How to Crack NCLEX on the First Attempt?

Sep 09, 2023
Crack NCLEX on the First Attempt

Key Takeaways

  • Familiarise yourself with the NCLEX exam, the structure, including question types and the Computerized Adaptive Testing (CAT) algorithm used to determine question difficulty.
  • Thoroughly review essential nursing concepts across various domains in nursing. Regularly engage in practice questions and full-length mock exams.
  • Develop a study schedule that allocates sufficient time for content review, practice questions, and mock exams.

Are you gearing up for the NCLEX exam, the pivotal milestone that stands between you and your dream of becoming a licensed nurse? 

Look no further – this comprehensive guide is designed to equip you with the essential tips, proven strategies, and vital information needed to conquer the NCLEX and embark on your rewarding nursing career.

Table of Contents

  • Understanding the NCLEX
  • Preparation Tips for Success
    • Create a Study Plan
    • Use Trusted Resources
    • Practice with Sample Questions
    • Simulate Exam Conditions
    • Prioritise Weak Areas
  • Strategies for Tackling the NCLEX Exam
    • Focus on Test-Taking Techniques
    • Read Questions Carefully
    • Manage Time Wisely
    • Answer What You Know First
    • Stay Calm
  • Key Information to Remember
    • Registration Process
    • Testing Locations
    • Identification
    • Breaks and Regulations
  • Conclusion
  • FAQs

Understanding the NCLEX

Before diving into preparation tips and strategies, let’s familiarise ourselves with the NCLEX. The National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) and Practical Nurses (NCLEX-PN) is a standardized test used to determine whether candidates have the knowledge and skills necessary to provide safe and effective nursing care at the entry level. 

The exam’s adaptive format tailors the difficulty of questions based on a candidate’s performance, ensuring a precise evaluation of their capabilities.

Once you pass the NCLEX Exam, you can practice as a nurse in the US, Canada and Australia.

Preparation Tips for Success

Let's kick into the preparation tips given by the experts who have cleared the exam after several days of strategic preparation. 

Create a Study Plan

  • Crafting a well-structured study plan is the foundation of your preparation journey.
  • Outline topics to cover, allocate study hours, and set milestones for self-assessment.
  • Begin by assessing your existing knowledge and identifying areas of strength and weakness.
  • Set clear, achievable goals for your study plan.

Use Trusted Resources

  • Quality study materials are essential. Utilise authoritative textbooks, online resources, and NCLEX review books that align with the exam content.
  • Start with the official resources provided by the National Council of State Boards of Nursing (NCSBN). This includes the NCLEX Test Plan, which outlines the content and percentage distribution of questions on the exam.
  • Look for well-known and established NCLEX review books from reputable publishers. These books are often written by experienced nursing educators and practitioners.

Practice with Sample Questions

  • Regularly engage in practice questions to enhance your critical thinking and familiarise yourself with the exam’s question style.
  • Sample papers closely mimic the format of the actual NCLEX exam. By regularly practising with these papers, you become familiar with the question types, structure, and time constraints of the exam.

Simulate Exam Conditions

  • Dedicate time for full-length practice exams under timed conditions to simulate the actual test environment.
  • Set up your study space similar to a testing centre. Sit at a desk or table with a comfortable chair, as you would during the actual exam. This creates a sense of familiarity on test day.
  • Use official practice materials that closely resemble the actual exam. This includes official practice tests provided by the National Council of State Boards of Nursing (NCSBN) or reputable NCLEX review platforms.

Prioritise Weak Areas

  • Identify your areas of weakness and allocate extra time for studying and practising these subjects.
  • Gather a variety of reputable study resources that cover your weak areas. This might include review books, online tutorials, video lectures, and practice question banks.

Strategies for Tackling the NCLEX Exam

Apart from preparation, you must learn a few tips to ensure your attempt is highly fruitful. Here are a few test-taking strategies for the NCLEX exam. 

Focus on Test-Taking Techniques

Familiarise yourself with strategies such as elimination, educated guessing, and identifying key phrases in questions to enhance your answering approach.

Read Questions Carefully

Rushing through questions can lead to misunderstandings. Take time to read each question and all options before selecting an answer.

Manage Time Wisely

The NCLEX is timed, so practice time management during your preparation. If a question stumps you, move on and return to it later.

Answer What You Know First

Begin with questions that you’re confident about. This builds momentum and saves time for challenging questions later.

Stay Calm

On exam day, nerves can affect your performance. Practice relaxation techniques, deep breathing, and positive visualization to stay focused.

Key Information to Remember

Boarding to take the NCLEX exam anytime soon? Here are a few things you must remember! 

Registration Process

Prior to your NCLEX exam, take the time to become well-acquainted with the registration process. Thoroughly understand the requirements for eligibility, the documents needed, and the associated exam fees. This proactive approach ensures that your registration journey goes smoothly and minimizes any last-minute hurdles.

Testing Locations

Make it a priority to familiarise yourself with the exact location of your designated testing centre. Alongside this, be informed about any specific policies or guidelines that apply at the centre. Knowing where you need to be and understanding the logistics eliminates potential confusion on exam day.

Identification

On the day of the exam, your identification holds significant importance. Double-check that you possess valid identification documents as required by the testing centre. Additionally, if any authorization letters are necessary, ensure you have them readily available. This attention to detail prevents unnecessary stress and delays on exam day.

Breaks and Regulations

As you embark on your NCLEX journey, familiarize yourself with the regulations of the testing centre. Understand the rules you need to follow during the exam, such as regarding breaks and conduct. Having a clear grasp of the number and duration of breaks allowed during the exam assists you in managing your time effectively. Complying with testing centre regulations contributes to a smoother overall experience.

Conclusion

The NCLEX is a significant step toward achieving your nursing aspirations. By following the tips, strategies, and key information outlined in this guide, you’ll be well-equipped to tackle the exam with confidence and precision. 

Remember, success is a result of both diligent preparation and a resilient mindset. Best of luck on your journey to becoming a licensed nurse!

FAQs

Q: What are the most common questions on the NCLEX?

Ans. The questions in the NCLEX Exam are centred around Safe and Effective Care Environment, Health Promotion and Maintenance, Psychosocial Integrity, and Physiological Integrity

Q: What is the success rate of the NCLEX?

Ans. In 2022, the NCLEX achieved a pass rate of approximately 79.9% based on data provided by the National Council of State Boards of Nursing (NCSBN).

Q: What is the biggest topic on NCLEX?

Ans. General Care Management comprises the largest portion of the NCLEX Exam, about 20% of the exam’s questions. This segment focuses on assessing a nurse’s grasp of the everyday complexities inherent to nursing practice.

Q: What is the full form of the NCLEX exam?

Ans. NCLEX is The National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses, the exam conducted for nurses who wish to practice in the US, Canada and Australia.

Q: Is NCLEX accepted in Australia?

Ans. Yes, NCLEX has been accepted in Australia since 2020.

Dr. Akram Ahmad
Dr. Akram Ahmad
about the author

Dr. Akram Ahmad is a clinical pharmacist and lecturer with over 10 years of teaching and research experience across various subjects of medicine in India, Malaysia and Australia. He is an educationist and a medpreneur with extensive knowledge of the global healthcare diaspora. Through his articles, videos and engaging sessions, he always aims to impart unexplored knowledge about the healthcare world to interested students and professionals.