Graduating from nursing school is a great achievement. Nursing students have shown that they are competent in classes and a clinical setting, and that they are ready to start their long-term career in nursing. Now, this is this only test standing between you and becoming a registered nurse officially.

What is the NCLEX?

All nurses have to take the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX) and attain the minimum score for them to be issued a license to operate in different parts of the United States. The NCLEX is a standardized and computer-oriented test. With adequate preparation, passing NCLEX is possible for every nursing graduate. With that in mind, this test should not be taken lightly. Your success in nursing school exams does not guarantee that you will do well on the NCLEX.

The recommended study time for those who want to do well on this test is approximately 1-2 months. If for various reasons the test-taker does not attain the minimum score, then there is a possibility of retaking the test after a waiting period expires, which is usually 45 days. To retake the NCLEX exam is very costly as you may have to pay $200 for every exam attempt, so it’s important for the nursing graduates to use their time appropriately to ace this test the first time around.

Below are some tips to help you ace the NCLEX on the first try:

Make a study plan

Having a study plan will help you to get the most out of your study time. Studying with a plan is very beneficial because all the test areas will be allocated sufficient time. There is no room for neglecting any of the sections, so well-rounded study prep is a must. A study plan will help you to set the days of the week you will study, which days you will take a break, and also which ones you will take practice tests. A study plan will also help you to make a goal before the start of every study session. This may include doing a specific number of practice questions or studying a certain topic, and so on. Having a study plan will help you to utilize your time properly, and this will help you to do well on the NCLEX. It’s not necessarily about the hours you’re committing to your studies or spending with your NCLEX tutor, it’s about how you utilize your time. Cramming is not an ideal way to prepare for the NCLEX exam as this is a test which is designed for assessing the knowledge you learnt over a couple of years, not days.

Hire an NCLEX tutor

This also another technique to prepare for the NCLEX exam. An NCLEX tutor is a professional who is well experienced and aware of the concepts being examined on this test. They will inform you about what kind of questions to expect and how to tackle them. This will give you an edge during the test day because you will know exactly what to expect and how to handle it.

Polish those test-taking skills

The NCLEX is more about understanding the way the test is written than the kind of knowledge it examines. Make use of test-taking tricks to do away with wrong answers. Learn to avoid contrary answers like NONE or ALL and keep in mind to always put the patient’s safety above anything else. If you’re not sure where to start, try talking to an experienced NCLEX tutor or test prep program for some test-taking strategies.

With practice, you will start to identify themes in answers:

  • Always examine the patient first rather than rushing to call the doctor.
  • Make use of Airway-Breathing-Circulation technique.
  • Assume deductive reasoning even when you have no clue concerning the subject matter being tested.

The discussed above are some of the strategies you can use to prepare for the NCLEX. The NCLEX is a special exam that tests your reasoning other than the general concepts taught in classes, but with determination and good preparation, you will do great. Good luck!