Things To Know Before Taking NCLEX Exam

In the course of preparing for excellence in professional tests, there are things to know before taking NCLEX exam which happens to be one of the most reliable professional testing facilities organized for nurses to prove their energy and competence for the job roles and responsibilities.

As said in the previous posts, the National Council Licensure Examination is a standardized test that every state regulatory board uses to determine if a candidate is ready to become licensed as a nurse. Administered by the National Council of State Boards of Nursing, there are two types of NCLEX exams, and which test you take depends on the role you seek.

  • NCLEX-PN: For practical or vocational nurses (LPNs/LVNs—the terms are used interchangeably in different states), the most entry-level of the licensed nursing positions
  • NCLEX-RN: For registered nurses (RNs), who have additional education and greater responsibility

Several test-prep organizations offer programs to help you prepare to take the NCLEX exam. The National Council of State Boards of Nursing (NCSBN), the organization that develops the NCLEX, offers a practice exam that’s designed to provide the look and feel of the real test. There are practice test packets for both the PN- and RN-level exams, and each costs $150.

The practice packets contain two computerized tests with 125 questions each. You’ll need to complete both tests during the same sitting. Afterward, you’ll receive a score report with a percentage of the questions you answered correctly.

Things To Know Before Taking NCLEX Exam

Here are few thing to know before taking NCLEX exam just as you have registered for it:

  • Get Authorization to Do the Exam

In order to take the NCLEX, you will need an Authorization To Test, also known as an ATT letter. To receive this authorization, you need to contact your nursing regulatory body (NRB) and apply. They will review your application an award you an ATT through your email. This authorization will expire after about 90 days; if you don’t take the test within that timeframe, you will have to reapply.

  • Master the Test Format

There are two versions of the NCLEX, and your nursing degree will determine which version you need to take. One is the NCLEX-PN, which is specific to LPNs or those who have obtained a diploma in practical or vocational nursing. The other is the NCLEX-RN, which is for registered nurses or those who hold an associate (ASN) or bachelor’s degree (BSN) in nursing.

You will have up to six hours to complete the RN exam and up to five hours to complete the PN exam, including two optional break periods.

The NCLEX is split up into four major subject areas. These areas include:

  • Safe and effective care management
  • Health promotion and maintenance
  • Psychological integrity
  • Physiological integrity (the largest section)

You will need to be very knowledgeable in each of these areas to successfully complete the exam.

Read Also: What To Know About Next Generation NCLEX

  • Explore Variety of Question Types

The NCLEX has three types of questions that are meant to challenge students and make them apply their critical thinking skills to nursing practice. The first are general knowledge questions, which are typically delivered in multiple-choice format.

Then, there are several analysis and application questions, which may include charts, tables or graphic images. Level three questions are the most difficult and require students to apply facts, processes, and rules to find the answers. They are often delivered in an open-ended format. You can expect most of your questions to fall in categories two and three.

The test ranges from 75 to 265 questions, but the number of questions you are required to complete depends on how you answer each previous question. As a result, no two tests are the same. Additionally, 15 questions are considered “trial questions” and will not be counted in your final score.

  • Understand Your Perfect Study Style

Understanding what method helps you learn best is an important aspect of preparing for the NCLEX. While some might like using flashcards or studying alone, others might do better with more interactive practices or in a group setting. Try out different studying methods and see what works best for you.

  • Remember the ABCs

The ABC framework from nursing school – airway, breathing, circulation – is one of the most important touchpoints. For example, answers should focus on stabilizing the patient and prioritizing their needs based on the scenario given in the question. The ABCs is a great way to run through test questions and determine what steps should be taken first.

When preparing for the NCLEX exam it’s important to review materials from outside resources like study guides and practice tests, and it’s critical to study the curriculum basics from your nursing school courses.

Study Tips

  • Take a practice exam
  • Make a study guide
  • Understand the format
  • Study your way
  • Study on a schedule
  • Learn how to manage your test anxiety
  • Invest in resources

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