Check out Magoosh test prep!


Not Sure I’m Ready for the NCLEX…HELP!

Don’t panic!

reaction scared not sure I'm ready for the NCLEX

Even if your test date is quickly approaching and you don’t feel ready for the NCLEX, there are plenty of things to do to get ready in time! It might not be easy but it can be done.

Why don’t you think you are ready for the NCLEX?

It is absolutely normal to be nervous before a big test like the NCLEX. But, it is also really important to be clear about why you don’t think you are ready for the NCLEX. Have you been preparing for weeks but are still afraid you haven’t covered everything? This might just be a case of cold feet. Have you been putting off studying or just not been studying enough? Well, in that case, let’s get to work!

When is Your Test?

The first step in getting ready for the NCLEX is to determine how much time you have to prepare.  Test coming up in a week? Did you just apply for the exam and are waiting for your authorization to test? Get real about how much time you have so that you can create a realistic study schedule . Whether you have a week or a month, knowing when your test is will help you develop the study schedule to get you on track to pass the NCLEX.

Know What You Are Up Against

Lucky for us, the National Council of State Boards of Nursing publishes a test plan to help exam candidates prepare. The test plan is updated every three years, so make sure you know the most recent changes before you begin your studies. Also, take a look around at the Magoosh NCLEX-RN Blog. We have lots of helpful posts about the specific sections of the test.

Hit the Books

Now is the time to jump in with both feet and start studying. You will need to choose the methods that work best for you. Seek out books and learn about the  types of questions asked on the NCLEX. Don’t underestimate the power of practice questions. As the saying goes, “Practice makes perfect.” If you need to, look for test review classes or preparation courses. Put the energy into studying so that you can increase your confidence and feel ready for the NCLEX when test day arrives.

Trust What You Know

Now that you have done the studying, it is time to work on your confidence. It helps to consider the purpose of the NCLEX. This exam is designed to guarantee that newly-licensed nurses have the minimum competencies to safely perform nursing practice. Why is that important? It is important because throughout your nursing school classes and your NCLEX specific studying, you have been exposed to what safe practice really is.  Don’t let self-doubt creep in and make you think you aren’t ready for the NCLEX. Trust your education and don’t let the pressure of the test interfere with your success. Sure, the NCLEX is hard. It is there to hold nurses to a professional standard, but you have done the work, so trust what you know!

Feeling ready for the NCLEX might not ever come easily. I don’t know that I ever felt truly ready. I was sure that I could continue to improve the more I studied. But in the end, I had to trust what I had learned and make the leap to taking the test. Best of luck!

About Stephanie

Stephanie is a contributor to the NCLEX-RN Blog at Magoosh. She has been a registered nurse for 13 years. She earned her AAS in Nursing from community college before enrolling as an online student at Grand Canyon University, where she completed both her BSN and MSN with an emphasis in Nursing Education. Student success is her top priority and she is committed to working with her students to see them thrive. When she isn’t teaching the nurses of tomorrow, Stephanie enjoys traveling with her family to warm, sunny places.

Leave a Reply

Magoosh blog comment policy: To create the best experience for our readers, we will approve and respond to comments that are relevant to the article, general enough to be helpful to other students, concise, and well-written! :) If your comment was not approved, it likely did not adhere to these guidelines. If you are a Premium Magoosh student and would like more personalized service, you can use the Help tab on the Magoosh dashboard. Thanks!