in advance of the exam|
|3.||Schedule the exam when you have the least distractions|
|4.||Arrive at the test location the day before so you know exactly where to go and park|