By Alice Johnson-Davis, RN, MSN

If you’re new here, check out Part 1 and Part 2 of this article for the first six tips for preparing for the NCLEX. Here’s a refresher course before we dive into the last three tips:

  1. Access the NCSBN (National Council of State Boards of Nursing) to understand the concept of the NCLEX exam
  2. Gain information about the NCLEX Examfrom the NCSBN.
  3. Ask yourself, how do I learn best?
  4. Finalize your preparation methods and materials.
  5. Engage in studying.
  6. Determine the role of additional resources in your study plan.

Let’s continue with our last three tips. 

7. Practice, practice, practice

This is perhaps the most important element of your preparation. Here’s why:

  • People successful on the NCLEX usually complete about 2,000 practice questions.
  • The NCLEX is not about how much knowledge or content information you know, but about your critical thinking skills, making clinical judgments, and determining priorities. 
  • Practicing NCLEX questions will make you aware of just what is important on the NCLEX, how questions are worded, and the different styles of questions currently being utilized.

8. Be confident

The NCLEX can be very daunting in its presentation and the high stakes associated with the “passing” of the test. Develop good tools for keeping your self-confidence high, but realistic. If you are putting in the work to study and prepare, have positive thoughts about your abilities and the outcome. 

9. Take the NCLEX exam

Studying is one thing, but learning all you need to know about taking the exam itself is something to prepare for as well. Here are some final tips to help you when it’s time to take the test:

  • Take the NCLEX when you are the most ready in terms of practice test scores, self-confidence, and overall readiness.
  • Be familiar with the instructions provided by the NCSBN (National Council of State Boards of Nursing).
    •  Apply to a State Board of Nursing to take the NCLEX.
    • Understand the requirements for registering at Pearson Vue for NCLEX, obtaining the ATT (Authorization to Test), scheduling the test.
    • Learn the Pearson Vue testing center requirements for testing.

The NCLEX can be hard but with the right preparation, you will be feeling confident in your ability to pass the NCLEX!

About the Author


Alice’s career as a registered nurse has spanned more than four decades, and she has found professional success in many different aspects of nursing. After obtaining a BSN and MSN, she worked as a critical care nurse, taught nursing at a collegiate level, worked with international nurses to help them prepare for NCLEX success, and has mentored thousands of young nurses.  In her personal life, she enjoys taking Pilates, gardening, and traveling to experience new adventures with her husband, Tom, and daughter, Austin.