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NCLEX prep – where to start?


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NCLEX prep – where to start? I’ve posted a few times about what type of review to do. Graduation is looming off in the distance, but only by a few weeks.

With precepting in both my capstone preceptorship, as well as case management, and working, and going to class and doing homework, and dealing with life in general, I’ve still not been able to sit and study. I have decided to go with the Kaplan review course, but that doesn’t start til after graduation.

The dilemma now is that in 2 weeks I am taking my nursing school ATI comprehensive exit exam. I suppose that’s not the dilemma as it is the fact that I’ve barely had a chance to study anything! When you’ve got to review the whole of your nursing program in two short weeks, where do you start? Here’s a list of the top 3 things I’ve been told and what I think might work best.

Here’s hoping it will!

1) Take a comprehensive predictor exam. Most of the review programs or CDs (ATI, Saunders and Silvestri, Kaplan, etc) all have some sort of long test that will tell you where your strengths and weaknesses are. From there, you’ll have a list of what areas you are weakest in.

2) Plan it out. Take X amount of time from your day to study. OK, so this is what I’ve been told, and unfortunately I haven’t had a spare moment to breathe let alone sit, focus, and take some test questions or review some chapters. BUT, it works. Even if you just run through 20-25 questions/day in your weak areas (reading the rationales of course) you’ll be better off than nothing at all. I will be starting this today. No ifs, ands, or buts about it this time!

3) Review on paper, take the tests online. The review books are great, but as we all know, the NCLEX uses computer adaptive testing. So while our online or CD-rom review sessions don’t use the same CAT design as the NCLEX, we’ve still got to build endurance!

MY comprehensive review was online….180 questions! And boy was that LOOOOOONG! Image having to sit and test, and think through all 265 questions. That’s what we have to be prepared for. Like it or not. Even if graduation is still far off in the distance for you, it’s never too late to start preparing. It will make you a better test taker and help you review material for your courses. Good luck and happy studying!

Ani Burr, RN
I'm a brand new, full-fledged, fresh-out-of-school RN! And better yet, I landed the job of my dreams working with children. I love what I do, and while everyday on the job is a new (and sometimes scary) experience, I'm taking it all in - absorbing everything I can about this amazing profession we all fell in love with.

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