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Graduating from nursing school is a huge accomplishment in itself as the nursing students have already shown their prowess in a clinical and academic settings. There remains one small hurdle before becoming a licensed nurse however, the National Council Licensure Examination. The NCLEX is the all-important step between graduating from a nursing school to becoming a nurse. The exam is provided in a Computerized Adaptive Testing (CAT) Format and the contents of the test are designed according to the needs of the patient.

To pass the exam, a student must plan a minimum of 1-2 months of targeted studying. If unfortunately, for some reason, the examinee is unable to pass the test, they can retake the test after 45 days, but it should be said that each test attempt costs about $200 dollars so it should be taken very seriously. With the right preparation, passing this exam on the first attempt is absolutely possible. Here are some tips to help boost your NCLEX test prep:

Understand the NCLEX format and structure

The NCLEX is provided in a CAT format, which means that every exam is unique. The test will produce a minimum of 75 questions and a maximum of 265 questions. A candidate passes the test when they have answered enough questions correctly to stay above the pass mark with a 96% confidence.

Know your study style

We all have different learning styles, so everything is not effective for everybody. If you are a visual learner, it’s better to prepare charts and diagrams, along with your notes. According to Tutor the People, it may be helpful to find a tutor to help with your NCLEX test prep and help keep you on track. You can also create a study group with your peers because talking through mind-boggling concepts helps in their better understanding.

Come up with an effective study plan

Time is priceless, yet a lot of students fail to just jump right into their test prep. Studying without a plan will ultimately waste your time and won’t help in passing the exam. Commit yourself to the preparation and study according to your plan. For example, you can prepare a schedule for your study. You can also set goals before each study session, like studying a particular topic or doing a fixed number of practice questions in a fixed period of time.

Work on weaker areas

It is not possible for a candidate to have equal knowledge regarding each and every topic. Try and work harder on your weaker areas, if necessary, get help from a friend or a NCLEX tutor who has a better understanding of the concept.

Practice questions

Practice questions and mock tests are always the most effective way of preparing for an exam. Practice question banks contain explanations for every question. Mark the questions you’ve answered incorrectly and jot down notes you want to revise. It is recommended to take at least 1-2 online mock NCLEX tests to familiarize yourself with the experience.

Tips for exam day

  1. Ensure you get a good night sleep the night before.
  2. Eat a good breakfast but be sure not to get too full.
  3. Know the exact time and location of the exam
  4. Wear comfortable clothes.
  5. Arrive with plenty of time.
  6. Avoid the pre-exam binge study session.

It is very important to believe in yourself. You have already proved your potential as a nurse by graduating from nursing school. This is just the final step towards a new and exciting journey. ALL THE BEST!