Published Jul 22, 2009
Can anyone explain what the benefits are for using the current computerized NCLEX format? How do the variable number of questions help the test takers? Why are future test questions mixed with the test taker's questions. Why aren't focus groups being used for that purpose? Can anyone shed some light on these questions. Thank you.
canoehead, BSN, RN
I'm from the non computerized age. Everyone who was eligible to take the test that year came to the same location (a university). We took the test over 2 days and slept in the dorms. If you were ill, or couldn't make it that day for any reason you had to wait until the next year. We had 2 days of testing in 2-3 hour blocks. The exams were hand scored and it took a couple months to hear back about the results. I think-but don't quote me- they had make up tests for those who failed or missed the 1st date, 6 months later.
Today the pressure is on because if you don't get your score in that hour or two you are done. Over a few days was awful, but also gave you a chance to go out and regroup if you lost it in one section. I think I would have flunked computerized testing because I couldn't remember how to convert from Canadian to American glucose readings- the computer would have caught that and flunked me bigtime.
I think computerized testing better approximates the conditions you will be working in. You either know it or you don't, and nurses practice under stress all the time. On the other hand some good nurses really shut down because the NCLEX is built up so much over the years. It's just a test, and you'll do fine as long as you know the work.
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