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5 Surefire Ways to Fail the NCLEX (a beginners guide)

After you complete the exhausting marathon of nursing school, your work is not complete.  As soon as you pass the NCLEX, you can begin working.  But who wants to do that!? So if you’re terrified to start as a nurse and want to put that (and earning an income!) off as long as possible, follow these tips.

1. Cram

Nothing says failure like trying to cram all of the information from an entire college education into a few all-nighters before the biggest exam of your career.  It’s impossible to understand all of the body systems, pharmacology, nursing math, medical terminology, critical care, med-surg, nursing theory, etc. in just a few days, so go for it!

Try me. ???????????? #finalsweek #finalsgotmelike #financefinal #cramming #tryingtomakeaC

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2.  Complete Multiple All-Nighters

You know what will secure a “failure in 75 questions” situation?  Severe sleep deprivation.  Even those questions that you are not sure about but could potentially get correct will be buried so far deep down into the abyss of exhaustion that you wouldn’t be able to work through the question anyway.  And even during those nights that you sleep, make sure it’s constantly interrupted.


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3.  Let your feelings of stress and anxiety run you

This exam is very stressful, so even the best-prepared people experience test-anxiety.  The best way to let this overpower and paralyze you is to over think everything, run down every single anxiety-filled rabbit hole, and always always always think of how much you don’t know.  Become your own head case.  Go with every single emotion and don’t try to have power over them.  If you feel something negative – go with it.  It won’t make you forget the information, it will just stress you out and discourage you so much that you can’t remember it when it matters.

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4.  Don’t do any review questions and overanalyze the few that you do complete

Taking prep questions is the worst way to go about failing the NCLEX.  Practice NCLEX questions get you used to the exam and content, which is the last thing you want to do if you fail!  When and if you actually make some time to sit down and do some questions, make sure you over think all of them so you question even the most basic nursing knowledge.


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5.  Eat only fast food and get hooked on a new show

Things that will definitely give you an edge will be distraction, lethargy, and gluttony.  Anything that can keep that vicious cycle going is key.  Eat quick meals from fast food places, watch a few episodes and get really into it, begrudgingly do 5 practice questions, and then watch 4 more hours.  Don’t forget to fall asleep in front of the screen!  Eat, watch, questions, watch, sleep.  Every 7 hours you’ll get about 12 minutes of studying complete!




Passing the NCLEX is possible with appropriate content preparation, going through tons of practice questions, confidence, and time management.  So if you want to fail, make sure you steer clear of all of those things!  And make sure you don’t check out sites that provide free resources and support to better prepare you for the NCLEX or else you’ll pass.  And whatever you do, don’t take the 3,500 free NCLEX questions at NursingPracticeQuestions.com


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Date Published - May 26, 2016
Date Modified - May 26, 2016

Kati Kleber RN CCRN

Written by Kati Kleber RN CCRN

Kati Kleber RN CCRN is a Neuro ICU nurse with experience in MedSurg. She joined the NRSNG team in 2016. Her passion lies in helping new grads navigate the complexity of being a new nurse. She runs the blog: NurseEyeRoll.com and is a published author.


  1. sbenge

    I’ve completed 1500 of the NCLEX questions out of the 3500. Right now I have a score of 55%. What score should I be looking for before I test?

    • Jon Haws

      Jon Haws

      The average score for users is between 50-60%. The most important factor is to see how well you are understanding rationales of those questions you are getting wrong. Read through them, highlight notes, and review that material in depth as you go along. Try to draw a pattern for “WHY” you are missing questions.