My name is Sam, an Internationally Educated Nurse who graduated in 2007. After a long journey filled with challenges and triumphs, I passed the NCLEX-RN in 2022 and am proudly working as a Registered Nurse at one of the best hospitals in the region. Today, I’d like to share my experience and insights on one particular study tool that helped me pass the NCLEX-RN exam on my first attempt.
Understanding the NCLEX from an International Perspective
As internationally educated nurses, we encounter unique challenges when preparing for the NCLEX. There was also a 14-year gap between my graduation in 2007 and my decision to prepare for the NCLEX-RN in 2021. The stress I experienced during this time cannot be understated. With limited time to review everything, I was looking for NCLEX-RN Study material that could help me prepare for the exam within a short timeframe.
- What is the Passing Score for NCLEX-RN? An Ultimate Guide?
- How to Become a Registered Nurse in Ontario 2023?
How I Discovered UWorld: Is UWorld Enough to Pass NCLEX-RN?
I discovered UWorld through a recommendation from a friend who passed the NCLEX-RN exam on his first attempt. He used UWorld as his only study material and passed his exam on his first attempt after preparing it for over four months. I also saw a lot of positive UWorld reviews on the internet and Facebook Study Groups at that time.
However, the high price tag of the UWorld NCLEX-RN study material was initially a barrier for me. After much research and weighing the pros and cons of different NCLEX-RN materials and guides, I decided to invest in UWorld. And today, I am glad that I made that decision! It was worth every penny spent.
Why I Choose UWorld?
Here are the reasons why I purchased UWorld even though it was expensive.
- Extensive Question Bank: The UWorld NCLEX-RN guide comes with over 2600 NCLEX practice questions with detailed rationale and comprehensive explanations. It covers all content areas of the NCLEX exam, including SATA and (Next Generation NCLEX)NGN, making it one of the best NCLEX prep resources.
- NGN questions: It also has more than 500 Next Generation NCLEX-style questions, a new format that the NCSBN introduced in 2023. ( I passed the Exam before the NGN Era.)
- Detailed Rationale and Comprehensive Explanations: UWorld provides detailed rationale and explanations for every question, which helped me understand the correct answer and its reasoning.
- Medical illustrations and images: As a visual learner, I found the medical illustrations and images in UWorld helpful. They made it easier for me to understand complex concepts and retain information.
- Progress Tracking: The platform keeps track of your progress and identifies areas where you need improvement. This helps you to focus on your weak areas and improve upon them.
- Timed Practice Tests: UWorld offers timed practice tests, which helped me get used to the timing and pressure of the actual exam. This was crucial in improving my time management skills during the NCLEX.
- High Pass Rate: According to the company’s website, UWorld boasts an impressive pass rate of 99%. This statistic reflects the effectiveness of this study tool in assisting exam takers to pass the NCLEX on their first try successfully. It reinforces the credibility of UWorld as a reliable resource for NCLEX preparation, providing confidence to test-takers in their study approach.
- Mobile App Access: UWorld also offers a mobile app, making it convenient to study on the go. This was particularly helpful for me as I could squeeze in some studying during my commute or breaks at work.
In addition to this, the UWorld also offers self-assessment exams. Now let us have a look at it!
UWorld Self-Assessment Exams
UWorld Self-Assessment Exams provide a comprehensive review of all the topics covered in the NCLEX-RN exam, simulating the actual exam’s difficulty level. These assessments are highly beneficial as they give you an idea of where you stand in your preparation, allowing you to plan your studies accordingly.
They are designed to track your readiness for the real exam, helping to improve your confidence. Furthermore, you receive a detailed performance analysis, identifying areas of strength and weakness. This feature is essential for effective and strategic preparation, ensuring that you’re giving adequate attention to areas requiring improvement.
Limitations of UWorld’s Self-Assessment Exams
While the self-assessment exams offered by UWorld are 100% beneficial in preparing for the NCLEX-RN, one limitation is the restricted number of exams. Depending on the plan you choose, the number of self-assessments can range from only 1 to 4. This means you get few chances to assess yourself, which is one of the main disadvantages of UWorld!
A larger number of self-assessments, such as those provided by the affordable NCLEX study guides like Archer Review, could provide a more comprehensive understanding of one’s performance. Archer Review offers unlimited CAT tests at a more affordable price than UWorld. This allows for more opportunities to identify weak spots, refine strategies, and practice under simulated exam conditions.
My NCLEX-RN Study Strategy: A Journey of Perseverance and Success
In the beginning, studying with UWorld felt like climbing a steep mountain. The concepts were complex, and I struggled to grasp them as someone who graduated more than a decade ago. As a new Immigrant who came to the country to become a Registered Nurse, I had no choice but to work hard. So, I devised an NCLEX exam strategy that became my roadmap to success.
- Gradual Increase in Question Practice: I started small, tackling 20 questions per day. As I slowly familiarized myself with the style and complexity of the questions, I gradually increased this number to 100-120 per day. There were days when I sat for hours, answering 120 questions at a stretch. It was exhausting but also created a real exam environment, preparing me for D-day. Gradually, I noticed an improvement in my speed, and I could answer 100 questions in less than two hours.
- Making Short Notes: Making short notes helped cement the knowledge I gained. Whenever I learn a new concept or a challenging question, I jot it down. These notes became my quick reference guide during revision.
- Systematic Study Approach: I tackled one system at a time. This approach allowed me to delve deep into each system, understand its intricacies, and build a strong foundation. I started with the Endocrine system, as it was easier for me to understand. This early success boosted my confidence, propelling me forward.
- Ignoring Initial Scores: Initially, my scores were far from impressive. Rather than letting them demotivate me, I chose to ignore them. My focus was on understanding and learning rather than on scoring.
- Pairing UWorld with Other Tools: While UWorld was my primary study tool, I also used other resources like Archer Review and Saunders. Saunders Online Guide helped me practice test-taking strategies, while Archer Review was helpful in CAT tests. However, I stuck to UWorld for the question bank.
My journey to passing the NCLEX-RN was a marathon, not a sprint. It required patience, hard work, and resilience. With proper study materials like UWorld and a strategic study plan, passing the NCLEX is achievable.
My Self-Assessment Score
My self-assessment scores in UWorld and Archer Review often exceeded 80%, reflecting my consistent performance and understanding of the NCLEX-RN exam topics. These high scores were a confidence booster for me! Moreover, I finished NCLEX-RN Practice questions within 90 minutes! So, I was more relaxed about time management during real examinations.
The Day of Testing
My NCLEX-RN Exam was scheduled for April 2022. I opted for the morning slot to avoid the tension that would build up over the day. As the exam day approached, I was very nervous, but as soon as I entered the exam hall, I could tune in to the exam mode.
The feeling of anxiety was replaced by a focus that was laser-sharp. Still, I remember the knot in my stomach as I approached the 75th question. I was hoping for the system to shut down at this point, as sitting there for too long was not in my plans. And just as I had hoped, after answering the 75th question, the system did shut down.
Filled with a mix of excitement and a newfound confidence, I left the exam center. On the Uber ride back home, as soon as I received the email, I performed the Pearson Vue Trick. It was a moment of pure joy when I saw the “good pop-up” on my phone screen. I had passed the exam. The feeling was overwhelming, a rush of relief and joy to which words can hardly do justice.
UWorld Review: Disadvantages of UWorld
While UWorld has many merits, it also comes with a set of drawbacks that users should be aware of:
- Cost: One of the primary disadvantages of UWorld is its cost. Compared to other NCLEX-RN preparation tools, UWorld is relatively expensive, which might deter some students, especially those on a tight budget.
- Lack of Content Review: UWorld focuses predominantly on practice questions, leaving little room for comprehensive content review. Those who prefer structured content review may find UWorld less helpful.
- Limited Number of Self-Assessments: As mentioned earlier, the number of self-assessment exams offered by UWorld is limited and depends on your chosen plan. If you need more self-assessment, then you need to purchase it, and it costs about $20 for each test. Alternatively, consider Archer Review, which is cheaper and provides unlimited CAT and self-assessment questions. I personally purchased it specifically for the CAT and assessment purposes. You will never regret about it.
- Absence of Test Strategy Guidance: Another notable limitation of UWorld is its need for more guidance on test strategies, an essential part of NCLEX-RN preparation. In contrast,Saunders Question Bank offers a unique feature that systematically guides test-takers in eliminating incorrect options, enabling them to find the correct answers more effectively. This strategic approach can be invaluable when navigating complex questions like SATA.
- Difficulty Level: UWorld’s questions can be harder than the actual NCLEX exam. While this could be beneficial as rigorous preparation, it could also create unnecessary stress or anxiety for some students.
|Advantages of UWorld for NCLEX Preparation||Disadvantages of UWorld for NCLEX Preparation|
|1. Extensive Question Bank with 2600+ practice questions||1. High cost compared to other NCLEX resources|
|2. Inclusion of Next Generation NCLEX-style questions||2. Limited number of self-assessment exams (1-4)|
|3. Detailed rationale and comprehensive explanations for every question||3. Additional cost for extra self-assessment exams|
|4. Visual aids such as medical illustrations and images for better understanding||4. Lack of comprehensive content review like in Archer Review|
|5. Progress tracking to identify areas of improvement||5. Absence of test strategy guidance|
|6. Timed practice tests for better time management skills||6. UWorld’s questions are often more challenging than the actual NCLEX exam|
|7. High reported pass rate of 99%||7. Difficulty level can create stress for some students|
|8. Mobile app for convenient on-the-go studying||8. No money-back guarantee or free trial|
1. How can one effectively study with UWorld?
My strategy is to start with 20 daily questions and gradually increase it to 100-120. I make short notes and focus on studying one system at a time. I don’t worry about scores in the initial days. I also find using other tools like Simple Nursing and Saunders alongside UWorld effective.
2. Why is UWorld considered a valuable resource for NCLEX preparation?
UWorld provides many practice questions, a similar question style to the NCLEX, and detailed explanations for every question, SATA questions, and NGN Questions, which help test takers identify patterns, understand concepts, and learn from their mistakes.
3. What is the success rate of students using UWorld for NCLEX preparation?
According to UWorld’s survey, 98% of students using their review courses passed the NCLEX-RN, and 99% passed the NCLEX-PN. These results indicate a high success rate among UWorld users.
4. How does UWorld’s difficulty level compare to the actual NCLEX exam?
UWorld’s questions are often considered more difficult than those on the actual NCLEX exam. However, despite this challenge, many students still find UWorld a valuable resource for NCLEX preparation.
5. Is there a money-back guarantee provided by UWorld?
No. Unfortunately, UWorld does not offer a money-back guarantee for their NCLEX review courses.
6. Does UWorld offer a free trial?
No. UWorld does not offer any free trial or money-back guarantee.
In conclusion, while UWorld is one of the best NCLEX preparation guides, it should not be used as the only resource. Its comprehensive NCLEX practice questions and detailed explanations can help you understand and master the concepts needed for the exam. However, its high price tag and limited number of self-assessment exams may make it less accessible for some students.
It’s crucial to remember that success in the NCLEX isn’t just about memorizing answers but truly understanding the underlying nursing concepts and clinical reasoning skills. Therefore, combining UWorld with other resources, such as Archer Review or Sounders Question Bank, can provide a more balanced, thorough, and practical study approach. At the same time, ensure you are not using too many resources, as it could lead to information overload and confusion. Ultimately, the key is to find what works best for you and stick to a study strategy that suits your learning style and needs.
Remember, the journey to passing the NCLEX is unique for each individual. What works best for one person may only work for one person. It’s all about finding the right balance and strategy that works for you.
Nurse Sam is an Internationally Educated Nurse (IEN) and a Registered Nurse in Ontario, Canada. Passionate about helping others, Sam dedicates his time and expertise to assisting fellow nurses by sharing valuable insights, tips, and advice through his contributions to NurseFact.com. Guided by his empathy and commitment to the nursing community, Sam aims to empower and support his colleagues as they navigate the ever-evolving world of healthcare.