Tuesday, August 25, 2009

I'm not saying that I'm an expert on the said scenario but since a) this is my blog and I can do whatever I want and b) I did pass the June 2009 Nursing Licensure Exam on the first take (and managed to get an 80++ board rating), I think there's nothing to lose with me sharing board exam techniques that worked and you reading (or even *gasp* following) it.

So without further ado, here are my...

(WARNING: Follow at your own risk.)

10. Pay attention to your AUDIT/REVIEW subject.

This is one of the mistakes that I did back in college. I didn't cut classes (Okay, maybe once, but only for the afternoon lecture), I listened, I took notes, I aced the tests but I feel as if I didn't get everything that I could with the review because half the time, I was thinking that I'll enroll in a review center this summer anyways so all of this will be repeated. I'll get this topic later on. But our summer was hectic with case completion duties, Graduation and Pinning Ceremonies and with the bunch load of information pushing each other out of the way into my brain, things were pretty much chaotic and I found myself thinking far too many times while studying that I should have studied listened more and texted on my phone less.

9. Pick a Review Center that suits you. (non-compulsory)

It's true that enrolling in a review center is not needed to pass the boards. However, doing so really gives you direction in what, when and how you should review a certain topic, where to focus on, test taking strategies and green hilarious sex jokes you can only get from their discussions. Ha!

8. Throw away those books.

90% of reviewing population: Are you serious??
Me: Very. Okay, you don't have to throw them, just keep them in a dark desolate place where they belong. During the rigorous review sessions of two months before the board exam, I never cracked a book open, because I find them complicated, long and utterly boring. Instead, I concentrated on bullet type reviewers, outlines and summaries of those Valium induced texts. On the day of the exam, I knew I did the right thing. It was a waste of time reading the longer version with too many words than reading the gist of the entire thing. Less time and effort.

7. Give up the internet or whatever addictions you may have for 2 months.

It's only for two months people. I figured I'd rather sacrifice for 2 months than to live in regret and depression for the rest of my life. I can surf the net and play all the FB games I could until I get so sick of it after the boards. For me failing is not an option and if my life becomes ruined because, of all things, Facebook, then I'll never be able to live with myself. So, even though I just signed up for the world's most addicting site, I promptly clicked on that logout link and didn't visit it again until after the exam. And I was right, I grew so sick of the games after playing them everyday for two months that I made this site just to escape the sickening farm and pet madness.

6. Learn how to guess correctly.

Even if you have a nursing encyclopedia for a brain, there will be items (lots of it) where you will have to scratch your head in exasperation and guess. It's either you guess basing on related existing knowledge or you guess with nothing. Both you will experience during the exam. Learn to feel the page, use your intuition, channel Madam Auring and see invisible glowing letters of faith in taking the exam. And don't forget the ini-mini-mini-moe rule.

5. Take notes. Forget that you and that big guy called Xerox/Photocopier ever met.

It's a fact. Your brain will retain more if you listen, read, write and speak while reviewing. Without the physical act of writing, you'll end up getting all hazy visioned and end up falling asleep. In high school it may be cool to sneak a nap while the teacher's droning away, but in reviews it falls into the "WTH are you thinking??" box.

4. Know how to shade.

At the day of the board exam when we were asked by the examiners to fill the personal information page, the examinee in front of me turned around and asked me how to shade the little rectangular boxes filling the sacred oslo papers that holds our future a.k.a the PRC scantron board paper things. I was shocked. I couldn't formulate a verbal answer so, with a dumbstruck face, I just did an up and down motion with my hand while holding my pencil. I mean what on earth was she thinking taking the Mother of All Tests without even practicing how to shade at least a single tricky box. She could have perfected the test but if shaded all wrong then those correct answers won't be translated to points and those points won't be translated to a name in the passer's list.

3. Look, write and listen everyday. Read every night.

Now, I've never been the kind of A Type Personality person who would study everyday, prepare for every quiz and recites until my arm go all cyanotic. But for the board exam, I turned my back on every studying principle I believed in. (Ex. Listen to class but studying at home is for nerds. Homework is best done the night before. Studying for an exam is best done...never. Etc. etc.) It's hard studying again after going home after you've been studying for a day already, but it did pay off in the end. All your sacrifices will pay off in the end... Hopefully.

2. Answer bunch loads of practice test questions.

Review center will attest to this one. Answering tons of practice questions not only makes you remember things better but improve your guessing skills, which is very very important as I've mentioned. It's like hitting all the birds with one stone. Ain't that grand?

1. Relax and believe in a Higher Being.

No matter how much you don't believe in God, Allah or the Virgin Mary manifesting in a taco, the sudden burst of spirituality and religious fervor among board exam takers are a common, if not inevitable, occurrence. You will visit the every church that you can as if they're the 7 wonders of the world, light numerous candles (1 candle for each test point) and will go and kneel with bowed heads in front of St. Jude Thaddeus's altar. You'll do everything that you can to bathe in holy water together with all your test paraphernalia especially the week/day before the exam because you feel unholy and idiotic without it and your pencil, eraser and sharpener is infested with Satan, Lucifer and various bad spirits and will eventually fail you. Don't worry, all of this is normal, and amusing to reminisce after passing the exam. :)

So that's my take on being an influential and helpful role model blogger for upcoming registered nurses out there. I wish you all the best and will be waiting for you with open arms, a big smile in my face and a banner saying in big bold letters:

Welcome to the Unemployment World. Hoooorah!


chow16 said...

Gosh... It seems that I'll also follow the same waypoint you went through. I guess I just did the right thing to spare my eyes on uber boring textbooks scattered in my room; it barely helped me. However, I won't leave Kozier's work behind; she's my favorite author lol.

I'm currently taking online simulations and review materials. I also want to buy those 300-worth mnemonic books as a helpful tool during review. Hopefully I surpass this test and make everyone around me smile.

+1 btw.

Clarrise said...

Thanks. Kozier is okay. She feels our pain and made her books simple and concise. Joyce Black unfortunately didn't and it pains me every time I have to open her book haha. Just keep up the momentum and the rest will follow through. :)

downloads-galore said...

Well written. Incoming board examiners should check out this article. Congratulations for passing the board!

Shimumsy said...

congratulations for passing the rn board exam.

Clarrise said...

thanks! :D

dianne said...

hi.. ahaha. i also got mine.. nice one!:)) got the same NO.1 GOD IS THE BEST..:))

Clarrise said...

@ dianne: i read yours too.. :)) thanks for reading mine and commenting! :D

Anonymous said...

hi clarrise..im done reading all your post..thanks for visiting and commenting on my blog..congratulations for passing the june NLE..

BTW, Im mariam..

Clarrise said...

@ mariam: hi, just read your comment just now. One of the downsides of not approving comments one by one. Hope you leave a link so I can revisit your blog. :) Thanks for dropping by..

Light said...

hahaha!!! sabi ko na eh sa una plng SRG ka eh.. lahat yan sinabi sakin ni sir aliswag personally thanks for reminding me bro or sis... thanks a lot ^_^

Clarrise said...

@ light: I'm a proud Pentagonian by all means. A few SRG lecturers taught us in audit subject in 4th year so I guess I can be considered as 30% taga-SRG lol. and you're welcome! :D

RJ Naguit said...

Haha! =) Ma-follow nga ito.hehe

Clarrise said...

Thanks. :)

TORDY said...

hi blogger! your articles are really informative! i just shared it in my FB wall! Btw,i wwant to be your friend. do you have any Facebook account? btw,i passed the recent nle. nagulantang ako sa #7. naalala ko pa yung araw2x akong nag-e-FB 2 months b4 the exam! :)

Clarriscent said...

@TORDY: Thank you for reading and sharing them! Lol. You can imagine my pain during those FB-less months, just for the sake of passing the board exam.

You can follow me at Twitter:
I'll follow you back. :)

Anonymous said...

Thanks. :) Inspiring.

Clarriscent said...

@ Anonymous: Thank you! :)

Anonymous said...

tnx for the article.its inspires me.im just a 1st year nursing student and hoping to pass the boardexam=)whew

Clarriscent said...

@Anonymous: Thanks for reading! With perseverance, you won't just pass but you can top the exams. :)

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Anonymous said...

thank you very much for this/ :)

Clarriscent said...


No problem! Glad to know these tips are still helpful to future exam takers. :)

Anonymous said...

Where can I get practice questions?? :) any advice? :)

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