Answering Max Number of Questions on NCLEX

Updated | Posted
by Rose Smith Rose Smith, BSN, RN (New) New

Specializes in Nurse.

nclex-pass-max-number-questions.jpg.01b106231e58365676b44a062f14e28b.jpg

I took the NCLEX for the second time on Nov 6th, 2020 and I figured I would share my experience/ journey since I have not seen many people who had the same experience and hopefully give hope to people in a similar situation. 

The first time I took the NCLEX was on Sept 17th, 2020. Leading up to the exam I used UWorld and Kaplan but I just answered a lot of questions thinking that would be enough. The day of my exam I was super nervous and anxious because I usually don’t test well. I ended up answering all 130 questions (Covid test), and came out feeling horrible. I tried the Pearson vue trick and got the “bad pop up”. A few days later, I found out I had failed. I was super discouraged and disappointed because I had a job lined up and had to tell them I did not pass. After a day of sulking, I picked myself back up, re-registered to take the exam, made a new study plan and waited the 45 days to retake the exam. 

Leading up to the second exam, I used UWorld once again but this time I purchased the 60 day access with one self assessment. I focused on my weaker areas and studied the content before taking a 50 question quiz on UWorld. I aimed to score at least a 60% on each quiz and would keep taking quizzes until I reached that goal. It usually only took me one try which I think is because I studied the content before hand. I would also remediate the questions as I went. Before taking the second exam I had about 900 questions left on the UWorld Q Bank and was in the 86th percentile. I took the self assessment a week before the exam and got a 56% which told me I had a borderline chance of passing. However, I started to rush towards the end because I was running out of time and didn’t realize questions that weren’t answered would be omitted so that may have effected the results. 

I sat for the NCLEX for the second time on Nov 6th 2020 and was super confident and not as nervous this time. I honestly thought I was going to pass at 75 questions but the test kept going. I ended up answering all 140 questions (COVID test) once again and my last question was a SATA question. Also, the last 10 questions were priority and what felt like harder level questions. After the exam, I honestly felt like I failed again and was super frustrated because it felt like a repeat of the first exam. I didn’t have the heart to do the Pearson vue trick so I waited the 48 hrs to see the results. Once I saw that I could purchase the quick results it took me a good 30 minutes to look at them but when I finally did I found out I PASSED!! I couldn’t believe it but it was the best feeling and a huge weight lifted off my shoulders. 

I have seen a lot of people say not to read too much into how many questions you answered or what types of questions you get and I would have to agree with them. However, I will say looking back, the first exam I didn’t get as many SATA or priority questions as the second exam and for the first exam the last 10 questions were pretty easy so I assume they weren’t all passing level questions. If your last question is a SATA question, I’m not saying you passed because not all SATA questions are passing level but I would be hopeful. 

I hope this helps even one person because I scoured the internet trying to find someone who had a similar experience and couldn’t find anyone. Just remember that everyone’s experience is different so keep working hard and you will get there!! 

Good Luck! 

Deyndrael

Deyndrael

9 Posts

My S/O is in the same boat failed once I think it didn't help she didn't sleep or eat and have coffee right before the test making her jittery and rush.

She tends to over think or over analyze a lot and I know that's a good thing but at the same time she ends up doing that for the simple questions as well. My question is on the test should she take the questions at face value or analyze it and assume background information that isn't posed in the question? 

Any advice on how to make it so she'll not over think and second guess herself on the more simple questions?

Thanks. 

Rose Smith

Rose Smith, BSN, RN

Specializes in Nurse. 8 Posts

10 hours ago, Deyndrael said:

My S/O is in the same boat failed once I think it didn't help she didn't sleep or eat and have coffee right before the test making her jittery and rush.

She tends to over think or over analyze a lot and I know that's a good thing but at the same time she ends up doing that for the simple questions as well. My question is on the test should she take the questions at face value or analyze it and assume background information that isn't posed in the question? 

Any advice on how to make it so she'll not over think and second guess herself on the more simple questions?

Thanks. 

Hi! I would say definitely answer the questions at face value. The test is not trying to trick you, so don’t read too much into the question. I also found the test to be very vague but they give you all the information you need to answer the question.  I’ve always been an over thinker as well unfortunately, so my best advice is to practice practice practice. The more confident you are in your answers the less you will find yourself overthinking. And also trust your gut, it’s never wrong! 
Also, try drinking tea to calm your nerves the morning of your exam. I had coffee when I woke up but brought some hot tea with me for the drive to the testing center. I found that I was much less anxious. 
I hope this helps!! 

Angelica Wilson

Angelica Wilson

2 Posts

Yes VERY helpful. I took my test today and went all the way to the max amount. The last few questions I had were SAP, so I’m hopeful now after reading your post. ?? It’s going to be a long weekend. 

Rose Smith

Rose Smith, BSN, RN

Specializes in Nurse. 8 Posts

39 minutes ago, Angelica Wilson said:

Yes VERY helpful. I took my test today and went all the way to the max amount. The last few questions I had were SAP, so I’m hopeful now after reading your post. ?? It’s going to be a long weekend. 

That’s awesome! I’m sure you did great then, let me know how you did! 

Deyndrael

Deyndrael

9 Posts

Hi sorry to bother you again but I was wondering if you had any tips for the SATA type questions? 

Rose Smith

Rose Smith, BSN, RN

Specializes in Nurse. 8 Posts

6 hours ago, Deyndrael said:

Hi sorry to bother you again but I was wondering if you had any tips for the SATA type questions? 

Hi! 
First off, I would recommend practicing A LOT of SATA questions if they are something you struggle with (which most people do). I used UWorld for studying and I found that their SATA questions were pretty similar to the NCLEX so I feel like it helped me prepare better. 
Second, a trick that helped me was to take each option as a true or false statement. Go through each option and ask yourself if it is true or false. Once you do that, don’t change the answers that you selected unless your absolutely sure that one is wrong or you’re missing one. 

SATA questions were ones I found myself overthinking on the most so this trick really helped me to stop overthinking and trust my initial answer. The more SATA questions you practice the better you will get at them. I hope this helps!! 

Yamniyou

Yamniyou

5 Posts

Hi.

I am about a week of my exam day.

I was wondering if I have to do extra questions until the exam day. Or just go over the questions I missed and redo them.

Thank you.

cjman2424

cjman2424

33 Posts

Hello. Congrats on passing. I hope I live to know the feeling of finally passing NCLEX..I've taken the exam 4 times. This recent one, I went all the way to 130, NCLEX PN Covid 2020, and felt a little bit on edge. The last few questions were a mixture of easy/hard. I purchased quick results only to know I failed. I used the NCBSN NCLEX PN 5 week test plan to study, although I started back in September, reading the books and stuff. I think I will give UWorld a try this time around and take it another final time. What advice can you give for someone like me? I do not test well. I felt like I was prepared for this exam this time around but clearly, it was not enough. I'm hoping for a miracle that my unofficial results aren't accurate and that I still pass but that is just me grasping at straws. Thanks. 

Edited by cjman2424

Rose Smith

Rose Smith, BSN, RN

Specializes in Nurse. 8 Posts

On 11/27/2020 at 10:52 PM, Yamniyou said:

Hi.

I am about a week of my exam day.

I was wondering if I have to do extra questions until the exam day. Or just go over the questions I missed and redo them.

Thank you.

Hi! I hope I caught you before your exam but I would recommend going back over the questions you missed and don’t do any questions the day of the exam. Hope this helps! Let me know how you did! 

Rose Smith

Rose Smith, BSN, RN

Specializes in Nurse. 8 Posts

19 minutes ago, cjman2424 said:

Hello. Congrats on passing. I hope I live to know the feeling of finally passing NCLEX..I've taken the exam 4 times. This recent one, I went all the way to 130, NCLEX PN Covid 2020, and felt a little bit on edge. The last few questions were a mixture of easy/hard. I purchased quick results only to know I failed. I used the NCBSN NCLEX PN 5 week test plan to study, although I started back in September, reading the books and stuff. I think I will give UWorld a try this time around and take it another final time. What advice can you give for someone like me? I do not test well. I felt like I was prepared for this exam this time around but clearly, it was not enough. I'm hoping for a miracle that my unofficial results aren't accurate and that I still pass but that is just me grasping at straws. Thanks. 

Hi! First off even if it doesn’t feel like it, you’re doing great! You have what it takes to be a nurse because you passed nursing school it’s just a matter of doing it. I do not test well either but I knew I had to learn how to test well In order to finally pass this dreaded exam. My advice would to definitely get UWorld. I found that it helped me better prepare for the NCLEX because their questions were just as hard if not harder than the NCLEX. Second, I would find your weaknesses and study those first! I would study my weaker areas then quiz myself and would keep studying till I averaged at least a 60%. Yes, study all areas but I would definitely focus more of your time on your weaker areas. It also helped me to look up simple but effective tips for students who do not test well. Some that worked for me was identifying answers that basically mean you “do nothing” you never “do nothing” on the NCLEX. Eliminate those answers. Another one is you never ask “why or how” one those therapeutic communication questions. If you struggle with SATA questions practice a ton of those. Really focus of the areas and types of questions you’re weakest at and practice practice practice. But at the same time, don’t make studying your entire life. You can do it, you’re gonna get there. I hope this helps! Feel free to reach back out with any other questions. Goodluck!!

Yamniyou

Yamniyou

5 Posts

I had a NCLEX on Dec 5, 2020. I answered all 145 questions. I had the results on Dec 7, 2020. and the result was negative. I really don't know how to process in order to correct my mistakes and pass the NCLEX the next time. I have been doing Kaplan and U world. May be I am using wrongly those material. I don't know. 

I want to schedule the NCLEX in 45 days.

Please help.

thank you