If you've decided that you want to become a nurse, then you're going to need to enroll in a nursing program. However, simply graduating from a nursing program, whether it's a four-year program or an accelerated program, a degree does not officially make you a nurse. You will still need to pass the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX) in order to earn your licensure as a registered nurse.
The NCLEX is not an easy test. Just because you did well in your nursing program does not guarantee that you will pass the exam. Fortunately, you can retake the exam after 45 days. However, there's no reason you can't pass it the first time around as long as you prepare for it properly. The following are a few tips on how to pass the NCLEX on your first attempt:
Study To The Format
Knowing the format of the test will help you know what to expect and how to study for the NCLEX. It uses a computerized adaptive testing (CAT) format, which means that new questions are produced based on the performance of previous questions. The exam will produce at least 75 questions and as many as 265 questions. You will pass the exam if you stay above the pass line with 95 percent confidence interval.
Learn How To Manage Stress
If you're too stressed out by the time you take the exam, it can throw you off and make it difficult to pass even if you studied substantially. To manage your stress levels, make sure that you balance your studying with proper sleep, exercise and time to yourself. On the day of the exam, don't try to cram -- take the morning off to allow your mind some clarity.
Create A Study Plan
Plan when you are going to study by choosing the hours and the days you will study and stick to this. Make sure you take days off and that you have days on which you take practice exams. You should spend at least one to two months studying before you take the exam. Additionally, study based on your learning habits. If you do better with visual representation, use drawings and images. If you're an auditory learner, then listen to online lectures.
Invest In Some Test Taking Resources
It's worth the money to purchase a few practice exam books or even to enroll in a classroom review course. Such resources can help to better prepare for the exam in an efficient manner.
Keep Basic Test-Taking Skills In Mind
For example, eliminate the wrong answers first and avoid answers such as "all of the above" or "none of the above" unless you're absolutely certain that it's one of those. Using these strategies can help you narrow down the question to the right answer for questions that you are uncertain about. Additionally, when deciding on an answer, keep in mind that patient safety matters most out of everything.
Get The Most Out Of Practice Exams
In addition to taking practice exams in order to better prepare yourself for the actual exam, make sure that you look up all the questions you answered incorrectly and that you look up questions that you answered correctly but weren't sure about or that you completely guessed the correct answer to.
These are a few effective tips on how to pass the NCLEX the first time that you take it; however, don't be dejected if you don't pass -- you can always retake the exam later. For information about our nursing program, be sure to contact us at the Athena Career Academyin Toledo, OH, today.