Thank you to the UWorld team for partnering with me on this review post. All opinions are my own and below is my honest experience with the program. Enjoy!
With the 2015 nursing seniors graduating and getting ready to take their boards, I thought it’d be beneficial to review an online NCLEX resource called UWorld!
Background information about my NCLEX experience..
- I tested in June 2010.
- I used ATI in nursing school and did not purchase their study package after graduation.
- I purchased the Kaplan course. I took their 1-week class and did 25-50 questions daily until I tested 3 weeks later.
- I passed in 75 questions in 1 hr and 10 min.
- I’m not a great test-taker.
Quick Facts about UWorld
- It’s an online NCLEX question bank. There is not a book or class offered – it is just online questions.
- You can create tests of specific subjects/systems, all subjects/systems, put it in “tutor mode” which gives you rationales, or you can put it in timed mode to simulate an actual exam.
- You purchase it in chunks of time (anywhere from 30 days to 1 year) to access the question bank.
Alright, on to the review!
First impression (looking it over)
The site is really easy to use and streamlined. One thing I found surprising and beneficial is the question screens look very similar to the actual NCLEX. Anything to make me more comfortable with what to expect test day is a win in my books. I discovered that they use a similar software to that of the actual NCLEX (say whhhaaat!?).
You have multiple options for practice test questions. Timed, untimed, tutor mode (tells you explanations), and timed tutor mode. You can choose to go through unused questions each time, marked, all, incorrect or custom. As you’re taking the test, you can mark questions to go back and review and retest on them, and you can actually make a test of all questions you missed.
You then select the subject you’d like to be tested on (critical care, maternity, fundamentals, etc.) and finally body systems (cardiac, pulmonary, etc.). I found this helpful because I struggled with specific things.. like critical care cardiac and pulmonary items, maternity, and pediatrics. It would have been an inefficient use of my study time to go over mental health nursing, leadership, fundamentals, etc. because I was very confident in those areas. You can customize your tests to your needs. Additionally, you can also “select all” for both subjects and body systems. (I recommend doing that first to establish a baseline for your studying.)
Second impression (trying it out)
I first created just a 10 question practice test in tutor mode before trying an actual test. You get the answer and rationale instantly. It explains why the correct answer is correct, why the others are incorrect, and the educational objective behind the question.
When you do a timed practice test, it shows you a score card afterwards. What I really appreciate is that not only does it show the correct answer and why it’s correct, but also tells you what percent of people get that question right. It made me feel better when I got questions wrong that were pretty tough to see that only 10% of people got it right. It also tells you how long you spent on each question, which is valuable if you’re taking a long time on certain questions.
The scorecard tells you your score, average score, percent of people that get that question correct and how long you spent on each question. You can also go back and see the question, answer, and explanation by clicking the link on the far right hand side.
It also saves all of your tests, so if a question later down the line makes you want to go back and review a previous exam or question, you have that capability. One downside I noted was that the max amount of tests questions you could create was 44. So if you’re trying to simulate the actual exam (which I recommend doing beforehand!) you can only do 44 questions at a time. I don’t think that’s a deal breaker by any means, but something to be aware of.
When I went to the score card screen to check out how I did, I clicked on the question I got wrong to check it out. When I got to that screen, it was hard for me to figure out how to get back to this scorecard. There wasn’t a link on that page to bring me back here directly. After fumbling around a bit, I figured out I just had to hit the back button.
On the Go
They also have an app available for iPhones and Androids. So you can do questions on your iPad or cell phone while you’re out and about, waiting at the gate for your plane to board or in the waiting room at the doctor’s office. I think that’s pretty convenient and innovative. You don’t have to carry around your bulky NCLEX study guide and a pencil to get in a few more questions.
I know many of you are curious what the cost is and how it compares.
Kaplan starts at $418-$499 for the online or in-person class, book, and question bank. If you just want to purchase their question bank, their pricing structure is identical to UWorld’s. If you want the question bank and the book, add $20 to the price (so for 1 month and the book, it’d be $69).
ATI’s entirely online NCLEX review and question bank is $449.00.
Introductory Pricing for UWorld as of June 1, 2015*
1 month: $49
2 months: $79
3 months: $99
6 months: $149
1 year: $199
*Please visit their website for the most current pricing.
Pros: affordable, software similar to the actual NCLEX exam, large question bank with tutor and timed options, compares your score to average, app available
Cons: it’s only test questions and does not come with a book or a course like other competing NCLEX prep courses, max test questions allowed is 44, had some very minor navigation issues figuring out the site that were easily resolved
I think this is one of the best question banks I’ve seen; and I’ve use ATI and Kaplan. If you are someone who just needs to go through practice questions, this is an awesome resource. I highly recommend it. However, if you need the in-class experience and textbook/resources, like I did, I would recommend a different review course because this is just review questions. Looking back, if I was strapped for cash after graduation and couldn’t afford an actual full NCLEX review course, this would have been a fantastic alternative. I would still recommend purchasing a supplemental book to review specific things while taking questions and identifying areas that you need to focus on.
(Side note: after graduation, I recommend sticking with ONE review book and not referencing all of your textbooks from school. It’s too much information and gets too confusing. Use one question bank and one textbook to review, create a study plan, and stick to it!)
If you’d like to check out their website, go to this link.
If you’ve already purchased a course, which one and why? If you’ve tested in the past and used one, which one did you go with are were you happy with that decision?