The NCLEX-RN® is given to determine a candidate’s ability to work as an entry-level nurse. It is a computer-adaptive test (CAT), which means each person’s testing experience is different. The computer administers each question based on your performance on previous questions. Your questions will be appropriately challenging and at a level that the computer determines you have a 50% chance of answering correctly.
You will continue to receive questions until the computer establishes that you have a 95% chance of achieving a passing score on the test, or until the time limit or the maximum number of questions is reached. The minimum number of questions is 75 and the maximum is 265. Of the items you are given, 15 of them are experimental questions that do not count toward the final score, but you will not know which ones these are.
Most of the test items are multiple-choice type, but there may be some other types, such as:
These are the categories and subcategories of NCLEX-RN® test questions. To ensure adequate coverage of the broad first and last categories on this list, we provide preparation materials for each of the subcategories listed under them. Our study sections are the topics shown in italics, here:
Safe and Effective Care Environment
Health Promotion and Maintenance
A tutorial will be available at the beginning of the test session to help you become familiar with the actual testing procedure. There is also a tutorial here that demonstrates the CAT testing process and addresses the different question types.
In July 2017, a special “research section” was added to this test. It is administered after the test is complete and your answers do not count toward your score. They will be used to help nursing boards direct the future of nurse testing and the nursing profession.