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Tips for Passing the NCLEX-RN Test

Posted by travel | September 7, 2012 | Travel Nursing Jobs

Although you’ll take many tests during your tenure as a nursing student, the most important exam you will ever take is the National Council Licensure Examination-Registered Nurse or NCLEX-RN. This test consists of primarily multiple-choice questions on a variety of topics including coordinated care, safety and infection control, and pharmacological therapies. To obtain your license to practice nursing, you are required to pass this exam.

To help you pass this very essential test, here are few tips to motivate you and maximize your study time and effort.

Write Down Your Goal

Before you open a study guide, you need to write down why you want to pass the NCLEX-RN test. Are you doing it so you can get a job in nursing? Are you trying to prove to yourself that you know your stuff? Do you want to have something to brag to the neighbor about when he or she starts talking about their adult kids?

It doesn’t matter what the reason is. The important thing is that it motivates you to keep going when things get rough. Write your goal on a piece of paper and stick it where you’ll see it. Take a few minutes each day to reflect on why you are pursuing your nursing license.

Prepare to Study

As a nursing student, you should know that you must assess the situation before you do anything. Likewise, you should take a self-assessment test to determine which areas you are strong and which ones you need to brush up on. You can purchase NCLEX-RN practice tests from a bookstore or download free ones from the Internet.

Although you want to review everything, concentrate on the areas where you make the most mistakes. Test yourself again at regular intervals to make sure you are getting a good handle on the information.

Stick to One Study Resource

This advice may seem counterintuitive, but you’ll want to pick one study guide and use it exclusively. The primary reason is because things can get confusing very quickly. Each of the books and study guides will say essentially the same thing, except they will use different words and examples. One book may define the heart one way while another book says the same thing using different words.

Sticking with one book allows you to focus more on learning the information rather than trying to decipher and synthesize data from multiple sources. Also, get a book that is easy for you to read and use. If it takes reading a section three or more times before you understand the underlying concepts, that book is not for you. Exchange for something friendlier.

Chart Your Studying

A good way to stay on top of your studying is to chart it. Make a schedule of your activities, and then write in the chapters you want to study each day. Be certain to write it in a time slot just like an appointment. You are much more likely to stick to the schedule if you treat like any other appointment that is important to you. When you have completed a study task, mark it off with a highlighter or place a smiley face sticker on the day. The sense of accomplishment will spur you to keep going.

Avoid Memorization

Though you will have to memorize measurements and formulas, avoid memorizing information. Instead, analyze the information and try to figure the rationale behind the data. You are far more likely to retain what you are studying if you know the why behind the what. Another benefit to learning the underlying teachings is that it makes it easier to guess the right answers when you don’t know them.

Hit the Books, but Not Too Hard

Study everyday for as long as you can. At the same time, don’t over study. Be sure to take frequent breaks to let your mind absorb the information you are feeding it. The day before the exam, pamper yourself. Get a massage, go to the spa, do something to help you rest and relax. This will do far more to prepare you to take the test than staying up all night cramming.

When taking the test, go with your instincts. Usually your first answer is the right one, so avoid second guessing yourself. Focus on the task at hand, take your time and you’ll be rewarded with a passing grade.