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NCLEX - the test we love to hate

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Hi All,

I've been reading a lot of posts about the NCLEX in this forum. Everyone is really nervous and hung up on how many questions it takes to pass or fail. Believe me, I was the same way. I admit to every sleepless night, and every tear I cried. I had to take the NCLEX twice. It is not unusual and there is no shame in it at all.

The thing about the NCLEX is that it is a very evil test. It is designed so that you will get 50% right and 50% wrong. I have never gone into a test knowing that I was going to get that many wrong automatically. In the test there are 4 levels of difficulty. The computer will take you up and down the scale of difficulty until you get to the point where it is a 50/50. Then it looks at that level and decides if that is an acceptable level or standard of practice. This is what determines if you pass or fail. It is not the number of questions that you answer (I did 168).

For the second attempt at the NCLEX, I got smart. I knew that I knew the material. That was not in question. The problem was why I wasn't choosing the answers that they determined "the best answer". It is all in the construction of the question. Think about it. if the question is looking for a value of some sort - say a med dosage - the four answers will have a high and a low. 9 times out of 10 you can throw out the hi and the low and then you only have 2 choices, which makes the question easier to answer. Look in the very front of the NCLEX study books (I used Saunders) and really study "how to take the test". I also did an online course from Kaplan that really helped too.

The thing to remember is that it is not you, it is the test that is evil. I often wonder about the people who developed the test. I'm sure that I wouldn't want them in my neighborhood.

Anna

AKav8trix

Specializes in Trauma/Neurosurg ICU, MSICU, ED, Rural.

Hi All,

I've been reading a lot of posts about the NCLEX in this forum. Everyone is really nervous and hung up on how many questions it takes to pass or fail. Believe me, I was the same way. I admit to every sleepless night, and every tear I cried. I had to take the NCLEX twice. It is not unusual and there is no shame in it at all.

The thing about the NCLEX is that it is a very evil test. It is designed so that you will get 50% right and 50% wrong. I have never gone into a test knowing that I was going to get that many wrong automatically. In the test there are 4 levels of difficulty. The computer will take you up and down the scale of difficulty until you get to the point where it is a 50/50. Then it looks at that level and decides if that is an acceptable level or standard of practice. This is what determines if you pass or fail. It is not the number of questions that you answer (I did 168).

For the second attempt at the NCLEX, I got smart. I knew that I knew the material. That was not in question. The problem was why I wasn't choosing the answers that they determined "the best answer". It is all in the construction of the question. Think about it. if the question is looking for a value of some sort - say a med dosage - the four answers will have a high and a low. 9 times out of 10 you can throw out the hi and the low and then you only have 2 choices, which makes the question easier to answer. Look in the very front of the NCLEX study books (I used Saunders) and really study "how to take the test". I also did an online course from Kaplan that really helped too.

The thing to remember is that it is not you, it is the test that is evil. I often wonder about the people who developed the test. I'm sure that I wouldn't want them in my neighborhood.

Anna

Thank you for the great tips and encouragement. I take the NCLEX on the 23rd and although I'm fairly confident at the moment, I know as I get closer to the date I'll fall to pieces. :uhoh3:

Had to LOL at the comment about the people who developed the test...not sure I would want to have them in my neighborhood, either. :chuckle

Thank you for the great tips and encouragement. I take the NCLEX on the 23rd and although I'm fairly confident at the moment, I know as I get closer to the date I'll fall to pieces. :uhoh3:

Had to LOL at the comment about the people who developed the test...not sure I would want to have them in my neighborhood, either. :chuckle

Nor would I want them in my neighborhood. It might be fatal. Seriously, now I understand why Suzanne always says that "everyone will get 50% right and 50% wrong." That is so sadistic. We work so hard to get through school and nursing is no picnic "nowadays" in any area. I just took my NCLEX on 5/19 and the ironic thing about it, I had no idea what I was in for. I felt so confident when I went in and just slunked out the door when I finished.

However, aside from the trauma, most pass it. By the way, how did come by the knowledge about the 50% right and wrong?

Thank YOU SO MUCH. I'm taking the NCLEX on Monday and I have been racking my brain over what to review, because it seems like no matter what I look at the chances of it being on the NCLEX is very slim. I am going to review the "how to" section of my Saunders book now. You have really cleared things up for me. It seems like the Hesi, it is trying to see how many facts you know, but rather can you think critically in order to provide safe care. That's it I'm done stressin. I'm going to take it and if I don't pass, I'll take it til I pass the test!! Not this test or any other test is going to stop me from being an excellent nurse!! I have a degree in nursing and I will practice nursing now or later!!! I feel much better. To everyone taking the NCLEX, best wishes and hear are some good vibes sent your way :balloons: :balloons: :Melody: :Melody:

Hi All,

I've been reading a lot of posts about the NCLEX in this forum. Everyone is really nervous and hung up on how many questions it takes to pass or fail. Believe me, I was the same way. I admit to every sleepless night, and every tear I cried. I had to take the NCLEX twice. It is not unusual and there is no shame in it at all.

The thing about the NCLEX is that it is a very evil test. It is designed so that you will get 50% right and 50% wrong. I have never gone into a test knowing that I was going to get that many wrong automatically. In the test there are 4 levels of difficulty. The computer will take you up and down the scale of difficulty until you get to the point where it is a 50/50. Then it looks at that level and decides if that is an acceptable level or standard of practice. This is what determines if you pass or fail. It is not the number of questions that you answer (I did 168).

For the second attempt at the NCLEX, I got smart. I knew that I knew the material. That was not in question. The problem was why I wasn't choosing the answers that they determined "the best answer". It is all in the construction of the question. Think about it. if the question is looking for a value of some sort - say a med dosage - the four answers will have a high and a low. 9 times out of 10 you can throw out the hi and the low and then you only have 2 choices, which makes the question easier to answer. Look in the very front of the NCLEX study books (I used Saunders) and really study "how to take the test". I also did an online course from Kaplan that really helped too.

The thing to remember is that it is not you, it is the test that is evil. I often wonder about the people who developed the test. I'm sure that I wouldn't want them in my neighborhood.

Anna

Hi everyone. I passed the NCLEX. took the test Monday and received my official results from my State Board of Nursing today!! I am a R.N!!! Thank You so much for your support and encouragement!!! :balloons:

Hi All,

I've been reading a lot of posts about the NCLEX in this forum. Everyone is really nervous and hung up on how many questions it takes to pass or fail. Believe me, I was the same way. I admit to every sleepless night, and every tear I cried. I had to take the NCLEX twice. It is not unusual and there is no shame in it at all.

The thing about the NCLEX is that it is a very evil test. It is designed so that you will get 50% right and 50% wrong. I have never gone into a test knowing that I was going to get that many wrong automatically. In the test there are 4 levels of difficulty. The computer will take you up and down the scale of difficulty until you get to the point where it is a 50/50. Then it looks at that level and decides if that is an acceptable level or standard of practice. This is what determines if you pass or fail. It is not the number of questions that you answer (I did 168).

For the second attempt at the NCLEX, I got smart. I knew that I knew the material. That was not in question. The problem was why I wasn't choosing the answers that they determined "the best answer". It is all in the construction of the question. Think about it. if the question is looking for a value of some sort - say a med dosage - the four answers will have a high and a low. 9 times out of 10 you can throw out the hi and the low and then you only have 2 choices, which makes the question easier to answer. Look in the very front of the NCLEX study books (I used Saunders) and really study "how to take the test". I also did an online course from Kaplan that really helped too.

The thing to remember is that it is not you, it is the test that is evil. I often wonder about the people who developed the test. I'm sure that I wouldn't want them in my neighborhood.

Anna

I passed the NCLEX!!! Thank You so much for your post. Good luck to everyone that is still waiting to take boards!!!!!! :balloons:

Hi All,

I've been reading a lot of posts about the NCLEX in this forum. Everyone is really nervous and hung up on how many questions it takes to pass or fail. Believe me, I was the same way. I admit to every sleepless night, and every tear I cried. I had to take the NCLEX twice. It is not unusual and there is no shame in it at all.

The thing about the NCLEX is that it is a very evil test. It is designed so that you will get 50% right and 50% wrong. I have never gone into a test knowing that I was going to get that many wrong automatically. In the test there are 4 levels of difficulty. The computer will take you up and down the scale of difficulty until you get to the point where it is a 50/50. Then it looks at that level and decides if that is an acceptable level or standard of practice. This is what determines if you pass or fail. It is not the number of questions that you answer (I did 168).

For the second attempt at the NCLEX, I got smart. I knew that I knew the material. That was not in question. The problem was why I wasn't choosing the answers that they determined "the best answer". It is all in the construction of the question. Think about it. if the question is looking for a value of some sort - say a med dosage - the four answers will have a high and a low. 9 times out of 10 you can throw out the hi and the low and then you only have 2 choices, which makes the question easier to answer. Look in the very front of the NCLEX study books (I used Saunders) and really study "how to take the test". I also did an online course from Kaplan that really helped too.

The thing to remember is that it is not you, it is the test that is evil. I often wonder about the people who developed the test. I'm sure that I wouldn't want them in my neighborhood.

Anna

!st take NCLEX last Feb .21 this year ; thank God I passed it.ITS REAL HARD WORK!...disciplined self to study on my days off...startin' from the time I wake-up'till my mind retires for the day.Of course I get out sometimes just to refresh & watch tv to relax.

on day of exam, just stay focus & no 2nd thoughts if you think you are already right.If unsure of the answer,i don't confine too long in that question! Just do deep breathing slowly 5 times...it works on me...plus pray a lot for guidance.

meownsmile, BSN, RN

Specializes in Med/Surg, Ortho.

I totally agree about really reading the test taking tips in the front of the review books,, i think it makes a world of difference if you apply what they tell you.

It dosesnt however, keep you from feeling like you want to puke when you finish and leave the test facility though.

Nor would I want them in my neighborhood. It might be fatal. Seriously, now I understand why Suzanne always says that "everyone will get 50% right and 50% wrong." That is so sadistic. We work so hard to get through school and nursing is no picnic "nowadays" in any area. I just took my NCLEX on 5/19 and the ironic thing about it, I had no idea what I was in for. I felt so confident when I went in and just slunked out the door when I finished.

However, aside from the trauma, most pass it. By the way, how did come by the knowledge about the 50% right and wrong?

The information on the passing standard is available at http://www.ncsbn.org

There is a testing department section and within that section there is a psychometric section that explains how CAT testing works, how the passing standard is set, etc. The TEST itself is not designed so that 50% of the questions will be answered incorrectly. NCLEX developers do not deliberately develop questions with the goal in mind that you will be unable to answer them correctly. Due to CAT and the measurement of the passing standard, you get questions at a level where you have a 50% chance of getting them right or wrong. Most candidates get about 50% of the questions right.

ROFL at the evil NCLEX developers! You very well could have NCLEX developers in your neighborhood and in your facilities. Do you know that any nurse with two years of experience can apply to be part of NCLEX development? Also, to participate in item development, nurses must be in current practice. This information is also on the same web site.

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