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I WANT TO HELP YOU! PLEASE READ! Went from FAILING 265 questions to PASSING 75 questions!

Those who are anxious about taking the NCLEX, I know how you feel. Especially those who have already failed the NCLEX.

Trust me, I've been there. 

Does this sound familiar? "I'm thinking of giving up Nursing completely." "I'll never be able to pass this test. Statistics show that repeat test takers have a lower chance of passing the more you take the exam." "I'm so overwhelmed, nothing has worked for me. I've paid hundreds on reviews and I'm going bankrupt paying for this test over and over." 

I'm not here to remind you of all your fears. I'm here to tell you to take EVERYTHING you feel... your fears, your doubts, your worries, your thoughts of "all these people are depending on me."... take ALL of your negativity (and I mean ALL of it) and accept it. Let yourself go through those emotions and accept that they are a part of you and they are there. But don't let yourself dwell. Take all of it, accept it, and then throw it away. Never let it hold you back again. Write it all down on paper if you have to, crumple it up, and throw it away forever.

I graduated May 3, 2013.
I took my NCLEX the 1st time on July 30, 2013. I failed with 265 questions.
I took my NCLEX the 2nd time on November 26, 2013. I failed with 97 questions.
I gave up Nursing completely.
I found inspiration and decided to study again.
I took my NCLEX the 3rd time on February 19, 2015. I PASSED WITH 75 QUESTIONS.

Okay, first off let me say... I did nursing initially for all the wrong reasons. To please my parents. I despised it, but I thought if I do it then they would be happy. 
It wasn't until I fully accepted it in my life that I was able to start studying again. Now, I know you're all waiting for the "What review did you take? What tips did you have? How long did you study?" I'll get there but that's not as important than this. I promise.

The NCLEX is a brutal, mind playing exam.
It's there not to test what you know, but what you'll do with what you know. I applaud the makers of NCLEX because they truly understand how to put Nurses out there on the field who won't kill anyone. Those questions are out there to make you critically think... and trust me, if you're answering questions right, you'll know you're critically thinking. You can hear and feel yourself thinking. It's a mental test. And you have to mentally prepare yourself... physically, emotionally, intellectually, and yes... spiritually.

It doesn't matter what religion you are or if you don't have one at all. But O.M.G. you better start thinking of someone you can take with you on your exam date. I grew up a roman catholic but I wasn't as faithful as I should have been. Those two years without praying. But the second I started giving all my anxiety to Him, I felt a huge burden lifted. I said "I know I failed twice, (I named all of my fears), and now it's up to you. Let your will be done. I'm letting go of all my fears and giving it all to you." Once I did that, I felt so much peace. I kid you not, every single second of my test I could feel Him next to me. Every SINGLE question I wasn't 100% sure (which was half my test), I said a little prayer before I submitted my answer "If it is your will, let it be. I am ready. If not, then I understand." I honestly let Him guide me to the right answers. Sometimes I would change my answer because I could feel it. So think of someone... anyone. Let them be with you. Find your peace a midst all of the anxiety. 

Now, the part you've been waiting for.
The first time I took my test, I had a private tutor. Worked pretty well because 265 questions and failing is THE CLOSEST you could ever get to passing (if you understand how CAT works). 
The second time I took my test, I did Kaplan and reviewed with my ATI. Works for a lot of people but didn't work for me. Sorry.
The third time I took my test, I used Hurst and NCSBN. 

Honestly, SO many people can tell you what to do, what to read, and how long to do it. Trust me, I've looked at so many testimonials, watched dozens of YouTube videos, and talked to SO many nursing friends... But NO ONE can help you but you. Sad story but true. YOU understand YOURSELF. I can't tell you what to do but I can tell you this.


I am a social butterfly. I worked 2 jobs. I volunteered, I danced in a company, I had a clingy relationship...
I was blessed to be able to take a whole month off, fly to a different state to stay with my RN sister, and focus solely on studying.
I know some of you won't have that luxury, but I'm telling you.. If you have that luxury you HAVE TO take it if you're having a hard time passing. For those of you who don't, manage your time. Make NCLEX the priority. Take out what can be taken out. Like I said, the makers of the NCLEX know when they can let loose an RN to the general public and be safe. Because they know that those who passed the NCLEX know time management skills and prioritization... since they had to learn all that in nursing school and while studying for the NCLEX! I CANNOT stress enough how much you need to just FOCUS and put NCLEX first.

I studied 8-10hrs/day 5days/week. On the weekends I went hiking, spent time with family and friends, relaxed and meditated.

The first 2 weeks I spent doing Hurst. Watched every review, filled in every blank, and read the FAQs. I would listen to the same lecture again and use a different pen to write more notes. I would color code highlight (pink = positions, green = interventions, blue = s/s, etc.) so that I could go back and quickly find things if I needed clarification. (Positioning is something people often overlook!) I would listen to the lectures while falling asleep, brushing my teeth, taking a shower. Repetition, repetition.

The second 2 weeks I spent on the NCSBN review. I did all the mandatory subjects first. Fully understood them before I went on to the other subjects. But I didn't get too caught up in knowing everything. You can't possibly know everything. And you have to accept that. It was hard for me to since I'm a perfectionist. Honestly, though.. perfectionism while preparing for the NCLEX is a downfall. Read the review and find out what's the need to know. If it's getting too in depth to a point where it gives you anxiety, move on.. Take the test, see what you don't understand and focus on the lowest test scores and move to the highest.

The week before my exam... No more studying. Just 300 questions/day. The last bit on the NCSBN review. Yeah, that's all I used. Actually I did TWO out of the SIX Q Reviews with Hurst but I figured, "Hey! NCSBN are the makers of the test. Might as well use their questions. I don't have time to answer all the questions in the world, but I'm fine with that."

I didn't even sleep well the night before my test. I was so anxious. I studied too hard the day before my test. But man, oh man... finding that inner peace and guidance that I was talking about earlier... that focused me on the task ahead and what I needed to pass. You all can do it if I can do it. I know you're tired of hearing that (I know I was), but it's true. All you need is focus, prayer, and confidence.. with a little bit of review.

I hope you all took something out of this. I hope you all learned something. If there's anything I can do to help, I'm here. Honestly, I want EVERYONE to pass. I care about everyone because I know how I felt when I was studying. That feeling sucked. Nearly had me give up on everything completely. But here I am now... I want you all to do well. I want you all to succeed.

I'm here for you. YOU CAN DO IT!

  • Thank you so much for sharing!

  • In reply to tswait:

    Fantastic news and fantastic post. Thank you for sharing with the community!

  • In reply to Mandy, NCSBN:

    Hi Mandy, I purchased my 5 week course this morning! I will keep in touch with you if I have any questions!

  • In reply to Mandy, NCSBN:

    Wow!!! With faith I am drawing strength from your post!!! So well written. I felt so dumb after failing the NCLEX with my CPR of near passing level while everybody...well almost I graduated with all passed. I beat myself up so much but didn't give up because I know my heart desire. I didn't come this far to give up!!! I am a Christian and like you I didn't think I needed GOD but after I failed I had to run back to the hollow of HIS hands and I know HE got me now!!! I have been practicing NCSBN Qbank and treating it like am actually taking the NCLEX. I second guess myself a lot and I have to keep reminding myself to let go and go with my guts. I have also found out that I have to read the questions more than once to actually comprehend and understand it. Thanks for sharing!! Congrats and Good luck  @

  • In reply to tswait:

    You're welcome! Thank you for reading :)

  • In reply to #fixitJesus:

    I'm so glad you enjoyed my post and you could draw strength from it! If I could just reach out to even one person, I'm happy. I know that feeling of feeling dumb while people pass you by. In the time that I graduated and passed my NCLEX, I have peers that already graduated with their next degree! It used to get me down but I turned it around and used it as motivation. I'm so happy that you found Christ again and you're trusting in Him to get you through. You're right, don't give up!

    You seem to be doing it all right :) Take the questions as if you're actually in the exam. Get yourself in that mind set and focus. I second guessed all the time but I knew I failed twice with that thinking. So, my third time taking the test, I knew to keep with what I know and feel confident with my answers. I used to think "They're trying to trick me. It can't be this easy!" It's crazy, because it actually is that easy. Don't read too much into the questions and answers. It's laid out in front of you what to do.

    Reading the question more than once to comprehend it is good. But if you're reading it more than once to look more into it, I don't suggest it. What I did when I came to a question was: 1) Look for the stem and keywords. 2) Eliminate excess information. 3) Re-word the question to my level of thinking. It would be so much information and S/S. I'd look at it and think.. "Okay, it's pretty much asking what would you do if you saw a prolapsed cord?"

    Anyway, sorry to write so much. I'm so excited for you! Good luck and I can't wait to read your testimonial of passing!

  • Thank you for posting this! This really helps me!

  • Thank you, something I needed to see!

  • In reply to arwsonice:


    Thank you for your post, it made me feel better after not being successful again....

    Dif you look at any of ncsbn slides for core content? I have done hurst, (1 time through) ncsbn, and kaplin....please help

  • In reply to kialou04:

    You're welcome! Anything I can do to help :)

  • In reply to firecrackertx:

    You're welcome! I'm so glad I can help ease your mind :)

    NCSBN slides? I'm not too sure what you mean. Do you mean power point downloadable slides? If so, no I did not know of that resource.

    However, if you mean NCSBN review course, yes... I did use it.

    It definitely helped my core content and assisted the content I learned from Hurst. If it was something that I did not feel completely confident about, I would read the review from NCSBN on the specific topic.

    I did ALL of the required content from NCSBN which includes reading the material, taking the interactive quizzes, and taking the post-test and retaking all until I made the 75%.

    I suggest you truly know everything in the Hurst book because it helped me SO much when my mind drew a blank and all that came to my head were the tricks at the end of the book (for example: fluid retention think heart problems first). It helps guide you to the correct answer. Once you understand the book, use NCSBN to perfect your knowledge and take as much quizzes/tests they provide and read EVERY rationale regardless if you got it right or wrong!

    If you have any more questions, I'm here for you. Congrats on passing nursing school. That was the hard part. Now past this test, it's only a test. Remember that. Good luck! Be positive always.

  • In reply to abarrido:

    Hi Abarrido,

    thank you for replying back to me, yes i was referring to NCSBN review of core content. I am also thinking of watching Hurst videos and Kaplan's videos and do NCSBN.  I can already feel overwhelmed is the problem that I am feeling. Do you have any suggestions. I do learn better by listening, because I have dyslexia I can read but it takes me a long time. If you have any other suggestions too that would be great.

    Thank you,



  • In reply to firecrackertx:


    I suggest you focus on one review at a time. You're feeling overwhelmed because you're reviewing way too many materials and it seems like there's so much ahead of you. May I ask when your exam is? I can help you set up a calendar. I had a month and a half so I set goals in order to make myself feel accomplished and boost my confidence. If you focus on one thing at a time and finish it, you'll feel like you did something. But if you focus on 3 reviews and do little of each one and never fully finish any of them, you'll feel like you didn't accomplish anything. So for my month I did 2 1/2 weeks of Hurst (Watched all the videos, completed the book, and listened to the lectures constantly... I learn the same way you do... I listened to the lectures when I took showers, ate my meals, went to sleep, etc. I would record myself lecturing and then listen to it with my notes to see what I'm missing and then review that. Then I took the q reviews.) After the q reviews, I noticed my weaknesses and strengths and I worked in that order while reviewing with NCSBN. I completed the mandatory sections and the last week before the test, I did ALL of the questions at the end they provide and read the rationales.

    You can do it, Christina :) I have faith in you. Just don't let yourself stop yourself from achieving what you want. Turn all your negative emotions into positive ones and you will succeed. Trust yourself and know that there are patients out there that are waiting for your care. If you're not confident, they notice and won't trust your judgment. What helps me is knowing that patients are always first and their health is important. So I need to put my own fears aside and know that I am competent enough to care for them and heal them. Stop thinking about yourself and think about them and what you can do for them.

    As always, I'm here for you! Study well.

  • In reply to abarrido:

    Hi abarrido,

    I have not scheduled my test yet, i have decided that I am going to read slowly to make sure that I understand before I move onto the next, I have not paid for the nclex again, not yet because as soon as i set the date my anxiety shoots up... which the 45 days is around april19th... i will pay for it around 15th of arpril.... i am going to at least study and or read slowly to make sure that i understand what is going on... then set the date give myself another 3 or 4 weeks... so if you would like to help me with a calendar that would be email is

    thank you for the tips


  • In reply to firecrackertx:

    Thank you for sharing. I JUST found out I failed my NCLEX with 187 questions. It's really heart broken. I am currently 23 weeks pregnant. On the test day, I was so anxious, I had to go to bathroom many times. I could not recall any information during the test. I felt like I have to guess every single question.  I just can't let myself to stress, because I don't want to stress out my baby.  I am planing to start 5  weeks NCSBN  study plan.  I used HURSE review and kaplan for my first NCLEX, I think I should just focus on one study materiel at a time.

    You are absolutely right about  No one can help you but yourself.