The strategies you implement during your testing time can have a HUGE impact on your result. Here are four exam strategies to think about now and when it’s time to take the big test!


  1. When you read a question, make a prediction of what the answer is before looking at the choices.  The answer choices are meant to mislead you.  Go with your gut instinct and don’t change your answer.  There is an abundance of evidence that suggests that parts of our brain knows facts that our consciousness is not always aware of. If you “feel” a response is correct, accept it and tackle the next question!
  2. When you are reading through the answer choices, keep the question in mind.  This may seem like a no-brainer, but many students immediately pick an answer that fits with something they know.  Even if an answer choice looks correct, still take a moment to look at other choices before making a decision.
  3. Pay close attention for key words like but, however, while, despite, support, and phrases such as further teaching. Also look for words such as most, priority, and first. Extremes are not likely to be answers.  That being said, while studying you should make a note of and carefully review any rules and exceptions that can be applied to multiple questions.
  4. The writers of the NCLEX and nursing exams try to catch graduates with poor understanding by using correct sounding answers!! Eliminate the wrong answers. Think about the remainders. Read the questions SLOWLY and THOROUGHLY!!

-Daphne Neuhaus, RN

Find study strategies on our blog and in the NCLEX Mastery apps: Canadian RNPNRN!

Posted by Catherine MSN RN

Catherine is a nursing subject matter expert at Higher Learning Technologies, the developers of awesome Nursing Mastery products. Catherine worked in oncology, pulmonary, progressive care, intensive care, med-surg, step-down, and hospice. Catherine teaches clinical, classroom, and simulation and has completed contracted writing with WGU, WK/LWW, ATI, Pearson, Kaplan Test Prep, Elsevier, Excelsior, and HTRSD. #BoyMomma #ICanStudyAnywhere #NursesRock


  1. Thank you so much for the tips. I know I will be prepared because of you all 😊


    1. That is our goal!!!! Thanks for reading 🙂 Best of luck to you!!!


  2. Erica M Langley March 21, 2018 at 9:40 pm

    Thanks for the advise, I am still in nursing school but this information will help me with the testing that I have to do now.


    1. Catherine MSN RN March 21, 2018 at 9:45 pm

      Awesome. Glad to help!!!


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