The NCLEX (National Council Licensure Examination) helps the state nursing boards ensure that the new graduates of nursing degrees are competent to practice in the field. This standardization helps guarantee ethical and safety practices across the country.

Although passing NCLEX seems like an insurmountable task, there are some ways on how to ace the exam. No matter what your study style or learning strategies, below are some of the ways on how you can improve your chances of acing the NCLEX:

Develop Critical Thinking Strategies

Since the NCLEX will test your critical thinking skills, you should start thinking of your critical thinking abilities, both in inserting yourself in nursing situations and providing nursing care in every exam question.

When you’re providing nursing care, the ability to think critically is known as clinical judgment. This involves taking your evaluation findings, putting them altogether in a more meaningful manner, and having some possibilities of what might be going with the patients. Take note that NCLEX focuses more on your clinical judgment. So, you have to fine-tune your critical thinking skills and apply them to all covered questions, like the endocrine NCLEX  on the exam.

Critical thinking may involve applying your knowledge, identifying problems, using all your senses, making educated decisions, and so on.

Make Your Own Study Plan

You’re the only one who knows your learning style. If you want to nail the NCLEX, one of the best ways you must consider is to make your own study plan.

When making your study plan, consider your learning style in mind. You must also include the materials you want to review. Focus on your gaps at the very beginning and review the things you already know later on.

Positivity Is The Key

NCLEX can be tough and would require you to study. In fact, you may have some moments when you’re questioning everything you’ve studied. It’s common to be frustrated as you study all of the topics covered in NCLEX. Besides, it’s a challenging exam, and frustrations are normal. If the exam wasn’t hard, anybody would be a nurse. Therefore, always trust your abilities, and don’t forget to picture yourself as a licensed and registered nurse, which is one of the highest paying healthcare careers.

Give Yourself More Time To Study

It’s important to remember that all nurses have their own NCLEX success stories. It’s all about finding the best time for you.

If your nursing program offers an NCLEX review course, schedule your test as soon as you graduate. If your program doesn’t offer such a review course, you might want to take extra months or weeks to review and study. Typically, the test registration is available six weeks before your nursing program ends. If you decide that you’re ready to take the exam, register and pay the fees for the licensure and exam.

Instead of cramming your studying and creating an impossible timeframe, prepare yourself and take care of your body and mind. If possible, look for a comfortable space where you can enjoy learning. Also, take long and frequent breaks to keep you motivated.

Never Wait Too Long To Take The Exam

It’s okay if you decide not to take the NCLEX after you graduate. However, never wait for a long period of time to take the exam.

The reason behind it is that after a month or weeks of vacation and celebrations, you might find it challenging to bring back your study habits. This is why it’s always a good idea to take the NCLEX when you’re a fresh graduate and motivated to be a licensed nurse.

Relieve Your Anxiety

Studying for NCLEX is no doubt a nerve-wracking experience. The entire process of arriving at the testing center, getting your veins red, signing in, the room’s silence, and the anxiety level among your fellow examinees may be a bit unnerving. So, before you take the exam, take a deep breath, and remember all your efforts and time you’ve spent preparing for the exam.

Never let your anxiety ruin your efforts and just do your best as you visualize celebrating good results.

Know The Difference Between Real-World Experience and NCLEX Knowledge

Bear in mind that NCLEX is based on evidence-based practice. If you’ve worked in the healthcare industry, you might notice that various facilities have different ways of doing things that are effective and safe. But never assume that it applies to NCLEX.

When it comes to NCLEX, you should assume that you have the perfect situation with ample resources and time to perform your responsibilities as a nurse. To ace the NCLEX, you must select your answers based on the perfect world scenario of nurses.

Focus On Your Weakness and Reduce the Number of Practice Tests

Most students waste most of their time taking many practice tests rather than targeting their weakest areas. A practice test must be used for pinpointing the concepts and areas students have to work on most.

With the categories included in the exam, you don’t have to keep practicing on all of them. Besides, not all questions will be in multiple-choice format. So, make sure to craft a study plan for categories and question types that you’re having trouble with and take a practice test to see your improvement.


Consider Taking an NCLEX Prep Course

Taking an NCLEX prep course may be helpful for those who struggle to set aside extra time to study between some of their activities. If you’re the type of person who learns better in a well-structured environment, there are several options you can choose from when it comes to prep courses available online or in classrooms. However, NCLEX prep courses may cost a particular amount of money, but for some students, the cost is all worth it because of the learning environment it offers.

A prep course is also a great option for students who didn’t schedule or take the NCLEX immediately after graduation. With structured prep courses, you may save the time you’ve spent sorting out the old notes and study materials.


NCLEX may be challenging, but it doesn’t mean that you can’t ace it. It’s possible as long as you work hard to study all the things covered in the exam and you take your study habits seriously.

Combining your hard work with the tips above, you can guarantee that you’ll be one of the passers of NCLEX in the future.

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