Its been drilled into every nursing student since their first nursing class. All the answers are right, but which one is the most right.
For any students out there who are fortunate enough to not have been forced to take this exam yet – the NCLEX uses a predictive algorithm to determine if you meet a set standard of knowledge. Start with an easy question – if you get it right you get a harder question next, if you get it wrong you get an easier question next. Keep getting harder questions right and you are cruising along above that standard of knowledge. At minimum, you answer 75 questions. If the test is 95% sure you will remain above that level of knowledge, good for you – the test shuts off and you passed! If the test is 95% sure you will never stay above that level of knowledge, back to the books – the test shuts off, you didn’t pass. At the most, you have 6 hours or 265 questions for the test to be 95% sure you pass or fail – it could shut off at any point. The suspense is the worst part of the test.
If you get to question 75 and press next and another question pops up instead of the test shutting off, don’t panic! It doesn’t mean you’re going to fail, it means you’re still in the game. As long as you’re still getting questions you can still pass. Take a break, refocus yourself and get back at it. I know people who have passed with 75 questions, and I know people who have passed with 265 questions. Unfortunately, you won’t know if you passed for 48 hours after you complete the test – and you have to pay $10 to find out.
What you have to remember is that the NCLEX isn’t testing whether you are going to be the best nurse to ever exist, its testing whether you can be safe. You have completed nursing school. You have safely completed all of your clinical rotations or you wouldn’t have made it this far. Don’t stress, trust your instincts, and good luck on test day.
Tips for Test Day:
- Leave your phone in the car. All you need is an ID and maybe a water bottle if you want to take a break.
- Figure out where your testing center is ahead of time! My GPS just took me to an office park and it took me far too long to find the test center in that maze.
- Don’t try to cram on the day of the test. If you don’t know it yet, you’re not going to learn it. Its more important to keep yourself calm and ready to go.
- Don’t listen to the nervous chatter of all the other test takers while you’re waiting to start – its just going to throw you off your game. You got this!
- Its supposed to be hard. Don’t freak out if you’re getting all ‘select all that apply’ questions – that means you are doing well!
- Take a break every 15 questions. Close your eyes, take some deep breaths, refocus.
- If you don’t pass on the first try, its not the end of the world. You are not going to be a horrible nurse. Many test prep companies have programs that will help you be successful the second time around.
me after graduation:
week 1 of studying:
week 5 of stu(dying):
me waiting for my results:
me when i passed: