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Friday, April 17, 2009

Nclex Examination: Study Tips & Helpful Suggestions

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Study Tips for the NCLEX Exam

Want to use your preparation time for the NCLEX exam most effectively?
Concerned about the actual test experience? Need help getting it all in perspective?

Preparing for and taking a career-milestone test like the NCLEX exam can be quite stressful. But it can also be a confidence-building experience that shows you how much you’ve learned. Increase your confidence and your effectiveness by implementing these study tips, test taking hints and relaxation techniques.
General Study Tips:

* Build confidence through practice
* Practice as if it’s the “real thing”
* Create flashcards
* Use Mnemonic Devices
* Aim to understand instead of memorize
* Make a study schedule

Test Taking Hints:

* Get a good night’s sleep
* Read each question carefully
* Answer the question first
* Go at your own pace

Relaxation Techniques:

* Be confident in what you know
* Be prepared in advance
* Use tension-reducing techniques
* Try meditation


General Study Tips:
* Build confidence through practice
Taking tests can cause some people anxiety and cause them to perform much more poorly on tests than they normally do in class or on the job. The best way to reduce test-anxiety is through constant exposure. Practice, practice, practice! Taking tests is a learned skill. The good news is that just like with any other skill, you will improve with practice.
* Practice as if it’s the "real thing"
Develop your study schedule around when you are normally more awake and/or most efficient. Take practice tests and Q&A drills under "near-test" conditions. First, situate yourself in an atmosphere where there will be no interruptions or distractions. Try going through an entire drill in one sitting or give yourself a time limit for finishing the questions.
* Create flashcards
Keep track of the concepts and definitions you find most difficult and make a flashcard for each one. Take the flashcards with you whenever you go out. When you have a couple of minutes between classes or a break at work, give yourself a quick quiz. If you know someone else preparing for the exam, quiz each other to make studying more motivating and fun.
* Use mnemonic devices
Use mnemonic devices to assist your memory in recalling short lists. For instance, HOMES is a mnemonic device for the Great Lakes - Huron, Ontario, Michigan, Erie, and Superior.
* Aim to understand instead of memorize
Don’t simply memorize material. Instead aim for understanding the material. Remember that the NCLEX isn’t designed to test for memorization but rather for an understanding of the concepts. When studying content, ask yourself, "How can I use this information when I care for clients?"
* Make a study schedule
Base your study schedule on how much time you have available before your test date. If you have a couple of months, you can study more leisurely than if you have a couple of days. But remember that unmotivated studying is not efficient studying! Once you set your study schedule, stick to it. Your unconscious mind will reward you with greater energy if you stick to your timeline.

Test Taking Hints:
* Get a good night’s sleep
Don’t stay up late for last minute cramming on the night before your exam. Instead get a good night's sleep. Try to clear your mind and relax.
* Read each question carefully
Carefully read each multiple-choice question to make sure you have a full understanding of the concepts. As you go through the questions, look for key concepts that are familiar to you. Understand what the question is asking. If you’re unsure, try rephrasing the question. Be careful not to read anything into the question that isn’t there.
* Answer the question first
Try to answer the question before looking at the options. If you cannot answer the question, try eliminating the options that you know are incorrect first.
* Go at your own pace
Take the time you need to answer each question, but try not to spend too much time on any one question. Don’t pay attention to how quickly other candidates complete their examination. The time taken by a candidate to complete the examination is not a predictor of passing or failing. Instead pace yourself, keeping note of the time left to complete the examination.

Relaxation Techniques:
* Be confident in what you know
Remember, the vast majority of candidates pass the NCLEX-RN® Examination the very first time. Be confident in what you know - don't second-guess yourself. Think positive. Tell yourself… I can pass this examination. I have studied. I am prepared.
* Be prepared in advance
Plan to finish studying for the examination at least several days prior to your scheduled time to test. Last minute cramming will increase your anxiety.
* Practice tension-reducing techniques
Practice deep breathing to decrease tension and manage anxiety. Find ways to clear your mind if you start to worry. Make sure you eat healthy and exercise prior to taking the examination.
* Try meditating
Looking for ways to reduce stress and anxiety while you’re getting ready to take the NCLEX? Visit the Rejuvenation Station where you’ll find guided meditations designed especially for students.


AUTHOR: UNKNOWN



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