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NCLEX BLOG POST SERIES (pre-series post: what is the NCLEX?)

Welcome, welcome! As you mayyyy know, a bunch of stuff happened recently. I started the DNP program here at Columbia about 2 weeks ago, took the NCLEX exam exactly 1 week ago from today, had my white coat "ceremony" yesterday, and finally was able to find my RN licensure number through the New York State education department website today! :) So now I am catching up school work and getting around to these NCLEX blog posts.

This post is a little "trailer," a "sneak peek," whatever you want to call it!


BACKGROUND INFO -- What is the NCLEX exam?

The NCLEX exam is the licensing exam individuals take in order to become Registered Nurses. The different types of exam questions you may potentially encounter are: multiple choice questions (4 answer choices), select all that apply (SATA), hot spot (where you would click the correct spot on an image), identifying images, listening to an audio recording (perhaps of a breath sound or heart sound), interpreting rhythm strips, rearranging the correct order of implementation steps, and med math. Hopefully I am not forgetting any other types of question formats, but it is also important to know that you may not get EVERY single type of exam question there is. To my knowledge, I don't really know anyone who had a hot spot question or an audio clip that they had to listen to for the exam.

The NCLEX is an adaptive exam which means that the exam gauges how well or poorly you are doing and decides what question to throw at you next. So essentially, if you are doing pretty well and getting answers correctly, you might get thrown a bunch of select all that apply (SATA) questions since those are typically the "harder" types of questions. There are no partial credit for SATA questions -- all or nothing. So getting a bunch is generally a good sign that you are getting to those higher level questions that can help you get above the threshold and into the passing range.

The minimum questions you can possibly pass at (or fail at) is 75 questions. The maximum questions you can pass at (or fail at) is 265 questions. Each question is not timed, but you have 6 hours. You could essentially take the entire 6 hours to do 75 questions and pass/fail if you would like, but I wouldn't suggest it. Lol. You CANNOT go back after you have submitted your answers for your question and hit next. Once the adaptive exam has determined that you are pretty much above the "pass line," the test will automatically SHUT OFF. It won't tell you whether you passed or not. It will just end on its own. It can end at any question after 75. I have heard of exams ending at question 75, 76, 110, 232, 265 (and these people DID pass). For me personally, I ended at question 84.

For more information about how the NCLEX exam works -- check out their official website:


Alright, so a little bit about the 3 part series -->

This 3 part series will include....

PART 1: Studying for the NCLEX (the resources/books I used, what my typical study day was like, how long I studied for)

PART 2: Day before the NCLEX & Day of the NCLEX (how I physically, mentally, and emotionally prepared myself for the big day!)

PART 3: The Post-NCLEX Wait (my thoughts and feelings leading up to the day I received my results, and the Pearson Vue trick that calmed my nerves a bit)

Just a little disclaimer for my NCLEX blog post series -- everyone's study habits and ways of studying varies, so take everything I say with a grain of salt! I can also mention things my own peers and friends have said about the NCLEX, but just remember that everyone's experience is incredibly unique, so you do you!



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