Best Timelines When Studying for NCLEX: 2, 4, & 6 Weeks Out and 6 Months Prior

The Best Timelines When Studying for the NCLEX®

Congratulations! If you’re reading this then you are probably about to embark on an amazing nursing journey! But first, you must be prepared to study and pass the NCLEX®. Look no further though, we’re here to help you. In this blog, we’re diving into the best timelines when studying for NCLEX. We’ll cover what you should be doing two weeks, four weeks, six weeks, and six months before taking your board exam.

Timelines When Studying for the NCLEX®

However far away the NCLEX is for you, we have valuable information on how you can best prepare. 

6 Months Before NCLEX®

Congratulations on starting very early with your studies. You are giving yourself time to study both all the most important information as well as plenty of time to focus on areas you might be struggling with. 

The best way to start is by laying out a week-by-week and day-by-day study plan in your planner. Our Picmonic Digital Planner is a great place to lay out your study plan. Start by assigning weeks to particular topics and be sure to include topics you struggle with more than one time. Reviewing difficult material over the course of a few months will make it less overwhelming and help it stick when you see it over and over again.

Don’t forget to plan it into your schedule to take advantage of your professor’s office hours, group study, and special lectures or webinars along the way! 

Align your study tools with your study plan. For each subject, you’ll be studying and reviewing it’s a great idea to align your study tools to help your review and make sure you’re retaining what you are learning. 

Create playlists in Picmonic to go along with your topic of study each week. Doing just a few Picmonics a day can help you master the topics as you go. And it’s not too early to start practicing board-style questions! Once you learn the information you’ll want to test if you can apply it to NCLEX board-style questions. Assigning yourself a few NCLEX Questions a day or a test a week will allow you to see how to use the information you’re studying to pass the exam. Pro-tip: If you use TrueLearn’s NCLEX Practice Questions Test Bank, you’ll see automatic recommendations for relevant Picmonic topics as you quiz! 

6 Weeks Before NCLEX

With a month and a half left to go you have time to really focus on the high-yield information that you know will be heavily tested. We have a couple of solutions for you to get the ball rolling and make the most out of your study sessions! If you haven’t already, you should check out our Critical Clinical Cheat Sheets here! Our 70 Critical Clinical Cheat Sheets for nursing students cover HUNDREDS of mnemonics, with unforgettable characters to help you memorize the nursing facts you need to know for the long term. You’ll get access to test-taking strategies, lab values, fundamentals, and so much more. 

Another resource you should check out is the Picmonic Study Scheduler! ​​Paired with Picmonic Premium, the Picmonic Study Scheduler [Beta] is an adaptive tool that will help you more efficiently learn and review all of the info you need to know by your exam date. You can align the topics you need to study more to prepare for the NCLEX® and the Study Scheduler will use an algorithm to quiz you on what you need to review and when by your exam date! If you would like to learn more about the Picmonic Study Scheduler, check out this blog!

Don’t forget, you can always reach out to your professors or utilize their office hours if you are struggling to grasp certain topics! Your professors are on your team and want you to succeed. If you are struggling with a lesson, there are also your classmates you can use as a resource as well. Study groups are a great way to collaborate and get to know each other, but just make sure you have a set agenda so you don’t get off track! 

Also, balance is important! Prepare for the exam seriously and have a study plan, but don’t have studying take over your life. Remember to still set aside time for adequate sleep, exercise, and whatever you like to do for fun! If you have a study plan down early on, you will feel more confident and less stressed days leading up to the big day!!

4 Weeks Before NCLEX

If you have 4 weeks to study for the NCLEX, then you should definitely utilize Picmonic’s 4 Weeks to NCLEX Workbook & Study Planner! This workbook takes all of the stress out of studying. The benefit of using a planner is you will get a study plan that is broken down week by week. You’ll also get to learn with over 100 mnemonic pictures throughout the workbook! The key to studying 4 weeks out is honing in on extremely good study habits, as well as, personalizing a beneficial study routine that works for you. 

While the workbook works hand in hand with the Picmonic app, you’ll also get some fun extras in the workbook like games, crosswords, and other brain teasers to mix up the way you are studying. Check it out here!

Don’t forget to keep up with board-style practice questions as well! It wouldn’t hurt to take a handful of practice questions each night after you’re done reviewing the concepts on your agenda for the day. 

2 Weeks Before NCLEX

With about 2 weeks left until the exam, don’t slow your studying down! If you are two weeks or less out from taking your NCLEX, keep going over the basics and get into a good routine of studying and test taking. Remember to incorporate adequate sleep, healthy meals, and light exercise in the last couple of weeks of your journey! Begin thinking about test day and visualize what that is going to look like for you. Where is the testing center? Where are you going to park? Do I have all my documents ready? What are you going to wear (think layers!)? What are some favorite healthy snacks you are going to bring?

It’s time to focus on the big hitter information that the NCLEX will be presenting to you, and we have just the playlist for that. This playlist was created to help you hit all the most important information with Picmonics for the next two weeks. You don’t have to guess what’s important to study, we help guide you through it!

Week 1 Playlist

Monday: 

  • Culture, Communication, Delegation
  • 50-75 practice questions

Tuesday: 

  • Leadership, Patient Safety, Patient Positioning
  • 50-75 practice questions

Wednesday: 

  • Lab Values
  • 50-75 practice questions

Thursday: 

  • Infection Control, Vital Signs, Lung Sounds
  • 50-75 practice questions

Friday: 

  • Medication Administration, Needle Sizes and Uses
  • 50-75 practice questions

Saturday: 

  • Immobility, IV Fluids, Wound Care
  • 50-75 Practice Questions

Sunday: 

  • 50-75 Practice Questions
  • Rest

Week 2 Playlist

Monday: 

  • Oxygenation, Chest Tube Management
  • 50-75 practice questions

Tuesday: 

  • Blood Types, Blood Transfusions, Hypertension Medications
  • 50-75 practice questions

Wednesday: 

  • Electrolyte Imbalances, Acid-Base Imbalances
  • 50-75 practice questions

Thursday: 

  • Burns, Insulin, Antibiotics
  • 50-75 practice questions

Friday: 

  • Antidepressants, Antipsychotics
  • 50-75 practice questions

Saturday: 

  • Toxicities and Reversal Agents
  • 50-75 Practice Questions

Sunday: 

  • 50-75 Practice Questions
  • Rest

We’re sharing even more NCLEX prep tips here

The Days Before NCLEX

Give yourself a pat on the back, you’ve been studying so hard and deserve to get sleep and some time to decompress before your exam.  Avoid cramming a bunch of information in the last 48 hours. It can cause much-unneeded anxiety right before test day. Instead, try to completely relax. 

Take the morning before the test to calm your nerves. Wake up early, eat a balanced breakfast, listen to relaxing music, go for a jog, whatever works for you! 

You made it this far for a reason. Be confident in yourself and your nursing skills, you got this! You’re on your way to passing the NCLEX. 

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