I hope I can help you First, the computer doesn't decide if you are competent. The computer merely delivers questions and performs calculations based on the test plan and programming it has been given. The passing standard is determined by the member boards of the National Council of State Boards of Nursing. The member boards are all of the state boards of nursing, plus the boards of nursing from the US territories. The member boards get together and decide what the passing standard should be. They make this decision using alot of information, including practice analyses, literature reviews, and expert judgment. You have to answer questions at a difficulty to get you above the passing standard until you have answered enough questions to determine with 95% accuracy that you are at a level to competently practice nursing. So, when you begin the exam, you get a random question from a test pool. If you answer correctly, you get a more difficult question. If you answer incorrectly, you get a little bit easier question. If you are answering easy questions consistently, you are going to fail. Keep in mind though, that the questions are easy or hard based on how candidates performed on the items during pretesting. Easy or hard is not based on anyone's opinion. There is a link at ncsbn.org that has a powerpoint demo you can watch. Go to the website, click on testing department, then psychometrics and then FAQs. My kids compare the scoring to a video game. You have to get to a certain level in the game before you get "the good stuff." If you stay at the lower levels, you don't get the stars, or army men, or whatever. Once you get to a higher level, you get the bonuses. The scoring is done using statistical formulas, logarithims, and other psychometric methods. You don't even want to try to work them out, unless you really like statistics. If you go, let me know and I will refer you to a good book on logistic regression.