How Do You Prepare for Nursing Competency Exams?


To prepare for nursing competency exams, students should make sure they meet eligibility requirements, review important facts and skills required by nurses, identify the content areas that will be included on the exam, study in groups and take practice exams. At least one of the practice exams should be a timed exam so students can practice how to pace themselves and use their time efficiently.

Use the following steps to prepare for nursing competency exams:

  1. Determine eligibility
  2. Makes sure that all eligibility requirements are met before registering for the exam.

  3. Review the facts
  4. Identify and review the facts and information needed to become a nurse. Take time to review the basic nursing skills and practice to increase knowledge and memory of the skill.

  5. Identify the areas included on the exam
  6. The exam may not include all areas of nursing. Determine which areas will be included so that study time is focused on those topics.

  7. Study in groups
  8. Form a small study group with other students and meet regularly to go over material. Other students can help explain unclear material and go over information not already known.

  9. Take practice tests
  10. Take several practice tests to learn more about how the exam will be structured and to help reinforce material. Include practice tests that are timed to practice how to use the time efficiently so the exam is completed.

  11. Review the answers
  12. Go through the explanation for the practice exam answers. This can help increase knowledge, apply the information and decrease anxiety about the exam.