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!