Tips for the “BIG DAY” – Your NCLEX Exam

Mica is getting ready to sleep. Tomorrow, she is finally going to take the exam that would lead her to dozens of opportunities: the NCLEX. However, though she feels excited to get over it, she also feels a bit nervous. This is the moment that she has been waiting for and she really wants to pass this exam with flying colors. How does she do this? What are some tips for her to consider on the day of the exam?

1. Get plenty of sleep the night before the exam.

You have to have enough sleep in order to stay focused on your exam day. You don’t want to be battling sleepiness while answering the test, do you? Sleep early the night before the exam, in fact, get enough sleep in the days before it. It will help you to stay alert during the day.

2. Avoid alcohol the night before the exam.

The last thing that you want to have on the day of the NCLEX exam is a terrible hangover. Yes, you may be stressed about the exam and you want to chill for a bit. But stay away from alcohol. Save it for later to celebrate you becoming an RN

3. Dress comfortably, in layers that you can add or take off as needed.

This is not the day to impress and make a fashion statement. I’m not saying that you must dress in your all-time comfortable pajamas, but you need to dress appropriately and in such a way that would not distract you while answering those mind boggling questions.

4. Plan to arrive at least 30 minutes early so you won’t be rushed.

Always be punctual. Arrive early for the exam. It’s better to be the first to arrive and gain some peace of mind than to cram because you arrived 15 minutes late.

5. Take along a high-energy snack, such as fruit, nuts or trail mix.

Do not skip breakfast, even when you don’t feel like eating. Eat well. You wouldn’t want to waste the opportunity of becoming an RN just because you passed out during the exam.

Take a deep breath. Focus. Relax. Try not to focus on the length of your exam. Focus on the questions as they go.

6. Take the time necessary to analyze each question, as well as all the possible answers. Once you’ve submitted an answer, you cannot return to the question.

Do not rush. This isn’t a race on who gets to finish answering the exam first. Don’t become anxious if others finish before you. You have 6 hours to finish the test. Take your time and understand the questions well before you answer them. As the saying goes, “slowly but surely”

Liane Clores, RN MAN

Currently an Intensive Care Unit nurse, pursuing a degree in Master of Arts in Nursing Major in Nursing Service Administration. Has been a contributor of Student Nurses Quarterly, Vox Populi, The Hillside Echo and the Voice of Nightingale publications. Other experience include: Medical-Surgical, Pediatric, Obstetric, Emergency and Recovery Room Nursing.

What Do You Think?