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Preparing for the NCLEX® Exam?

5 Study Tips | How to pass the NCLEX® Exam

Studying for the NCLEX® exam doesn't have to be an overwhelming experience. While passing this test is imperative to become a nurse, it builds on the educational foundation you've already developed during your time as a student. With that said, the NCLEX® will require a lot of hard work, but if you manage your time well and use good study habits, you'll be able to enter the exam room with confidence.

Here are five study tips for preparing for the NCLEX®:

1. Take a review course. 
A review course that emphasizes critical thinking and focuses on content will help add some structure to your study time and prepare you for the exam. A review course is a great way to force yourself to buckle down and start readying yourself for the NCLEX well before test day.

2. Vary your study methods.
While it is important to establish a study routine to remain focused, varying up your study methods will help you figure out what's proving most effective and allow you to study information from different perspectives.1 If you find yourself getting bored from running through flashcards over and over, it may be time to implement a different strategy to remain alert and on task. You can also switch gears by trying out a different study locale.2 For example, if you study at home, try going to the library or a coffeehouse. 

3. Practice, practice, practice! 
Studying consistently will prove to be more beneficial than trying to cram last minute. Creating a study plan and following through with it will help you retain information and cover more materials that are included on the exam.2 That way, since the NCLEX® covers a variety of subject matter, you'll be able to focus on specific sections individually rather than try to digest all the information at once.  

4. Familiarize yourself with the test format. 
Knowing how the exam is divided up will allow you to prepare for each section accordingly. For example, on the NCLEX-RN, safety and infection control is covered in 8 test questions, about 14 percent of the overall exam.1 This information can help you determine how much time to dedicate studying for that specific subject area. 

5. Find a study buddy.
Some people study better alone, but it's always good to have a peer around so you can bounce around ideas and work out problems together.2

"NCLEX RN exam study tips," by University Alliance, Jacksonville University School of Nursing. http://www.jacksonvilleu.com/resources/education/nclex-rn-exam-study-tips/#.VCL0E_ldWRM
 "Study tips," Nursezone.com. http://www.nursezone.com/Student-Nurses/study-tips.aspx

Everything You Need to Pass the NCLEX