Kaplan nursing NCLEX review – A review of Kaptest practice test


‘It is strategy, that lies at the core of winning any battle!’

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!

What you must know, is that…. NCLEX ensures provision of safe client care by selecting candidates that are competent to be a nurse!

There are some more aspects to this exam.. and they are:

  • 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 tat 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!

You might have failed the first time you took the exam and want to redeem yourself. Or you might want to pass the test the very first time you take it. It really doesn’t matter. What matters is you’ve enrolled in the best NCLEX review course which suits your need and your study schedule. 

KAPLAN NCLEX Review Program: Will it help you through?

KAPLAN is percieved as the best NCLEX review course provider. Any good preparation begins, with first of all knowing what the test actually demands. A trusted guide for NCLEX preparation, Kaplan makes hefty promises and guarantees to get you through. Not NCLEX alone, Kaplan is one of the most respected names that provide standardised preparation material for many tough tests like SAT, LSAT,  GRE GMAT etc to name a few. It has been known for long, and has a good reputation in providing comprehensive and updated course materials which make it an outsanding name in this league.

What sets Kaplan apart is the course material, since their study material is very popular. They have authored some of the best preparation guides for NCLEX. They have nursing faculty to teach and guide; and their course material is therefore updated and touches practical aspects.

Kaplan NCLEX Review program provides:

1. An impressively huge number of practice questions :
Provide more than 3,000 practice questions for the NCLEX-RN course, and more than 1,000 questions for the NCLEX-PN course. They focus on making you well versed with handling NCLEX questions by providing you the best they can. You can get access to the questions separately if you buy the NCLEX-RN® Content Review Guide Ebook and not enrol for the complete course. 

2. Teach a unique method to analyse and answer questions using their ‘DECISION TREE’ :

Helping you through the tricky and confusing questions, Kaplan has devised a decision tree for answering them all. If you have or not given the NCLEX exam you might still be knowing that sometimes it is difficult to comprehend the question itself, and while at  other times the options are so confusing that you cant make a decision. their “Decision Tree” method is a five step process to help simply the questions, analyse it better and hence answer it correctly.

3. Various options to choose from, with respect to the study schedules :

They have a classroom instruction program with expert nursing faculty, or you can attend it in person or online (webinar). The live online course can be of greta help. While they also offer a ‘self paced’ course where they provide video lessons on demand (covering all the nursing content topics) so this one will provide you flexibility of learning according to your needs. 

4. Mobile Application :

For the NCLEX-RN course they provide access to the question bank via mobile too. This will help you to practice questions while on the go, and get detailed explanations to rectify your mistakes. 

5. Identify weak areas :

This is something unique that Kaplan does! When you take tests, they will identify your weak area help you to brush up tat one. So, if you enrol in a full time classroom study or webinar, or whatever their the takers get this facility of  customising the studies for you.  

6. Additional Resources :  

It provides you a huge library of content videos, covering all theoretical and practical aspects of nursing content. You can sort the videos  alphabetically and gain access to them via the online video library. Although some people have found the videos to be too long a repetitive.

6. Passing Guarantee :

Kaplan, claim that the student will definitely pass the NCLEX exam if they opt for their course. For this they provide a 100% refund if you fail. or a three month extension fir you course, whatever may be your choice, but ONLy if you meet their criteria.

The FLIP side of Kaplan:

An indepth examination of the Kaplan review and student’s experiences reveal….Despite offering a large database of videos and question banks, Kaplan, lacks in some aspects. There have been reported dissatisfactions!

The Decision Tree: This method, devised by Kaplan to solve tricky questions has more often than not confused students. It is five step and very time taking process. To benefit, from this methodology, you need to first of all be well versed with your nursing content, and then apply their pre fromatted algorithm to solve every problem. Chances are that you will answer the question right, but sometimes the time you take to solve a question via this process ia quite too much, and of course this method does not fit in for every type of question.Students have reported that it causes confusion and over thinking! To train your mind to think the way, an algorithm wants you to, and that too in every situation, is a tough task in itself!

Video content: It has been found to be repetitive, and lengthy so it becomes boring too. Moreover it is not well organised, you need to hunt the database for finding the  the content that you need.

Expensive: The Kaplan plans are way too pricey when compared to other service providers in this category. Be, it the live class, webinar (online class)  or self paced course all are highly priced. Though an option to access to question banks only, will cut down the price, if you do not need content and want to practice questions ONLY.

Return Policy: Kaplan boasts of providing a selection guarantee, otherwise your money would be refunded. But its not that easy, you need to take a closer look at that. It is applicable with a lot of conditions like, you need to have graduated from the nursing school within the last six months. Applicable only if you appear for NCLEX for the first time and fail! Even more requirements include, attending all lectures, answering all ‘question trainer tests’ appear for all ‘diagnostic and readiness tests’ and more. So, it might happen that you might due to any circumstance be ruled out of availing this guarantee.


Kaplan, can be used by people who need to really practice NCLEX qustions at length, to brush up their knowledge. Their decision tree process may alter your own unique style of thinking, and that is dangerous because in the end, in any practical situation you will be the sole decision maker, and this is what NCLEX tests. Every situation is unique and needs to be addressed in a different manner.  Moreover, there are other very trustworthy providers in this field who provide a better, updated and organized content, if you need to focus on revising the nursing content.


EDITOR’S NOTE: If you’re looking for an NCLEX review program that not only provides you with updated and sound content, but helps you build the ability to think confidently, train you to analyse questions by making you acquainted with case studies, practical scenarios and simulation tests; we recommend Brilliant Nurse, which offer a variety of courses for RN as well as PN aspirants. Check out the links below:

Extended (3 month access) NCLEX-PNÆ Test Prep Track

Extended (3 month access) NCLEX-RNÆ Test Prep Track

*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.

Of course, the right approach matters. 

Let’s explore why we recommend BRILLIANT NURSE Review program?

Brilliant Nurse is one such program that will guide you with the right study material, assitance, needed practice and AAPROACH to handle questions to crack the NCLEX-RN and NCLEX-PN exams.

Prime Features:

1. Updated and Sound Content: 

They provide, content based on the updated syllabus keeping view of the present requirements. The content is organised nad delivered in an innovative way. They also cover 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. ‘No need to keep hunting in journals, magazines and websites to keep yourself updated on latest changes and developments…’ With minimal time wastage you will get all relevant information at one place.

You can study smartly using the most popular and recommended nursing books, but in the most simplified way. This programme is also used by private institutions and centres that want to help their students or colleagues to be well prepared to take up tests of standardisation for nursing.

The content has also been made innovative by converting it into a video lectures  format. The videos not only deliver relevant content but also explain how to study and apply the information being provided.

2. Develop both Critical and Clinical thinking:

NCLEX, comprises of awide array of questions. It tests your all round abilities. There is no single appproach to answering such a variety of questions. This program does not provide you any pre set algorithm or set of rules that you need to follow, to solve questions and reach the right conclusion, instead it prepares your thniking and develops in you the confidence to handle any new and question yourself.’

They focus on providing you questions based on practical situations, various case stidies, situation based discussions, making you learn how a clinical situation unfolds, and collaborative learning that will make you ready to handle qustions yourself. This course does not impose on you a set of rules, rather leavse you free to think being guided by your previously learnt knowledeg and practice, not leaving you confused nad boggled in the midst of the test.

3. Access to Content via Mobile:

To save your time, and help you study as week as take tests while commuting, tehy provide tis facility too.

4. Student Support:

This class includes round the clock student support in addition to opportunities for regular interaction with teachers. The faculty is supportive and accessible. They help you break down questions that you find tough. They have also allotted weekly 75-minute sessions of student and teacher interaction during which students can request advice and information to help them prepare for the NCLEX exam.

5. Optimum Practice:
All programs provide passing guarantee, over 2000 practice questions, and track your progress, and keep you updated about it, ensuring you try to fill in the gaps.

6. Affordable:

NCLEX is difficult, but that does not mean you need to empty your wallet completely.  They have a monthly plan (at $75) per month, the best part being you can cancel anytime! The 3 months program costs 175$ and the 6 months program is for 275$ only.

Brilliant Nurse provides an NCLEX crash course for a price as low as you would like to give, (which means ALMOST FREE) that will address all your queries , as to how to get started and much more than that. It will simplify things for you, boost your confidence and help to build courage to take up the right approach for the exam. So, if you trust them take the complete test prep plan and pass with flying colours!

They also help you to address all type of questions asked in the NCLEX exam, like they need to be, with a unique approach for each one of them.

‘ A glimpse of how, every type of question (in NCLEX)  needs to be answered with a different approach.’

  • Multiple choice questions: have only one correct answer
  • Multiple response questions: Have more than one correct answer (probably more than one)
  • Hot spot items: require you to answer such that you select the right location of a specific item! W.r.t a diagram or figure you need to choose the right form of wave, or injection site etc
  • Fill in the blanks: mostly those which require calculation 
  • Chart/exhibit items: showing tabular or graphical data asking you to comprehend it and take decision 
  • Drag and drop/ Ordered response item: Asks to place given info in the right sequence or order
  • Graphic option item: Needed to choose the right graphic item
  • Audio items: need to listen to sounds like breathing sounds, heart sounds etc to interpret and take decision
  • Video items: need to answer acc to any procedure shown in the video or the information provided
  • Analysis Level items: require you to analyse various symptoms/ data to take the right nursing decision
  • Application level items: test the soundness of your nursing content, test the application of what you’ve learnt
  • Synthesis level: Require to take bits of information to take a decision
  • Evaluation level: Can ask you to determine the effectiveness of nursing care
  • Creation level: demand you to find a novel approach to address a problem, based on your intellect and perception
  • Cognitive level of test items: need clinical reasoning to be used and applied
  • Bottomline: Brilliant Nurse Course not only provides the right content but makes you understand  with unique strategies to answer ALL types of questions. It will help you understand how to approach them, and practicing a variety of them again and again will make you ready for the exam.  This will train you, upgrade your abilities and unlock the potential to be at your best!


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 below links for further information, or for all their courses and options for 30 days and 3 months crash courses, check out this link.

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






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