1. Build a custom study plan. The article How to Have a Life While Preparing for the NCLEX suggests making a daily schedule and sticking to it. When drafting your daily schedule, you designate time allotments for life’s daily activities such as exercise, study, hobbies, and having fun with friends.
However, a study plan is different from your daily schedule. A detailed study plan should be your own customized plan of attack to conquer the NCLEX. The key to forming a plan that is right for you is to assess your strengths and weakness.
The critical thinking skills that your nursing professors taught you come into play during this self reflection activity. After you build a custom study plan based on your self assessment, stay strong and don’t deviate from your plan.
2. Focus on answering NCLEX type questions. This is a major consideration when building your study plan. It might be helpful to read content and review notes, but do not try to consume all of the content your ever encountered in nursing school. The NCLEX is designed to measure your general nursing knowledge as it pertains to patient safety.
The majority of your study time should be devoted to studying NCLEX type questions and their rationales. Detailed rationales help you to learn nursing facts. More importantly, you learn how to apply the process of critical thinking when answering multiple choice questions.
Do you need a study program that includes tons of study questions, practice tests, and rationales? Be sure and try Board Vitals NCLEX-RN Review and Question Bank. Written by content experts, it is designed to match the test question ratios of the NCLEX. They even have an option to trial it for free!
3. Do not study the day before the exam. I can hear your shock “What? I can not possibly waste a whole day of studying by taking the day off!” Hear me out. Studying the day before could wreck havoc on your self confidence and increase anxiety.
As you study and read rationales, it is possible to work yourself into a state of panic when you encounter some obscure topic or fact. Remember, that the NCLEX is written to test the cumulative knowledge of your whole nursing school experience. If you have not learned what you need to know by the day before the test, then cramming at the last minute will probably not help.
Taking the day off is intended to help you relax. Structure your day so that you can focus on relaxation. How about a trip to the spa for pampering and a massage? Or, hang out by the poolside? Stay away from people or activities that stress you out or that will add to your anxiety. Eat well, drink plenty of water, and go to bed early so you can wake up feeling refreshed on test day.