How long to study for the NCLEX

by Cathy Parkes November 09, 2020 Updated: June 21, 2022 3 min read 1 Comment

How long should I study for the NCLEX?

Cathy gave herself two months post-school to study for her NCLEX. But it's up to you to gauge your understanding and how well-prepared you are. It also depends on your schedule and the other demands in your life. Some people have full-time availability, some part-time, and some have to take the precious moments where they can.

As Cathy notes in the video, if you come out of nursing school feeling like, "I got this!" then a month or so might be fine. Take some practice tests.

If you feel like you're behind in certain subjects as far as key concepts, and you want to solidify your knowledge, then give yourself more time. Flashcards are an excellent way to commit nursing concepts to memory and the NCLEX pack has the knowledge you need to help you pass the NCLEX.


Here's what one student had to say:

"I passed the NCLEX. I don’t know how to thank you enough Level Up RN! Your flashcards saved me. I even asked for an extension before the NCLEX so that I could study them. They helped me a lot. In fact, the books did not make sense to me until I decided to buy the cards. I created a schedule and studied every day so that I could understand the material very well, and when I was ready I went in and nailed the exam. I am so glad I made this choice. Thank you so much."


Whenever you schedule your NCLEX, be aware that people often cancel their appointments 24-72 hours out from their exam. So if you feel prepared and you want to pick an earlier spot, you can usually pick one of those up.

Some students have noted that NCLEX spots in their area were booked solid and they didn't have a choice but to schedule several months out. Try to be familiar with the availability in your area, before the time when you think you might be ready.


Full transcript

"How long do you recommend we study for the NCLEX after we finish our courses?"

Okay. So for me, I think I gave myself about two months. So I graduated in December. I took my NCLEX in February. So you really have to gauge how well-prepared you are. How much you understand the key concepts.

I felt pretty good about my understanding of the key concepts. I really practiced U-world questions for a couple months until my exam.

If you feel like you're really lacking in certain areas as far as the key concepts, like maybe your experience in your nursing program wasn't so great in one particular area. If you feel you need to learn those concepts a little better, then our resources can definitely help. Our videos and cards can help kind of solidify that information for you and then maybe give yourself a couple of months to answer practice tests.

If you come out of nursing school feeling like I got this then just maybe a month or two is fine for you to do some practice tests.

I will say this too. When you schedule your NCLEX you can schedule it like two months out. You'll find that people cancel their appointments like 24, 48 hours right before their exam, so you can usually always pick up a spot and change your exam date to the next day or two days later.

I actually did that. I had scheduled my NCLEX out pretty far, like three months, and then a month and a half, two months and I realized "you know what, I just need to get this over with. I need to stop studying and I just need to take this thing and be done."

So I actually went online and rescheduled my exam for the very next day so it didn't give me a lot of time to freak out about things so I couldn't freak out in my head. I just had to go and get it done. Rip the Band-Aid off!


1 Response

Mary Jane
Mary Jane

November 11, 2020

Hi Ms. Cathy, I would like to thank you to your videos which helps me a lot to understand some procedures that is not clear to me, specially I am on online school which most of time I am self-study. I bought all your flashcards while I was in the nursing program. I graduated last July 18, 2020. I am married with 4 children. During those time I am holding two jobs currently working as an LVN in the Veterans 12 hrs each shift and working in sub-acute 8hrs when I am off from Veterans. I only study when I get home from 8pm-1am in the morning. Woke-up at 5am to get ready to work. I wanted to take the NCLEX-RN as soon as possible. But due to pandemic the Pearson Vue was very full schedule. The soonest schedule that was available was October 15, 2020. I started studying full-time for one month before my exam, practice questions on Uworld and Nurse-achieve. NurseAchieve gave me confidence in taking the NCLEX which the question gives you an idea the level of the question from low, medium and high questions. I love NurseAchieve because you know when you are above passing score or below the line. I completed 30 Computer Adaptive Test (CAT) 75 questions and had “solid-pass and pass-pass.

October 15, 2020 @1pm my scheduled exam. Woke-up at 7am went out for jogging around the blocks in my house and had brunch. My husband drop me to Culver City Pearson Vue around 12:45pm and got inside the exam room. When I started my exam I was not nervous at all. The only thing I was focusing is writing how many select all the apply questions I am getting. I got 35 select all that apply questions, 1 calculation, 3 cardiac rhythm, 1 picture, 2 drag and drop, and lots of prioritization and delegations. I end-up to 75 questions. To me the questions are vague. So I went home and feel like empty. I can’t described how I feel that time. I could not sleep all night thinking the result of my exam. The next day I decided to check my results in the website. I saw “PASS” with the LICENSED Number in it. I cried out loud! I was very happy. I feel like I am the happiest person on earth. I DIDI it. Yes you can do it too. To you that are going to take the NCLEX you must watch Ms. Cathy Parkes videos first to enlighten your knowledge. Sorry for the very lengthy story.

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