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You’ve been studying for weeks, maybe even months.

You’ve put in the work and are confident that you know the material cold. So why can’t you pass the NCLEX?

It’s a question that plagues nursing students across the country.

The National Council Licensure Examination (aka NCLEX) is no walk in the park, and it’s normal to feel like you’re not quite ready when test day rolls around.

Why You’re Not Passing the NCLEX

If you’re repeatedly failing the NCLEX, you’re either not studying enough or, most likely not studying the right way. Take a moment to take a step back and examine what you could do differently to help you get different results.

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The only NCLEX prep you’ll need. Check out the nclex prep course that helps graduate nurses pass their state board.

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  • Test Taking Tips
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Reasons Why You Can’t Pass the NCLEX

Here are a few of the most common culprits why you might be failing the NCLEX.

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An infographic on the reasons you’re not able to pass the NCLEX.

1. You Didn’t Study Enough

This is probably the most common reason why students fail the NCLEX.

Nursing school is tough, and it’s easy to get behind in your studies. When it comes time to take the NCLEX, you might find that you haven’t covered all of the material on the test.

The best way to avoid this problem is to make sure that you’re staying on top of your studies from day one.

Don’t wait until two weeks before the test to start studying- by then, it will be too late!

2. You Studied the Wrong Material

In addition to not studying enough, another common mistake is studying the wrong material.

When you’re preparing for the NCLEX, it’s important to focus on studying material that will be on the test.

There is a lot of information out there, and it can be tempting to try to learn everything. However, if you try to learn everything, you will end up forgetting what is actually important.

Make sure to consult a study guide or this NCLEX prep course so you know that the material you’re studying will be high-yield items on the board exam.

3. You Tested Too Soon

After months of hard work in nursing school, you might be tempted to take the NCLEX as soon as possible.

However, this is not always a good idea. If you take the NCLEX before you’re truly ready, there is a good chance you will not pass.

This goes right along with my first point about not studying enough. A good way to deal with this issue is to set up a study guide. If you need help setting up a study guide, you can go here for assistance.

4. You Didn’t Take a Practice Test/ Practice Questions

One of the best ways to prepare for any test is to take a practice version beforehand. This allows you to see what types of questions will be on the test and also helps you get used to the format of the test itself.

Many students underestimate how important it is to do practice questions.

I attribute my passing both the NCLEX-RN and the NCLEX-PN to the high number of practice questions I was doing a day when I was preparing for it.

5. You’re Trying to Memorize Instead of Understand

If your study method of choice is rote memorization, you might want to consider changing things up.

The NCLEX isn’t a memory test—it’s meant to gauge your clinical understanding of important nursing concepts.

Of course, memorization can play a role in your overall understanding of the material. Still, it should never be your sole focus.

If you find yourself mired in flashcards and lists of facts instead of higher-level concepts, it might be time to try a different approach.

Try active learning techniques like starting study groups or working through practice questions with a friend.

You might find that a more collaborative approach helps you understand and retain information better than working alone.

6. You Lack Confidence

It sounds simplistic, but confidence can make a big difference on test day, not just because it’ll help you relax (although that’s important, too).

Studies have shown that confidence actually boosts performance by helping students feel prepared and competent.

So if you lack confidence heading into the NCLEX, fake it ’til you make it!

Remind yourself of all the hard work you’ve put in and how much you know about nursing concepts.

It might help to write out a list of your strengths or think about past successes in school or clinical rotations.

If all else fails, imagine yourself crossing that finish line after getting that letter that says you passed.

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Key Takeaways

The NCLEX can be a daunting task, but don’t let repeated failures get you down—there could be any number of reasons why you haven’t been able to pass yet.

Take a step back and examine your study habits, understanding of key concepts, and overall confidence level heading into the exam.

Making small changes in these areas could mean big results come test day.

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