How To Prep For The NCLEX-RN Exam



If you want to become a registered nurse in the United States, you need to pass the NCLEX exam first. The NCLEX-RN stands for National Council Licensure Examination – Registered Nurse. Basically, this examination will test you for eligibility to become an entry-level nurse. Generally this examination is not easy to pass, which is why you need to startan NCLEX-RN preparation early. It is advisable to take the test after you have graduated from your four year course, as the knowledge and skills you have acquired for the test are still fresh in your mind.

The NCLEX Test Content

How do you start studying for the exam? First of all, you should download a Test Plan for the next NCLEX-RN exam at the website of the National Council of State Boards of Nursing or NCSBN. This Test Plan will guide you on the content and scope of the examination. It also contains the organization of the test. The framework for the exam includes major categories, which will be further subdivided into more categories.

Each of them has a corresponding percentage with regards to their content distribution. Always download the newest Test Plan available on the NCSBN website. This is because the framework or the percentage of content distribution may change for each examination. For instance, this April 2013, the framework of the exam will be about Client Needs, where the test questions will be based on integrated processes in providing client needs.

Preparing for the Exam

You can choose to have your NCLEX review by yourself, or you can enroll in NCLEX review classes, whichever is more comfortable for you. Aside from that, you can also take NCLEX review courses online.

If you have already downloaded the Test Plan and you have already read and understood the scope of the test, you can start reviewing for the NCLEX exam. You can do this by developing your own study plan first. Make sure to give time for the review on a regular basis. Allot enough study time for each subject area, especially in your areas of weakness.

Gather all the materials that you will need to study. Aside from your textbooks and journals, you may want to purchase NCLEX review books from bookstores to help you in your review for the NCLEX. There is also a free NCLEX review download sheet online, as well as NCLEX review apps that you can install on your smartphone. This downloadable application will allow you to review anywhere and everywhere you go.

Make sure to stick to your study plan. Make it a habit to study every day, so that you can lighten your study load and not cram on the nearest week of the exam. Gauge what you have learned by answering NCLEX review questions. It will help you get used to the system in answering the test, as these practice questions simulate the actual NCLEX exam.

On the Exam Day

Make sure you are well rested a day before your examination schedule. Eat a good breakfast and don’t forget to bring your Authorization to Test form, valid IDs, and other exam materials. You may want to bring a sweater if in case the NCLEX test center gets cold. Make sure to arrive early so that you will have time to compose yourself.