The next step in preparing to study for the NCLEX is to find out where you are. You spent two or four years in nursing school, you don’t have to learn it all over again, you just need to find out what you remember. The best way to do this is by assessing the knowledge you already have. It’s like when your checking on a patient for the very first time, you need to thoroughly assess them so you can figure out what is going on.
Assessment Tests –
My recommendation is Saunders – this book includes an online component with a data bank full of questions. When you log in to the online component the first time, you’ll be able to take a 75 question test. This test will highlight the content areas that you need to work on and those you already ‘know’. The great thing is after the test you’ll be able to review what you missed, these rationales will tell you what ‘type’ of question it is and the content area that it covers.
There are also assessment tests online, you just want to take one that covers all of the core content areas.
Do you remember your math?
Your NCLEX test will probably have a question or two that is related to math (or it may not have any). After you know the formulas, any math questions are pretty easy.
Putting it all together
We have created a spreadsheet for our NCLEX boot camp. You can check it out at the following link.
It is an excel spreadsheet. You can open it using Microsoft Excel – or Google spreadsheets (which is free) – http://www.google.com/sheets/
Step 1 – In the column labeled “Nsg School” Put in the grade you received for the content area.
A = 2, B = 4, C = 6, D = 10. Some of the content you might have done for a whole semester, others you might have only had a week or two and took one test. Try and remember / review what you made on the individual test(s) for those areas.
Step 2 – Do the Self-Assessment. Rate from 1 (you know the content very well) to 10 – you have no clue about any of it.
Step 3 – Assessment Test – If you missed a question in the content area, put in a one in the box. Do this for all of the questions you missed.
You should know have a total in the total column. You can sort the total. The higher the number, the more you need to work on something. The lower the number, the better you know it.
There are about 30 content areas. Now we’re going to Rank things 1 – you know through Rank 5 you don’t.
Rank 1 – Top 2 or 3.
Rank 2 – Next 5 or so.
Rank 3 – Next 10.
Rank 4 – Next 5
Rank 5 – Bottom 5.
On the right side of the spread sheet there are some examples for days you want to study.
Example – if you have a week.
Study rank 1 and 2 – 1 day (the same day)
Rank 3 – 1 day
Rank 4 – 2 days
Rank 5 – 3 days.
Hopefully you’ll have a plan. Next time we’ll talk about some different ways that you can review the content.