NCLEX-RN Study Tips

Passing the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX) test is an important milestone for many nurses, which helps them demonstrate their qualifications and pursue open nursing positions. If you’re hoping to take the NCLEX test, it’s important to develop and practice strong test-taking strategies to help you succeed during the examination. In this article, we discuss what the NCLEX test is and list different strategies to help you prepare and take the NCLEX exam.

What is the NCLEX-RN?

The NCLEX-RN, which stands for the National Council Licensure Examination [for] Registered Nurses (RN), is a computer adaptive test that is required for nursing graduates to successfully pass to be licensed as a Registered Nurse in the US and Canada. In other words, anyone who wants to become a Registered Nurse in either the US or Canada must pass the NCLEX-RN.

This test is designed to test the abilities, skills, and knowledge of a nurse, required for safe nursing practice at the entry level. The exam is organized by the NCSBN (National Council of State Boards of Nursing, Inc.) and is conducted by the testing vendor, Pearson VUE. Your competence level is gauged through an interactive system called CAT (Computerised Adaptive Testing).

Levels of Examination

The licensure exam, NCLEX-RN, generally uses the 5-step process. Each question falls in any one of the following categories:

  • Assessment
  • Analysis
  • Planning
  • Intervention and implementation
  • Evaluation

Types of Question

Most of the NCLEX questions are in multiple-choice patterns. Recently, a new format has been added by the NCSBN which includes:

  • selection of multiple correct answers using checkboxes to
  • recognition and selection of a specific area of a drawn body part
  • ordering the steps of a nursing or medical procedure
  • free response mathematical questions which involve medication calculations

The questions are of three different levels:

  • Level 1 This section includes a comparatively small share of the total questions and comprises queries at the basic level. It tests the knowledge, understanding and skills of an individual to recall specific information and facts.
  • Level 2 This section is based on analysis and application-type questions. It requires individuals to know specific information and then implement it in analyzing the question.
  • Level 3 This section of the examination contains complex questions and requires an individual to evaluate, judge, and combine information in the end. Upon reading the question, the individual needs to apply the facts, rules, and processes they know and then constantly make decisions on the given situation. Level 2 and level 3 generally cover the major part, that is around 90 to 95 percent of the total questions.

The NCLEX-RN Exam Format

The NCLEX-RN is a computer-based test taken at a Pearson Professional Center. There are many testing centres in different states of the U.S. The centres can also be found in 175 different countries. Approximately 90% of the examination consists of multiple-choice questions. In contrast, the remaining consists of filling in the blanks, putting several steps in the correct sequence, identifying a correct area on a picture, or choosing correct answers from a list of options. It may also consist of questions asking information about a chart, graph, or audio clip. Pictures may also be used as an option for answers. The question will appear just once on the computer screen and won’t be repeated.

Depending on how you answered the previous questions, you can expect a total of 75 to 265 questions. Among the first 75 questions, only 60 will be counted. The remaining 15 are “trial” questions and will be utilized on future tests. You will not be able to identify these questions; thus, it is recommended to attempt every question.

The maximum time to complete the RN test is 6 hours. A break of 10 minutes 2½ hours after the commencement of the exam and another optional break about 4 hours after the exam are given to you. You may take breaks at any time of the exam, but you will lose the given additional break time.

You can make a maximum of three attempts to qualify the exam.

Get the NCLEX-RN on Your First Try

If you are looking for a way to pass the NCLEX-RN exam on your first try, you are at the right place. In this blog, we are giving you some NCLEX study tips to help you pass this exam.

Passing the NCLEX-RN exam is an essential milestone for nursing school graduates as it is a momentous step to earn a license to practice as a nurse. Hence, it is essential to understand that the NCLEX-RN exam is not designed to trick you or give you second thoughts about the learning acquired from nursing school. It is a tool used to determine if the acquired learning can help in the apt application for the implementation of safe nursing practices. Taking the NCLEX-RN might seem intimidating at first, but the NCLEX tips and tricks can help you perform your best. Here are some tips to pass NCLEX-RN on your first try:

Tip 1: Plan your study

We all have different learning capacities; memorization will be easy for some while others prefer to use auditory resources or learning videos and others might do better with mnemonics and so on. Likewise, some students can study for long periods without losing focus, while others need to take constant breaks to clear their minds. Thus, understanding yourself and the way best for your learning is very essential for a good NCLEX-RN performance. So, planning your study is of prime importance among the NCLEX study tips to pass the exam. Otherwise, you might end up wasting valuable time on methods and techniques that aren’t right for you. After setting this foundation, it’s time to plan your study by scheduling study sessions by allocating ample time for each topic.

Tip 2: Practice Exams

While taking practice NCLEX-RN exam try to recreate the experience of facing the real NCLEX-RN as closely as possible as this will help in getting used to the conditions so that you feel less anxious when it’s time for the real exam. Take practice tests continuously so that they will help you in managing time for the exam. You can also use a computerized practice exam that mimics the real NCLEX-RN’s algorithm, and take the same breaks that you’ll be allowed to take on test day. This type of preparation is also best among the tips for passing the NCLEX exam.

Tip 3: Tackling Select All That Apply (SATA) questions.

Select All That Apply type of questions will have at least two correct answer options. Practice these questions by reading each option as a true or false question. Eliminate wrong answers first. Then choose the appropriate responses. This requires a lot of practice because understanding the question in depth and choosing the apt ones is not that easy so only consistent practice can help in these types of questions.

Tip 4: Start your preparation early

Start your preparation as early as possible which means not months before the exam but from the time of graduation. You should also aim to get prepared for your test-taking skills throughout nursing school, which can make it much easier to feel confident during your days just before the NCLEX-RN exam. Consistency is one of the key elements to doing well on any exam, and it will be especially helpful before the NCLEX-RN. Among the NCLEX tips and tricks, this mode of starting the preparation as early as possible creates an outstanding impact on student results.

Tip 5: The real-world experience and NCLEX knowledge

At least for some NCLEX-RN candidates, it will be a bit difficult to differentiate between their experiences working in the healthcare industry and actual NCLEX knowledge. Questions on the NCLEX-RN are presented based on the assumption of a “perfect” situation and hence, while answering you should assume that you have plenty of time and all the necessary resources to perform the nursing task at hand. Choosing answers to the questions based on this scenario of perfection is a great tip for passing the NCLEX exam.

Tip 6: Choose the right resources

There are lot many resources available to fulfill these tips mentioned above but from these wide varieties of learning resources, choosing the right resources is a task of pressure. Hence choose the resources with numerous practice questions along with assistance in discovering your weak spots, fitting to your study plan needs and with the provision of consistent practice tests.

With these effective NCLEX tips and tricks, you’ll be able to take control of your preparation and to improve your performance join Neethu’s Academy for the apt training and win NCLEX-RN.

Published On: June 20th, 2023 / Categories: NCLEX-RN /

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