5 Study Tips For The Nursing Licensure Exam


Not everyone is a great test-taker, but even people with testing anxiety can prepare themselves for the nursing licensure exam. Your brain is a muscle. Like any other muscle it needs conditioning through practice. The hardest part of running a marathon shouldn’t be the marathon itself, but preparing for the event. The same line of thinking applies to the nursing licensure exam.

Take Care of Yourself

Although research shows that pulling an all-nighter is an ineffective study tactic, more and more college students can be found studying at the library well into the late night hours. Getting enough rest is vital to maintain focus and retain information. Most people need a minimum of 7 hours of sleep to feel refreshed and recall information. Before you take the exam, make sure to eat a balanced meal. If your are able to, bring water with you into the exam room. Coffee may help you to be alert in the morning, but drinking nothing but caffeine can make you jittery and unfocused. Taking care of these basic steps will provide you with the energy and alertness you need to ace the exam.

Take Advantage of Practice Exams

To prepare for your test, you can take several practice tests online or at your local library or bookstore. If you want to make the most out of these tests, shoot for 50 to 100 questions a day. Review your answers and record what you got wrong, then walk away from the desk. The next day, return to the questions you answered incorrectly, then tackle another fifty questions. This repetition will help you drill the facts, but you don’t want to stare at books all day the day before the real exam. Give yourself time to relax so you can walk into the exam room fresh.

Don’t Second Guess Yourself

When people take a test they can get into the habit of going back and changing their initial answers. On occasion, people may change an answer up to four or five times. Test-taking research finds that the first answer is often correct, so trust your gut!

Read The Entire Question

If you are nervous about taking a test, you may tend to skim through questions and choose an answer too quickly. The issue with this is that when you skim through a problem, you miss out on crucial information that affects the final answer. Read each question calmly and thoroughly until you are comfortable with what is being asked. Then, carefully review all possible answer. Another habit that may be useful is to cover the answers while you first read the problems so you don’t jump to conclusions.

If You Don’t Know It, Skip It For Later

Part of taking an exam is being able to manage your time. When you are taking your nursing licensure exam, try answering the questions you know while saving the rest for the next read. When you go through the test once and have an idea of how long it is, you can then go back to the questions you didn’t know. Reviewing them with a better sense of how much time you have left can help with anxiety. You can avoid the issue of running out of time by taking several practice exams beforehand and pacing yourself.

Studying for the nursing licensure exam takes time, commitment, and a steady schedule. Once you earn your nursing license, find your first traveling nurse position on our website!