- Know the nursing content
- Know how to analyze test questions
- Get a plan
- Gain confidence
- Get help if needed
Every NCLEX Expert has their own version on how to pass the NCLEX. My version comes from 4 years of private tutoring and knowing what works.
1. Know the nursing content
This may seem obvious, but you’d be surprised on how many students say, “my teacher said it’s not about the content, it’s about critical thinking”. I always get a good chuckle out of that one. For the record, it absolutely IS about knowing the nursing content. You don’t need to know it all, but you need to know a lot.
2. Know how to answer NCLEX-style questions
This is part of “critical thinking”. I’ve come across a variety of analyzing mistakes students make when answering questions. A student may know the content very well and still get the question wrong.
There are also strategies that increase the student’s chance of choosing the correct answer. Many students don’t know what those are, but you should!
3. Have a plan
A plan will keep you organized and disciplined. Your plan might be as simple as doing a review course and using a book your friend recommended. If you pass, then your plan worked. If you didn’t pass, you need a more structured plan.
4. Gain confidence
If you have #1, #2 and #3, confidence will naturally come. Many students say to me that they are anxious or their mind will just go blank when they sit down to take the test. A major cause of test-taking anxiety is low confidence because you didn’t know what the question was about and you didn’t know how to analyze it.
5. Get help if needed
If you are struggling, seek help. This can be from a professor or a friend that you know who did really well in nursing school and passed the NCLEX on the first try. You can even get help from a tutor and it doesn’t have to be me! I’m serious, you can see how to find a great NCLEX tutor here.