Have you just graduated from nursing school? If you have then congratulations! There’s just one more small but significant hurdle to overcome- the NCLEX exam.
Just hearing about the NCLEX exam can put fear into many young nurses, but it shouldn’t. Of course, it’s a major exam, but many people have passed it and you can too. If you’ve already graduated from nursing school, then you’ve proven that you know your stuff.
You’re already on the home stretch and once you finish, a rewarding career is waiting for you. You just need to put in that last bit of effort so you can hit that home run.
Studying for the test doesn’t need to take over your life. There are some simple tips you can follow to create a balanced study plan which suits you. This plan will help identify your strengths so you can get the most out of study sessions. You’ll then feel confident as you walk into the exam.
So what are some great study tips and how can you install them?
In this article, we’ll share 5 effective study strategies that work so you can pass the NCLEX exam the first time.
Read on for more information.
1. Make a Study Plan and Stick to It
Most people don’t write out schedules but we highly suggest you create an NCLEX study guide/plan.
A big mistake you can make in the beginning is to make a vague schedule in your head. You may decide to study on a certain day and time, but other things can easily get in the way or you could forget.
Instead, you should sit down with a diary or at your computer and work out a study schedule.
First, you should write down your daily routine. This would include when you’re at work, at the gym, looking after the children, etc. These are usually the times in which you cannot study at all.
Next, you should identify any future plans you may have such as vacations, parties, and medical appointments.
Finally, write down any weekly chores such as cleaning, shopping etc. You should also put aside time to meet up with family, friends and to chill out.
Once you have the schedule in front of you, start to identify suitable times in which to study. Ensure that you can stick to these and identify any hurdles you may face. For example, it may not be the best idea to study after a long gym session.
Once you have your study plan finalized, keep it somewhere you can easily access it.
2. Identify Your Study Style
You probably know by now how you study best, but if not then don’t worry.
Just think back to how you previously prepared for exams and what you focused on. For example, if you prefer watching and listening to lectures, then there are loads on Youtube to help. In fact, there are now even some great podcasts so you could listen to some in the car or whilst exercising.
Alternatively, you may have enjoyed being in a study group so you could discuss topics. If so, reach out to fellow graduates who are also preparing for the exam. You could hold weekly skype sessions or meet up for a coffee.
Whatever you choose to do, make sure it’s helpful and beneficial to you.
3. Take the Test Not Long After Graduating
Ideally, you want to take the test within a few months of graduating if possible.
After you have graduated, you’re usually full of confidence and in the right frame of mind to pass the exam. You also will still have a lot of information fresh in your head. If you wait a year or more, you’ll likely forget important things and have to spend longer studying.
It’s ok to take a few weeks off for a vacation just after graduating but be clear on a return date to studying. If not, you could end up procrastinating and weeks turn into months.
4. Take Practice Exams
Before you enter the real exam, you want to know how it works and the type of questions you could be asked. Therefore, sitting practice exams should be at the top of your to-do list.
A practice exam will help you to understand what the invigilators are looking for in your answers. You’ll also be able to practice your time management skills.
Once you have completed a practice exam, you should go back and look at your answers. Focus on the questions you didn’t get right and research the correct answers.
Try to take as many practice exams as you can so it becomes a small habit. You’ll feel more confident on the day as you’ll know the structure of the exam.
5. Take Some Time For You
Whilst some people find it hard to start studying, others find it hard to stop. This may sound rather beneficial but it can negatively affect their exam results.
Stress and anxiety can be very damaging to our physical and mental wellbeing. So, you need to learn how to relax and know when to switch off from studying.
Eating healthy and exercising regularly will help you to stay calm and focused. The last thing you want to do is turn up to the exam a nervous wreck. If you do, you set yourself up to fail.
Ensure you take time out for yourself to just relax. This way, you’ll pass the exam in no time. You may even decide to gain advanced qualifications to further your career even more.
Helpful NCLEX Study Tips
We hope you have enjoyed reading our article and have found these NCLEX study tips useful.
As you can see, by being prepared you set yourself up to pass. You’ll also find studying a breeze and most likely enjoy it.
Finally, check out the benefits of being a travel nurse and why you should consider it once you pass the NCLEX exam.