NCLEX Practice Exam | How to Study for the NCLEX When You Just Don’t Want To

I know it can be hard to imagine, but some students do not feel like studying for the NCLEX each and every day before test day! Try as they may, they can’t seem to get motivated to hit the books. But, not to worry, there are ways to study for the NCLEX when you just don’t want to. Read on for some tips on tricking yourself into studying so you can reach your goals of passing the NCLEX!

Break NCLEX Study Sessions Down

I don’t know about you, but sometimes when I think about sitting down and burying myself in work for hours, I suddenly become unmotivated to even get started. A great way to combat this feeling of overwhelm is to break the study session into smaller parts. This can be a great tactic to study for the NCLEX when you just don’t want to. Set specific topic or time goals for each session and take frequent breaks.

For example, set a timer and dedicate yourself to just 30 minutes of study time or pick one of the test content areas and spend your time on that one specific topic. Keep the sessions short and specific. This way you know your next break is coming quickly! Also, you may find that the studying isn’t so bad and get a boost of motivation to keep going.

Change Your Scenery

Another great way to study for the NCLEX when you just don’t want to is to change where you study. Always studying at the library? Take the show on the road and try studying in a coffee shop or even outside! Some tips on picking a study venue that is right for you are:

Consider your needs. If you need wifi, make sure you have access in the location you choose.

Comfort comes first. Nothing is worse than being uncomfortable when you are trying to concentrate. If you aren’t comfortable, you can quickly spend all of your time noticing that you are too hot, too cold, or that your chair is too hard. Do yourself a favor and consider your comfort when taking your study tasks to new places.

Concentration is key. Are you easily distracted? It might make sense to try to find a quiet place to study. Look for places out of the way (a quiet corner of the coffee shop or a blanket under a shady tree at your local park) so you can still focus on the task at hand and not get caught up people watching.

Try a Pep Talk

When I am feeling tired or unmotivated, sometimes I spend some time changing my self-talk. Instead of dwelling on the hard parts, I spend time reinforcing my goals and how making the effort now will pay off for me in the future. If you really can’t seem to get yourself to study, try making a list of all the reasons you wanted to be a nurse in the first place.

Remind yourself of the end goal and then reflect on how each time you study, you are getting closer to your goal. Sometimes all it takes is a change in the way you are talking to yourself about studying to see a shift in your motivation! This can be a great way to will yourself to study for the NCLEX when you just don’t want to.


Let’s be honest. On occasion, looking at the big picture isn’t enough to get us out of our ruts. You might try all the tips above and still find yourself struggling to buckle down and get to studying. Trust me, you are not alone. This is when a few little rewards to yourself can come in handy. Make a study goal and set a reward for when you reach it. Perhaps you are in need of a night out or a mini-vacation? You can make rewards as big or as small as you need to.

When I was studying for NCLEX, I set a goal to accomplish all my target study topics during the week. Then, I could reward myself with an NCLEX study free weekend. This kept me on track during the week. Perhaps you can allow yourself an extra indulgence (a piece of candy or a coffee from your favorite shop) if you hit your daily study goals. Studying for NCLEX is short term so a few extra rewards to yourself can really help to keep you motivated to study for the NCLEX when you just don’t want to.

Believe me when I say you aren’t the first person to find yourself lacking study motivation. Learning how to study for the NCLEX when you just don’t want to is only part of the process to getting you to your goal of passing the NCLEX. Breaking out of your study rut can get you quickly back on track. Happy studying!

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