Attn all recent NCLEX-RN test takers! I need your help!!!


Hello all! I'm writing the NCLEX-RN in a little bit more than one week time (Nov. 1). I'm so worried and nervous. I was wondering if anyone could share with me their test taking experience. Things like: how many questions did you get? were there alot of "new format" questions? what were the "new format" questions like? what topics and medications did you encounter on the exam?

Also please share any tips on relieving test-taking anxiety. I'm freaking out!!!

Thank you for your attention and your willingness to help a fellow classmate! Congratz to those who passed! For those who are still waiting for their results, I hope you will receive good news! Thanks again!!!




168 Posts

First of all good luck!

I had 75 questions , no new format questions.....mostly questions about diabetes, priority and evalulation.

Spend the day or two before your test relaxing....have a spa day or go out.

Good luck!


Mrs. L

Mrs. L

6 Posts

I took the exam on October 13th. I had 75 questions (which terrified me!:) ). I had a lot of new format questions...mostly the "check all that apply" type(I'd say about 10 of those) I also had some of the type where you type in your answer...those were all med math and I probably had about 4 of those. The rest were the standard multiple choice type. I had mostly prioritization questions; which patient to see first, which phone call to return first, which patient would be able to be discharged/transfered out of ICU to have an empty bed, and the ones i had never seen before were "You are a nurse working with a new nurse, which action by the new nurse would demonstrate proper prioritization?". I also had delegation type questions where they asked which patient should be assigned to an RN vs. LPN vs. nursing assistant. I'm blanking on some of the specific subject areas. I know I had a few diabetes questions, a few pharmacology, and honestly can't remember what else. It was really all just prioritization. Well, I hope that helps! I wish you all the best!

Take your time, you have 6 hours. Read each question carefully and more than once probably. And I agree with the relaxing the day before. My husband and i spent the day before my NCLEX going out to lunch, going to a movie, studying that day at all! Good luck! I'm sure that you will do well!



80 Posts

Hi nursepearl and Mrs. L! Thank you for replying to my message. 1 week time, I will be sitting in for my NCLEX-RN test.




Specializes in medical, surgery/ob-gyn/urology. 120 Posts

Hi nursepearl and Mrs. L! Thank you for replying to my message. 1 week time, I will be sitting in for my NCLEX-RN test.


Hello. I had over 140 question. I had a lot of prioritization ' which patient would you see first, which patient would you assign to the lpn, and a lot of disaster drill questions. I had only one math question and a bunch of OB, which was not my strong area. I just kept going over practice questions and felt that the Kaplan review book really helped me in figuring out how to "read" the question and" what are they really looking for here" etc.... Good luck! I;m sure you'll do just fine!!! :)



18 Posts

i know exactly how u r feeling right now, been there done that twice!:rolleyes: i just retook my exam at the end of Sept. and PASSED :balloons: the 1st time around i received all 265, ran out of time & didn't even finish my exam! :uhoh3: i didn't study too hard (motto: wing it!) so i knew for a fact when i left the testing center that i did not make it:crying2: i had mostly OB quest. and it definately was not my strong suit :o (that's probably why i got so many, i kept answering incorrectly), but i pulled myself together took the kaplan course and tried again. :)

the 2nd time around i did everything opposite to get prepared, i studied nonstop! an avg. of 4-8hrs./day. for ~2mo. even up to the day of my exam, i know everyone says to get away @ least the day before, but the full day spa tx. the 1st time around didn't help me. :o i'm a crammer and it was just better for me, so i'm not suggesting it, but it helped me w/the type of personality that i have. i did NOT get any of the new quest. formats (mult./mult., fill in the blank).:p for some odd reason i didn't even get a calculation quest. it was mostly disaster drills and priority quest. i got very few OB & ped. quest., probably b/c i studied the heck out of those and was determined not to get any of those wrong again!!! i also got quite a bit of disease process quest. and meds. (which i really didn't have to much of the 1st time)

take your time read the quest. break down the answers for priority quest. those can be hard and tricky cause all the pt.s seem like the one that u'd see 1st. pay attent. to ABC's. also pay attent. to what the quest. is asking u. as far as meds u'll more than likely see the more prevalent ones (such as dig. or lasix). there was 1 or 2 that i was unfamiliar with, but for the most part it was meds that i was familiar with.

i felt better going in the 2nd time around b/c i went in with CONFIDENCE. and that can be a big factor in how u do!! the first time around a lot of people from my school had failed and it really played with my mind, so don't pay attention to negativity focus on yourself and if u are religious PRAY. it really works! i don't think i've ever prayed harder in my life. i even stopped and prayed during my exam!:chuckle

just remember not to put too much pressure on yourself, some of the best nurses don't make it the first time around and u can always retake it. remembering that it wasn't the end of my life helped take the edge off and relieved the anxiety that i was going through and i ended up passing with hours to spare!! i know that u will do well and i will keep u in my prayers! GOOD LUCK!:rotfl:


Specializes in LTC/Peds/ICU/PACU/CDI. Has 26 years experience. 669 Posts

first off...i had 75 questions & passed the first time out. i got one of those 'check all that apply', four of the med cal where your 'fill-in' the answers, & loads of delegation/prioritization/therapeutic communication. i had none of the 'putting the answer choices in numerical order' or 'clicking on the graphical picture' questions either...that god!!!

i've purchased a few testing tools...mosby's online cat & their nclex-rn review book/cd...but didn't like it. i found their website not so user friendly & their nclex-rn book to have the same old comprehensive questions that i got in school. it had none of the so called 'new integrative' questions. so i did take the kaplan review course at the advice an professor because they did offer the new style question in their review...& i'm glad that i did. i'd learned in their course that many lpns & graduate nurses who work prior to taking the exam fail the nclex-rn the first time out. said individuals fail due to answering question based on 'the real world' instead that of the "perfect nclex-rn world!'

i went with kaplan's nclex-rn online review & q-bank where i worked at my own was expensive as hell ($418.00 plus s&h)...but well worth it...considering the amount of money put-out for my nursing education in order to further my career!!! they had literally thousands of exam practice questions...both in the book, online, & on cd. they also review these questions after you've taken their practice tests. they also have video seminars that also go over these exam questions with rationales. helps to have the rationales verbalized & not just written when you go to review each exam. and then they also have video review on such topics as assistive devices, chest tubes, ng tubes, etc.

:chair: at the risk of 'giving away' some *secrets*, kaplan mainly stress how to read the questions properly & how to answer & how *not* to answer them. they suggest that you read the question once, don't predict or look for the answer before giving all of the choices a review. don't answer questions on a hunch or feeling...but have confidence in what you do know as a graduate nurse! they stress that recall or recognition & comprehension questions are *not* the minimum competency question required to pass. they stress that assess & analyses questions are of the *critical thinking* & therefore considered above the competency passing level. no matter how many questions you answer, 50% of the questions you do answer have to be above that minimum competency level. once you've done that, the machine will cut off on you. mind you, 15 questions will be *experimental* questions & you can literally pass the exam having answered 50% above competency level with 60 out of 75 questions overall.

the test is designed to start-out at a medium level questions....question right at the minimum competency level. keep in mind...the more questions you've answered correctly, the more difficult the exam questions are suppose to become!!! you'll notice they'll go from comprehensive/recollect to the assessive/analyses types. so you'd really want to walk away from the nclex-rn feeling like that was the hardest exam ever!!! that *is* a good sign!!! there are several ways of passing & failing the test.

    answer 50% question above competency minimum by the 75th question & the machine will cut off & you've passed .
  1. answer 50% question below competency minimum by the 75th question & the machine will cut off & you've failed :uhoh3: .
  2. answer strings of correct answers at or slightly above the starting medium level question...then start answering string below that level. this will cause the machine to continue to give you more questions in order to give a chance to redeem or prove yourself...if that's the case, then you've passed...but if you don't, then it's a fail. this can take you through to question 265. again, if you answered 50% above or below the minimum, the machine will cut off... it doesn't matter whether you've got the last question right or wrong either.
  3. should you run out of time before you complete the exam, the machine is program to look at how many you've answered correctly towards the end. the only way of passing the exam is to have the last 60 question answered correctly in a row...which is every hard to do.

kaplan then teaches you to decide if the question has enough info in the stem to warrant implementation...if'll have to assess further. stick with the nursing process model...assess prior to planning, implementing, & evaluating. should the stem of the question give you enough info...then the answer will be an implementation. if the stem of the question is vague, then your answer will be an assessment. also, you have to remember maslow's hierarchy of needs & where the physical needs supercede the psychosocial. for the purpose of the nclex-rn, pain is considered a psychosocial rather than physical need.

that said, some questions will have all assessment or all implementation as answers. in this case, you'll have to go with the *best* answer. how to come-up with that is by process of elimination. read each answer & ask yourself...."what will the outcome be?" "is this a true statement?" if it is...then consider that answer response...but if it's false...then throw it out. "does it follow the abcs?" when following the abcs... "will the answer choices make sense?" i.e....if the question is based on a circulation problem & you see a resp & a circulation choice among the four answers...then by all means pick the circulatory answer because it fits with the stem of the question/situation (use your common sense or *critical thinking* skills here). ask yourself..."would a prudent nurse do this or not?" oh & when you see a question that suggests "further teaching is necessary" or a senrio where you the rn know an uap or a lpn is performing something inappropriately, then you'll be looking for an answer with a "negative" or "wrong" statement. read each answer & ask yourself..."is this a true statement?" & if it is...then throw that statement out.

as far as delegation, kaplan stresses that the rn is ultimately responsible for all tasks delegated. :rolleyes: now i know from experience, lpns can be given a lot of tasks that require assessment/gathering, planning, & evaluating loads of information...but in terms of the nclex-rn...they :nono: can't do any assessing, planning, evaluation, or initial teaching. that is entirely the role of the rn on that exam! also, lpns can only be given patients that are hemodynamically *stable*. they can't be given any patients that require constant monitoring for evaluation purposes. lpns are only allowed to implement written orders from mds/apns & follow instructions given to them by the rns in charge to cover their patients. as far as the uaps (unlicensed assistive personnel)...they can only be given the most basic of psychomotor nsg tasks like taking vital signs on stable patients...assisting with adls & ambulating patients for therapy & assessing, planning, & evaluation...etc.

another thing....mds/apns/nsg mgt/other interdisciplinary dept/personnel such as msw/chaplins/resp/occup/physical therapists are *always* available to the nclex-rn staff nsg! these people are multiple & fruitful...but remember this....:nono: *do not pass the buck to them* :nono: !!! you have to assume that there are standing....if not written orders for your patients...remember...this is a *perfect world*. if you see in your answer choice where "call the physician", "contact a supervisor from another dept", "refer grieving families to the chaplin", for example, before you've exhausted everything that you as the rn can do for the patient...don't pick those answers. if though, you read that everything was done for the patient, i.e. o2 was started, the patient was repositioned, high vent alarms & you've disconnect the patient & started bagging...then & only then do you contact the physician, supervisor, resp therapist...etc. you may be asked questions on what to do for a patient based on their abgs or common'll have to know the normals & what's expected when they're abnormal & know where to go from there. the only other time that you will "pass the buck" is when an uap or a lpn observed something wrong with another rn's patient. you are not suppose to assess that patient since you don't know that patient's base vitals & situation. only then would you inform either that rn or contact your supervisor (staying within your chain of command)...or both. i've seen questions that suggest an uap of 12 years or a lpn of 20 years observes a new grad rn do something that they know (or feel) isn't right. what do you do? confront said nurse, observed said nurse in their duties, or ask the reporting personnel to elaborate on how they come to feel this way. unless what the uap/lpn seen is unsafe...then you as the rn would ask that reporting personnel to explain their concerns further.

well, i hope this has been some help to ya...good luck !!!




chris_at_lucas_RN, RN

Has 7 years experience. 1,895 Posts

i took the nclex september 14th. i had 75 questions, none were the new format type, i didn't even get any med calc questions (which was disappointing--i actually like those).

a lot of my questions were about prioritizing--which patient would you see first, which patient's care would you delegate to unlicensed personnel.

the most important single thing (imo) to do with each question is to read it carefully--many wrong answers can be eliminated by knowing what the question is asking.

edit on april 10, 2008: the original post that was here had lots of nice detail about a great nclex review instrument that, sadly, no longer exists. so you won't be frustrated looking for it, i am just deleting those paragraphs....

frankly, i've never been able to blow off the day or two before an exam, and i didn't with the nclex. in fact, i followed the routine i had for my previous 7 semester exams. i hardcopied the info i wanted to review before the test, went to starbucks 5 hours early. had a bran muffin (yum) and a large coffee with half-and-half, and reviewed. half an hour before the test, i gathered up my stuff, went to the testing center, and got to it.

truth be known, i was a little bored by the experience. but better that then the excitement that comes from terror or worry about failing. (i did think, once or twice, that i might be missing the obvious, and i might be one of those odd ducks that does really well leading up to the test and then blows the thing, but that's just normal human worry.... besides, i passed....)

btw, save yourself a few bucks and check with your state's bne before you spend the $8 to find out "early" if you passed. most states (not california, though) let anybody verify the license of an rn. just go there and verify yourself! it's so cool to see it--and it's official!

good luck.... but mostly, good work!



209 Posts

i took mine early september. 75 questions. no new format questions. TONS of priority and delegation type questions. a few really rarely used medication questions.

good luck!!



80 Posts

THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR ALL YOUR REPLYS! Thank you for sharing your NCLEX testing experience with me. I will certainly keep all the hints and tips and suggestion in mind! THANK YOU! THANK YOU! THANK YOU!

Please continue to keep me in your prayers! I will keep you guys posted!



1 Post

I just took NCLEX RN yesterday. It shut off at 75 questions...Im terrified because i keep remembering questions and looking them up and i got some wrong......Im trying to find out how long it took before u found out.your results. I can check my local state board of nursing site but dont even know the time frame for it to be on there.....Help me...:redbeathe:bowingpur...........


chris_at_lucas_RN, RN

Has 7 years experience. 1,895 Posts

I just took NCLEX RN yesterday. It shut off at 75 questions...Im terrified because i keep remembering questions and looking them up and i got some wrong......Im trying to find out how long it took before u found out.your results. I can check my local state board of nursing site but dont even know the time frame for it to be on there.....Help me...:redbeathe:bowingpur...........
You know, you are a little stressed and maybe what you think you remember you put for an answer isn't exactly what you put.

You certainly might have passed!

I think it took me a couple of days or a week before I got my results. Just keep checking your BON/BNE site for the online verification and look yourself up using your SSN.

I paid the $8 to get my results faster, and it turned out it only saved me a day.... :bugeyes:

Anyway, what is done is done. If you did not pass, you can take it again. You won't be the only one who went through this, and you will never have a job interview or application where they ask you how many times you took boards.

Take it easy, be kind to yourself, and when you find out the results, you can plan your next move.

Keep us posted!


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