Trick questions?

  1. If there are no "trick questions" on NCLEX why are we not allowed to see our score or review the questions we got wrong? Is the NCLEX all knowing, all seeing, smoke blowing wizard behind the curtain not interested in us bettering our knowledge and skills or grinding our attitudes into dirt?

    I find that I learn from my mistakes.
  2. 17 Comments

  3. by   RNsRWe
    Not sure if I can explain it well enough, but I'll give it a try. To pass the NCLEX, you aren't merely answering questions as 'right' and 'wrong'. Questions fall into different levels; at some point in your exam you will have a greater number at or above the passing standard than not (and you pass) or your test questions tend to fall more often below the passing standard (and you fail).

    You might be getting a bunch of questions wrong, questions that are rated as 'above' the passing standard. But you didn't get them it kept dropping you further and further below, to give you questions you DID get correct, but were still too far below the standard to pass.

    It's a computerized scoring, that grades based on what LEVEL of question you were getting right (and wrong). Simply telling you that you got Question #100 wrong won't tell you much, if that question was so far above the standard it didn't matter if you got it wrong. Same if you got Question #200 right: ok, you got it right....but it was so far below passing standard, IT didn't matter either. It was too easy, so not a passing-level question.

    Something to keep in mind, too, is that on EVERY exam, there are a certain number of questions that are known as 'pilot' questions: these are questions that DO NOT COUNT in your score. You might get them all right, or all wrong. Doesn't matter. They are there to be gauged as to whether they might be appropriate to use in future tests, as 'real' questions. So, again, telling you what is right or wrong in all your answering won't do much to help you study if you failed, and it's irrelevant if you passed.

    Does this help explain the Wizard?
  4. by   2013rn2BScorpio
    I think you can request to see your questions. It's something like challenging the nclex and it cost around 400 but I've heard it doesn't help because you'll never see those questions again
  5. by   Guy in Babyland
    NCLEX would be useless if you got to see the questions you got wrong. Everybody would post all the questions they got wrong on the internet and all you have to do would be memorize the answers to the questions.
  6. by   JustBeachyNurse
    Quote from 2013rn2BScorpio
    I think you can request to see your questions. It's something like challenging the nclex and it cost around 400 but I've heard it doesn't help because you'll never see those questions again
    Not exactly. You may have the opportunity to challenge an item or items if permitted by your board of nursing. Not all BoN regulations permit such challenge. The fee varies by number of items challenged (and only if you failed the exam) if successfully challenged the review fee is refunded.

    Do candidates have an option to challenge items on the exam that they do not believe were valid?

    Candidates who applied for licensure in jurisdictions where boards of nursing authorized the Review and Challenge* may participate in the process. The Review and Challenge process allows candidates to review the items in question with a representative from their state board. Once a Review and Challenge is initiated, NCSBN staff will conduct content review of the items in question and determine validity of the candidate's assertion. *Canadian regulatory bodies do not participate in the Review and Challenge process.
  7. by   dbrenda1510
    Why isn't the NCLEX based on 75 questions (15 pilot & 60 questions that are scored)? If you go pass the 75 mark and run out of time before reaching 265 the score is only based on the last 60 questions. That just doesn't seem fair to me when the test taker has got down to #242 or so and runs out of time it seems the score should be based on the complete test questions covered not the last 60. As you can guess, this was my dilemma. According to the results, I was near the passing grade on all areas except one and over the passing grade on it. I ran out of time on question 242 so when the computer calculated the last 60 I didn't meet the standard so I failed. Again, why not just let 75 questions be the limit if only the last 60 determine pass or fail?
  8. by   2013rn2BScorpio
    Dbrenda1510 My mom just mentioned that same exact concept to me last night and I was like WOW I never looked at it like that
  9. by   JustBeachyNurse
    It's not that simple. If you are hovering near the passing standard and run out of time they statistically only look at the last sixty questions as the ones prior to the last 60 questions did not meet or exceed the passing standard with statistical certainty. If you run out of questions (get to 265) at or before the maximum time the system looks at all responses to determine if you meet or exceed the passing standards in all areas with statistical certainty.

    If you finish in 159 questions all responses are considered in the statistical analysis.
  10. by   RNsRWe
    Quote from Don1984
    NCLEX would be useless if you got to see the questions you got wrong. Everybody would post all the questions they got wrong on the internet and all you have to do would be memorize the answers to the questions.
    And I'm shocked I didn't think of that myself! But you are absolutely correct. Although the problem that I outlined in my post would still exist: no one would know if they were memorizing questions that were above the passing standard...or below. And who on earth is going to memorize a bank of a few thousand questions??

    Be easier, at that point, to just study, learn what you need to learn, and pass next time
  11. by   rob4546
    The NCLEX does not have any trick questions. It is to assess if a nurse has minimal passing standards, not to broaden your knowledge. That is what nursing school was for.
  12. by   grandmabutterfly
    Nursing school did not broaden my knowledge as much as MY studying did. I don't want to memorize questions in case I have to retake the exam because I already know that I won't have the same questions again. I want to LEARN FROM MY MISTAKES. If I was correctly reasoning through the questions obviously I thought I was right therefore I need to LEARN FROM MY MISTAKES.

    RNsRWe dozens of posts and replies on All Nurses explain how the test works. I'm not interested in the theory of the psychometrics of the test composition or how the system fluctuates according to whether the answer was right or wrong. I want to LEARN FROM MY MISTAKES. {There should be a Thread for those who wish to argue about "psychometrics" (}

    I am not interested in posting the questions so others can cheat. The practice of nursing involves human beings that should not have to worry how we did on the NCLEX. They should be able to trust that we know what we are doing. I too go to the doctor as do members of my family. I want them to receive care from a knowledgeable nurse who didn't just pass the test with a "passable" rating or by cheating.
  13. by   mrsboots87
    The flaw in your argument is that you are basing the need to review on YOUR integrity. You may not want to cheat, and you may not want to memorize answers, but many people would. It is better to ruin it for everyone, then to let the cheaters pass and get licenses. I understand you want to just better yourself and learn from what you did wrong, and there is nothing wrong with that. The problem is in the people who are dishonest and will try to cheat the system. When you fail you will receive a packet showing what areas were below the passing standard. Seeing the actual question won't help (as you know because you wont ever see that question again anyway), but reviewing the content in the areas shown to be below passing standard will help.

    Also, you state we should be able to just trust each other as nurses, and not base things on our NCLEX score. (and I mean general "our/us" because I have yet to graduate and challenge NCLEX yet). The problem is, if there was review, and people cheated their way into passing, then it would essentially demerit the value of passing at all.

    This is tricky, because I am like you and like to see what I got wrong on tests and learn the rationale behind why, and see if there were keywords and such that I missed. I would love to see my missed questions if I fail when my time comes, but I also understand why that is not a good thing. Good luck, and hopefully you pass so this will be an irrelevant concern.
  14. by   mrsboots87
    Also, I believe there is no review due to the fact that it would cause a lot of people to challenge questions. From my understanding, the questions on NCLEX have gone through a rigorous development process, and then piloted to see if they are good questions before ever becoming part of the actual graded NCLEX. This essentially means there are no "trick" questions. Statistically the questions are good, and you either got them right or wrong. I can see it being a nightmare for pearson vue and the state BONs to have to deal with all the question disputes that arise from people who fail.