my little analysis of the NCLEX - page 3

what do you think of this logic? wouldn't the chances of passing (if you felt you bombed) be higher if the test shut off at 80-90 questions? i think this only because from what i read there are 3... Read More

  1. by   bender73
    Quote from rainbows4me
    Ahhh.... but you see I *have* spoken with someone who designs the program. And it's all based on insanely geeky math stuff that, although quite a bore, is remarkably accurate...:chuckle

    But you can go on believing whatever you want to...
    i'm quite sure you know all the secrets

    i tell ya what, post EXACTLY how it works - including all the geeky math stuff. my bet, no offense, is that you can't or your reply will be some blanket statement about how you can't cause its too "involved" or something. unless you provide facts then your posts are no more accurate then mine. the difference is, i admit to only having a theory where you say you know the facts. if that is true then prove it by posting the secret formula and i will concede that i am wrong.

    i bet you can't
  2. by   rainbows4me
    Quote from bender73
    i'm quite sure you know all the secrets

    i tell ya what, post EXACTLY how it works - including all the geeky math stuff. my bet, no offense, is that you can't or your reply will be some blanket statement about how you can't cause its too "involved" or something. unless you provide facts then your posts are no more accurate then mine. the difference is, i admit to only having a theory where you say you know the facts. if that is true then prove it by posting the secret formula and i will concede that i am wrong.

    i bet you can't
    You know, I was having a hard time believing that you would post such an inflammatory post. Having looked at your past posts, I see that this is a pattern for you, and I'm not going to play your little game.

    The reason I have posted on this thread is because people fear the NCLEX for many reasons, but one of them is because they don't understand the CAT process (and why would anyone, unless they had some compelling reason like they were taking one). I was trying to add factual information which I found by researching CATs in general and speaking with someone who has been involved in item development and the process of assigning difficulty to NCLEX items. The NCLEX is a test that we, as nurses, must take to get licensed. You, as a non-nurse, may have fun with your little theories about how the NCLEX works, but for those of us in the trenches, the truth about the CAT process and the truth about the NCLEX examination are tools that can enhance our chances of passing the exam. There are no "secrets" or "secret formulas", as you refer to them. All of the information I've posted is easily verified and published in many places. If you truly want to know how the CAT theory works, or how the NCLEX was developed, implemented, and works... do an internet search and you'll find plenty of sites that will tell you exactly what I've already posted and then some. If you're just trying to lure me into some sort of childish game, I'm not interested.

    You have no idea who I am or what my intellectual capabilities are, and I resent the implications you make regarding my ability to understand or explain the CAT process to you. In any case, I don't really care whether you believe me or not. I found out today that I passed the exam with 75 questions. My understanding of the NCLEX helped me to be prepared for that exam, and hopefully some of the information I posted helped someone else.
  3. by   chrysalus1003
    Quote from rainbows4me
    You know, I was having a hard time believing that you would post such an inflammatory post. Having looked at your past posts, I see that this is a pattern for you, and I'm not going to play your little game.

    The reason I have posted on this thread is because people fear the NCLEX for many reasons, but one of them is because they don't understand the CAT process (and why would anyone, unless they had some compelling reason like they were taking one). I was trying to add factual information which I found by researching CATs in general and speaking with someone who has been involved in item development and the process of assigning difficulty to NCLEX items. The NCLEX is a test that we, as nurses, must take to get licensed. You, as a non-nurse, may have fun with your little theories about how the NCLEX works, but for those of us in the trenches, the truth about the CAT process and the truth about the NCLEX examination are tools that can enhance our chances of passing the exam. There are no "secrets" or "secret formulas", as you refer to them. All of the information I've posted is easily verified and published in many places. If you truly want to know how the CAT theory works, or how the NCLEX was developed, implemented, and works... do an internet search and you'll find plenty of sites that will tell you exactly what I've already posted and then some. If you're just trying to lure me into some sort of childish game, I'm not interested.

    You have no idea who I am or what my intellectual capabilities are, and I resent the implications you make regarding my ability to understand or explain the CAT process to you. In any case, I don't really care whether you believe me or not. I found out today that I passed the exam with 75 questions. My understanding of the NCLEX helped me to be prepared for that exam, and hopefully some of the information I posted helped someone else.
    You go girl!!!! I didnt even realize he wasnt a nurse. Thanks. You have been so helpful and so sweet to everyone who is going to take the test. Thanks. Dont let anyone get you down, you're a RN!!
  4. by   BamaGirlRN
    www.ncsbn.org/testing/candidates_info_cat.asp


    text:
    Computerized Adaptive Testing (CAT) Overview

    Computerized adaptive testing (CAT) is a method for administering tests which uses current computer technology and measurement theory. The NCLEX examination administered via CAT uses standard NCLEX examination multiple-choice questions. With CAT, each candidate's test is unique: it is assembled interactively as the individual is tested. As the candidate answers each question, the computer calculates an ability estimate based on all earlier answers. The test questions, which are stored in a large item bank and classified by test plan area and level of difficulty, are then scanned and the one determined to measure the candidate most precisely in the appropriate test plan area is selected and presented on the computer screen. This process is repeated for each question, creating an examination tailored to the individual's knowledge and skills while fulfilling all NCLEX test plan requirements. The examination continues in this way until a pass or fail decision is made. CAT provides greater measurement efficiency, as it administers only those questions which will offer the best measurement of the candidate's ability.

    The way a CAT examination works is very similar to the way an educator might administer an oral examination. After a candidate's response to the first question asked, the educator assesses the candidate's ability level, then asks another question, based on this preliminary assessment. The candidate's answer to this second question provides the educator more information about the candidate's ability, and the educator's assessment is becoming more precise. This process continues, with the educator asking either easier or more difficult questions, based on the candidate's responses. This type of examination, like a CAT examination, is tailored to each individual candidate, and only those questions which will measure the candidate's ability the best are administered. During an oral examination, the educator makes an assessment of the candidate's ability, then chooses the appropriate level of difficulty for each question administered. In a CAT examination, this process is built into the computer system.

    NCLEX examination decisions are not based solely on how many questions a candidate answers correctly, but also on the difficulty of the questions a candidate answers correctly. CAT administers questions with difficulty levels so that each candidate will answer about half correctly; these questions provide the most information. Thus, all candidates answer about 50 percent correctly: passing candidates answer 50 percent of more difficult questions correctly, and failing candidates answer 50 percent of easier questions correctly.

    Even though candidates may answer different questions and different numbers of questions, the NCLEX examination administered using CAT is fair to every candidate. All examinations conform to either the NCLEX-RN or NCLEX-PN Test Plan which controls inclusion of important nursing content, and all candidates have ample opportunity to demonstrate their ability, as the examination won't end until stability of the pass/fail result is assured or time runs out.

    How CAT Works: A Candidate Primer


    The goal of computerized adaptive testing, or CAT, is to determine your ability, based on the difficulty of questions you can answer correctly, not how many questions you can answer correctly. This is a fundamentally different approach than is used on paper-and-pencil tests, where everyone receives the same questions. CAT examinations are individualized.

    We know the exact difficulty of the approximately 1500 questions in each operational NCLEX examination item pool because each has been taken as a pretest question by hundreds of candidates and then statistically analyzed. Picture the questions all lined up, from easiest to hardest. If we asked you the easiest questions, you'd get most of them right. If we asked you the hardest, you'd probably get most wrong. As we move from easy to hard, there will come a point where you go from getting more right to getting more wrong. This is the point where you are answering 50 percent correctly. Questions harder than that you would probably answer incorrectly (you'd get some right, but more wrong); questions easier than that, you would probably answer correctly. The goal of CAT is to find that point for you. That point is different for everyone. Nursing experts could probably answer at least one-half of the hardest questions we could ask. We'd have to ask beginning nursing students the very easiest ones before they could answer even one-half correctly. You probably fall somewhere between those two points.

    First, the computer asks a relatively easy question, and if you answer it correctly, it asks a somewhat harder question. As you continue answering correctly, the questions get harder and harder. When you start missing questions, they get easier until you start answering them right again, then they get a little harder. Each time you answer one correctly, the next is harder. Each time you answer one incorrectly, the next is easier. This process continues as it zigzags, narrowing in on the point where you answer 50 percent correctly, e.g., one right, then one wrong. That point represents your ability level. This is why everyone ends up correctly answering about 50 percent of the questions he or she is asked.

    After you have answered the minimum number of questions, the computer compares your estimated ability level to the passing standard and makes one of three decisions:

    One, if you are clearly above the passing standard, you pass and the examination ends.
    Two, if you are clearly below the passing standard, you fail and the examination ends.
    Three, if your ability estimate is close enough to the passing standard that it's still not clear whether you should pass or not, the computer continues to ask you questions.

    "Clearly" passing or failing is defined as when the "gray zone" around your ability level falls entirely above or below the passing standard. The gray zone is the region within which your estimate might vary if you answer more questions. The gray zone shrinks a little after each question because your estimate is based on more information.

    After each question, your ability level and the gray zone are recomputed, adding your new response to all of your previous answers. When the gray zone is entirely on one side or the other of the passing standard, you've clearly passed or failed and the examination ends.

    Of course, some people's ability level is very close to the passing standard. For some of these people, all the questions in the item pool still might not be enough to make it "clear" whether they should pass or fail. When a candidate's ability level is very close to the passing standard, the computer continues to administer questions to them until the maximum number of items is reached. At this point, the computer disregards the gray zone and simply looks at whether the final ability estimate, based on every question answered, is above or below passing. If you are above it, you pass. If not, you fail.
  5. by   rainbows4me
    Quote from chrysalus1003
    you guys have totally lost me (lol). i am easily confused.:chuckle can someone please explain in more simple terms exactly how the nclex works?? i would really appreciate it. thanks
    this link was posted previously and may be helpful:

    http://www.ncsbn.org/testing/candidates_info_cat.asp


    you might want to also check out the kaplan site, i think they have some really helpful descriptions.

    good luck to you!!
    Last edit by rainbows4me on Jun 18, '04 : Reason: Or you could read it right above - didn't realize Bamagirl posted it! Sorry - THANKS BAMAGIRL!!!
  6. by   chrysalus1003
    for the very informative information. thanks a bunch!!!!
  7. by   orem
    Of all the nursing students I have facilitated through the ADN course (approximately 250) over the past 10 years, only ONE failed when NCLEX shut off at 75.
    4 failed when NCLEX shut off at 265....an equal amount passed when NCLEX shut off at 265.
    Hope this eases some anxiety related to the NCLEX.
    Best wishes.....I have not forgotten the stress of those courses 20 years ago, and the intense anxiety as I awaited my results from NCLEX.
    By the way whoever posted the web site www.NCSBN...etc. that is an ideal place to explore answers to some questions related to NCLEX. They also have tutorial (practice test) set up exactly like the first 10-15 questions s you will see on NCLEX. Again my compliments to whoever provided that post.
    Last edit by orem on Jun 18, '04
  8. by   bender73
    Quote from rainbows4me
    You know, I was having a hard time believing that you would post such an inflammatory post. Having looked at your past posts, I see that this is a pattern for you, and I'm not going to play your little game.

    The reason I have posted on this thread is because people fear the NCLEX for many reasons, but one of them is because they don't understand the CAT process (and why would anyone, unless they had some compelling reason like they were taking one). I was trying to add factual information which I found by researching CATs in general and speaking with someone who has been involved in item development and the process of assigning difficulty to NCLEX items. The NCLEX is a test that we, as nurses, must take to get licensed. You, as a non-nurse, may have fun with your little theories about how the NCLEX works, but for those of us in the trenches, the truth about the CAT process and the truth about the NCLEX examination are tools that can enhance our chances of passing the exam. There are no "secrets" or "secret formulas", as you refer to them. All of the information I've posted is easily verified and published in many places. If you truly want to know how the CAT theory works, or how the NCLEX was developed, implemented, and works... do an internet search and you'll find plenty of sites that will tell you exactly what I've already posted and then some. If you're just trying to lure me into some sort of childish game, I'm not interested.

    You have no idea who I am or what my intellectual capabilities are, and I resent the implications you make regarding my ability to understand or explain the CAT process to you. In any case, I don't really care whether you believe me or not. I found out today that I passed the exam with 75 questions. My understanding of the NCLEX helped me to be prepared for that exam, and hopefully some of the information I posted helped someone else.
    first off - i put a SMILE after the text to convey innocent "happy" debating!!! the "i bet you can't" was not said in anger or anything!!! i don't post here much because the last time i did was because i had strong feelings towards an issue that others might not have agreed with. there is a lack of intelligence imo by "some" people on this website and that is fine. oh, and we're all not going to agree.

    i clearly stated that this was a THEORY i had and that neither of us know the secret formula. again, if you do know the secret formula to the NCLEX then i will concede that my theory is totally wrong - which is fine!!! its just a fun thread and not to be taken too serious.

    and regarding the comment about me not being a nurse - you're wrong. i am a family nurse practitioner in the dept. of medicine at a large teaching hospital.
  9. by   Di0202
    I'm on your side with this one Bender. This is just a fun debate that I have enjoyed reading. I did not find your post inflammatory at all. Keep posting!!
  10. by   Di0202
    Quote from rainbows4me
    You know, I was having a hard time believing that you would post such an inflammatory post. Having looked at your past posts, I see that this is a pattern for you, and I'm not going to play your little game.

    The reason I have posted on this thread is because people fear the NCLEX for many reasons, but one of them is because they don't understand the CAT process (and why would anyone, unless they had some compelling reason like they were taking one). I was trying to add factual information which I found by researching CATs in general and speaking with someone who has been involved in item development and the process of assigning difficulty to NCLEX items. The NCLEX is a test that we, as nurses, must take to get licensed. You, as a non-nurse, may have fun with your little theories about how the NCLEX works, but for those of us in the trenches, the truth about the CAT process and the truth about the NCLEX examination are tools that can enhance our chances of passing the exam. There are no "secrets" or "secret formulas", as you refer to them. All of the information I've posted is easily verified and published in many places. If you truly want to know how the CAT theory works, or how the NCLEX was developed, implemented, and works... do an internet search and you'll find plenty of sites that will tell you exactly what I've already posted and then some. If you're just trying to lure me into some sort of childish game, I'm not interested.

    You have no idea who I am or what my intellectual capabilities are, and I resent the implications you make regarding my ability to understand or explain the CAT process to you. In any case, I don't really care whether you believe me or not. I found out today that I passed the exam with 75 questions. My understanding of the NCLEX helped me to be prepared for that exam, and hopefully some of the information I posted helped someone else.


    Sorry Rainbow, but I think you are way off here. This is just a fun debate on the NCLEX exam and Bender didn't really write anything offensive (IMHO)
  11. by   ustegrl
    I enjoyed reading this thread. And to Bender.. "U rock!!" i too have little theories of my own regarding that pass/fail thing.. and i think ur analysis is really good (with all those mathematical stuff)!
  12. by   bender73
    Quote from ustegrl
    I enjoyed reading this thread. And to Bender.. "U rock!!" i too have little theories of my own regarding that pass/fail thing.. and i think ur analysis is really good (with all those mathematical stuff)!
    thank you

    ...and thanks to dgilbert as well

    yea, i go to a ton of forums from car forums to stock forums and this place "in general" has the most uptight people on the net!!! sure, i might be a little abrasive at times but its all meant to spark some good debate. i am a nurse practitioner and my wife is now a nurse as well so its not like i am anti-nurse!!! i got blasted in my discussion about RNs striking and left this place for awhile cause it gave me a headache.

    its good to see that there are still some cool level-headed nurses out there that don't take things so damn serious!!!

    as an NP i walk the gray area in the real world between RN and MD and the only RNs that seem to have issues are the ones that complain about everything. they then whine about it on forums and fail to realize that they brought a lot (not all) of it on themselves.

    i might get flamed here again cause i speak my mind but i take comfort in the fact that the only people that will flame me are the ones that i am talking about so i don't really care. i know a ton of awesome RNs of all ages and we respect each other for our views. we might not always agree but through firey debate comes self-reflection and sometimes resolution.

    ...and to those that choose to flame me, well, that's cool cause i am not afraid to admit when i am wrong

    anyway, i got off track

    that's my theory of the NCLEX and i wish everyone the best of luck that takes this nutty exam and i hope you all pass!!! we need more young energetic nurses in today's healthcare environment and i can't think of a better profession to go into right now. you get paid very well to do a job that is highly respected.
  13. by   IMustBeCrazy
    My brain has to keep it simple. This is the way it was described to me, and works for me because I am a visual learner.



    ________________HIGH DIFFICULTY________________

    ________________MODERATE DIFFICULTY___________

    _______________MINIMUM PASSING STANDARD_______

    _______________BELOW STANDARD_________________

    _______________COMPLETELY UNSAFE______________


    Each answer you give will place you somewhere on the continuum, above. If you fail to answer a question, you will then get a follow up question with lesser difficulty. The idea is to get more questions right above the Minimum passing standard than below it. Whether it is this 'simple', I'm not sure, but I liked the explanation anyway.

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