How to Study for the NCLEX - Study Tips for 2019

So you’ve graduated from nursing school and you’re about to take the NCLEX to get your official nursing license.

First off, congratulations! :confetti_ball:

Here are some NCLEX study strategies that we recommend to help you pass your test in 75 questions on the first attempt:

Take lots of practice questions

You have to get good at taking tests and the best way is to practice with NCLEX study practice test questions. You can find tons of free test banks out there (including many on Nursejanx) but if you want access to a premium test bank, we recommend UWorld because it is the closest we’ve seen to the actual NCLEX (read our review here):

That being said, if you already have paid for a test prep program like Saunders, Kaplan, HESI, or others, then utilize the resources you’ve already paid for because any practice is good to get your mind in the right spot.

Don’t focus too much on textbooks

Since you graduated, you already must have a working knowledge of most nursing information. At this point, trying to re-read a million textbooks will only bog you down and make you feel like you don’t know anything.

You need to maintain confidence for the NCLEX and we would only recommend brushing up on a select few topics that you really don’t feel like you know anything about.

To find out which topics to focus on, we suggest you do practice questions and see where you are consistently performing badly and maybe give those areas a little TLC.

Get good at test-taking strategy

There are plenty of test-taking strategy programs out there, and they will all be able to lend a helping hand when the NCLEX inevitably gives you a seemingly impossible question about some obscure subject (and it will happen). Since you won’t know the correct answer, you’ll need solid strategy to find the correct response. Check out our free NCLEX study program which contains tons of solid strategy:

Schedule an NCLEX exam soon after graduating

Don’t wait too long to take the NCLEX because you want to keep that information fresh in your brain. Most people should probably try to take their NCLEX within a month after graduating.

This will give you enough time to decompress a little from school, take some practice tests and do some NCLEX prep if you want, and still not be long enough to forget everything you learned in school.

Share your NCLEX study tips with us!

Solid advice. Lots of test questions and LOTS of rationales. Good luck!

1 Like

If you’re strong in content, purchase a test prep such as uworld and do the entire test bank.

I felt confident with content and focused on test taking strategies which I learned from Kaplan. Kaplan is very helpful at breaking down the nclex and strategies that are most helpful. Also, they have 3 exams that mimic the nclex computer adaptive format, as well as a large question bank and exams that I found to be very challenging in comparison to the NCLEX.

However, uworld gives you the most bang for you buck while getting the job done. Fortunately I used them both, looking back I would only purchase uworld.

I highly suggest fully reading through the Saunders Nclex book and doing all their questions and then doing as many uworld questions as you can. Thats what I did and i got down in 75 questions in 55 min. I felt prepared going in.

I can really attest to the last tip! I graduated mid-May, and was cleared by our school beginning-mid July. I took a few months off so as to catch my breath, relax, and hit the ground running mind renewed. However, when I started studying UWORLD, a lot of easy concepts were easily forgotten. I had to study twice as hard for 1.5 months before taking it. Thankfully, I took it once and passed!

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