The Ultimate NCLEX Study Plan:What You MUST Know to Pass(in 2021) (2024)

Leona Werezak RN BSN MN & Shelly Luhning RN BScN MN ENCC CCNE

You’re done nursing school (or almost)! Let’s see that happy dance! Great job!

Now it’s time to get ready for the big event that all your education and training has prepared you for—passing the NCLEX!

But where do you start? You covered soooo much information in your program. Do you need to review ALL of it? Where should you start? Is the NCLEX like the exams you took in nursing school? Are you ready to figure this out on your own? Or would you like someone to show you the ropes and take you through what to do so you know you’ll pass?

The Ultimate NCLEX Study Plan:What You MUST Know to Pass(in 2021) (1)

Sounds like you need a plan—an NCLEX study plan!

Students are often surprised to find out the NCLEX exam is very different than the exams they took in nursing school. We’ve even met students who finished at the top of their class but failed the exam (a couple times or more) because, in their words, they “didn’t know how to read the questions”, even though they felt they “knew their stuff”.

The good news is plenty of students pass with the 75 question minimum because they’re well-prepared and know what to expect. They go into the exam with knowledge and confidence—and ace it!

And you can too! We’re going to share with you the best NCLEX study plan we use that results in a100% NCLEX pass ratefor students we work with!

Ready to do this? Let’s look at a study plan that works.

Components of a Successful NCLEX Study Plan

The Ultimate NCLEX Study Plan:What You MUST Know to Pass(in 2021) (2)

There are five parts or components that are equally important to include in your study plan. Each of the five components are explained in a lot more detail below.

1.Make a PersonalizedNCLEX Study Plan

Starting with an overall plan is crucial if you want to get to your final destination—passing the NCLEX. You wouldn’t start out on an exciting trip to someplace you’ve never been without doing some research and planning first. Lack of planning a big trip could cost you a lot more money than you expected, and end up in disappointment, not to mention other problems.

Learning how to study for the NCLEX is no different. If you don’t know the things we’re going to share with you below and prepare accordingly, chances are high it’s going to cost you a LOT of money (lost income you could be earning as a nurse, fees to re-take the NCLEX, an awesome job you had lined up, etc.) and a lot of time (months maybe) if you don’t pass the exam and get your nursing license.

Complete a Self-Assessment

Know thyself! Completing a self-assessment is a crucial first step so you can step up a realistic timeline for your NCLEX study planand schedule a date when you will take the exam.

How much time are you able to study each day? Most students schedule 3-6 hours/day to study for the exam and take at least 1 day off everything (studying and work) each week to relax and recharge their batteries.

What time of day do you feel most mentally alert and able to study? Do you have a work schedule or family responsibilities you have to schedule your study time around?

Be sure you’re studying during a time when you would be taking the NCLEX—not late at night.

Other key things to make note of in your self-assessment include:

● Your strengths and weaknesses

○ Do you struggle with multiple choice exams? Or select all that apply (SATA) questions?

○ Does anxiety interfere with your test-taking ability?

○ What distracts you from studying? How do you minimize distractions as much as possible?

● Content areas or concepts you struggle with & will need to spend extra time reviewing. You may want to look for a tutor or peer to help you with learning this content better too.

● Your ability to understand, think critically, & apply pathophysiological concepts.

● Finding new ways to critically think and learn content—don’t memorize!

If after doing your self-assessment you feel like you need some help or you know you struggle with some concepts or test-taking but you’re not sure why, you may want to consider taking areview course for NCLEX RN.

Remember! This is aboutpassingthe exam as quickly as possible so you can get started with your career. Spending some money to take a really good review course can save you money, time, and anxiety in the long run.Contact our expert NCLEX faculty for freeif you’d like to learn how we can help you pass the exam.

The Ultimate NCLEX Study Plan:What You MUST Know to Pass(in 2021) (3)

Start By Reviewing Foundational Nursing Content

The idea with your NCLEX study plan is to start with foundational content that applies across the board in nursing regardless of the patient group, disease process, or area of practice. Some examples of foundational content you need to review include:

● The nursing process (also known by the acronym ADPIE which stands for assessment, diagnosis, planning, implementation, and evaluation).

● Anatomy and physiology (normal and abnormal findings including vital signs; age & gender specific differences; growth & development through the lifespan).

● Principles of microbiology (such as principles of medical & surgical asepsis, modes of disease transmission, standard and isolation precautions).

● Principles of therapeutic and professional communication.

● Nursing scope of practice, patient rights, nursing code of ethics.

Include the Client Needs Categories in YourNCLEX Study Plan

Client Needswas selected by the NCSBN as the basis for the NCLEX-RN exam because it provides a universal structure for defining nursing actions and competencies. And it focuses on clients in all care settings.

The Client Needs Categories include four broad categories important to safe, effective and holistic nursing care.

We’ll discuss these in more detail in #2 below but to start with, the four categories include:

1. Safe and Effective Care Environment

2. Health Promotion and Maintenance

3. Psychosocial Integrity

4. Physiological Integrity

2.Understand the NCLEX-RN Exam and Test Plan

Going head-to-head with a fierce opponent or competitor, you need to KNOW what you’re going up against—if you want to win. Positive thinking, relying on past victories (ie. great marks in nursing school), and completing a handful of practice exams and then thinking you’re ready to take the NCLEX is like being a good marathon runner and thinking you’ll be successful at climbing Mount Everest without further preparation. It’s a recipe for trouble.

Running marathons and elite mountain climbing have things in common—but LOTS of differences. The NCLEX-RN exam is no different.

For example, you might have sat through some long exams in nursing school. But I bet none of them were 5 hours long which is the maximum length of time you could be working on the NCLEX exam.

As an important part of your NCLEX study plan,you need to become very familiar with the NCLEX-RN exam and Test Plan. Some key things to know and understand are:

● How do you pass/fail the NCLEX?

● How is the NCLEX Test Plan generated and what Client Needs Categories and Integrated Processes are tested?

● What is Computerized Adaptive Testing (CAT) and what does it have to do with the NCLEX exam?

● What is the NCLEX exam environment like and what you can expect when you arrive (rules, taking breaks, how the computer and exam works, what if you have a question during the exam, etc.)?

How Do You Pass/Fail the NCLEX?

There are a minimum of 75 “test items” (questions) and a maximum of 145 questions on the NCLEX-RN exam. It’s possible to pass or fail the exam by answering the minimum or maximum number of items, or any number of items (questions) between 75 and 145.

The exam ends when you answer enough items to either pass or fail the exam. It also ends if the 5-hour maximum time limit is reached.

Passing or failing the NCLEX occurs in one of three ways:

a)The 95% Confidence Interval Rule

This means that the computer will stop administering test items when it is 95% certain that your ability iseitherclearly above orclearly below the passing standard. This is the most common way most candidates pass or fail the exam.

The Ultimate NCLEX Study Plan:What You MUST Know to Pass(in 2021) (4)

b)The Maximum-Length Exam

In this scenario, if you are very close to the passing standard—the computer continues to administer questions until the maximum number is reached and then considers only thefinal ability estimate:

● If the final ability estimate is ABOVE the passing standard, you pass the exam.

● If the final ability estimate is AT OR BELOW the passing standard, you fail the exam.

c)The Run-Out-Of-Time Rule (R.O.O.T)

If you run out of time on the exam (use the full 5 hours), thefinal ability estimateis determined from all the responses on the items completed on the exam.

● If the final ability estimate is ABOVE the passing standard, you pass the exam.

● If the final ability estimate is AT OR BELOW the passing standard, you fail the exam.

Test Plan for the NCLEX Exam: Cognitive Domain (Bloom’s Taxonomy)

The NCLEX-RN test plan evaluates candidates’cognitive domainas explained byBloom’s Taxonomy.

The Cognitive Domain consists of six major categories starting with the lowest or most basic level of learning that requires recall or identification of facts up through increasingly complex and more abstract levels of learning.

The six categories from lowest to highest level of learning are:

● Knowledge

● Comprehension



● Synthesis


On the NCLEX, the Cognitive Domain is used as the basis for constructing and coding questions for the exam. Most questions on the NCLEX are written at theapplicationandanalysislevels.

The Ultimate NCLEX Study Plan:What You MUST Know to Pass(in 2021) (5)

How Is The NCLEX Test Plan Generated and What Is Computerized Adaptive Testing (CAT)?

The NCLEX-RN exam is based on an analysis of practice ofnew graduates. This means the exam focuses more on what new nurses will experience in acute care settings where new graduates are most likely to work. Nursing specialities are NOT tested.

The exam also uses Computerized Adaptive Testing (CAT). This means thatthe exam is created as you answer each question. The computer’s goal is to determine your ability in relation to the passing standard.

Every time you answer a test question, the computer re-estimates your ability. With each additional answered question, your ability estimate becomes more accurate.

The Ultimate NCLEX Study Plan:What You MUST Know to Pass(in 2021) (6)

What Client Needs Categories Are Tested?

As explained above, the NCLEX is based on four broad Client Needs Categories. These categories consist of six sub-categories that test your ability to provide appropriate nursing care in these areas:

1.Safe and Effective Care Environment

a) Management of Care

This sub-category tests your ability to provide and direct nursing care that promotes a care delivery setting to protect clients and health care staff.

b) Safety and Infection Control

In this part of the NCLEX, your ability to protect clients and health care staff from environmental and health hazards is tested.

2.Health Promotion and Maintenance

This category tests your nursing care to determine if you’re able to incorporate:

● Knowledge of growth and development principles

● Prevention and/or detection of health problems

● Assist with the implementation of strategies to help clients achieve optimal health

3.Psychosocial Integrity

The category of Psychosocial Integrity tests your ability to promote and support the mental, emotional, and social well-being of clients experiencing stressful events. It also assesses your ability to provide care and support for clients with acute or chronic mental illness.

4.Physiological Integrity

Physiological Integrity tests your ability to promote the physical health and wellness of clients by:

● Providing care and comfort

● Reducing client risk potential

● Managing health alterations

a)Basic Care and Comfort

Tests your ability to provide comfort and assistance to clients in their performance of activities of daily living.

b)Pharmacological and Parenteral Therapies

This part of the NCLEX-RN exam tests your ability to provide care related to the administration of medications and parenteral therapies.

c)Reduction of Risk Potential

Refers to your ability to reduce the likelihood that clients will develop complications or health problems related to existing conditions, treatments, or procedures.

d)Physiological Adaptation

Here you’re tested on your ability to manage and provide care for clients with acute, chronic, or life threatening physical health conditions.

To give you an idea of how much time to devote to each Client Need Category in your NCLEX Study Plan, we’ve included the table below that shows what percentage of questions on the NCLEX test these categories and areas.

The Ultimate NCLEX Study Plan:What You MUST Know to Pass(in 2021) (7)

For more in-depth information about these categories and sub-categories tested, be sure to see theNCSBN 2019 NCLEX-RN® Test Plan

What Integrated Processes Are Tested?

The NCSBN has identified five processes fundamental to the practice of nursing. These processes are “integrated” throughout the Client Needs categories and sub-categories. This means that at least (1) one of these processes is integrated and assessed in every NCLEX exam question.

The fiveIntegrated Processesincluded throughout theClient Needscategories are:

● Nursing Process

● Caring

● Communication and Documentation

● Teaching/Learning

● Culture and Spirituality

Be sure to check out our free on-demand webinar titledNCLEX-RN: The Essentials You NEED to Know!for more information about the NCLEX test plan and how to study for the NCLEX so you pass.

What’s The NCLEX Test Environment Like and What Are The NCLEX “Rules”?

The NCSBN Test Plan provides lots of information about preparing to take the exam but here are the highlights:

● You don’t need any computer experience to take the NCLEX exam.

● There is a general guide and test taking tip provided before you start the exam.

● An exam proctor is present the entire time of your exam. This person will explain how to use the computer so you understand how to complete the exam.

Here are some other things to know about the exam too—and a recap of a few things we mentioned already!

● No food or drink is allowed in the exam room.

● No electronic devices are allowed (phones, watches, etc.).

● No scrap paper may be brought in—an erasable board and marker are provided in the exam room.

● The exam is video and audiotaped.

● There is a minimum of 75 test items (questions) and a maximum 145 test items (questions) on the exam.

● The NCSBN recommends taking 1-2 min. per test item/question as a good exam pace in case the maximum 145 questions are administered.

● 15 test items (questions) on the exam will be unscored pretest questions.

● Maximum time length of the exam is 5 hours.

● The time allotted for the exam includes an introductory screen, all optional breaks and the exam itself.

● Two pre-programmed optional breaks are allowed during the exam. The 1st optional break is after 2 hrs. of testing. The 2nd optional break is after 3.5 hrs. of testing.

● An exam proctor is present at all times.

The Ultimate NCLEX Study Plan:What You MUST Know to Pass(in 2021) (8)

Answering Items/Questions on the NCLEX Exam

Once you sit down in front of the computer to start the exam, some things you’ll want to know are:

● How does the computer exam work?

● How do I answer questions on the exam?

● What if I don’t know the answer to a question?

● Can I skip a question and go back and answer it later?

● How will I know when I’m done the exam?”

For starters, there’s a greattutorialthat explains what you can expect with the exam software on the NCSBN site.

NCLEX test items/questions are presented one at a time on the computer screen. You can view each question as long as you like—but it’s NOT possible to go back to a previous question once you select and confirm an answer by pressing the <NEXT> button.

What if you don’t know the answer to a test item/question?

You have to answer every question that is presented to you on the screen, even if you’re not sure of the correct answer. That’s because the computer won’t allow you to move on to the next question without answering the one on the screen before it.

Candidates need to make their “best guess” if they’re unsure of the correct answer before they can proceed to the next question.

3.Learn How to Read NCLEX Exam Questions

An important part of knowing how to study for the NCLEXincludes learning how to read NCLEX test items/questions.

What Types of Questions Are On the NCLEX RN Exam?

With this question, most candidates want to know the exam question format since there are different ways to study and strategically prepare for different exam formats.

The NCLEX RN exam may have test items/questions presented in any of the following formats:

● Multiple choice

● Fill-in-the-blank

● Select All That Apply (SATA)

● Prioritizing (Ordered response)

● Chart or exhibit

● Questions that contain an illustration or figure

● Drag and drop

The first three types of question formats are pretty straightforward.

To clarify what the remaining four types of questions could look like, it’s easiest to explain that by showing you a sample NCLEX question.

Prioritizing (Ordered Response) Question

The Ultimate NCLEX Study Plan:What You MUST Know to Pass(in 2021) (9)
The Ultimate NCLEX Study Plan:What You MUST Know to Pass(in 2021) (10)

Chart or Exhibit Question

The Ultimate NCLEX Study Plan:What You MUST Know to Pass(in 2021) (11)

Answer:4. Blood glucose level

Figure or Illustration Question

The Ultimate NCLEX Study Plan:What You MUST Know to Pass(in 2021) (12)

Drag and Drop Question

The Ultimate NCLEX Study Plan:What You MUST Know to Pass(in 2021) (13)

Answer:Inspection – Palpation – Percussion - Auscultation

Learning how to read NCLEX questions is one of the most important things you can do to prepare for the exam.

At NCLEX Education, we’ve developed a copyrighted algorithm that we teach students to use to break down test items/questions piece by piece so they don’t miss key parts of the question. This algorithm has been tested and proven togreatlyimprove students’ chances of answering questions correctly.

Be sure tocontact usand ask more about the algorithm we use if you’re interested in how it could help you too.

4.Understand the Exam Content

Now that you know how the NCLEX exam is structured, the Client Needs categories and Integrated Processes that are covered, and how test items/questions could be structured, it’s time to roll up your sleeves and dig into your books and class notes. You’re about to do your most epic nursing review ever!

Revisit the Self-Assessment You Did Earlier

So where should you start?

To flush out a more detailed NCLEX study plan and schedule, it’s a good idea to begin by looking back at your self-assessment.

Do you have difficulty answering multiple choice, SATA, or other types of exam questions? Is your pharmacology or pediatric nursing knowledge a bit weak?

Not sure where you’re weak or where you need to improve? Don’t worry! You’re not alone!

We find many students don’t know where they’re weak or where they need to improve—even if they’ve been unsuccessful on the NCLEX previously and have their feedback report identifying their weak areas.

That’s because each time you take the exam, it’s adifferentexam withdifferentquestions because it’s CAT adaptive. So the next time you take it, you could havedifferentweak areas in your report—and be unsuccessful on the examagain.

Look for a coach or mentor that can help you identify and improve on ALL your weaknesses before you start studying for the exam.

At NCLEX Education, we preparecustomized assignmentsthat identify ALL your weak areas. Based on these findings, we prepare customized assignments and work with you to strengthen those areas. Then we test those areas specifically until you’re well above the passing standard.

The Ultimate NCLEX Study Plan:What You MUST Know to Pass(in 2021) (14)

Look at Test-Taking Strategy Textbooks

Test-taking strategy textbooks are a good place to start adding more detail to your NCLEX study plan because they:

● Show/explain the best way to study for the exam

● Explain how to better understand exam questions

● Teach you how to approach NCLEX-RN questions

● Explain alternate exam questions and strategies for prioritization questions

Three common test-taking strategy textbooks students find helpful include the following:

Review Guides

The purpose of review guides is to expose you to as much content as possible in one resource. These can be real time (and sanity!) savers when you’re studying so you’re not jumping from one book to another, back and forth, and trying to remember what you studied and what you haven’t.

However, some review guides simply cover a lot of content without providing rationale. Be sure to look for a review guide (orNCLEX prep program) that helps youunderstandthe content, not just memorize it.

Key things to look for in a good NCLEX-RN review guide include:

● Information is presented using the Nursing Process.

● Book is well-referenced throughout.

● Helpful diagrams, tables and figures are included to help with information presentation.

● Addresses theClient Needcategories of the NCLEX-RN test plan.

Here are four review guides students most commonly use:

Preparation Guides/Question Tools

Preparation guides are useful after you’ve completed enough content review. These guides focus on practice questions so they help you figure out if you know the content well enough or where your knowledge base is still weak so you can go back and review that content further.

When choosing one of these guides/tools, look for these important things:

● You’re able to complete practice CAT (computer adaptive testing) exams.

● They target specific content areas.

● They include NCLEX-RN practice exams.

Some popular prep guides/question tools include the following below. Just be aware that most of the guides we’ve reviewed don’t include all of the components we discuss here for a successful NCLEX study plan.

Be sure to watch our free on-demand webinar titledNCLEX-RN: Where Do I Start?for more information about these resources and how to get started.

NCLEX resources and prep are not cheap! But neither is failing the exam. Time lost earning an RN wage, costs of retaking the exam, not to mention the anxiety and stress of retesting. We've done a cost breakdown comparing what you need if you DIY versus enroll in an NCLEX prep program :

Common Mistakes When Preparing for the NCLEX-RN

We’ve helped thousands of students and unlicensed nurses prepare for and pass the NCLEX-RN inour comprehensive Faculty Facilitated program. Some were first-time test takers and some were taking the exam for the ninth time.

We’ve seen the most common mistakes students make when preparing for the NCLEX and we want to share those with you so you don’t make them too!

Mistakes include:

● Not making an NCLEX study plan.

● Trying to memorize content.

● Not practicing NCLEX style questions.

● Not practicing CAT adaptive exams.

● Not preparing for the 1st exam attempt.

● Not learning the NCLEX-RN test plan.

● Studying in silos (eg. reviewing all pharmacology at once without using a resource or guide that incorporates pharmacology with disease processes, anatomy & physiology, assessment, etc.).

● Rushing the next exam attempt/not changing exam preparation.

● Not covering all of the possible content.

● Not addressing all 5 components of preparation listed in this NCLEX study plan.

5.Prepare Mentally & Physically for the NCLEX Exam

Preparing Mentally

This last component may seem obvious but we’ve seen many candidates overlook how important it can be. If you know you have test anxiety that interferes with how well you do on exams, you’ll want to get some help with this before studying for the NCLEX.

There are different strategies for managing anxiety that really work. However, some strategies work great for some people and not so well for others.

Anxiety and depression can also occur together. Either and both of these mental health conditions can seriously impair your ability to concentrate and retain information when you’re studying. Depression can also make it very difficult to motivate yourself to study.

If you’re concerned about either of these or other thoughts you’re having, be sure to see your doctor or primary health care provider to discuss how you’re feeling.

Medication may be prescribed in consultation with your healthcare provider to help you. However, some medications take weeks or longer to demonstrate a therapeutic effect. And many of these medications have common initial side effects such as difficulty concentrating or sleeping that can take weeks or longer to subside.

Take care of your mental health first before jumping into studying for the NCLEX.

Our NCLEX faculty coaches help students every step of the way with phone calls, zoom meetings, emails, a private Facebook group, and specific strategies individualized to each person’s needs. So don’t hesitate toreach out to usif you think you could benefit from this kind of coaching and help.

Preparing Physically

Exam endurance and exam practice are also crucial factors to include in your NCLEX study plan. Remember the exam can be up to 5 hours long. That means you should do some practice exams that take that long (or almost!) to complete. And ideally, you want to practice CAT exams (computer adaptive exams) since this is how the NCLEX exam works. Practicing CAT exams will give you a good idea how much time the real NCLEX may take you.

Be sure to take some days off studying to rest and let your brain recharge. Do some type of physical activity in between your study periods to help you re-energize.

Three or four days before the exam, make sure you’re well rested and feeling good.

And finally, remember the NCLEX-RN exam (and your study plan) is like a marathon, not a sprint.

Take plenty of time to complete each step of this NCLEX study planstarting with your self-assessment.

If you feel this is a lot to do on your own and would like some help, don’t hesitate toreach out to our team of expert NCLEX facultywho are happy to help you.

Now put on your marathon mindset and get started on your NCLEX study plan. You got this!

The Ultimate NCLEX Study Plan:What You MUST Know to Pass(in 2021) (2024)


How many questions do you need to pass NCLEX 2021? ›

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.

Are the 145 questions on the NCLEX 2021 pass or fail? ›

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 is the best study plan to pass the NCLEX? ›

6 Steps for an Effective NCLEX Study Plan
  • Keep distractions at bay: ...
  • Invest in a proper NCLEX review program: ...
  • Utilize flashcards or other mobile study tools: ...
  • Don't forget to review medicines: ...
  • Try to relax: ...
  • Break up your studying:

What percentage do you need to pass NCLEX 2021? ›

How the 2022 NCLEX is Scored. The NCLEX is scored using dichotomous scoring, so you can either pass or fail the exam. Currently, to pass the NCLEX-RN, the standard is 0.00 logits–or answer questions correctly at least 50% of the time.

What does it mean if I answered all 145 questions on NCLEX? ›

Maximum-length Exam Rule

If you end up answering the full 145 questions, that indicates that you're close to the passing standard, and the computer will keep giving you questions until you've reached the full number of possible questions.

How many questions out of 75 do you have to get right to pass NCLEX? ›

To pass the NCLEX RN or PN, test takers must correctly answer at least 85 questions (the minimum amount). Unfortunately, that means you can also fail the exam within those 85 questions or items.

What is the hardest part of the NCLEX? ›

Let's look at the 16 most common challenges NCLEX candidates face and ways you can overcome them.
  1. Second-Guessing Your Abilities. ...
  2. Changing Answers Repeatedly. ...
  3. Reading Questions Too Fast. ...
  4. Cramming Before the Test. ...
  5. Not Using the Right Study Tools. ...
  6. Not Getting Enough Rest Before the Test. ...
  7. Reading Too Much into a Question.

What NCLEX Prep has the highest pass rate? ›

Ranking among the best NCLEX review courses in 2023 is Nurse Plus Academy. Pretty novel in the test prep world, you can actually jump in and start prepping with their free NCLEX practice tests without any registration or login required.

How can I increase my chances of passing the NCLEX? ›

How to Pass the NCLEX-RN: 7 Key Tips
  1. Know The NCLEX Content. ...
  2. Make A Study Plan. ...
  3. Familiarize Yourself with Question Types. ...
  4. Remember to Use the Nursing Process. ...
  5. Utilize Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs. ...
  6. Rest the Day Before the NCLEX Exam. ...
  7. Be Early and Stay Calm on the Day of Your NCLEX Exam.
Mar 17, 2023

What should I be scoring on UWorld to pass NCLEX? ›

Learners with an average QBank score of 56% pass the NCLEX at a 92% rate. While your average UWorld QBank score gives you important information, studying each question's explanation is the most valuable way to spend your time.

Is a 51% passing the NCLEX? ›

The test cuts you off at a level where you have answered over 50% of the questions correctly. If you have 49% of the questions incorrect and 51% of them correct, the test will end at 75 questions and you will pass.

Is NCLEX cut off at 75 good or bad? ›

8. You answered the least number of questions possible, which is 75. As mentioned in #2, the NCLEX progresses variably, depending on whether you answer a question correctly or incorrectly. If your questions continually got more complex and the test shut off at 75, this is another good sign you passed the NCLEX.

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 correct answers do you need to pass NCLEX? ›

The use of CAT also means that the NCLEX-RN has a variable length. To pass the test, you must answer at least 75 questions correctly, and you will not be asked more than 265, which means the test may be comprised of anywhere from 75 to 265 questions.

Is NCLEX harder than UWorld? ›

UWorld found that about 90% of users who took the NCLEX report that the Questions on UWorld were either at the same difficulty level as the NCLEX or harder.

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.

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.

What are considered hard questions on NCLEX? ›

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.

Did I fail NCLEX if it shut off at 75? ›

When the NCLEX-RN shuts off at 75 questions, it means you either did very well or very poorly—enough so that the CAT model is 95% confident in your success or failure after only one-third of the possible 265 exam questions. Further, in a 75-question test only 60 questions are counted toward your passing score.

Does the NCLEX shut off at 75 if you fail? ›

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.

Which state is easier to pass NCLEX? ›

New Hampshire

New Hampshire boasts the highest NCLEX pass rate average in the U.S., over 14% higher than the national average. In 2022, five of the state's eight bachelor of science in nursing (BSN) programs reported first-time pass rates above 90%, including a 100% rate for Plymouth State University.

What level are priority questions on 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.

What is most tested on NCLEX? ›

NCLEX-RN Exam Question Categories
  • Safe and Effective Care Environment.
  • Health Promotion and Maintenance.
  • Psychosocial Integrity.
  • Physiological Integrity.

Has anyone passed 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 is the first attempt pass rate for NCLEX? ›

Find out the reasons and what you can do as a student or nurse educator. For first-time test-takers, the pass rate fell to 79.9% and for all test-takers to 63.4%.

What is the most accurate NCLEX predictor? ›

Most school considers the ATI Predictor Exam a clear indicator of NCLEX success. Those who take the ATI Predictor Exam usually do better on the first administration of the NCLEX than those who do not. The ATI Predictor Exam helps nursing students prepare to take the NCLEX.

Should I take NCLEX in morning or afternoon? ›

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.

Does everyone get the same NCLEX questions? ›

Because the NCLEX is a computer-adaptive test (CAT), examinees will receive different types of questions on the NCLEX.

How do you answer NCLEX questions you don't know? ›

8 Steps of NCLEX Question Analysis
  1. Read the whole question. ...
  2. Ask yourself first. ...
  3. Think about the types. ...
  4. Focus on each question answer. ...
  5. Decide if the answers are wrong, right, and possible. ...
  6. Rank your correct and possible options. ...
  7. Reread the question after choosing “finalists” ...
  8. Make a decision and don't look back.
May 3, 2022

Is 60% on UWorld bad? ›

58-60% is OK, a good sign is being consistently above the average scores. The Uworld package I bought came with 2 assessment exams.

What is a 48% on UWorld? ›

The 48th is the cumulation of the scores for all the students who are using Uworld as their study material. At 33rd rank, you are currently below the median rank.

What does 60% on UWorld mean? ›

Your score is your raw score, or percentage you got correct on that test. For example, if your score on a test is 60%, you scored 60% correct. You got 40% incorrect. That's a raw score. UWorld shows different scores depending on how you access it so you may not see percentile in each review/analysis.

How do you tell if you passed the NCLEX early? ›

The only way you will receive your official results is through your nursing regulatory body. This takes place approximately six weeks after you take the NCLEX. Some things to note: If you have not received your results after six weeks, contact your nursing regulatory body.

What happens if I fail NCLEX 3 times? ›

If you fail the NCLEX 3 times in a row, you most likely don't have to worry. The Nation Council of State Boards of Nursing (NCSBN) allows the NCLEX (National Council Licensure Examination) exam to be retaken up to 8 times per year.

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 ...

Is it bad to get all 145 questions on NCLEX? ›

Nope! And it does not mean you failed. Even at 75 questions can have a failed result.

When to do the NCLEX trick? ›

While some people try the trick within an hour or so after completing the NCLEX exam, giving yourself a two-to-four-hour post-test window seems to be the best. It is essential to give the system enough time to process your test.

Why did NCLEX shut off at 75? ›

It means it did not take long for them to determine whether you passed or failed.

Can you fail 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.

Has anyone failed 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.

How do I know if I passed NCLEX 2021? ›

The nursing regulatory body (NRB) will send the official results to candidates. Official results are ONLY available through the NRB and will be sent to candidates within six weeks after taking the exam.

Can you fail NCLEX at 150 questions? ›

So, a test-taker can pass or fail the NCLEX-RN/PN with 60 questions, 145 questions, or any number in between.

Is NCLEX shutting off at 75 good? ›

You answered the least number of questions possible, which is 75. As mentioned in #2, the NCLEX progresses variably, depending on whether you answer a question correctly or incorrectly. If your questions continually got more complex and the test shut off at 75, this is another good sign you passed the NCLEX.

Are the unofficial NCLEX results ever wrong? ›

While the NCLEX Quick Results are unofficial test results, they are believed to be accurate, which means you can stop worrying about whether you passed the test or not.

Why fail at 75 questions on NCLEX? ›

When the NCLEX-RN shuts off at 75 questions, it means you either did very well or very poorly—enough so that the CAT model is 95% confident in your success or failure after only one-third of the possible 265 exam questions. Further, in a 75-question test only 60 questions are counted toward your passing score.

What is the bad email after NCLEX? ›

2. The “bad” email: You get a Candidate Performance Report (CPR) Candidate performance reports are only sent to people who failed the NCLEX, so if you get one emailed to you, then, unfortunately, you have not passed. This is 100% accurate.

How soon do you know your NCLEX score? ›

Typically, it takes around six weeks to receive official results after taking the NCLEX exam.

How to pass NCLEX in 75 questions? ›

How to Pass the NCLEX with 75 Questions in One Attempt
  1. Stop Stressing.
  2. Don't Cram.
  3. Review an NCLEX Strategy Guide.
  4. Use Your Nursing School Notes.
  5. Review Questions and Take Practice Tests.
  6. NCLEX Prep Resources and Tools.
  7. Study, But Don't Over Study.
  8. Focus on Your Problem Areas.
Sep 30, 2022

What if you get all 265 questions on NCLEX? ›

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 if the last question on the NCLEX was easy? ›

If the last question on the NCLEX was easy, it means you got a question that was easy or a topic you knew very well. While that could be a sign you passed, you won't know for sure until the official results are available.


Top Articles
Latest Posts
Article information

Author: Gov. Deandrea McKenzie

Last Updated:

Views: 5782

Rating: 4.6 / 5 (46 voted)

Reviews: 93% of readers found this page helpful

Author information

Name: Gov. Deandrea McKenzie

Birthday: 2001-01-17

Address: Suite 769 2454 Marsha Coves, Debbieton, MS 95002

Phone: +813077629322

Job: Real-Estate Executive

Hobby: Archery, Metal detecting, Kitesurfing, Genealogy, Kitesurfing, Calligraphy, Roller skating

Introduction: My name is Gov. Deandrea McKenzie, I am a spotless, clean, glamorous, sparkling, adventurous, nice, brainy person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.