Study Tips and Advice
January 21, 2022
7 min read
The NCLEX® (National Council Licensure Examination) is going to be different from any exam you have taken thus far. Don’t worry though, Picmonic has you covered! The purpose of the NCLEX® is to determine if it is safe for you to practice as a nurse after the completion of nursing school. Although you will utilize the information you learned in nursing school, the NCLEX® will test you on application, analysis, and how you can use your knowledge to make critical decisions. Below we’ll dive in on the top questions nursing students have about the NCLEX® so you can be prepared for what is to come!
1. How many questions are on the NCLEX®?
The National Council Licensure Examination consists of a maximum of 265 questions and a minimum of 75 questions in a normal exam year. However, due to the pandemic, the test will consist of 75 to 145 items (as of October 1, 2020). In addition, this examination will also offer 15 pretest items. Exam takers currently get up to five hours to take the examination. Due to COVID-19, several NCLEX® practices and procedures have been modified. Remember, when you’re taking the NCLEX® in 2022, you must adhere to social distancing and new guidelines. For more information regarding the NCLEX® changes due to COVID-19, please click here.
2. How many questions do you have to get right to pass the NCLEX®?
On the NCLEX® examination, test takers will see a minimum of 75 questions and a maximum of 265 (145 maximum due to new COVID-19 policies). The NCLEX® examination is taken through Computer Adaptive Testing (CAT). During the five-hour examination, test takers will be offered two optional breaks. Please note, setting a pace for yourself during this examination is extremely important. Once you submit an answer to a question, you will no longer be able to access that question again. CAT has the ability to cater the exam specifically to the test takers’ abilities. Stephanie from the Magoosh NCLEX-RN Blog states: “Your score is not based on a percentage of questions answered correctly. Your score is based on the computer’s estimate of your ability. To pass the NCLEX-RN, the computer uses one of 3 rules:
- The computer determines with 95% confidence that you are above the passing standard. This translates to the computer estimating with 95% confidence that you can answer medium-difficulty questions correctly at least 50% of the time.
- The maximum length of the exam rule is used if you have reached the maximum number of questions (145) and the computer still has not determined if you have performed above the passing standard. In this case, the computer will use the most recent ability estimate to determine your score. If your most recent estimate is above passing, you will pass. If not, your score will be reported as failing to meet the passing standard.
- The run-out-of-time-rule applies if the computer has not determined with 95% confidence that you are able to meet the passing standard by the time the maximum allowed time has passed. If you run out of time, the computer will look at your last 60 ability estimates to determine if you have passed.”
3. How to pass the NCLEX-RN® in 75 questions?
There are many things you can do to be as prepared as possible for the NCLEX® examination. Here are our top tips on how to pass the NCLEX-RN® in 75 questions!
- Start studying as soon as possible and use review guides. The more prepared you are, the more successful you will be. Picmonic has a 4 Weeks to NCLEX Workbook and Study Planner that can help you kickstart your studies! Check it out on Amazon here. This workbook & study planner is the ultimate study companion to Picmonic for Nursing! This workbook is jam-packed with study tips and information to take all the stress out of studying. Once you finish the study schedule, you’ll be ready to walk into your NCLEX exam with confidence.
- Practice board-style questions. By practicing board-style questions, you can get a real understanding of how you need to study and prepare for the exam. The NCLEX® covers text-based, multiple-choice, and four-option questions. Be prepared for some questions to come with graphs, charts, and tables as well. There are multiple great resources to practice NCLEX board-style questions, such as TrueLearn or BoardVitals. To start quizzing yourself for free, check out Picmonic’s NCLEX® Question of the Day here!
- Use a plethora of study resources. Picmonic is a great resource to start with! First and foremost, Picmonic has a specific playlist just for the NCLEX®. To accompany this playlist, we recommend utilizing the 4 Weeks to NCLEX Workbook and Study Planner! Picmonic also has an awesome YouTube channel, if we do say so ourselves. From “Tips and Tricks to Mastering NCLEX Style Questions” to “7 NCLEX Mistakes to Avoid on Exam Day”, Picmonic has a plethora of different resources you can utilize in the days, weeks, and months leading up to the exam.
- Manage your test stress. Keeping yourself in a good frame of mind makes all the difference in the world when it comes to studying for a big exam. Focus on taking breaks when you need to and not letting yourself feel too overwhelmed. Picmonic has many helpful blog posts covering the importance of students’ mental health and keeping stress levels in check! Check out how to kick test anxiety in the face here.
- Stay level-headed. Don’t expect to pass the NCLEX® in the minimum amount of questions. Prepare for the maximum instead to avoid any disappointment that occurs when you hit question 76. If you pass at 75, that’s fantastic! If not, that is still completely okay. The most important thing is to maintain your focus and pass the exam.
- Stay positive! We know this is easier said than done. After countless hours of preparing and studying for the NCLEX®, you know the material better than anyone. You can do it!
4. Resources to practice actual NCLEX® questions.
Are you looking for examples of actual NCLEX® questions? Look no further! While Picmonic’s quiz questions are designed for efficient memory anchoring, they are not representative of the lengthy higher-order multiple-step board-style questions that you’ll want to practice before taking the NCLEX®. One resource you should definitely check out is BoardVitals. Picmonic has partnered with BoardVitals to create an amazing study duo for nursing students! BoardVitals includes over 2,800 practice questions for the NCLEX-RN®. For more efficient studying, check out this blog on how to use Picmonic and BoardVitals together! In addition to utilizing BoardVitals for test prep questions, don’t miss out on Picmonic’s NCLEX® Question of the day. By doing the question of the day, you are exercising your brain! Prepping for the NCLEX is all about creating healthy study habits for yourself. Don’t wait till the last minute, start practicing as early as you can here!
You should be so proud of yourself for all of your hard work thus far. Embarking on the next steps of your nursing journey is extremely notable. From our workbook & study planner to countless amounts of tips and tricks, Picmonic is here for you! If you haven’t already, check out these other amazing NCLEX Resources from Picmonic!
Nursing School Tips: NRSNG + Picmonic = Efficient Studying
2021 Nursing School Planner [Digital Download]
7 NCLEX® Exam Day Mistakes You Don’t Know You’re Making in Nursing School
How to Pass the NCLEX® the First Time [Updated for 2021]
Nursing School Myths You Can Totally Ignore [Updated for 2021]
Electric Electrolytes! A Picmonic for Nursing Student Resource for 2021
Top 5 Nursing YouTube Channels for 2021
How to Live a Balanced Life in Nursing School
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The NCLEX in 2022 has 15 pretest questions and a maximum length of 145 questions. You'll also have a total of 5 hours to complete the exam. On the 2022 NCLEX, the current item types (or questions) are: multiple choice, fill in the blank, view chart or exhibit items to answer, ordered response, and graphic items.How many questions do you have to get right on the NCLEX 2022? ›
While it's possible to pass the NCLEX after answering all 135, it's also possible to pass the test with a minimum of 70 questions or any number in between. Keep in mind NCLEX has a time limit of five hours. If you haven't answered enough questions correctly when the clock runs out, you will fail the test.What do you need to pass the NCLEX 2022? ›
- Understand the NCLEX Format. ...
- Don't Self-Evaluate During the Test. ...
- Find Ways to Manage Your Test Stress. ...
- Know Your NLCEX Study Style. ...
- Make a Study Plan. ...
- Don't Draw from Past Clinical or Work Experiences. ...
- Hone Your Test-Taking Skills. ...
- Invest in Test Prep Resources.
Is the NCLEX Hard? Whether or not the NCLEX is hard for you can vary based on factors such as how prepared you are for the exam. According to the National Council of State Boards of Nursing (NCBSN), just over 82 percent of candidates passed the NCLEX-RN exam on the first try in 2022.Will the NCLEX change in 2022? ›
For now, the NCLEX is not changing, so if you are planning on taking the NCLEX before 2023, you can free up some brain space and not worry about what the Next Gen version will look like. Continue to prep for the current version of the exam, and work to become an expert in its structure and content.Can you fail NCLEX in 75 questions 2022? ›
Can I Fail the NCLEX at 75 Questions? To pass the NCLEX RN or PN, test takers must correctly answer at least 75 questions (the minimum amount).What type of NCLEX questions are the hardest? ›
Analysis, synthesis and evaluation questions would be considered higher-level NCLEX questions. Synthesis questions are based on creating or proposing solutions, such as a plan of care.What are good signs you passed NCLEX? ›
- You feel confident about the exam. ...
- You answered questions during NCLEX prep that were very similar to questions on the NCLEX. ...
- You took an NCLEX-prep class and did well in the class.
As of the third quarter, the 2022 pass rate for the NCLEX-RN examination fell to its lowest point in a decade for both first-time NCLEX test-takers and all takers. The first-time rate fell to 79.9%, more than 10 percentage points below the 2012 rate of 90.3%.How do you pass the NCLEX on the first try 2022? ›
- Recognize the NCLEX Format.
- Develop Your Own Test-Taking Strategy.
- Understand How the NCLEX is Scored.
- Prepare for More Than the Minimum.
- Put a Stress Management Plan Together.
- Find Your Own Unique Studying Style.
- Get a Unique NCLEX Study Plan.
- Invest in Test Prep Resources.
Answering all 145 questions on the NCLEX-RN alone does not mean you failed the exam. However, with each correct answer you provide, the test should give you a question that becomes increasingly more difficult than the previous one.How likely is it to pass NCLEX with 145 questions? ›
Does 145 questions on NCLEX mean you failed? No, if you answer all 145 questions on the NCLEX, that does not mean you fail. In fact, if you answered 145 questions and each question was progressively more challenging, then that is a good sign that you passed.What does it mean if you get all 145 questions on NCLEX? ›
If you end up answering the full 145 questions, that is an indication that you're close to the passing standard and the computer is going to keep giving you questions until you've reached the full number of possible questions.Does the last question on NCLEX matter? ›
If the last question is below the level of difficulty needed to pass, the candidate fails. If the last question is above the level of difficulty needed to pass, the candidate passes.Can you fail NCLEX at 145 questions? ›
While you can fail the NCLEX PN or NCLEX RN exam in 145 questions, it's unlikely. Most students are more prepared than they think, hence why most students pass the NCLEX exams.Does anyone fail NCLEX in 75 questions? ›
While it is certainly possible to fail the NCLEX-RN or NCLEX-PN evaluation in only 75 questions, this rarely happens because most nursing students are far more prepared than they believe they are.How many questions out of 75 do you need to pass the NCLEX? ›
A test-taker must have answered the minimum number of required test questions to be eligible to pass. For examinees taking the NCLEX-RN, at least 75 questions must be answered. A minimum of 85 questions must be completed on the NCLEX-PN exam.What are the 3 NCLEX pass or fail decision rules? ›
There are three pass/fail rules for the NCLEX examinations: the Run-Out-Of-Time rule, the Maximum-Length Exam Rule and the 95-Percent Confidence Interval Rule.How many people pass NCLEX first time? ›
First Time NCLEX Pass Rates and Schools
According to the NCSBN, the national first time NCLEX-RN pass rate for US educated nurses in 2020 was 86.5% and the PN pass rate for the same period of time was 83%.
You may get around 10-25 SATA questions in total, but that will depend on how you're answering your NCLEX questions.
The Pearson NCLEX Trick (PVT) is not 100% accurate.
Keep in mind, although you may be given correct information, the Pearson NCLEX trick is not an official or uncontested result. Official results come from the state board of nursing after the NCLEX is scored and results are reported.
people pass and fail with all numbers, anywhere from 75-265. no number is special on passing or failing. any number, you can pass or fail.Which state NCLEX is the hardest? ›
None. There is no “easy” state to take the NCLEX. The NCLEX is a national exam administered by the National Council of State Boards of Nursing (NCSBN). Because it's national, the NCLEX will be the same regardless of what state you choose to take it in.What is the lowest score to pass the NCLEX? ›
The NCSBN Board of Directors voted in December 2022, to uphold the current passing standard of -0.18 logits for the NCLEX-PN Examination through March 31, 2026.What words to avoid in NCLEX exam? ›
always, never, all, and only. These words do not allow for the possibility of an exception, and therefore the answers that contain these words can be automatically eliminated. Never choose an answer that describes the nurse's actions as "vigorous."How can I increase my chances of passing the NCLEX? ›
- Give Yourself Sufficient Time to Prepare. ...
- Familiarize Yourself with the Test Structure. ...
- Learn the Types of Questions. ...
- Take Practice Tests. ...
- Develop Test-Taking Strategies. ...
- Create a Robust Study Plan. ...
- Hone Your Stress Management Skills. ...
- Prepare for Exam Day.
The NCLEX only shuts off at 75 if you did well or very very poorly. If you did really poorly you would have felt like you were struggling with every question. I always tell my grads that if it shut off at 75 and you did not feel like you messed up nearly every question then you passed!Is 90% chance of passing NCLEX good? ›
Specifically, nurse educators viewed students with predicted probabilities of passing the NCLEX-RN/NCLEX-PN greater than 90% as “on track” and therefore “low risk.” Nurse educators further categorized students with predicted probabilities of passing NCLEX-RN/NCLEX-PN between 80% and 89.9% as having “moderate need of ...Do the first 15 questions count on NCLEX? ›
The first fifteen questions are pretest items and are not used to score the exam and determine if a test-taker has passed the NCLEX-RN. Not all candidates will answer the maximum number of questions. However, everyone who takes the exam must complete a minimum of 75 questions.Is NCLEX harder than UWorld? ›
90% of users report that UWorld's questions are the same level of difficulty or more difficult than the questions they encountered on the NCLEX.
Run-out-of-time (R.O.O.T.) Rule: If a candidate runs out of time before reaching the maximum number of items and the computer has not determined with 95% certainty whether the candidate has passed or failed, alternate criteria are used.What does it mean if NCLEX shuts off at 145? ›
If the computer shuts off before the maximum number of questions with a failing score it has determined that the test taker would not get enough questions correct to pass even if the the maximum number of questions were answered. The maximum is 145 though.What is the bad pop up for NCLEX? ›
What's the Bad Pop Up For the NCLEX? The “bad pop-up” is when your payment is accepted after trying to reschedule for the NCLEX immediately after taking it. This is different from the “good pop-up” when you're not allowed to reschedule the NCLEX immediately after taking it.Why does the NCLEX shut off at 75 questions? ›
For the NCLEX- RN to shut off at 75 means you either did very well or very bad. It only fails an tester at 75 if they are unable to correctly answer more than a few questions in a row.Why did I get all 265 NCLEX questions? ›
If a student got all 265 questions, that would mean they are really straddling the competency line. The NCLEX algorithm is complicated, but it's a very smart, adaptive test. After you get past 75 questions, once it determines whether you're above passing or below passing, it will shut off.What is the bad pop up on the Pearson trick? ›
What is a bad window pop-up? A bad window pop-up is a message that appears on the computer screen while trying to register again at the Pearson Vue website. This message will tell you that you have successfully registered for the NCLEX test again, which probably means that you've failed at the first attempt.What is the Pearson trick? ›
Go here to check out The New Grad Nurse Academy. The Pearson Vue Trick (PVT) is a way for NCLEX test takers to see if they passed the NCLEX before getting an official score from your state board of nursing or an unofficial score if your state participates in the NCLEX quick results program.What are priority questions at the end of NCLEX? ›
What are NCLEX Priority Questions? Priority questions are designed to test your conceptual comprehension. They are generally written at the analysis level, meaning you'll need to analyze the choices and apply your knowledge in order to answer the question correctly.How many questions should you do a day before NCLEX? ›
Practice Questions: Set a Goal
We recommend that you complete about 2,800 practice questions before your exam. If you are giving yourself a month to study, that means that you would be doing about 100 NCLEX practice questions per day.
If they fail, they'll need to wait 45 days before retesting. After failing three times, though, they'll need to complete a board-approved remediation program before the next retake. test-takers have six attempts to pass in total.
Failing the test can result in not answering the minimum amount of 70 questions within the allotted time. You can answer the first 69 questions correctly, but you will automatically fail the exam if you don't reach number 70.How soon can I do the Pearson VUE trick? ›
Take the NCLEX exam and patiently wait about an hour or when you get the after exam email to attempt the trick. Based on emails and classmate's experiences, four hours after the exam is long enough.Which state has the highest passing rate for NCLEX? ›
Many of the nursing programs in New Hampshire have very high NCLEX pass rates, contributing to the rank of #1 for pass rates nationwide. With an overall NCLEX pass rate of 96%, new nurses in New Hampshire perform a full 10% better than the national pass averages.
A: “Near the Passing Standard” means a particular candidate's ability estimate is not clearly above or clearly below the passing standard in a content area.Can you pass the NCLEX with few SATA questions? ›
Yes, you can pass the NCLEX without getting any select all that apply questions (SATA questions).How do you answer NCLEX questions you don't know? ›
- Read the whole question. ...
- Ask yourself first. ...
- Think about the types. ...
- Focus on each question answer. ...
- Decide if the answers are wrong, right, and possible. ...
- Rank your correct and possible options. ...
- Reread the question after choosing “finalists” ...
- Make a decision and don't look back.
For most students, taking the NCLEX in the morning is best because you're more fresh and likely to do better. But, if you're more likely to run late or you're not a morning person, then consider scheduling it in the afternoon.What state is the hardest to get a nursing license? ›
- MAINE. ...
- ALASKA. ...
- Georgia. ...
- Alabama. ...
- Hawaii. ...
- South Carolina. ...
- Kentucky. ...
- Summary. There are a few cases when temporary licenses can be obtained through the state board of nursing.
Each category of questions requires an increasing level of critical thinking skills. Analysis, synthesis and evaluation questions would be considered higher-level NCLEX questions. Synthesis questions are based on creating or proposing solutions, such as a plan of care.What style of questions are on the NCLEX? ›
The NCLEX-RN® is composed of primarily multiple-choice, four-option, text-based questions written at the application/analysis level of difficulty. These questions may include charts, tables, or graphic images.
The NCLEX - RN exam now comprises several different types of questions, including hot spots, fill-in-the-blank, drag-and-drop, order-response, and select-all-that-apply or multiple-response questions.Can you pass NCLEX with 145 questions 2022? ›
Answering all 145 questions on the NCLEX-RN alone does not mean you failed the exam. However, with each correct answer you provide, the test should give you a question that becomes increasingly more difficult than the previous one.What percentage is passing on NCLEX 2022? ›
As of the third quarter, the 2022 pass rate for the NCLEX-RN examination fell to its lowest point in a decade for both first-time NCLEX test-takers and all takers. The first-time rate fell to 79.9%, more than 10 percentage points below the 2012 rate of 90.3%.What is the trick to answering NCLEX questions? ›
You must always figure out what the question is asking, and you must always eliminate answer choices. Choosing the right answer often involves choosing the best of several answers that have correct information. This may entail your correct analysis and interpretation of what the question is really asking.What are the 8 areas of NCLEX? ›
- Safe and Effective Care Environment. Management of care. Safety and infection control.
- Health Promotion and Maintenance.
- Psychosocial Integrity.
- Physiological Integrity. Basic care and comfort. Pharmacological and parenteral therapies. Reduction of risk potential. Physiological adaptation.
- Evaluate which areas/topics you need to review prior to building your study plan to avoid over studying. ...
- Create an NCLEX study plan or calendar. ...
- Put together an NCLEX study binder. ...
- When reviewing a chapter, read/skim through the information at least twice.
Since the minimum number of questions you'll take on the NCLEX is 75 and the maximum is 145, this could happen at any point between those 2 numbers.What is the 100% pass rate for NCLEX? ›
Several tout impressive 100% pass rates on the NCLEX-RN exam, with even more falling in the 95-99% range. It's a good thing so many high-quality programs exist in the Golden State because California is ranked #1 among states with the highest projected nursing shortages by 2030.
None. There is no “easy” state to take the NCLEX. The NCLEX is a national exam administered by the National Council of State Boards of Nursing (NCSBN). Because it's national, the NCLEX will be the same regardless of what state you choose to take it in.