Two things about the NCLEX that I don't understand.

  1. 1. Why don't they give you your preliminary results as soon as the test is over? Certainly, the computer "knows" whether or not you have passed or failed as soon as the test is over. So many people that I know have endured tremendous unecessary stress waiting for the results.

    2. Why, have questions that are harder than the minimum passing standard? Since you don't get "extra credit" for being able to answer the "top tier" questions why even ask them? Why, should certain canidates have to answer questions that are harder than passing level simply because they can?
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  2. 31 Comments

  3. by   suzanne4
    It is up to each state to decide when they want the nurses to find out. Some have postings that night, Caliofnia requires that you wait ten days or do for your letter to find out. I had to wait three months.............

    The exam is set up so that each nurse answers 50% correct and 50% wrong.
    It doesn't matter whether they are getting their PhD or an ADN/Diploma.
  4. by   begalli
    It's my understanding that the facility you take your test at does not have access to any results (even through the computer) as the answers are electronically submitted to the BON (at least in CA).

    Also, I found out I passed 3 days following my test by going to the BON website and searching for my name....VIOLA! There it was with a brand spanking new license number.

    The waiting is pergatory for everyone. I must have logged into the CA BON website at least 10 times/day during those three days and then 10 times/day for the next week because I couldn't believe it!!
  5. by   hypnotic_nurse
    Quote from suzanne4
    It is up to each state to decide when they want the nurses to find out. Some have postings that night, Caliofnia requires that you wait ten days or do for your letter to find out. I had to wait three months.............

    The exam is set up so that each nurse answers 50% correct and 50% wrong.
    It doesn't matter whether they are getting their PhD or an ADN/Diploma.
    So if you answer all the questions correctly, the computer wouldn't shut off until it reached 265? Just curious.
  6. by   Roland
    Quote from hypnotic_nurse
    So if you answer all the questions correctly, the computer wouldn't shut off until it reached 265? Just curious.
    The soonest the computer can shut off is at 75 questions. For the computer to shut off before 265 questions it must determine with a 95% confidence level that you have either passed or failed the exam also it would shut off if you ran out of time.

    Note, that although the system is designed to ask questions at a level where you will get about 50% correct one could in theory get almost all questions correct. A theoretical "Ken Jennings" of nursing might get almost all of the very hardest questions correct however his computer still wouldn't shut off until he reached 75 questions. My point however was that there is not good reason that someone should have to answer harder questions just because they can. Instead, the system should ask all "passing level" questions. Either you would get the required percentage correct (say around 50%) or you wouldn't. The current system "punishes" those who can answer harder questions which are in excess of what they need to pass the exam without compensation. It would be like making really good drivers take their driving test on Europes Autobahn when all they needed to do (to pass) would be to drive safely on a rural Kansas Interstate. I would argue that these "harder than passing" questions tend to cause unessary stress that is not compensated (since there is only pass/fail and no one gives you any credit for answering more difficult questions). One might imagine that a federal lawsuit based upon 14th Amendment equal protection grounds might apply to this scenario.

    My point with the test results was only that the technology exists to instantly give you your test results (since all states have the same passing standard) and that there is no good reason that this is not done other than the fact that bureaucrats do as they dammed well please (also I'm sure they make a fair penny selling the $10.00 early test results product).
  7. by   NurseFirst
    Quote from begalli
    It's my understanding that the facility you take your test at does not have access to any results (even through the computer) as the answers are electronically submitted to the BON (at least in CA).

    Also, I found out I passed 3 days following my test by going to the BON website and searching for my name....VIOLA! There it was with a brand spanking new license number.

    The waiting is pergatory for everyone. I must have logged into the CA BON website at least 10 times/day during those three days and then 10 times/day for the next week because I couldn't believe it!!
    That is sooooo funny, begalli. I imagine I will behave the same way when, God willing, I take the NCLEX...

    NurseFirst
  8. by   letina
    Quote from hypnotic_nurse
    So if you answer all the questions correctly, the computer wouldn't shut off until it reached 265? Just curious.
    That's a very interesting question Anybody know the answer?
  9. by   Slobgob
    I understand that you might be anxious to get your results, hence your frustration, but let me explain their thinking:

    Why do they make you wait? That's easy... because of liability. Do you remember that ole saying: "To err is human, but it takes a computer to really **** things up." The BON clearly states that computer results are double/triple checked by human efforts to collaborate the passing/failing score. What if the computer assessed the wrong command and said that you passed... only for them later to find out that you had failed. You would certainly sue them for heartache and undue stress. That's why they wait... cause people sue. =)

    Why does the test ask questions that are "harder" than the standard of passing? The NCLEX only tests one thing: Patient Safety. The BON has decided that 265 questions of moderate difficulty is the appropriate number of questions to determine if you are ready to practice nursing SAFELY. However, the BON later decided that some students are obviously above/below the standard and shouldn't be forced to answer so many "easy" questions. In order to justify asking less questions, they needed to ask harder questions that would make them sure the student was qualified.

    For instance:

    If the question mentions 88/46 blood pressure, and the student answers "Don't give anti-hypertensives". Yeah, its right... but i'm just not sure the student is prepared.

    If the question mentions Oxtocin-induced hypertonic contractions, and the student answers "Stop Pitosin infusion, increase non-additive LR, admin 8-10L O2 by face mask, turn patient to side-lying position, place in Trendelbergs, and call the MD". Yeah... he's ready!

    The student isn't penalized by harder questions.... they are rewarded. Would you rather spend 3 hours on your driving test making right hand turns... or 2 minutes on the freeway? =)
  10. by   letina
    Quote from hypnotic_nurse
    So if you answer all the questions correctly, the computer wouldn't shut off until it reached 265? Just curious.
    Anybody know the answer to this?
  11. by   suzanne4
    Quote from hypnotic_nurse
    So if you answer all the questions correctly, the computer wouldn't shut off until it reached 265? Just curious.
    Again, no one answers 100% correctly, as you answer the questions in the specific area and get them correct, the computer offers questions that are harder and harder............50% correct and 50% incorrect....this is how the exm is created. It is only designed to attempt to make sure that the nurse is safe to practice. Nothing more.
  12. by   letina
    Quote from suzanne4
    Again, no one answers 100% correctly, as you answer the questions in the specific area and get them correct, the computer offers questions that are harder and harder............50% correct and 50% incorrect....this is how the exm is created. It is only designed to attempt to make sure that the nurse is safe to practice. Nothing more.
    Hey Suzanne, I hoped you'd respond to this thread
    Here's another question. If you're not doing so good on a certain area, say pharm, would the computer stay on that subject until it's satified (or not) that you are competent in that area?
    Thanks,
    Tina
  13. by   Altra
    Quote from Roland
    One might imagine that a federal lawsuit based upon 14th Amendment equal protection grounds might apply to this scenario.
    Oh for cripes sake ...

    You shoulda been a lawyer, buddy.
  14. by   Slobgob
    Quote from letina
    Hey Suzanne, I hoped you'd respond to this thread
    Here's another question. If you're not doing so good on a certain area, say pharm, would the computer stay on that subject until it's satified (or not) that you are competent in that area?
    Thanks,
    Tina
    The test does not concentrate its area based on whether you got certain questions right or wrong. The questions get harder/easier, but the subject areas are random. That is... random up to a point: Different areas must have a minimum/maximum percentage of representation.

    Of course... with "random" selection, someone is bound to think there is a pattern. If you get a question on opioid administration... there's a slight chance that the next question might randomly be on pain control... and if it is... you'll be 100% sure that it wasn't random. =)

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