If you’ve ever looked into becoming a nurse, you’ve encountered some information about the NCLEX. The NCLEX test, which stands for the National Council Licensure Examination, is a test that determines an individual’s readiness for nursing practice. The exams are taken after you complete nursing school and come in two flavors: the NCLEX-PN and the NCLEX-RN. According to the National Council of State Boards of Nursing, these tests are “nurse licensure and certification examinations consistent with current practice.” The NCLEX acts as an equalizer in the field and sets the standard for entry nursing knowledge.
In order to pass them you’ll have to brush up on all of information you might not have thought about in a year. To prepare, you could just look over all your nursing school notes. Or, you could use study materials designed for the test. While expensive, you’ll get benefits you won’t get by just using your notes.
Benefit 1: You’ll Learn What Subjects Are On the Test
The first benefit you’ll see is that you’ll know exactly what’s on the test. The NCLEX changes yearly and in order to get a good score you’ll have to study what’s going to be on your version of the test. The exam covers four major categories and eight subcategories that address meeting client needs.
Benefit 2: Think like the NCLEX
You’ll also get sample questions just like the NCLEX. According to test preparation provider Kaplan, the exam’s questions “are primarily multiple-choice with four possible answer choices; however, there are also alternate question types. Alternate question types include multiple-response, fill-in-the-blank, hot spots, chart/exhibit and drag-and-drop. All questions involve integrated nursing content.
Benefit 3: Discover Your Strengths and Weaknesses
The third benefit of using study material for the NCLEX is to discover your true strengths and weaknesses. It’s easy to become biased about which subjects you’re good and bad at. Maybe you think you’re terrible at Anatomy, but in truth you know enough and should instead spend more time on Pharmacology or some other patient care piece. The study materials will help you root out the areas that need more attention, giving you a better edge than if you went by gut feeling and class notes alone.
Benefit 4: Practice Scores
The fourth benefit of using study materials is the practice scores. No matter how detailed your nursing school notes are, they won’t give you NCLEX practice scores. The NCLEX is scored on a PASS/FAIL scale, meaning that unlike the LSAT there is no acceptable range of scores. Another thing to keep in mind is that the test only has a certain number of questions, and those are all the questions you’ll get. The more you can answer correctly out of the gate, the sooner you’ll be done with your exam on test day.
Benefit 5: Multiple Modes of Study
A fifth benefit of studying with NCLEX test prep material is that you will be able to use multiple means of learning information. “Nursing school might have been a lot of lectures, but the test preparation is all on you,” said Elite Reviews. Companies like Kaplan have videos, flashcards, books, and more to help you learn in ways that work best for you.
Benefit 6: Streamlined Preparation
When you test using established prep materials, your study will go faster. This is one reason that nursing schools usually provide some testing materials. They know that when you have exam prep books and question banks, you’ll be able to test (and pass) sooner than if you hadn’t. And everyone wins when you pass the NCLEX.
Benefit 7: Test with Confidence
Finally, the most important benefit is that you’ll be able to pass the NCLEX with confidence. When you’ve gone through hundreds of approved study questions and conquered your weak points, you’ll be able to go in on test day without fear of the unknowns. You know you can pass because you’ll have done it several times already via practice tests. You’ll be able to avoid some of the testing jitters that plague the unprepared. And you’ll be able to emerge a nurse.