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BoardVitals NCLEX Review
A comprehensive review of the NCLEX RN and NCLEX PN prep courses, practice tests and study materials from BoardVitals
BoardVitals NCLEX Review is known for providing one of the strongest packages of NCLEX practice material in the industry. With thousands of multiple format practice questions and the ability to take an unlimited amount of practice exams, there is no shortage of high-quality practice work. But will their massive amount of practice questions and impressive study materials be enough to help you pass the NCLEX? We answer that question in this detailed evaluation of BoardVitals NCLEX Review.
There are two basic formats for the BoardVitals NCLEX Review: the NCLEX PN Board Review Questions format and the NCLEX RN Questions and Practice Tests format. Each comes in three levels: Cram, Prepare, and Master.
The NCLEX PN Board Review Questions is geared towards those pursuing a career as a licensed vocational or practical nurse. It is composed of over 1,300 questions just like those you’ll find on the exam, with detailed explanations for each response, including both correct and incorrect.
The Cram option is priced at $59 and allows for one month of access. It provides you with up to date questions complete with detailed explanations, as well as an unlimited amount of Computer Adaptive Testing (CAT) practice exams.
The Prepare level costs a bit more at $89 and provides three-month access. The Prepare level includes everything in the Cram level, as well as providing a 100% Pass Guarantee, direct access to clinicians for help and a Buy Now, Start Later option.
The Master program offers everything the Cram and Prepare levels do, but has a six-month access period. While it is the highest priced option at $109, the access period is double that of the nearest level. I personally appreciated the value in this increased access time, and definitely believe it to be worth the added cost if you find yourself needing more time to prepare.
The NCLEX RN Board Review Questions and Practice Tests format offers the same features as the PN Board Review questions format but is geared toward those students seeking a Registered Nurse certification. This format features full practice tests and over 3,500 questions, forming a highly comprehensive level of preparation for this difficult exam. This version offers an $89 one-month Cram level, a $109 three-month Prepare level and a $139 six-month Master level.
Bottom line, BoardVitals is a decent value for the price (though not as much so as Nurse Plus Academy based on features and quality). And as a separate note of interest, BoardVitals donates vaccines for children in need for each purchase of a Cram, Prepare, or Master level NCLEX course. This is a nice, added philanthropic touch that I felt good about supporting during my pursuit of NCLEX readiness.
Analysis of Study Materials
The BoardVitals study materials for the NCLEX are nothing short of top-notch. When you log into the service, you can customize your practice tests using a huge question bank with the same kinds of questions you’ll find on the exams, thanks to help from actual NCLEX question writers.
The coverage of each of the four exam areas was extremely thorough and included both multiple-choice and open-ended questions. As I completed each study session, it analyzed my performance and pointed out areas for improvement, enabling me to focus on the sections in which I needed the most help.
While very thorough, these prep sessions consist strictly of question-and-answer sessions and practice exams. They don’t come with additional content, test-taking strategies or the like. What is included is a mobile app that lets you log on to practice your exams anytime, anywhere you have a few hours to tap it open and dive in. While it wasn’t a feature that I personally used much, it makes for a very convenient method of preparation and is an attractive feature for students who want the ability to study on the go.
BoardVitals offers a free trial and we encourage you to try it out before purchasing, as there are no cancellations or refunds for activated BoardVitals courses. They are confident in the ability of their materials, however, and they offer a Pass Guarantee for both the Prepare and Master levels. That means if you don’t pass the exam after using their prep course, they will allow you to repeat your course at no additional cost. That is the BoardVitals promise – they will allow you to repeat the course as many times as needed in order to pass the exam.
BoardVitals Standout Features
Just about every study or prep course for the NCLEX claims that it is the best and most comprehensive course around. The key is what makes it stand out from the rest of the exam prep resources out there. In this case, BoardVitals has several features that other prep options on the market today are lacking.
The first is that you can take an unlimited number of practice examsusing the CAT format throughout the entire period of your access. Yes, you read that right – unlimited. No matter how many times you want to log in and go, you can do it, and each time you’ll have the opportunity to customize your practice questions and exam to your own specific needs. With over 3,500 questions at the highest level, it’s highly unlikely that you’ll see the same set of questions twice. Each exam may repeat one or two questions from a prior exam but will always present a new challenge.
This means that when you work with this service, you’re not just learning answers by memorization; you’re actually learning and developing the skills that will help you pass while also making you more effective in your nursing career.
Next, there are multiple formats for questions. When you’re just answering multiple-choice, things can get rote and it can keep your brain on a certain level. Mixing up multiple-choice with open-ended questions means you need to change the way you think on each question and helps you to be quicker on your feet.
Where We Think BoardVitals Could Improve
For all BoardVitals’ many standout features, I found there to be a few areas where they could certainly improve. First is the fact that these are, in the end, just practice questions and exams. BoardVitals does not provide strategies for taking the exam. It doesn’t include advice on how to approach the test or get into the proper mindset. In fact, there’s no course content at all other than a brief Study Guide that comes with the service.
It also doesn’t include video lectures or direct access to tutors. I think that additional video content would improve this prep course, and break up the monotonous feeling that comes with constant question review. Quick, short video lessons or explanations would complement the question bank and be a welcome addition, but omitted perhaps to keep the course costs low. It isn’t a dealbreaker though. The questions and practice tests are sufficient in content to get you prepared for the exam.
The Prepare and Master levels do offer an “Ask a Clinician” feature, but this isn’t a substitute for live question-and-answer sections or course reviews, and it comes at a higher cost. BoardVitals could certainly improve its service and take better advantage of the online landscape by allowing access to one-on-one office hours with instructors.
For some users, this may not be a problem at all. If you’re the type who learns best by doing, you can dive in and take the exams until you hammer home what you need. We just believe that a simple database of questions, as broad and varied as it may be, could be improved upon with some content-based review and that additional materials could be easily made available to take this already excellent prep system to the next level.
The BoardVitals NCLEX Review offers thousands of practice questions written by actual NCLEX question authors, so you’re sure to get questions just like those you’ll see on the exam. The questions span all four areas of the NCLEX exam, and they come in both multiple-choice and open-ended answer styles so you can keep your brain moving and switching gears to build up both stamina and the mental dexterity you’ll need to excel.
It offers a supremely customizable interface so you can design exactly the practice exam sessions you need. The app interface for Apple or Android devices means that anywhere you go and have a few minutes, you can whip up a brief session to get some prep in throughout the day.
Each question has detailed explanations for both correct answers and incorrect answers. This enables you to educate yourself while you take the exam. The CAT system provides a detailed analysis of how well you do on each practice session. With this tool, you can dial down to your specific areas of weakness and focus on them moving forward.
Finally, the review program offers a Pass Guarantee. This means there’s no risk and you can feel good about the resources you get from this exam. Overall, despite minor flaws like not offering test-taking strategies, video content, or live tutor access, this is an outstanding resource for those preparing to take the NCLEX exams. After a full review, I found this prep package to be highly effective and I have no problem recommending the BoardVitals NCLEX Review program to aspiring nurses.
The NCLEX, or National Council Licensure Examination, is a vital part of your nursing education. This comprehensive exam is designed to test whether you’ve developed the skills and tools you will need to thrive as a practical, vocational or registered nurse. Students looking to become registered nurses will take the RN exam, while those seeking to become practical or vocational nurses will take the PN exam.
The exam is delivered in four sections, each based on a major Client Needs Category. These are the Safe and Effective Care Environment, Health Promotion and Maintenance, Psychosocial Integrity, and Physiological Integrity.
You don’t have to worry about getting an “A” or “B” on the NCLEX, as the grading system is pass/fail. Your scores will be evaluated as soon as you complete the exam, and you’ll be notified by the board of nursing in your state within two to four weeks after you take the test, on average. If you don’t pass, you can take the test again. Many students don’t pass the first time, but those who use the right prep resources have the best shot at passing.