Let’s talk about how to prepare for the NCLEX.

But first you need to know a little about the NCLEX exam.  This can be a stressful event in your path to being a nurse.

The main purpose of the NCLEX is to provide a certain level of standardization for testing competency levels.  In other words, are you a safe and effective nursing professional?

The test is geared for entry level nurses

So don’t get stressed out about knowing absolutely everything there is to know about being a nurse. Though the test is adaptive which basically means if you miss a difficult question, the next one shouldn’t be as hard.

The questions are based in areas like medical, pediatric, OB, surgery, etc. however they are all mixed in together.  And most questions require you to draw on your experience from multiple areas.

The test itself is arranged into four general categories dealing with health, the care environment, psych and physiology.  Then there are a number of sub-categories.

The questions are multiple-choice with a 4 answer selection.

And is written by other nursing professionals (not test writers) so it should be easy to understand what information they are looking for.

You will get a little background information in the question and then will have to determine what answer is correct from the given info.

I had a professor once tell me that test like these are like running full speed toward a cliff…

Only to find out that the cliff is only six inches high.  What this means is that the stress and anxiety you build up for taking the test is often worse than taking the test itself.  You eventually sit down and start answering the questions and before you know it, the test is over and you are done!

Here are some tips of how to prepare for the NCLEX to ready yourself for the six inch cliff:

Use flashcards- keep them handy and with you at all times.  Use them on breaks, 5 minutes right when you wake up, do a few before bed, etc.  Just keep doing the flashcards through out the day as you can.

Schedule your study time, and be sure to keep to your schedule.

Review wrong answers. Make sure you designate the answers you get incorrect so you can go back over them and are able to do research about the topic as required.

Don’t over do it! You need to take a break to keep you head in the game.  Study for 40 minutes and then take a 20 min break before you go back to it.

Be sure to get a good nights rest before you take your NCLEX exam.

Well, now you know how to prepare for the NCLEX.  Now you have to actually start the process.  Good luck on your studies and on the exam!  Please be sure to leave me a comment and ask any questions you might have regarding this topic.


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