BY KHLOE BARLOW, BS '17 | JUNE 19, 2017
Congratulations, you just graduated from nursing school! You have accomplished something very difficult, so you have every right to feel on top of the world.
But then you remember that you still have to take the NCLEX …
Many of us get nervous when we think about taking the “ultimate test,” and it can be overwhelming trying to figure out where to start. If you’re like me, having a few hints and tips to help you along the way can have a positive impact on your studying. I am going to share some of my own personal tips on how to study for the NCLEX, and hopefully they can help you too.
This is important to keep your mind and your nursing application skills sharp. It is proven that doing a little bit of studying every day is more effective than cramming right at the end. You do not have to spend your whole day studying, but make it a point daily to allot some time exclusively for studying for the NCLEX.
An important step in developing your study schedule is knowing what you want to use to study. There are many companies out there from whom you can purchase review books, review sessions, and question banks. You can mix and match materials or use one company – it is up to you. Do your research and choose the one that is best for your study needs and your budget.
Do not just start studying blindly. You should have an idea of where you need to focus your time and how much time you have between now and the time you sit for the test. Do practice questions but also review content. Try taking one of the preliminary assessments from the learning tool of your choice, and then starting with your weakest areas. This way, if you happen to run out of time for studying, at least you’ve reviewed content that is not your strong suit.
If you are a busy person who finds it hard to carve out official study time, download an NCLEX prep app that you can use from your phone. They are usually not too expensive, and they usually include questions, flashcards and rationales on many different topics commonly encountered on the NCLEX. With the app you can study efficiently wherever you are or whenever you have time.
It is okay to take a break. It can be very easy to get caught up in studying and forget to enjoy yourself. Go for a walk, watch a movie or read something enjoyable. It will help you to avoid becoming burnt out from studying.
You made it through nursing school, so you already have what it takes to pass. Be confident in the knowledge that you have gained. Read the questions carefully and answer them the best you can. As long as you study and prepare well, you should have no problem passing the NCLEX.
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