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Drill Questions: Most Frequently Asked Questions

Soccer player doing drills

You’re preparing for the IBLCE™ Exam. You’ve heard me say that taking Practice Exams is a proven strategy for increasing your chances of passing. But maybe you aren’t ready for a “practice exam.” If you know where your learning gap is, maybe a set of drill questions would do the job for you.

I just finished revising and expanding my 7 Discipline Drills. But over the years, exam-takers have asked me these questions, so let me try to give some answers here.

What are drill questions?

By “drill questions” I mean a set of questions that “drill” you on each of the 7 IBLCE disciplines. Each set is constructed with multiple-choice items. Meaning, there is a stem and four (occasionally three or five) possible options.

The aim of my 7 Discipline Drills is to help you “drill down” into that discipline. If you’re strong in it, great. If you’re weak, you’ll soon find out!

How long is each set?

There are 185 items in total. Here’s the breakdown:

Development & Nutrition 25
Physiology & Endocrinology 25
Pharmacology & Toxicology 25
Psychology, Sociology & Anthropology 25
Techniques 25
Clinical Skills30

Are they recall or application-level?

Well, a little of each, really.

This really goes back to the aim. The purpose of my 7 Discipline Drills is focus and depth. I tried to give mostly recall items in the drill questions. Why so? Because you need to be able to recall information before you can apply information. But I threw in some application-level items, too.

In general, I aim to offer the application-level items in my Practice Exams. After all, the purpose of the Practice Exams is to mimic a real exam in every way.

How well do they represent the discipline?

Very well. Each set of drill questions is highly representative of subtopics. Let me show you why.

When you look at each of IBLCE’s 7 disciplines, you’ll see that there are several subtopics listed beneath each discipline. I tried valiantly to have at least one item for each of the 105 subtopics.

It’s certainly possible that I missed one or two of the 105 subtopics, but I doubt it!

How long did it take to construct items?

Oh man. I don’t know. Item-writing is not a matter of sitting down and dashing off whatever comes to my head.

Good test item-writing is a multi-step process. As you may know, I participated on the NCLEX panel twice. In a weeklong workshop, I learned many rules for item-writing.

If you want a peek behind the scenes, here goes.

After I make a good draft, I make sure that I’ve obeyed all of the “rules” for each item and each option. At a minimum, that takes 30 minutes to write one item. Do the math. Then, you’ll see that creating all 185 items took at least 92 hours. (If felt like more!) 

After that, at least one or two people on my team go through and read each item to check for anything that might be wonky. Round figures, that’s about 100 “woman-hours” to create the drill questions in 7 Discipline Drills.

Are they re-usable?

Yes. Just like our Practice Exams (which have test items in all 7 disciplines), the drill questions are reusable. Or, to put it more simply, you can use them as many times as you wish.

Will I get feedback on my performance?

Yes. You’ll know which ones you answered correctly or incorrectly.

What else do I need to know?

The 7 Discipline Drills expire 1 year from the date of purchase. They do not include CEUs.

Are you ready to test your knowledge and dig deep with drill questions? If so, buy the 7 Discipline Drills now! If not, please share this post!

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  1. Kim Cook

    What is the difference between these drill questions and the ones on the Breastfeeding Outlook site? I’m thinking I might need some of these for last minute (weeks) studying but not sure which I should get. Any suggestions? I might get the individual ones on BF Outlook.

    • Marie Biancuzzo

      Kim, thank you for the opportunity to clarify. The Drills on the Breastfeeding Outlook site are meant to go in a package for recertification. The Drill Questions that are on this site are specifically rigged to get all (or at least, nearly all to the best of my ability) of those 105 sub-topics, which the Breastfeeding Outlook ones don’t necessarily address. In other words, you’re better off with these in terms of exam prep.

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