Studying for the NCLEX

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Almost every day since nursing school graduation I have woken up, gotten my bags together, and headed out to Starbucks, Coffee Bean, or someplace of the like.  I’ve even gone from place to place to make sure I can find a spot with a good table, wifi, and an outlet to plug my computer in. And then I spend a few hours completing NCLEX questions, break for lunch, then off the library to review.  It was a pretty good plan, though not very cost-effective, but it was working. And I was getting a lot done.

With my test date drawing near, I thought I should spend a day going through THE BIG ONE. The massive 265 question practice test, just to see how I was doing.  And because it was such a big test, I thought, “there is no way I can sit still in a coffee shop for all those questions!”  So I decided to stay home to study for the first time since school got out.

What a mistake!  I’ve been splitting the NCLEX practice test up into sections of 53 questions with what were supposed to be small breaks… but have turned out to be much longer than anticipated.  This is no way to prepare for an exam.  Also, in taking my final break before finishing, I decided to heat up some lunch (mistake 1), which involved turning on the TV (mistake 2), and realizing that (500)Days of Summer was on, a movie I had been dying to see since it came out (mistake 2.5); and so I left it on (mistake 3).

So, in retrospect, I have learned, albeit a little too late, that I’ve been going to coffee shops for a reason. And that after one month straight of study while on summer vacation, it’s probably a good thing that I am taking this test soon, my concentrating is waning by the day!

All of you experienced nurses, where did you study for the NCLEX, and what worked best for you?

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