Building Enough Content for the NCLEX

Blog photo_ContentHaving enough content is foundation for being prepared to take the NCLEX.    It is impossible to retain 100% of content, but a candidate needs enough to pass the NCLEX.  Content are the facts learned in nursing school.  A candidate must recall and recognize enough content to be able to apply in nursing decision-making type of questions, which are the type of question a candidate needs to be able to answer and maintain to perform “above passing level.”

1) How do I know I am missing content?

– take a comprehensive exam from a credible NCLEX review program, book, or request for our free diagnostic exam.  A score of <60% means there is significant content missing.

– if a Candidate Performance Report (CPR), from a past attempt(s) of the NCLEX reveals “below passing level” on any of the Client Needs Categories.

– when reviewing exams from the past, questions that were wrong were due to the inability to recognize, remember, or understand the topic being tested.

2) How do I build enough content, without reading the entire NCLEX review book or textbook?

– take exams with the freedom to “hunt for the answer,” like an open-book exam.  Make sure to only use resources as needed.  If the information is used, it is more likely to be retained.  Just make sure to minimize having to use resources as scores improve on the exams.

– after taking an exam, review the questions that were wrong and read just on those topics.  Make sure to test yourself again, using different questions on the same topic.  Focus not just on memorization, but be able to apply the information right away by answering application type of questions.

3) What if my scores are not improving?

Scores on the exams may vary, based on topic weaknesses; however, focus on comprehensive exam results, which should be taken at least once a week to assess overall progress.  If scores are not improving, make sure to follow every step above and focus on quality review vs. quantity.  Do not rush through exams just to complete them and memorize the right answer, with the thought that they will show up in the NCLEX exactly like that.  The questions in the NCLEX will seem different because it may be stated differently, or under a different circumstance, so understanding the topic and overall concepts is a must.

Is content the problem?  Which content is your weakness?


Always get stuck trying to figure out which of the last two multiple choice options is better on a nursing exam? There are ways to process which of the two is better, we call it the MINE DEEP approach. It is the process nurses use everyday for clinical decision making. Try it on your exams today and boost your scores.