Over the years of nursing school and clinicals, you have likely accumulated a wealth of medical knowledge. However, this is not always enough to pass the Nclex certificate for sale.
Many factors can influence your test-taking abilities, including the questions you choose and how you answer them. Fortunately, there are several study tips and strategies that can help you maximize your NCLEX score.
1. Start Studying Early
We all have slightly different learning styles – so it’s important to study in ways that work for you. This may mean studying in hours-long stretches or Pomodoro style (25 minutes of studying and 5 minute breaks back and forth).
Ideally, you should start studying early a few months before your exam date. This will give you enough time to review all relevant material and find areas where you need to spend more time. This could also include enrolling in an NCLEX prep course run by experts specializing in the exam.
2. Don’t Overanalyze
The NCLEX examines your ability to make safe decisions, so guessing answers isn’t going to cut it. In fact, it will likely get you nowhere and possibly even result in failing the test!
Instead, remember that you only have six hours to answer the questions. If you think you’re going to run out of time, it is a good idea to move on to another question without overanalyzing your current answer choices. This will also help you avoid making any mistakes on the test. Stick with your study habits and the style of learning you’re used to using.
3. Don’t Give Up
It takes persistence to make it through nursing school, and the same goes for passing the NCLEX. Having a study buddy or group can help keep you motivated and on track. Eating healthy and exercising can also reduce stress and test anxiety.
It’s important to know your learning style and stick with methods that work for you. Avoid guessing questions on the NCLEX, as this will just waste valuable time. Answer the questions you know, and move on when you’re not sure. That way, the CAT program will get an accurate picture of your abilities.
4. Take a Break
It’s easy for a graduate to become obsessed with studying for the NCLEX exam. However, it’s important to take care of yourself and stick to a regular routine. This includes exercise, healthy eating, and adequate sleep.
On the exam, a good rule of thumb is to spend one minute on each question. This will help keep you from second-guessing your answers. The NCLEX is a computerized adaptive test that will give you questions at your ability level until you reach 95% certainty of passing or run out of time.
5. Don’t Cram
It’s important not to cram the night before test day. Cramming usually involves skimming textbooks or other people’s notes in an attempt to hold onto information that might be useful on the exam.
Instead, study consistently over the course of several weeks to learn how to retain information and take practice tests. Make sure to allot time for sleep, exercise and non-study activities. The NCLEX uses adaptive testing, which means that each question you answer will be harder or easier based on the questions that come before it.
6. Find Outside Resources
There are a lot of resources available online to help you pass the NCLEX exam. There are groups and pages on social media, podcasts, videos, and books that can help you find ways to prepare for the exam.
Kaplan is a big name in test prep and offers free NCLEX practice questions that are similar to those on the actual exam. These questions are short quizzes with four to five questions each and offer answer explanations.
Nurse Plus Academy is another great source for NCLEX practice. It has more questions and 65 realistic practice tests, and you can customize your study experience with hints and other helpful features.
7. Don’t Spend Too Much Time on a Question
Each nurse has a different learning style and strategy for studying. It’s important to acknowledge your study methods and stick with them during NCLEX-RN preparation.
If you’re stuck on a question for more than two minutes, it’s likely you don’t know the answer. Search the answer choices for clues, but move on if you can’t figure it out. Several wrong answers in one category can have a large impact on your final score. Getting medium-difficulty questions right will boost your odds of passing. The NCLEX uses a computer-based algorithm to evaluate your performance.
8. Use a True or False Method
NCLEX utilizes a computerized adaptive testing format and the length of time you spend answering questions depends on how well you do. This is why it is important to have strong test-taking strategies.
It’s common for NCLEX ’select all that apply’ questions to offer multiple answers that are related or connected in some way. Run these possible answers through a true or false method to help you narrow down the right answer.
Remember, these questions are designed to test safe nursing care that will work for the majority of clients. Don’t get derailed by rare, unusual, or extreme client cases.
9. Don’t Evaluate Your Answers or Yourself
Although you are taught a variety of test-taking strategies in nursing school, only you know your learning style and study habits. The NCLEX offers questions in a wide range of formats, including multiple-choice, fill-in-the-blank math calculations, ordered response, hot-spot identification, and more. The NCLEX’s adaptive testing algorithm continuously assesses your capabilities and will continue to ask questions until it deems you competent in all test areas.
Be careful not to overfocus on categories that seem easier, as a few wrong answers in one area can impact your overall score.
10. Keep a Steady Pace
Nurses have a variety of study techniques that work for them, including mnemonics, visual cues, and color-coding. These can help you retain the information that is most important for passing the NCLEX exam.
However, remember to keep a steady study pace so that you can retain information more effectively. It is also important to move on from questions that you don’t know the answer to those you do. This will save time and prevent second-guessing your answers. This can lead to a low score. Aim for a 95% confidence level on the test.