10 Study Tips for the NCLEX Exam
Regardless of profession, age, or nationality, studying for a test can be daunting. Whether you are trying deal with nerves or just trying to find the motivation, it is always more appealing to sit on the couch and watch TV. However, if you would like to practice as a nurse in the United States, you do need to pass the NCLEX exam. After learning and understanding the NCLEX exam requirements for foreign nurses, it is time to hit the books for the actual exam. An international recruiter will help you through your journey, but there will also be time to study on your own. Here at 10 study tips for the NCLEX exam.
Discover your style
You may not have thought much about it, but we all have our own preferred method of study. Some of us need complete silence, while others may like to listen to their favorite tunes. Do you need a study buddy or do you thrive on your own? Do you study better in the morning or just before bed? Well before it is time to take the exam, take the time to figure out your preferred study style and stick with it!
Make a plan
Once you know what your most effective study style is, you need to decide where and when to do it. Would you rather study in the library, at a coffee shop, or your own home? Will you study before, during, or after a meal? Will you study as part of a group or in your own zone? Some of these may sound like an afterthought, but will relieve stress when planned out. All you should be focused on for study day is the material.
Take it in pieces
We are all guilty of cramming for exams the night before. We are creatures of habit and that habit is procrastination. However, studies show the odds of retaining all of the information in one night of studying are low. This may also lead to an exhausted test taker the next day. As part of your study plan, break out what sections you will study every day. If you are only responsible for a small amount each day, you will feel less overwhelmed. When you are in control of the material, you have a better opportunity to succeed on the exam. Devote at least one hour to study time every day, even if there is no test in the foreseeable future.
Leave the phone in the other room
This may be the toughest study tip to adopt. We are all addicted to our devices. All day and night we find ourselves constantly checking our phones for messages, social media engagement, or even just the battery life. These small screens are the enemy of an effective studier. The best plan of attack is to remove the temptation all together. Intentionally leave the phone in another room or at home. We somehow survived without cell phones not too long ago and you will survive for an hour of focused study time.
Take strategic breaks
Making a plan for your breaks will give you something to look forward to and curb your urge to slack off. You can take a break after a specific section, after you successfully answer a set of questions, or at specific time. These breaks should not last longer than 15 minutes at a time so you do not get too far “out of the zone.” On the flip side, it is important to take breaks. Moving around helps get the blood moving and keeps the brain focused. Also, studying with a full bladder can be very distracting.
Ask for help
Sometimes the hardest thing to do in life is to ask for help. In the world of studying, it can be essential. Resources are available in many forms to help you be the most successful you can be. The help can be from a fellow aspiring nurse, a roommate, a tutor, or even a recruiter. You can have someone else ask you a set of practice questions or to help explain a section. There are also specific NCLEX exam requirements for foreign nurses so do not hesitate to ask for help understanding those requirements. Remember, we are all in this together!
Answer practice questions
The best way to prepare for a test is to take mock versions of that test as many times as you can. Reading through the material is important, but if you do not know how it will be applied during the exam, you may feel overwhelmed on test day. If you are studying alone, read the questions out loud. The best thing to do is to ask a friend or classmate to test you. If you get some or even all of the questions wrong, do not stress! This is all a learning experience and you can always revisit the material until you get it right!
We all love a reward. While passing the exam is the true gift, providing small motivators throughout the study process may be an effective method for you. Tell yourself if you get through the next three sections, you will take yourself out for ice cream. Did you answer all of the practice questions correctly? You have earned that little trinket you’ve had your eyes on. These incentives do not have to cost any money. As long as it can motivate you to get through a study session, go for it!
This tip may sound contradictory to the tip above it, but this is specifically speaking to the study process. “Brain food” is a real thing and can be key to keeping you focused on the material. Healthy study snacks include anything with omega fatty acids or “healthy fat.” Examples of these study-approved snacks include avocado, nuts, eggs, and salmon. Only after completing the round of studying do we suggest indulging in your incentive food.
This may be the easiest tip to understand, but the one we all fail the most. A full night of sleep is often more effective than pulling an “all-nighter.” This is why it is important to break up your studying in pieces over several days and weeks. Our brains need to recharge. If we do not get enough sleep, we will struggle to focus on both the studying and the exam itself. When we are tired, we are also more likely to make poor eating choices. We may also consume more caffeine when we are tired which can negatively affect our thought process. So make sure you hit the hay as much as you are hitting the books!
Let us be your study guide!
Recruiters with MedPro International are ready to be your best study buddy. From help with the immigration process to fully understanding the NCLEX exam requirements for foreign nurses, MedPro International is here for you! Contact us today.