Hi there, welcome to the NCLEX PN exam prep article.
In this article, we’ll walk through how to navigate our NCLEX PN study hub and the strategies to prepare and take the National Council Licensure Examination for Practical Nurses.
After this reading, you’ll know exactly what to do to pass this exam on your first trial.
In a nutshell, here is what the article will cover:
- Navigating our NCLEX PN exam study hub
- NCLEX PN exam prep tips
- Test-taking strategies for NCLEX PN
Let’s get started.
Other free NCLEX PN study materials:
- NCLEX PN exam prep
- NCLEX PN study plan
- NCLEX study guide
- NCLEX practice exams
- NCLEX PN flashcards
- NCLEX cheat sheet
- NCLEX PN Exam FAQ
- Best NCLEX PN study materials
Navigating Our NCLEX PN Exam Study Hub
We want to help you quickly navigate the study resources in this series.
The first navigation menu gives you a list of the eight articles in this series.
Click the drop-down menu for a complete list of the articles.
You can click any and be directed to the article’s main page.
The “Post Content” menu gives you an overview of the content covered in this article.
Click the section you want to know more about, and you’ll be taken straight to that section.
The sidebar navigation also gives you an overview of the “Post Content.”
On a mobile device, the sidebar is on the bottom right.
Since we’ve given you various study resources to help you prepare for the NCLEX PN, we thought it wise to give you an overview of what to expect in each article.
Here is a breakdown of each article.
NCLEX PN Study Plan
This article gives you a downloadable NCLEX PN study plan for one month, three months, six months, and one year.
You’ll also find expert tips on making the most of the study plan to better prepare for the NCLEX PN nursing exam.
Here you can check our NCLEX PN study plan.
NCLEX PN Study Guide
We’ve combined NCLEX PN and NCLEX RN study guides into one article.
Here, we share eight study guides covering the eight modules in each exam.
We’ve summarized the main concepts you need to understand to have any chance of passing these exams.
We’ve further discussed what makes study guides excellent study tools and why you should use them in your NCLEX exam prep.
Here is a link to our Free NCLEX study guide.
NCLEX PN Practice Exams
Practice exams are excellent when it comes to test preparation.
And it’s for this reason that we’ve put together NCLEX PN and NCLEX RN practice questions and quizzes in the same article.
You’ll find 1,800 plus practice questions for NCLEX PN and RN.
We’ve given you three full-length practice exams for both NCLEX RN and PN, each with 100 questions.
The exams have 2 hours time limit.
For NCLEX RN Each domain has three sets of quizzes with thirty questions and for NCLEX PN domains you will have two sets of quizzes with thirty questions in each.
Here is a link to our Free NCLEX practice exams and practice quizzes.
NCLEX PN Flashcards
Here, you’ll have 750 flashcards.
Each Client Needs Category has three to six sets of flashcards, with between 100 and 300 flashcards.
The article also covers tips and tricks to ensure the flashcards work for you.
Here is a link to our Free NCLEX PN Flashcards.
NCLEX Cheat Sheets
This article has a downloadable cheat sheet for NCLEX RN and NCLEX PN.
The cheat sheets summarize critical information in the four categories of the exam.
They’ll help you know exactly what is tested in the exam.
Here is a link to our NCLEX cheat sheets.
NCLEX PN Exam Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
As a test-taker, you may have many questions and concerns about the NCLEX PN exam.
Here we separate the wheat from the chaff and clarify all your concerns about the NCLEX PN.
You’ll learn about the exam structure, format, type of questions, registration, cost, and so much more.
Here is link to our NCLEX PN exam frequently asked questions page.
NCLEX PN Study Materials
When all is said and done, you want the right materials for your NCLEX PN exam prep.
Hence the reason for this article.
Find out our top choices in NCLEX PN prep course providers.
Here is a link that talks about the Best premium NCLEX PN study materials.
NCLEX PN Exam Prep Tips
To pass the NCLEX PN exam, you must thoroughly prepare.
And as a registered nurse who’s been there and done that, I’m delighted to share some tips that worked for me.
Create a Personalized Study Plan
The one thing I learned about the NCLEX is that you can’t cram it because it tests the knowledge you gained over your studies to become an LVN.
That means you must draw a study plan to cover the exam content meticulously.
Clearly outline the days and hours you need to study and stick to them.
Outline the days you’ll take practice questions and when you’ll just review the exam content.
Go further and have goals for your study sessions to ensure you are more engaged.
How many practice questions will you take a day?
Also, have a specific topic or content area you’ll study daily.
Invest in the Right Study Resources
For the NCLEX PN exam prep, you can resort to self-study or purchase a prep course like UWorld, Kaplan, or SimpleNursing.
If you are studying on your own, you’ll be forced to research and assemble the right resources.
On the flip side, prep courses have already done the heavy lifting and brought together all the study materials you need.
You’ll need to go through the reviews, study packages, features, and costs to find one that best suits you.
I recommend you also assess your learning style before settling for a study package.
Hone Your Test-Taking Skills Using Practice Exams
It goes without saying that the only way to understand the NCLEX PN exam is to take sample questions that reflect the actual exam.
The practice questions will help you in many ways, but only if you take them correctly.
Limit practice questions and instead focus on areas of weakness
Most test-takers focus on taking practice questions without a clear plan on how the tests can help them improve their scores.
So, don’t just take the tests blindly.
Once you’ve taken a full-length practice exam, review the practice questions to know your areas of strengths and weaknesses.
The NCLEX PN exam covers eight areas.
Knowing your weakness lets you focus your energy where it’s needed.
You should also look into the types of questions that you find most difficult.
Your practice tests should zero in on the alternate format questions you find challenging.
As you polish your weak points, take another full-length practice exam to track your progress and make the necessary adjustments.
Analyze incorrect and correct answers
Take your NCLEX PN exam prep to the next level by analyzing the rationale behind the correct and incorrect answers.
Do this for all the practice exams that you take.
It will give you a broader understanding of the concept tested, and suppose a question with the same logic comes up in the exam.
You are most likely to nail it.
Again, going through the answer explanations helps you understand and retain the information better.
Personally, answer explanations are the main reason I take practice exams.
Their impact on my exam prep is incomparable.
Simulate the actual exam environment
The NCLEX PN is a 5 hours exam.
That’s a long time.
So, you want to practice before the actual exam.
All the full-length exams you take should be timed and adapt to CAT.
This means you’ll get real exam experience.
And when it’s time for the actual one, you’ll be less anxious because you’ve done almost the same thing before.
Take at least two full-length timed practice tests before you sit for the real one.
Study With a Partner
While studying alone is excellent, studying with a partner is even better.
A partner keeps you accountable.
You can review the material together and discuss areas you find most difficult.
You’ll realize you understand the material better when someone else explains concepts.
It’s quite effective.
Plus, when it comes to the practice exams, you can review the rationales together, give examples and compare notes.
A study partner helps you bear the pressure of preparing for this nursing exam.
It makes learning fun, and you can also learn better.
Manage Stress and Anxiety on the Test Day
Taking an exam for 5 hours is not a joke.
You may panic at some point, feel fatigued, or want to give up for fear that you might have already failed.
So, how can you curb the stress that comes with the exam?
First, understand how the NCLEX PN exam works.
A CAT exam gets harder or easier depending on how you answer the question.
With this knowledge, you won’t be alarmed if the questions are challenging or vice versa.
Take your time when answering the questions.
In other words, pace yourself.
You don’t need to panic when you see your neighbor heading out with a supposed victory smile.
Focus on the questions at hand.
Finally, take breaks.
You can go to the washroom, have a snack, drink water, or meditate.
You’ll feel more rejuvenated when you get back.
You can focus and answer the remaining questions better with a clear mind.
Tips for the Exam Day
You are almost living your dream of becoming a licensed practical nurse.
The exam day determines if you get to live that dream or not.
Thus, there are a few items you need to look into to ensure your LPN dream becomes a reality.
Be ready with your ID, which could be a driver’s license, passport, military identification card, permanent residence card, or provincial/territorial or state identification card.
Remember, the name on the Authorization to Test must match the name on your identification card.
Next, be sure to dress comfortably.
Anything too tight, too short, or ridiculously oversize will be uncomfortable.
Note that test-takers must leave gloves, hats, and coats outside the testing room.
However, there are provisions for cultural and religious attire like hijab.
Another crucial thing is your arrival time.
I recommend getting to the testing center 30 minutes before the exam time.
This gives you time to familiarize yourself with the new environment and relax.
Finally, know the rules around personal items, NCLEX PN administration, confidentiality, and break procedures.
NCLEX PN Test-Taking Strategies
This is the last stretch.
You should be 100% alert when taking the exam because you’ll need more than the knowledge you’ve amassed through your test preparation.
And so, here are some pro tips that worked for me.
Don’t Self-Evaluate During the Exam
Chances are high that you might be tempted to self-evaluate when taking the exam, depending on the questions you get.
Don’t stress over it.
You may get several challenging questions, but that doesn’t mean you’ve passed the exam and now need to take a back seat.
Remember, every question in the exam is equally important and determines whether you’ll pass.
Give every question your all, whether you find it “easy” or “difficult.”
Set a Pace
The NCLEX PN exam takes 5 hours, which includes the tutorial at the beginning of the test and the two breaks.
The minimum number of questions you can answer in this test is 75.
The maximum is 145.
You won’t know how many questions it will take for the computer adaptive testing to establish your competency.
So, at the back of your mind, assume you’ll answer all 145 questions within five hours and pace yourself accordingly.
Don’t Draw From Past Clinical Experience When Answering the Questions
As a nursing student, you may have worked as a CNA or any other healthcare professional at a hospital.
Be wary that the experience you gained doesn’t interfere with your ability to answer NCLEX PN questions.
The questions are not based on your experience.
So, stick to the provisions of the NCLEX PN curriculum.
Read the Exam Questions and Answer Choices Carefully
While this point sounds obvious, many test-takers fail to read the questions and answer choices fully.
From my experience, this is the main reason for failing exams.
If you are interested in passing this vocational nurse exam the first time, read the complete question and all the answer choices before you answer.
This is particularly crucial in NCLEX exams because once you answer a question, you can’t return to it.
The Next Step in NCLEX PN Test Preparation
When it’s all said and done, it’s time to take a step further and start your NCLEX PN exam prep.
We’ve shared some proven tips and tricks to help you easily review the exam content.
Put them into practice.
Also, in this study series, you’ll find an array of materials for your NCLEX PN exam preparation.
The navigation menu at the beginning of this article will guide you on the free NCLEX PN study resources we have for you.
You’ll find them valuable, I promise.
NCLEX PN Exam Prep FAQs
What is the best way to study for NCLEX PN?
The best way to study for the NCLEX PN test is to register for an online course. These test prep courses have an array of materials. You can start with a practice test to see where you are. And then delve into the course content, focusing more on your areas of weakness.
What should I study for NCLEX PN 2023?
Here is a breakdown of the NCLEX PN Client Needs Categories you should study for:
Safe and Effective Care Environment
Safety and Infection Control
Health Promotion and Maintenance
Basic Care and Comfort
Reduction of Risk Potential
How do I pass NCLEX PN on the first try?
– First, review the test plan from the National Council of State Boards of Nursing (NCSBN)
– Draw a study plan to help you cover the exam material
– Use the right study materials
– Take computer adaptive testing when it comes to practice exams
How hard is the PN NCLEX exam?
The NCLEX PN exam is challenging because it tests whether candidates have the practical skills to provide safe care for patients. That said, the difficulty level varies depending on how you answer the questions. The CAT adapts to your competency level.
What are the best NCLEX PN study guides?
Here are the top three best NCLEX study guides:
– Saunders Comprehensive Review for the NCLEX PN Examination
– Kaplan NCLEX PN Prep Plus
– NCLEX PN Practice Questions Exam Cram
The study guides help you review the key points covered in the Client Needs Categories. You can find these books on Amazon.
How long does it take to study for NCLEX PN?
It’s recommended you study for one to three months. You can take four to six weeks if you’ve recently graduated from nursing school and the knowledge is still clear. Repeat test-takers or those who graduated some time back may need more time to refresh their memory.
How long is the NCLEX PN exam?
The NCLEX PN exam takes five hours to complete. There are two breaks. The first break is two hours after starting the exam, and the second is 90 minutes after the first. That’s 3 hours and 30 minutes after starting the exam. Please note that the breaks are optional.
How many questions are on the NCLEX PN exam?
The minimum number of questions is 75, while the maximum is 145. There are 15 experimental questions that don’t count toward the final score. Since the NCLEX PN is a CAT, the exact number of questions you’ll answer solely depends on your competency level.
What is the format of the NCLEX PN exam?
The primary format for the NCLEX PN exam questions is multiple choice. However, there are also alternate format questions that include multiple-response, fill-in-the-blank, hot spot, charts/exhibit, and drag-and-drop. To familiarize yourself with the exam questions, take many practice tests that mimic the actual test.