Practice NCLEX test scores vs. actually passing NCLEX

  1. I finished school in June, and I've been doing questions everyday to get ready for NCLEX. My problem is that I can't seem to do better than an average of 70% on the practice tests that I take. Does anyone feel that this is an accurate reflection of how I'll do on NCLEX? I've been using the NCLEX 3500 CD along with a Saunders review book and CD, and I also bought NCLEX for Dummies to read while I'm at work. I haven't scheduled my test yet, but my goal is for the beginning of September. I've done at least 5000 questions over the last 3 months, but I just can't seem to get an 85 on a practice test (I was told that's the equivalant of passing NCLEX.) Any thoughts? Thanks!
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  2. 12 Comments

  3. by   Jahna
    I wish someone could answer this for us both.
  4. by   LifelongDream
    I don't know how the practice test compares to actually passing the NCLEX, but what I do know is the longer you wait to take the NCLEX, the worse you will do. Why are you waiting so long?
  5. by   I_See_You_RN
    hey,.. I think you're ready. I used Lippencott.. just tons of questions,.. and I was averaging 75-78 and I passed with 75 questions. Kaplan has harder questions,.. my friend let me take one of her online exams since i didn't buy it myself and I got a 64 on that. I know a kid who passed getting 55% on kaplan. And also,... remember that nclex doesn't grade like a usual test where X/X questions determines your grade. Its also about the quality of questions that you'll be getting right. good luck!! don't stress!
  6. by   Jahna
    Quote from LifelongDream
    I don't know how the practice test compares to actually passing the NCLEX, but what I do know is the longer you wait to take the NCLEX, the worse you will do. Why are you waiting so long?
    I think I'm doing myself more harm than good by stressing out, but my exam is on Wed., 05Aug09. I've worked through most of the questions on the Saunders disk and I've listened to an NCLEX review on my iPod while I run. I'm anxious to get the test over with, but I don't want to do it at the same time. I kow this makes sense to someone out there.
  7. by   ⚕annanonymous⚕
    I averaged between 70%-80% and passed.
  8. by   NurseThis21
    Hi There!

    At this point in your study regimen, it's not really necessary to worry about what you're getting on your tests. Focus on seeing if you actually understand what the question is asking and thus reviewing the rationale. That's what NCLEX focuses on and sometimes people forget that's the trick to conquering the NCLEX. You can answer a million questions and get 80% or above, but fail NCLEX because you don't understand the HOW and WHY of an NCLEX question, not just a regular question.

    I'd continue to review the content, especially infection control and Priority/Delegation. I wouldn't worry so much about the scores until a few (and I mean A FEW!) weeks before your actual test date. Then you would know how much you've learned and from there, you can apply that content to your test-taking strategies.

    For me, I barely got over 65% on Kaplan, Saunders, Hurst, and Lippincott. HOWEVER, I understood how to answer the question and thus my application and analysis portions of the tests were above average; these are the category areas that mean the most to the NCLEX exam. Remember, the NCLEX is only testing us as ENTRY-LEVEL nurses, not advanced practice nurses! Most grad nurses average about 55% on practice tests and that's a good thing; it shows that we know at least half the content and that's great considering the fact that we only retained two-weeks worth of education! Crazy, but true! :chuckle

    Good luck with your continued studies and I hope you do well on your test!

    Nursethis21, BSN, RN
    UIC Alumna
  9. by   birthstone0001
    thanx NURSETHIS21 that made a lot of sense, I test tomorrow and all of you out there, please say a prayer for me, I have a job but can't move into the RN slot until, you know what!!!!! thanks
  10. by   KAYBDT6
    Quote from birthstone0001
    thanx NURSETHIS21 that made a lot of sense, I test tomorrow and all of you out there, please say a prayer for me, I have a job but can't move into the RN slot until, you know what!!!!! thanks
    Hope is not to late to wish you luck on your exam. All the bestup::heartbeat
  11. by   hunnybaby24
    Good luck to the OP! I take the Hesi in October and have to study like mad before then.
  12. by   noctanol
    i just passd nclex. do as many questions as you can and if your book is divided into sections then try and concentrate on your weak areas. my weak area was pharm and mental health which i never made above 40% on the practivce disk. on the overall exams try and do 100 questions all the time and aim for at least a 75. you do not have to make 80%. i was in the low 70's and 40's on my weak areas and still passed. hope this encourages you
  13. by   azco0402
    Thanks so much for all the replies. To answer why I waited so long to take the test, I felt it would be better for me to work for a little while as a Grad Nurse Tech in order to gain some experience and start thinking "like a nurse," and it paid off - I found it easier to contemplate the questions and answers, because I thought, "What would I do" rather than some abstract mental picture of what a nurse would do/say. I took my test last Friday, and passed with 75 questions! I think what helped me the most was when I finally calmed down and stopped getting frustrated at missing so many practice questions. It's impossible to know every answer to every question, so I started focusing on how to 1. determine what the question is really asking, and 2. picking an answer based on all the answer-picking tips, like if there are two answers that are very similar, it's more than likely not one of those, so now it's narrowed down to two; if three answers don't fit the question, then the answer is the fourth choice, even if I have no idea what the fourth choice is/means/does, etc. Once I started practicing choosing an answer rather than just picking one, I started doing better and stressing less, and when I took the actual NCLEX, I felt more confident about the answers I didn't actually know, because at least I had a process to help me choose, rather than just a shot in the dark. I would highly recommend reading "NCLEX for Dummies" along with your practice tests, it gives great advice on how to choose answers based on different types of questions. It's not a great material review, though, so make sure you have a good review book as well! Good luck to everyone who'll be taking it next!

    azco0402, RN, BSN
  14. by   blackamethyst
    congrats to you!
    i take my test on the 29th and i'm soooo nervous; i will be glad when it's over because my brain hurts

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