7 Tips for Using the UWorld NCLEX® QBank

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Seven tips for using the UWorld NCLEX® QBank to study for the licensure exam.
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Congratulations! You’ve just finished nursing school, or you’re close to finishing, and you’ve started the process of preparing for your NCLEX® exam. That’s quite the accomplishment! 

But as you know, the NCLEX is a grueling exam, and you’ll need to maximize your study sessions. If you’ve chosen the UWorld NCLEX QBank as your online learning tool, you’re off to a great start — you’ve selected the best test prep available. 

Over 700,000 nursing students have used UWorld for NCLEX success since our product launch in 2015 . . . welcome to the family!

Here are seven tips to get the most out of your NCLEX QBank in order to be supremely confident and fully prepared to ace your exam on test day: 

1. Take Advantage of Tutor Mode

The “Create Test” page is the Home Page for your dashboard and where you will generate your practice tests/sessions. 

At the top of the page, you will see a toggle button to turn “Tutor” mode off or on. (The default setting is “on.”)

When Tutor mode is selected, you will see the correct answer (and rationale) immediately upon answering the question. It is recommended to use Tutor mode in order to study as you go. 

Tutor mode turns each practice question into a study session. Students find this feature extremely useful. 

Note: 

  • When Tutor mode is turned off, you will still be able to see your correct and incorrect answers, along with the rationales, but not until the end of your practice session/test.
  • Most students turn off Tutor mode when taking a practice test in order to mimic exam day conditions. 

2. Know When To Use Timed Mode

To the right of the Tutor mode toggle button, you’ll find a toggle button for “Timed” mode. (The default setting is “off.”)

Timed mode is not necessary for your daily study sessions, but is recommended for the days in which you want to practice under exam-day pressure.

For example: 

On Monday – Thursday, you might choose to spend two hours each day working through the QBank with Tutor mode turned on and Timed mode turned off. This allows you time to thoughtfully consider each question and to meticulously study the rationales. Perfect study session!

However, on Friday of each week, you might choose to practice under exam-day conditions. On this day, you could turn Tutor mode off and turn the Timed mode on. Now, you’ll be able to work through the practice test the same way you will work through the NCLEX on test day.

3. Set Aside Study Time To Work Through “Incorrect” and “Marked” Questions

The “Question Mode” option on your “Create a Test” page gives you five options regarding the kinds of questions you wish to practice: Unused, Incorrect, Marked, All, and Custom. (“Custom Mode” is intended to allow for faculty review.)

The first time you use your QBank, you’ll choose “Unused” or “All,” considering that you haven’t answered any questions previously.

After you have spent some time in your QBank, your “Incorrect” and “Marked” questions become important for NCLEX preparation.

Incorrect:

Be sure to set aside study sessions in which you work through questions you previously answered incorrectly. This is an essential element of self-remediation and will help you learn from your previous mistakes in order to avoid those mistakes in the future.

Marked:

When you work through your QBank, you can “mark” questions for whatever reason you choose. Perhaps you marked it because you wanted to study the rationale further, or maybe you marked it because you answered it correctly, but that answer was a total guess.

Just like you can go back and work through “Incorrect” questions, you can choose “Marked” questions in the Question Mode and go back through the questions you previously marked for further study.

4. Focus on the Subjects and Systems in Which You Need the Most Practice

The “Subjects” and “Systems” selection features make your study extremely efficient. With this option, you can choose to focus on your weaker areas of knowledge. 

For example: If “Critical Care” is a particular strength but “Mental Health” is an area where you need more expertise, you can select “Mental Health” questions for your study session or practice test. 

Note: Though it may not be the same amount of time as your weaker areas, set aside time to review your strengths also. You want to be well-rounded in your preparation leading up to exam day.

5. Study the Rationales Carefully

The detailed rationales, written by experienced nurse educators and practicing nurses, are the most important part of your QBank and the thing that sets UWorld apart from all other test prep options.

Not only will you find concise explanations, vivid illustrations, and intricate animations in the rationales, you’ll also be given multiple concepts per question to maximize your study time. 

All of these components work together to develop your critical thinking skills and boost your test preparedness.

Do more than just answer the questions, take time to study each rationale thoroughly. If you spend the majority of your time examining the rationales, you’ll be well positioned for NCLEX mastery.

6. Flashcards, Flashcards, Flashcards

One of the ways to customize your study sessions is with the helpful UWorld “Flashcards” feature.

As you work through your QBank, there is a Flashcards icon in the upper-right corner of your screen. With this option, you can make a new flashcard or add to flashcards you have created in the past. 

When making a flashcard, you can transfer written and/or visual content to both sides of your card. Additionally, you can create your own notes and label your cards with custom tags for improved searchability.

These options allow you to build your own flashcards deck for improved study!

Note: The Flashcards feature in your UWorld QBank uses Spaced Repetition technology. Spaced Repetition is a proven, evidenced-based learning technique that helps you see difficult information more frequently until you master it, then decreases the frequency so your brain is challenged to create long-term retention.

7. Stick to a Disciplined Study Routine

A disciplined, focused study routine is the foundation for NCLEX success. Set up a study plan and stick to it. 

The length of time you study each day will depend upon how much time you have until your test date. The best study plan will begin months before your exam, include a trusted test prep resource, and will allow you to take occasional days off.

Even with scheduled down time, the key here is consistency. If you’ll be disciplined to do the daily work, you’ll avoid the stress, anxiety, and unpreparedness that comes with procrastination.

You’ve come this far; don’t slack off now. Approach your NCLEX prep the same way you approached nursing school. Be focused, be determined, be committed.

8. *BONUS* Make Use of Your Self-Assessments

Several of the UWorld QBank subscriptions come with self-assessments. These self-assessments are beneficial for identifying weaknesses, comparing yourself to other test takers, and predicting NCLEX readiness. Make sure to utilize this helpful tool.

If you’re a nursing student preparing to take the NCLEX® exam, UWorld is the gold standard for NCLEX prep. We can help guide your success from classroom to clinical with thousands of questions that mimic the exam, detailed rationales, vivid illustrations, and precise performance tracking. Discover why over 700,000 nursing students have trusted us for their exam prep since 2015.

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