Studying for the NCLEX can be intimidating. Especially once you see how thick review books can be and knowing that not all content would appear in the exam. Don’t worry though, I got here 9 studying tips (same things I did before) that you can apply to pass the NCLEX.
People have different study styles as our fingerprints differ from one another. Some people might need complete silence while others enjoy and more effectively digest information while listening to Taylor Swift. I know people who need a study buddy and I also know a lot of people who’re more inclined to study on their own. There are also people who study better in the morning than at night, and otherwise.
Before you plan on reviewing for the NCLEX, take a sweet time figuring out your study style. This will help you better gather and store information rather than just running your way through every topic you’ll study.
Cramming for exams? We’ve all been there – but it’s not for everyone!
Segmenting your studies into sections or taking it piece by piece will help you avoid procrastination. Aside from that, studies suggest that retention of information after an all-nighter is very low. This will also inhibit your mind from running in full capacity since you’ll be exhausted because you were up all night.
Having a study plan that breaks out sections into pieces will help you feel less overwhelmed. This will also help you get full control of what material you’ll be studying and will give you a better chance of passing the exam.
No test coming up? Great! You can schedule at least an hour a day to study. Since there isn’t a cloud hanging over your head pressuring you, you’ll be able to retain more information compared to cramming the day or night before.
This, by far, is the most demanding study tip to follow. We’re at a point where anywhere we look, we see screens. We are all addicted to our gadgets!
When was the last time it took you an hour before looking at your phone to check if someone sent you a message? You can’t remember? If you ask me a question, I can’t remember either! Sometimes, you just look at it to check how much battery you’ve got left. You can’t focus on studying if you’re compelled to check your phone from time to time.
This small thing – our phones – is the new challenger when it comes to grabbing our attention. Do yourself a favor and leave it in the other room. Intentionally relocate anything that stops you from focusing on studying, and yes, that includes your cat.
It’s hard to study for anatomy with this distraction! from cats
When you go through a chapter for the first try, try not to highlight anything or don’t try to write down anything. Just skim through it. On your second read through, this is the time to write down notes, highlight important words, the time to focus on bolded words and phrases, words that are placed in boxes, and information that is drawn out or has a triangle next to it. (The triangle is an indication that this is important NCLEX information – do not forget about that.)
As you go through the practice questions, remember to think and feel as if you’re actually taking the NCLEX. These practice questions aren’t just there to check how much knowledge about the questions you have so far, it can also serve as a simulation of the real thing!
Remember that training dummy from your CPR lessons? Yes. Pretend like it’s the real thing!
Read through the test questions carefully and narrow down your options using deductive reasoning to find the correct answer.
Do you think that the question you chose is logically correct? If your answer is yes, write down the reasons why you think it is and do not forget to note down key details as to why that answer is the right one.
You will use this to store EVERY handwritten notes you have so you can easily pull them out whenever you need to look back on any important information.
Who doesn’t love a reward?
Passing the NCLEX is the one true gift for someone who’s reviewing for the NCLEX, but giving yourself small things throughout your review will definitely boost your motivation. You can try to tell yourself that once you’re done doing three chapters, you’ll take yourself out for some Boba. You perfected the practice questions on chapter six? You deserve to get those earrings you found on Etsy.
Remember though, these incentives do not have to cost anything, okay? As long as it can help you get motivated to continue studying, just go for it!
Break plans (including times where you’ll want to get good sleep) will be something to look forward to and will also help you avoid the want to slack off. When you’re done with two chapters, or if you’ve managed to successfully manage to answer a set of practice questions, take a break. You can also schedule a break at a specific time.
Keep in mind that these breaks SHOULD NOT take longer than 15 minutes since this will get you too far out of the zone.
You can also try moving around. Get outside and take a short walk. Getting your blood moving will help you keep your brain focused. Also, don’t forget to swing by the bathroom once you’re done. Studying without an empty bladder can be very distracting.
Asking for help is something the hardest thing to do but take note, in studying, it is very important to ask for some.
There are a lot of places or people you can look for resources and ask for help that can help you succeed at the NCLEX.
You can ask a friend who is also an aspiring nurse, your roommate, or you can also enroll in tutoring lessons. Speaking of enrolling, FEUER nursing review offers a wide range of comprehensive review materials that can help you pass the NCLEX. Furthermore, you can ask someone else to read the practice questions for you or get someone that can help you understand a particular section you’re having a hard time understanding.
Aside from that, for foreign nurses, there are also specific NCLEX exam requirements that need to be completed so do not hesitate to ask for help to better understand those requirements.
Always keep in mind that we are all in this together!
That’s my 9 studying tips that also helped me pass the NCLEX. I hope it can do you good as it did for me!
Yes, I know. It’s easy to feel defeated, especially when you’re reminded of failing the NCLEX five times. It might have even crossed your mind that nursing isn’t for you. Don’t beat yourself up. This exam is hard, and it only goes harder every year. Still, I guarantee you, it’s not the end of the world.
It’s probable that you might have missed something, you were overthinking, or you’ve over-evaluated yourself. Whatever the case may be, here’s your chance to prove to anyone, especially yourself, that you deserve to be called an RN!
There are four types of learners: Visual learners, Auditory learners, Read/Write Learners, and Kinesthetic learners.
Since you’ve already passed the nursing school, you probably already know what kind of learner you are. In many cases, people tend to combine two, or three, or even all learning techniques to better understand what they are studying.
Drawing out sketches of the chambers of the heart or using color-coded medication classes will greatly help you better understand ideas if you’re a visual learner.
Listening to podcasts that talk about NCLEX or watching YouTube videos that showcase lectures online will also be effective if you’re an auditory learner.
Do you understand things better when people brainstorm with you? Organize a study group to discuss concepts together.
Having a hard time understanding complicated topics? Use visual materials that will help enhance attention and retain what you’ve studied.
Also, don’t just keep on reading what you’ve already read or keep on writing old notes – this isn’t 100% effective. What’s effective is to associate everything you’ve learned and relate it to every clinical experience you got from school. Trust me, you’ll have a lightbulb moment every time you get to connect a dot to another.
Committing to the preparation before reviewing or studying will help you win half the battle that’s why you need to plan how you will study.
Formulate a schedule where you will pick days that you will study when you’ll take a break and days where you’ll be taking practice exams.
It’s also a great help to create a goal before every study session. Here’s an example:
Do a checklist that will state that your goal for the Monday afternoon study is to master a specific topic, followed by doing 20 practice questions about said topic.
Does it sound complicated? No! Because having a study plan will help you properly start your review.
Having no study plan is going to be a complete waste of time and WILL NOT help you succeed in passing the NCLEX. It doesn’t matter how many hours you put in on studying, it will always be about how you use those hours.
This might be the fourth, sixth, or seventh time you’re taking the test. By now, you should know that assuming that there will be easy questions will not help. What you need to do is to just focus on every question that will come. Aside from that, you need to understand that what might be easy for you may be complicated for someone else. Keep in mind that every question that appears is as important as the next.
Investing in effective practice examination books and/or enrolling in a classroom review course is a must and a worthwhile investment to pass the NCLEX. Feuer Nursing Review offers comprehensive review materials that can help you put this examination in the bag.
Exam companies, including Feuer, can provide noteworthy guides that can help you prepare for NCLEX. It won’t also hurt to spend extra time browsing the internet for other guides that will best suit your review needs.
Knowing how the test is written and knowing what the correct answers are is what NCLEX is. Strategizing is important when taking this test.
Before choosing an answer, try to eliminate wrong answers first. “Extremes” like NONE or ALL answers should be avoided, and whatever happens, always make sure to put patient safety first.
Practicing these techniques will help you notice the ideas in the answers:
Assess the patient first, always. Calling for a doctor isn’t always the best thing to do. Use the Airway-Breathing-Circulation approach, etc.
If you’re having a hard time coming up with an idea about a concept or topic, use deductive reasoning. If it doesn’t work, you could always rely on your “nurse intuition”.
You will for sure, meet the dreading select-all-that-apply questions. Don’t panic. You can always use the same approach we have discussed to remove wrong answer choices using your knowledge and by investigating the wording of answers.
Test anxiety is real. It’s possible that no one had told you or you didn’t know about it on the first few times you have taken the test. That’s why you had a hard time taking it. Don’t worry though, for everybody, especially for nervous test takers, there’s a way to completely manage your stress.
Prepare for the examination with focus and determination but do not make it bigger than your life. It’s vital to still make sure that there’s a test-life balance in the days, weeks, or months leading up to the examination.
Schedule activities in your days to do something fun, get proper sleep, and exercise. Doing this will help you keep a balance – your mind won’t build stress when you do this.
Say that the test is only a day or hours away, DO NOT cram information. Doing that will only make things worse. You need this time to relax, to calm, and to clear your mind. Do something that will help you stay grounded. Cook a hearty breakfast, listen to your favorite music tracks, go on a run. Do anything that will help soothe and calm your senses.
Also, the best way to lessen getting anxious before the test is to study and review properly. Knowing your study style and planning how you will study are ways to make sure that you’ve taken information appropriately. Trust me, NCLEX won’t seem frightening when you feel confident that you’ve done your review properly.