Are you studying for the NCLEX exam and are unsure where to begin? Whether this is your first, second, or even third time taking the test, here are three important tips to achieve success.


#1- Understand the function of the different organs of the body

Did you struggle with anatomy and physiology while in nursing school? If so, those challenges may be catching up to you now. A significant problem reported by NCLEX exam takers is an inability to remember diseases. While the amount of content is significant, lack of disease knowledge may indicate a foundational issue in understanding the organs of the body.


For example, how would you define heart failure? What if your answer demonstrates that you have a problem explaining, in detail, heart failure. Despite spending an extensive amount of time reading about heart failure, you struggle to recall what heart failure is and you’re not able to effectively narrow down the choices. 




The truth is that you don’t really understand the function of the heart. You don’t understand what it does, how

it flows, or what happens to the heart when it is damaged. You cannot memorize the disease process if you don’t even really understand the impacted organ. This is why you may only able to narrow a question down to two choices. 

If necessary, you need to spend additional time learning organ function. 

#2- Know the difference in nursing roles the roles between the RN, LPN, and CNA

Management of Care comprises about 20% of the NCLEX-RN exam. The same thing goes for Coordinated Care of the NCLEX-PN exam.

That’s a large chunk of the exam. 

Not understanding the true difference between the roles of a Registered Nurse, Licensed Practical Nurse, and a Certified Nursing Assistant is a significant reason why many people fail this section, particularly international students. It’s very important to take this category seriously and spend time learning this for the exam. Otherwise you will struggle with delegation and priority questions.

While you are learning and understanding the different roles, you want to also understand the nursing process.

The nursing process will help you to really grasp the bigger picture especially when it comes to answer priority questions.

I recommend NCLEX Review: What is ADPIE & The Nursing Process? to help you really understand the breakdown of this.

#3- Have a strong foundation

Reading can sometimes be boring and tedious. Nursing students may be tempted to only study with practice exams. The problem with this approach, however, is if you have a poor foundation in the content, no matter how many questions you do, you will always struggle to correctly answer the questions. You will always miss something in how you understand the questions because you never developed a strong enough content knowledge foundation. 

As hard as this may be to hear, there is no shortcut to nursing. If you don’t really know and understand this information, no amount of questions will really help, particularly as a repeat test taker. Spend the necessary time to build up your foundation in content knowledge first and it will pay off later when you take the exam. 

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