10 Tips and Tricks to Excel in Your NCLEX-RN Exam

Dec 8, 2023

As a nursing graduate, one of the most crucial milestones in your career is passing the NCLEX-RN exam (National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses). This comprehensive exam is designed to assess your readiness to enter the nursing profession and is a requirement for obtaining your nursing license. The NCLEX-RN exam can be challenging, but with effective study strategies and preparation, success is within reach.

Here are some valuable tips and tricks to help you ace your NCLEX-RN exam:

1. Understand the Exam Format:

Familiarize yourself with the exam structure, including the number of questions, types of questions (multiple-choice, multiple-response, fill-in-the-blank), and the time allotted. Knowing what to expect will help you manage your time effectively during the test.

2. Create a Study Schedule:

Develop a study plan that covers all content areas included in the exam. Allocate specific time slots for each topic, allowing ample time for revision and practice tests. Consistency and discipline in following your study schedule are key.

3. Use Reliable Study Materials:

 Invest in reputable NCLEX review books, online resources, or review courses that align with the exam content. A couple of good ones to look into would be Hurst and Archer, both offer flexible programs that can greatly increase your success rate. Quality study materials can provide comprehensive coverage of nursing concepts and help reinforce your understanding.

4. Practice, Practice, Practice:

Solve practice questions regularly to enhance your critical thinking and decision-making skills. Utilize NCLEX-style practice exams to simulate test conditions and assess your readiness. Analyze both correct and incorrect answers to understand the rationale behind each choice.

Book open on a table for practicing the NCLEX-RN Exam

5. Focus on Weak Areas:

Identify your strengths and weaknesses in different nursing content areas. Devote extra time to subjects or topics where you feel less confident. Seek clarification by consulting resources, instructors, or study groups to improve your understanding.

6. Utilize Mnemonics and Visual Aids:

Mnemonics, acronyms, and visual aids can be powerful memory aids. Create mnemonic devices or diagrams to remember complex concepts, medications, or disease processes. Visual representations often help in recalling information more effectively.

7. Join Study Groups or Review Courses:

Collaborating with peers in study groups or enrolling in review courses can offer diverse perspectives and additional learning resources. Discussing concepts with others can reinforce understanding and provide support during the study process.

8. Take Care of Yourself:

Prioritize self-care during your exam preparation. Get adequate sleep, maintain a balanced diet, exercise regularly, and take breaks to avoid burnout. A healthy mind and body are essential for optimal cognitive function.

Nursing Student getting plenty of rest for her NCLEX-RN Exam

9. Practice Time Management:

During the exam, manage your time wisely. Pace yourself and avoid spending too much time on any single question. If unsure about an answer, flag it and move on, returning to it later if time permits.

10. Stay Confident and Stay Positive:

Believe in yourself and your preparation. Maintain a positive mindset leading up to the exam day. Confidence can significantly impact your performance, so trust in your abilities and stay calm during the test.

Remember, success in the NCLEX-RN exam is not just about memorizing facts but also about understanding concepts and applying critical thinking skills. By employing these tips and tricks and staying dedicated to your study plan, you’ll increase your chances of passing the exam and embarking on a rewarding nursing career. Good luck!

Pro Tip:

The NCLEX test is not a predictor of what kind of a nurse you will be…it’s just a formality you have to do to get to the real world of nursing. Follow these steps to prepare yourself and surely you will find success. Come test day, don’t trick yourself into overthinking an answer and changing it, GO WITH YOUR GUT, it’s almost always right!!

What Happens After the Exam?

You took your NCLEX-RN exam and you passed!!! But now what? A great place to start after passing your exam is to get your resume built up so you can prepare for entering the workforce. Having a strong resume is important to set yourself apart from your fellow peers when applying for jobs. If you do not already have a resume built or are looking to get yours refreshed and up-to-date. check our 10 Important Tips for a Stellar Nursing Resume!

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