"Are some candidates randomly selected to receive a long NCLEX examination?
It is NOT true that some candidates randomly receive a maximum length examination. The length of an NCLEX examination is based on the performance of the candidate on the examination. After a candidate has answered the minimum number of questions, the computer compares his or her ability level to the passing standard and makes one of three decisions:
1. If the candidate is clearly above the passing standard, he or she passes and the examination ends.
2. If the candidate is clearly below the passing standard, he or she fails and the examination ends.
3. If the candidate's ability level is close enough to the passing standard that it's still not clear whether he or she should pass, the computer continues to ask questions until a clear pass or fail decision can be made, or until the maximum number of questions is reached or time runs out."
This information (and a whole lot more) is available online at:
The test is designed to be as hard as it needs to be for the test-taker to miss roughly 50% of the questions.
Almost everyone leaves thinking "Gee, I didn't know HALF of that stuff."
Best advice of all was given previously::: Don't get ahead of yourselves. The exact number of questions doesn't really tell you much, because you can pass or fail with any number of questions from 75 to 265.
Best of Luck to everyone who is preparing, and especially to those enduring the seemingly interminable wait!!