‘It is strategy, that lies at the core of winning any battle!’.………..By mastering how to take the test, you’ll improve your chances of getting high marks, minimize test taking errors and have a lifeline once the questions start to sound like gibberish. Find out what it needs to obtain flawless quick results in NCLEX!
The National Council of State Boards of Nursing deliberately made the NCLEX more adept at selecting test takers who are not only knowledgeable but are skillful as well. In simple terms, the NCLEX exam is difficult. Even when you’ve studied enough during your NCLEX exam review, you could still end-up lost and confused during the exam. Here, comes in the need for a Well Grounded Strategy.NCLEX-RN and PN exams can be passed only with the right orientation and preparation. Of course it is a tough battle, for which you will need support and guidance. Cramming the whole nursing syllabus is of course a hefty task, but still it won’t be enough for you to crack this exam since it has been designed to test a lot more than your retaining power!
EDITOR’S NOTE: If you’re looking for a review course that provides all; a good study plan, robust strategy, NCLEX targeted content, and rigorous practice of questions. You may choose Brilliant Nurse and relieve your pressure while getting unparalleled support as well as guidance from expert faculty. Check out the given links. Extended (3 month access) NCLEX-RNÆ Test Prep Track and Extended (3 month access) NCLEX-PNÆ Test Prep Track.
To get through in your first attempt, plan well. Go, through the key elements that are intrinsic to a good TEST TAKING STRATEGY!
1. Understand test format and the demand of the exam: Familiarising yourself with the test format in question is the first step to exam preparation.
- The National Council of State Boards of Nursing review the nursing requirements every three to four years, by conducting a job analysis. The NCLEX exam is then upgraded and redesigned to incorporate new topics, including new developments and upcoming requirements for better nursing staff.
- The questions are designed in a manner that they filter out adept and skilful, nurses and not only knowledgeable ones.
- The questions of course are tricky and difficult. Moreover the level of of difficulty increases as you keep answering them correctly, with every next upcoming question.
- The NCLEX uses Computerised Adaptive Testing (CAT) where you get around 30 seconds to answer a question, which can build pressure on the test taker.
- One of the most imp thing is that this exam focuses on testing your critical thinking ability, your analysing and decision making power. So, it often happens that a bright student of the nursing school may fail the exam. To get through this one, you need sound theoretical knowledge but alongside be skilled at how it will be applied in real situations!
2. Get mentally prepared: How do you get mentally prepared? Even before that, as a pre requisite to making up your mind for the NCLEX, you need to know well about the test itself! What is the pattern of the test? The syllabus? The style of questions? The hurdles that people face? Why have people failed? What is it that you dread or your weak area? A good analysis of all the stuff will help you prepare yourself mentally to beginning your preparation with the right approach, convince yourself for the much needed hard work and get through in your first attempt!
3. Know your content: Nursing content is lengthy and tough. It is of course an uphill task to remember it all! First of all you need content based on the updated syllabus keeping view of the present requirements. The content should be organised and NCLEX oriented. A good review provider will cut down the irrelevant part of your nursing syllabus and focus more on the important areas. Moreover it should be studied in new and innovative ways, covering a wide array of topics, to keep you adept and updated with the most needed information on various facets of nursing that you have no chance to regret later.
Certain tricks and short cuts should be used to remember the stuff so that you do not keep on lingering with content and focus on other aspects of the exam too.
4. Master the NCLEX questions: NCLEX, comprises of a wide array of questions. It tests your all round abilities. There is no single approach to answering such a variety of questions. You should try to analyse all types of questions and practice them enough develop the clinical reasoning and critical thinking skills that you need. Each new question will help you revise some important fact and will help to develop your thinking in a way that you can apply your learnt knowledge!
5. CAT (Computer Adaptive Testing): The “adaptive” in CAT implies that the exam is not simply a static one. It’s not that you sit down and answer a set of predetermined questions but instead the exam will constantly be adapting to your answering style.As you’re taking the exam, you will be given a question that is of medium difficulty. If you get the question correct, the following question will be more difficult. If you get this question correct, the following question will be even more difficult.As you are going through the exam, every answer you get correct will cause you to receive a more difficult question afterwards. However, if you get a question incorrect, then the following question will be slightly easier.
And so this assumes that as you go through the exam getting some questions correct, some questions incorrect, the test will constantly adapt to your testing style so that you are given questions that are fair to you and that you have the relative ability to answer.
Get a good practice of NCLEX styles tests, that simulate the real test. Many trusted NCLEX review courses provide this facility.
6. Devise a study schedule: A good study plan comprises of a balanced distribution of your entire syllabus according to the number of days you have dedicated for your preparation.
- Systematically target yourself to revising your content alongside practising the NCLEX style questions.
- Identify your strengths and weaknesses.
- Be regular in following your scheduel and do not forget to alott some time for revision.
6. Minimise Errors To Maximize Your Scores: As was published in the Journal of the National Medical Association, students who have received instructions on test taking strategies had significantly higher test scores than those who didn’t. This means that test taking strategies can indeed improve your test accuracy and get higher scores. Strategise and train yourself before you enter the examination hall. What to do during the test?
- Read the instructions carefully. This is often overlooked by many NCLEX test takers, especially by those who are either excited or anxious to take the exam.
- Read the question and look for the stem. The stem is the core of the question and will serve as the basis for your answer.
- Decide what type of information the question requires. Check if you should prioritize, delegate, assess or intervene.
- Read through the choices and see which ones fits the stem correctly or grammatically. Grammatically correct choices are usually the correct answers.
- Check each choice for the presence of general words like always, all, complete or total. These choices are 98% wrong. So if you have doubts, eliminate choices with these words immediately.
- Cross-out wrong choices. This increases the probability of choosing the right answer.
- Answer the question. Based on what you’ve learned during your NCLEX review, answer the question.
- Finally, if you don’t remember anything about the questions or the choices. Judiciously choose from the choices that you haven’t eliminated.
“You need to be disciplined and really good at implementing all of this to reap the real benefits. If you feel that you need support check out for the best Review Course that will help you in all aspects!” We recommend BRILLIANT NURSE NCLEX REVIEW.
Why should you opt for this review program?
Apart from all that has been mentioned, you must not forget that : Memorising information is not the key to passing the NCLEX test. The best NCLEX study program will give you the opportunity to exercise your critical thinking. ‘It should offer NCLEX study questions simulating real scenarios in a medical institution. Consequently, this will help you to answer questions as if you were facing a real medical situation.’
Check out an example:
UNFOLDING CASE STUDY :- Ruth Marie is a 68-year-old White female. While shopping at the mall with her daughter, she saw a health fair being advertised; it had healthy snacks available and free blood pressure (BP) screening. The nurse took her BP and told her that it was 164/96 mmHg. This was the first time Ruth Marie was told that her BP was elevated.
1. Ruth Marie asks the nurse, “What causes high blood pressure?” The nurse explains that risk factors for primary hypertension (HTN) are:
Select All That Apply
B -Narrowing of the aorta
C -Alcohol consumption
D -Sodium retention
E -Sleep apnea
F -Cigarette smoking
Correct Answer: A, C, D
Obesity—YES; this increases the risk of primary HTN.
Alcohol consumption—YES; this increases the risk of primary HTN.
Sodium retention—YES; this increases the risk of primary HTN.
2. A few weeks later, Ruth Marie went to her primary care provider (PCP) and had her BP taken again. She was diagnosed with HTN and prescribed an angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitor and a thiazide diuretic. She was also placed on the DASH (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension) diet.
Which statement made by Ruth Marie indicates an understanding of the low-sodium diet?
A -“I can still drink two glasses of tomato juice every morning.”
B -“I will eat a few slices of cheese every day because it has protein.”
C -“When I am too tired to cook, I will eat prepared frozen meals.”
D -“I will begin eating cooked cereal for breakfast.”
Correct Answer: D
“I will begin eating cooked cereal for breakfast.”—YES; cooked cereal is low in sodium.
Case studies that mimic real scenarios, help students to develop better decision making abilities and learn how to answer them by correctly interpreting them.
Before, deciding on which course to take, you need to remember that knowing your nursing content and learning the clinical skills in a nursing school is not enough to pass the NCLEX exam. What you need more, is to be good at critical thinking! Knowledge at both ends, practical as well as theoretical, and its sound application will lead you to cracking the NCLEX in the fisrt attempt. Have a look at how they have categorised the variety of questions asked in the NCLEX exam and how you need to handle them: Their Strategy!
Bottomline: Briliant Nurse is one such program that will guide you with the right study material, assitance, needed practice and APPROACH to handle questions to crack the NCLEX-RN and NCLEX-PN exams.
EDITOR’S NOTE: We recommend BrilliantNurse’s 6 months All access test prep tracks with daily assignments courses for preparation of NCLEX-PN® and NCLEX-RN®. Click the given links for further information. Ultra-extended (6 month access) NCLEX-RN® Test Prep Track + Learning Path – with Daily Assignments and Ultra-extended (6 month access) NCLEX-PN® Test Prep Track + Learning Path – with Daily Assignments