Taking The NCLEX: What To Expect & How Is It Scored?

nursing test exam

Before you can start working as a nurse in the US, you will need to pass the NCLEX and then apply for your license. You have, without a doubt, already heard about this particular examination method and you understand the importance of passing the test. After all, if you don’t, you won’t be able to work as a registered nurse.

Even though you have heard a lot about this particular test, there is a chance that you still have a few questions about it. You want to know exactly what to expect, how the NCLEX is scored, as well as what you need to do in order to actually pass the exam. Those are definitely some rather important questions right there, and there is no doubt in my mind that you want to get the answers before you embark on the actual journey and apply for the examination.

Well, you definitely deserve to get the answers in advance. After all, figuring out what to expect from this test is important for every single person who is on the verge of becoming a registered nurse in the US, including you. This is why we will now start answering the questions for you and thus help you get a much clearer picture on the process of taking the NCLEX and passing it. Let’s begin with the basics.

How Is The NCLEX Scored?

One of the first things that you are interested in figuring out is how the NCLEX is actually scored. What you need to know here is that this is not your standard type of test. So, you don’t really get to answer all the questions and then wait to get the results after someone has reviewed your answers. The NCLEX actually works in a rather different way, and we could argue that it is much more convenient.

In the simplest words possible, these examinations actually use computer adaptive testing. This basically means that your abilities are being answered as you answer the questions. The computer automatically checks if the answer you’ve given to a question is right on wrong, based on which it determines the difficulty level of your next question.

Your abilities are compared to the predetermined passing standards. And, of course, the difficulty of the questions is certainly taken into account when your skills are being questioned. In fact, when the exam is evaluated, a few things are being taken into consideration, including the question difficulty, the number of answered questions, as well as the duration of the examination.

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How Long Does It Last?

Speaking of the duration, you are now probably wondering how long the actual test will last. Well, this is a question that is not easily answered, because the time-frame isn’t exactly the same for everyone. If that’s intriguing you a little bit, let me make it clear that there is nothing unusual about it and that the time-frame is different due to the nature of the scoring that I have explained above, i.e. thank to the computer adaptive testing.

Since the computer will automatically know which questions you have answered correctly and which ones you haven’t, you will actually keep on answering questions until the computer is 95% sure that you have passed or that you have failed. There is, however, a minimum requirement as to the number of answers you have to give, and it is 75. This practically means that the test won’t last the same amount of time for all the candidates. Learn more about the actual exam here.

What If You Run Out Of Time?

As I’ve already mentioned, the duration of the test is also taken into account here. So, you must be wondering what happens if you run out of time. I suppose that the answer to this question is pretty obvious. Simply put, if you run out of time before answering the minimum amount of questions, i.e. 75, you will automatically fail the NCLEX.

How To Pass The Test?

Since you definitely don’t want to fail, you’re most certainly thinking about what you can do in order to pass. Well, it’s pretty simple. You can get properly prepared for the examination, and the two tips below will help you do that.

Get Study Guides

First, you should get some study guides to help you. The great thing is that you’ll be able to find these online pretty easily. So, search for some great guides and start studying for the NCLEX.

Connect To People Who Have Already Passed

Secondly, it could also be a good idea for you to connect with people who have already passed. Of course, if they don’t have the time to help you, you should respect that. If, however, they have the time and willingness to help you, there’s a chance that you’ll get prepared much better by following their tips.