Common NCLEX Mistakes To Avoid
It will take all you have to get through. The number of skills you will be tested for makes this test even more complicated, and maybe the toughest you will ever come across. After all, it is about preparing yourself for such a crucial job of saving lives. Nurses have played this indispensable role of aid to the patient in all spheres that have required medical attention. You may even say that nursing is a noble job, as believed by a large number of people in the USA.
So when the exam-day knocks at your doorstep, you are required to pour all your attention, concentration, critical thinking, presence of mind, and so much more. But this doesn’t come only by casually studying the topic; you need to prepare well in advance and try to avoid as many mistakes as possible. It is only human to make mistakes, but to improve your chances, make sure you don’t make the mistakes mentioned below:
MISTAKE 1: THINKING THAT NCLEX IS AS SIMPLE AS ANY NURSING EXAM:
Your test for the nursing school might have gone well, but NCLEX is an entirely different level. Both the exams are different in more than one aspect, and success in both cannot be related at all. During nursing school exams, you get tested for your knowledge while in NCLEX, you get tested for your presence of mind i.e., how well you analyze situations and apply your ability to come up with a solution. All in all, NCLEX is about your logical and critical thinking.
MISTAKE 2: NOT READING THE QUESTIONS PROPERLY: When you appear for such an important exam, you need to be steady and thorough while reading the questions. For this, apart from your knowledge, your judging abilities, reasoning, and critical thinking also come into play. So, when you come across a question that looks familiar, you shouldn’t go for what comes to your mind instantly; instead, reread the question it may be different.
MISTAKE 3: LEAVING EVERYTHING FOR THE NIGHT BEFORE THE EXAM:
When you try to gulp down everything in just one-night for any exam, naturally, it will create problems for you. You might mix up facts, confuse between old and new information, experience reading fatigue, anxiety, and frustration. It is always better to have a comprehensive and targeted study plan of at least a month.
MISTAKE 4: AVOIDING ANY THOUGHTS ABOUT THE TEST DAY:
Being prepared for the worst is mostly the way to go for life situations as big as NCLEX. But avoiding any thoughts of the exam-day is not going to help. It will be much better if you deal with all the questions beforehand like,
- Where will I park?
- What documents should I carry with myself to the exam center?
- What time should I set my alarm on the exam-day?
MISTAKE 5: THINKING THAT YOU WILL FAIL AGAIN:
Having appeared for NCLEX once and irrespective of how you performed, you have more insight than your first-timer competitors. In 2016, the national NCLEX pass rate was 85.5%. Most of the test-takers did not succeed in their first try for reasons as usual as nervousness. It is completely okay to fail, but it is not okay to give up.
MISTAKE 6: BEING OVER-CONFIDENT ABOUT YOUR NOTES
Your study app is not going to be enough for your preparation for NCLEX. If you couple this with your notes, even then you might lack a little because NCLEX is about critical thinking skills, and bookish knowledge isn’t going to inculcate that. You need quality study material, which you can get online.
MISTAKE 7: PANICKING WHEN THE COMPUTER DOESN’T SHUT OFF AT A CERTAIN NUMBER OF QUESTIONS
Generally, students expect around 75-85 questions. But if the exam does not end at that magic number, they start to panic and in haste start to select answers without much seriousness. They tend to feel that they have failed. In such scenarios, you should try to keep your calm, no matter what.
MISTAKE 8: WAITING TOO LONG TO TAKE NCLEX AFTER GRADUATION
Right after graduating, people have the freshest recollection of the subject matter. Waiting for whatsoever reason after graduation to take the test might only hamper your chances. Take not more than 1-2 months after graduation to take the test.
MISTAKE 9: PRACTICING QUESTIONS WITHOUT READING THE RATIONALES
The key to acing NCLEX is to practice as many times as possible. The way to go with this is taking the practice test and then going through each and every rationale for questions you have got either right or wrong. For the questions that you got wrong or guessed, reading the resource helps you keep track of your train of thoughts.
MISTAKE 10: LOCKING YOURSELF INDOORS
NCLEX is indeed a big step towards your future, but cutting yourself off from your surroundings isn’t the way to go about it. Going out and involving yourself in some light activity like jogging will invigorate you and keep your energy channeled for the day. Such exercises will boost endorphin levels in the body, thus giving you the much-needed confidence and perspective.
MISTAKE 11: OVER-CAFFEINATING
Many a time, students either take coffee or red bull on the day of the exam to keep themselves alert. At other times, they will break their general habit of caffeine intake on the day of the exam. Neither of these is good, as it will lead to either caffeine withdrawal symptoms or might hinder your performance during the exam. You should maintain a general caffeine intake if you want but try to go easy on the level. Any such drastic changes in your diet will only take a toll on your performance.
MISTAKE 12: NOT SLEEPING ENOUGH
Sleep is a great stress-buster and helps one invigorate. For an adult, a seven-hour of unbroken sleep schedule is recommended. Sometimes you might feel like compromising on the sleeping time might give you more time to study, but it will affect your efficiency negatively. Throughout the duration of your preparation, you need to maintain a healthy sleep cycle, which will maintain your circadian rhythm, which in turn maintains the mind and body’s functioning. Even on the day of the exam, you need to have a good night’s sleep to keep all the stress at bay.
Nobody can help you with the questions that you’ll face, but you can help yourself with ways in which you can face them with determination.
After you are done with your exam, you’ll be thankful to have avoided these many possible preparation mistakes that you could have made. It indeed is a big exam, and it is better to give it all that you have. Hope you perform well. All the very best!