Wednesday, July 12, 2006
Some (hopefully) helpful advice
- Remember that you have earned the right to be there. If you were not going to pass, you would not be there. No nursing school is going to send you out to fail, and they have made sure you will pass.
- Inhale, exhale, repeat as necessary
- Block out the entire day, but do not schedule anything else. Set aside the entire day (7:00am to 7:00pm). You will definately not that much time, but you don't want to be worried making that afternoon appointment.
- Take your time and go slow. Read the entire question and all of the answer options before you even try to answer it. Read the question a second time, then select the appropriate answer.
- Lather, rinse, repeat. (Oooops. Wrong list.....)
- Keep breathing
- Stay in the now. Forget a question as soon as you move to the next one. Don't worry about the next question until you see it. The only question that matters is the one on the screen. The past can not be changed (and you can't go back to change and answer) and the future is yet to happen (and you have no idea what the next question will be).
- Inhale, exhale, repeat as necessary.
- Don't be afraid to take a break. If you need to leave the room, do it (follow your testing center's instructions for leaving the room!!!). If nothing else, every couple of questions, just close your eyes and take a couple of cleansing breaths.
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. (Darn it! Wrong list again..........)
- Pamper yourself after you are done. Go out to a nice lunch. Sit in a park, reading your favorite trashy type of novel. Celebrate with a huge chocolate sundae. Go shopping.
- Keep breathing
- Remind yourself that you did your best and that is all you can do. If, for some reason, you did not pass this time, you can try again. True, it will be expensive, but your license does not say how many times you took to pass the boards. You can pass the boards, and every time you need to take the exam will make you all that more familiar and comfortable with the exam.
That pretty much sums up my completely unscientific and unofficial guide to surviving the NCLEX. Hopefully it will help someone out there pass her/his boards, or give some insight to the friends/families/people who've met them once at party of nurses about just exactly how it feels to try to survice the boards.
Usually when you take a multiple choice test, you know 90% of the answers, you can narrow another 5% down to 2 choices, and maybe you're guessing on 5%. That's how a test normally "feels" to you.
The NCLEX system, however, is looking for the difficulty level where you get half right and half wrong, then comparing that difficulty level with the passing difficulty level.
Thus, once the thing gets rolling, EVERY question is going to be a "guesser." You are going to feel like you don't know ANY of the answers for sure, because if you get one right you're going to get a harder question the next time.
Keep reminding yourself that the fact that you aren't sure of any any of the last 50 answers does NOT mean that you are not going to pass. It's just the nature of the test.
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