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uWorld NCLEX-RN Review: Is it the Best Option to Help You Prepare for your NCLEX?

The NCLEX will be the hardest exam and the most stressful time after an already stressful couple of years spent in nursing school. The exam is written to determine whether you are prepared enough to take care of patients on your own properly. The time spent in nursing school is meant to prepare you for the NCLEX exam and become an independent professional nurse. Choosing the best reference to prepare for the NCLEX exam can be confusing in an already stressful time. Personal preference and individual needs are factors to consider when determining which NCLEX reference to use. When choosing an NCLEX reference, it is crucial to understand the types and format of questions to expect on the exam. It is essential to know that the exam is not asking basic questions such as recognizing facts. Critical thinking comprehension questions that prepare you for the real-world are the main focus of the exam.

The Difference Between NCLEX and uWorld

uWorld is a program that offers practice questions and assessments for licensing exams and college prep exams with access on all devices. They offer a test bank with 2169 questions for the NCLEX-RN exam and more than 1,100 questions for NCLEX-PN exam that tests your critical thinking ability. Evidenced-based questions developed by nurse educators and practicing nurses are continuously updated to reflect the most up to date and accurate information. The questions mimic the same structure of the NCLEX. Past users have suggested that uWorld's questions are more challenging than the actual NCLEX questions. This approach has many advantages - learning how to apply the concepts or extract critical information from the scenario allows a greater comprehension to become a more qualified nurse. The NCLEX exam is an adaptive test which adapts based on your answers to the questions. The first question will be relatively easy - below the minimum competency level. If you select the correct answer, then you will be given a more difficult question. However, if you choose an incorrect answer, you will be given a question below the minimum competency level of the first question. This process will continue until the exam calculates your competency level. uWorld's strategy of having more difficult questions prepares you to reach that level of competency faster. Also, you will be more comfortable and confident while taking the exam.

Question Bank and Customizable Tests

Don't expect to find too many basic comprehension questions on the NCLEX. Items will include everything you have been exposed to in nursing school, including leadership and prioritization. uWorld's content and appearance are similar to what you can expect to find on NCLEX. Having this familiarity can help lessen exam day stress and have more confidence. The question bank is easily customizable based on study needs. There is the ability to create a test from the question bank by test mode, question mode, subjects, systems, and the number of questions - 75 questions being the maximum. Each item has detailed rationales for the correct answer and all the incorrect options. Having the ability to create a quick test or more subject-focused material gives you the power to study when needed.

Features of uWorld

Strategies are included to help you retain information and apply it towards other concepts. Detailed illustrations and diagrams help to visualize how the question pertains to patients. A performance graph icon on the question results page displays the percentage of peers who correctly answered the question. These performance indicators allow you to gauge your strengths or weakness when compared to your peers. Also, this percentage suggests the degree of difficulty. A low percentage rate would imply the question is more challenging and deserves more attention. The question results page displays how long you spent in seconds. This record of time is a great tool to identify what questions or what subject you are spending more time answering. You can mark the item for review or create notes of which areas need more attention. From this screen, you can create a flashcard or a note of the question material to reference later. Upon completion, test results show which items were correct and incorrect, the system and topic, and peer performance ranking. Direct access to the question with your answer selection and rationale is available to review, takes notes, or make flashcards. Test analysis is available that breaks down your performance into subjects and systems that are easily visible which areas need more focus. Questions answered correctly are labeled green, and those incorrect are red. An overall performance report provides information for all tests taken. A percentile rank shows your score against a median score based on other uWorld users. In the chance you did not mark or take notes on a particular question, there is a keyword search feature to return to a previous question already taken in a test. Unfortunately, the search results will not display any keyword entered. You would not be able to search for a particular topic that you feel is a weakness.

uWorld Price

uWorld offers several packages based on timeframe access and included features. The cost is more than competitors and includes fewer practice assessments. For example, their recommended package allows question bank access for 180 days (6 months) and costs $50 more than Kaplan and offers one less 100 question assessment. The most basic package only offers 30-day access to the question bank for $119. There is not an opportunity to take a timed test and view the results. For some, having the ability to gauge their level of preparedness and knowledge base is essential. uWorld also offers complete feature packages that allow access for 360 and 730 days. Having access for one to two years is probably not necessary. Even if you decide to subscribe during nursing school, uWorld is only a test bank and not a review program, but you can learn from the explanations. The questions are written based on core concepts, but you first need fundamental knowledge. Both NCLEX and uWorld questions require critical thinking to conclude which answer is the best. Beginning at the 180-day package, the option to reset all question bank data is available and also provides an NCLEX readiness predictor. The first round going through the question bank can give exposure to the structure and content of the questions. This reset allows an opportunity to test the level of retained information, how well you studied, or NCLEX readiness.

The opportunity to renew your initial chosen package and retain your performance is available from 7 days up until 360 days from the date of the original expiration date. The cost to renew an existing package ranges from $29 to $179 and is more expensive rather than choosing the same timeframe in a plan initially. Selecting the package that best fits your needs with the initial subscription is recommended to save money and utilize the full benefits of uWorld.

uWorld does offer a demo version that allows a one time, restricted access to their program. The demo version only allows a 25 question test in tutor mode. The tutor mode offers the same features, including the time spent on each question. The only difference with a timed test is the added pressure of the clock ticking down. Using the timed test feature, you will be more prepared when taking the timed NCLEX. The overall performance results are merely a generalized depiction of an uWorld user, not based on results from the demo test. However, uWorld represents all the features that are available as a paid subscriber.


The question bank allows you to create unlimited timed exams with a 75 question maximum. Other than having more access time between different packages, the added feature of self-assessments may not be an essential feature to pay the extra cost. It is unknown how unique the self-assessment questions are from the question bank. Items from the bank could potentially be in the assessments. You are allowed to complete the self-assessment only once and given two weeks to complete once activated. However, the results are available to review until the subscription expires. For any reason, you do not complete the self-assessment within those two weeks then that opportunity will be lost.

Will Using uWorld Prepare You for Passing the NCLEX?

Overall, uWorld is an amazing NCLEX style question bank with comprehensive rationales. The study and performance tools available allow you to pinpoint your strengths and weaknesses and test-taking skills. They offer many packages with the flexibility to activate within 180 days of purchase and the opportunity to renew without losing your performance reports. You have the option to subscribe up to two years. However, subscription costs are more than competitors while offering fewer self-assessments than some. When considering the features, the extra cost seems to be worth paying as you inch closer to your exam date.

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