Hey guys this is Dave from Nursejanx and in today’s video I want to go over a few tips and tricks that you guys can use to help you pass your NCLEX on the first try. One of the first things that I feel like is very important is you guys really need to analyze these questions in a very specific way the NCLEX is a very different test and you might be used to taking in nursing school. Sometimes it can feel like the NCLEX is not exactly a knowledge test instead it’s what they call a basic competency test and their main goal is not to make sure that you know everything in a textbook but instead that you’re going to be a safe practicing nurse when you’re out on the floor.
So one of the things that all NCLEX questions usually boil down to is patient safety and that is important so really whenever you’re reading a question you have to look at it in the lens of what is going to be the exact safest thing for this patient in this question and so when you’re reading all the possible answer choices I want you guys to think which one here is going to be the safest for my patient and usually that’s going to be your correct choice.
Call the doctor
Another thing that gets people hung up is a lot of times they want to reach out for help when they’re not exactly sure what to do and a lot of these NCLEX questions are going to sometimes throw out the term contact the doctor.
On the NCLEX they really are trying to engage your critical thinking in a way that’s gonna let you think what can I do first before I have to contact the doctor. Now I’m not gonna say that the answer is never to contact the doctor because sometimes you have no other choice but the NCLEX always wants to know what can you do as a nurse first before you have to contact the doctor so generally speaking calling the doctor is not going to be the correct answer choice and I don’t want you guys to miss that easy question.
The NCLEX might try to make you choose between two or more really bad patient situations when people are circling the drain in various ways but you always have to remember your ABCs because that is your priority as far as how you’re going to rank those patients in which one you need to deal with first. If someone has an airway or breathing problem you’re gonna have to rank them ahead of somebody who maybe who has like a hemodynamic instability or you know a bleeding issue or a gunshot wound you know anybody who is in respiratory distress is in immediate danger their life is in complete jeopardy they need your attention first then it gets to other things like hypotension and tachycardia but until those people are in that kind of immediate life-threatening danger they are not going to rank as high as the breathing issues and the NCLEX is going to test you about that so make sure you don’t miss those questions.
Sometimes the NCLEX is going to give you a question where you’re probably not gonna have heard of the drug they’re talking about or the condition that they’re talking about and at this point the only thing you can really do is guess now I want to give you guys a guessing strategy that I feel is going to be helpful because you might need to use it if you guys have a question with multiple answers that are very similar to one another and then one that is a little different you have to pay very close attention to this because that one that might be different could easily be your correct answer and in order to find out if you can identify one thing that is kind of wrong in any of those very similar answers then you automatically know that all of them are probably wrong and that you need to go with the one that is a little bit different this is just a test taking strategy you can apply this to pretty much any test but it will work on the NCLEX too and in the event that you really don’t know any better because you don’t know the right answer you don’t know what they’re talking about you’re gonna have to go for something like a guessing strategy and this just might save you on that question.
Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs
Another thing it might sound silly once again but don’t forget about Maslow’s hierarchy of needs right if a patient is experiencing an issue with their physiological needs right that’s at the base of your pyramids you’re gonna have to give that patient priority if the patient is struggling with a self-realization goal you know they’ve lost their job you will have to examine for some potential life-threatening situations with that patient namely suicide.
The NCLEX considers suicide a very life-threatening emergency so definitely rank those patients high up on a priority list because that is something that could put their life in immediate danger and sometimes the NCLEX can be pretty sneaky about suicide they probably won’t tell you very clearly up front that this patient is experiencing suicidal ideation what they might do instead is say that somebody’s feeling kind of low and then they might try to have you with other patients who seem like they’re a little bit medically compromised and try to see kind of where ranked these patients but if you can identify signs and symptoms of suicide without the outright statement of that patient being suicidal keep that in mind that that patient is probably going to rank very highly on a priority list for safety and once again the NCLEX is testing safety so you have to be sure to rank that patient high up on your priority list.
Some other questions that you guys might experience are related to delegation generally speaking you’re going to want to do everything that you can as a nurse but you have to safely delegate other tasks to people who are able to do them so you guys do have to kind of know you know what you can safely delegate to others because there will be some questions about that on your NCLEX.
Then there are the select all that apply questions the SATA questions these are everybody’s favorite I say that sarcastically because they suck the worst part I feel like is that you don’t know how many correct answers there are you just miss one or you identify one that’s not actually correct you’re gonna miss the entire question you don’t get partial credit and I hate that generally speaking you’re going to have more than one correct answer and it’s not going to be all I find that the average tends to be somewhere in the middle if there are five choices on the question it might be around three and that’s just an average guys it might be two it might be four it could be five or one but that’s rare in most cases there’s going to be more than one correct choice and all of them are not going to be correct.
The most correct answer
The NCLEX might do something else where they give you a bunch of answer choices and most of them are correct but you have to find the most correct answer choice and I’m sure you guys are used to that in school even and it’s pretty similar on the NCLEX to what you’re going to want to find is the answer choice that is the most thorough so for example if you have two choices on a test and they’re both essentially saying the same thing but one has just a little bit more information a little bit more detail and somewhere in that detail there’s no mistakes you can identify then that one’s going to be more likely the correct answer than the shorter one.
Now let’s talk about some NCLEX tips that aren’t even related to necessarily the NCLEX but just generalize test-taking help and especially for this test I know you guys are going to be going in here nervous and you’re gonna have to do your best to relax and that seems hard to do but what I recommend is you probably shouldn’t do any questions the day before and maybe even two days before.
Study for a few weeks before your test but just give your a little time off you don’t want to have questions in your head it’s just going to freak you out one to two days of questions right right before you take your NCLEX is not going to magically make you that much smarter it’s not probably going to be the difference between you passing and failing the only thing that I feel like it might do is freak you out and keep you anxious and make you doubt yourself that you don’t know what you’re doing.
You have to consider this if you’re sitting for the NCLEX you’ve passed nursing school you have to know what you’re doing to a basic decree and the NCLEX is not testing to make sure that you’re an expert far from it they know that you’re a beginner and they only want to make sure that you have safe practice don’t worry that you don’t know everything in your nursing books you don’t have to all you have to know is what is the safest choice for these patients in most circumstances and you should pass the test when you’re taking the NCLEX.
Try not to get discouraged if you feel like you’re answering every other question wrong this can be completely okay. In the very beginning the tests usually starts you out around the passing threshold that is to say the difficulty level of which you need to be at or above in order to pass the NCLEX now if you get the first couple of questions correct what it’s going to do is each subsequent question you’re going to have a harder question and you’re moving above the passing threshold. So what you’re gonna have to do is just maintain that if you get every other question correct that means you’re going to stay there because if you get one question correct you’re gonna move up in the difficulty level if you get the next one wrong you’re gonna go right back down to where you were so if you continue in this way you’re essentially just seesawing like this around this passing threshold right here or even above it.
Let’s say that you started out at the passing threshold you got the next couple questions right and now you’re getting one right one wrong one right run wrong you see how you’re staying above here this is let’s say you’re passing threshold you’re above it the whole time so long as you’re getting every other question right… if you started out in the very beginning getting a few questions right I just want you guys to visually kind of see that it’s okay if you’re missing a lot of questions and you might feel like you’re going out of here with a horrible percent grade right because I know you’re used to taking tests where if you get every other question correct and the other one wrong you’re gonna get a 50% and you’re gonna fail miserably.
But the NCLEX is a different test it’s an adaptive test and they don’t need you to have a good percent all they need you to have is something above that passing threshold when you finish inconsistency so the NCLEX is going to cut you off at a number it can be anywhere between 75 and 265 it really doesn’t matter so many questions as you get the only reason that people generally get drawn out is because their testing might be considered erratic by the computer that is to say let’s say you answer some really difficult questions correctly and then you get some really easy ones wrong it’s gonna confuse the computer because it, on one hand, it thinks wow you’re really smart you’re getting all these really hard questions correct and then on the other hand it’s like you know how on earth are you missing these really easy questions I’m confused so I know I have to drag you out.
The computer wants to have a confidence interval I believe of 95 percent or more before it will cut you off so if you’re very consistent and you’ve been consistent by the time you’re at 75 questions the computer is probably going to have a really good idea of where your testing level is good or bad.
Most people who get cut off at 75 will pass and that’s just because most people who take the NCLEX pass you almost have a 9 to 1 chance of passing just by statistics alone ok now if you get drawn it to 265 once again this is not to say that you failed your test you’re probably still gonna pass it based on the statistics alone… like I said 9 to 1 all most people who take the NCLEX pass the NCLEX so I guess one of the things I’m trying to tell you guys is you know have confidence don’t worry about the number don’t worry about the NCLEX itself.
The testing center area is stressful… you go in you know you’re taking this big test they take your fingerprints they might take your picture these days who knows they send you into a room they say you can’t talk you can’t write you’re being observed the entire time… it’s stressful!
What you have to do is to remain calm just focus on some deep-breathing exercises close your eyes for a minute just try to settle yourself because if you’re anxious you’re gonna make mistakes you need to be calm and collected otherwise you’re not going to be thinking as clearly and I know that’s asking a lot but hey it’s easier than asking you to memorize a complete textbook all right you should know what you’re doing coming into this test and you need to maintain that confidence because without it you’re probably going to get into some trouble
So guys I hope these tips help if you have other tips let us know down in the comments we’d love to hear your tips so you can help share with everyone else who’s watching this video if you like this video please give us a big thumbs up consider subscribing to our channel we’d love to have you and we’ll see you guys in the next one.