Are you ready to conquer the National Council Licensure ExaminationⓇ (NCLEX)? While this exam may seem intimidating, all you need are the proper study tools and information to pass on your first try. If you’re feeling concerned about how you’ll do on the NCLEXⓇ, let’s put your mind at ease with the information you need to know regarding NCLEX scoring in 2022.
What You Need to Know About the NCLEXⓇ
Let’s start with what type of exam this is! The NCLEX is used to determine your knowledge and skills (or your nursing ability) for entry-level nursing. The exam itself uses computerized adaptive testing (CAT), which is a fancy way of saying tailored testing. Basically, it adapts to re-estimate your ability to answer the next question using your performance on all previously answered questions. Unfortunately, that also means once a question is submitted, you can no longer return to it.
There are a total of three pass or fail rules the computer has:
- The 95% rule: When taking your test, if the computer has determined with 95% confidence that you passed or failed at the minimum question mark, your test will end.
- The maximum-length rule: If your performance is too close to the passing standard, you’ll have to answer the maximum amount of questions–which is currently 145 questions on the NCLEX.
- The run-out-of-time rule: The computer can’t determine pass or fail if you don’t answer the minimum amount of questions. If you’ve answered the minimum, the computer will determine an estimate (based on your previous answers) called the final ability estimate which will then determine if you pass or fail. For the 2022 NCLEX, don’t worry about this rule. It’s no longer applicable due to the change in exam length on Oct. 1, 2020.
How the 2022 NCLEX is Scored
The NCLEX is scored using dichotomous scoring, so you can either pass or fail the exam. Currently, to pass the NCLEX-RN, the standard is 0.00 logits–or answer questions correctly at least 50% of the time. The NCLEX-PN standard is -0.18 logits. Logits are measurements used to determine the differences between your nursing ability and question difficulty.
Since the NCLEX is pass or fail, there is not a “good score range” you should aim for. Instead, aim to create a method of attack for each NCLEX question so you can pass confidently and on your first try!
Types of Questions to Expect On the 2022 NCLEX
The typical NCLEX has a maximum of 265 questions. As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, the length has been altered. The NCLEX in 2022 has 15 pretest questions and a maximum length of 145 questions. You’ll also have a total of 5 hours to complete the exam.
On the 2022 NCLEX, the current item types (or questions) are: multiple choice, fill in the blank, view chart or exhibit items to answer, ordered response, and graphic items. If you need a strategy to tackle any NCLEX question, read these top three tips.
If you just need a quick guide to NCLEX questions, read our 2022 NCLEX questions blog.
Ways to Prepare For Your NCLEX Exam
Before you get exam day jitters, let’s review some of the measures you can take to make sure you’re as prepared as possible.
As a nursing student, you’ll probably consider getting your most useful information from reviewing course materials, exams, and old notes. However, there are additional tools out there to help you specifically study and prepare for the NCLEX. Picmonic, for example, is a helpful study tool that guarantees you’ll pass the NCLEX! Using wacky, fun picture mnemonics, Picmonic can give you an educational, yet fun study experience.
Also, be sure to remember that the NCLEX is a long exam! There’s no doubt that you’ll need to be strategic in pacing yourself in your plan, but you’ll also need to take timely breaks to give your brain a breather. For the day of, avoid these exam day mistakes.
How to Pass the 2022 NCLEX Exam
I know what you’re thinking, completing the NCLEX is a huge milestone and you’d rather pass it sooner rather than later. However, while you put your NCLEX preparations in place, remember you have a total of eight attempts in the calendar year.
If that seems like a lot, don’t worry, you most likely won’t need to take all eight attempts to pass. In 2021, nursing school students and graduates in the United States had a pass rate of 82.48%! That’s why you should follow these six steps to help you pass on your first try.
2023 Scoring Changes: What to Expect for Next Generation NCLEX (NGN)
The NCLEX passing standard is re-evaluated every three years by the National Council of State Boards of Nursing (NSCBN). There are upcoming changes to the exam itself and the passing standard in the next year we want to prepare all nursing students for.
In April of 2023, the NSCBN will launch a new version of the NCLEX called the Next Generation NCLEX or Next Gen NCLEX.
So, how is the scoring changing for the Next Gen NCLEX? As we mentioned earlier, the 2022 NCLEX currently uses dichotomous scoring. However, the 2023 NCLEX will extend to polytomous scoring. That means if you answer a question partially correct, you can potentially earn credit for it!
Partial credit will be assigned in three different ways:
- +/- scoring: You can receive a point for a correct response but lose a point for an incorrect one. For example, if you have a “select all that apply” question and select three correct answers and one wrong answer, you’ll earn two partial credit points.
- 0/1 scoring: You can receive a point for correct responses but won’t lose points for incorrect ones.
- All or nothing scoring: You can either earn one credit point or none. This would apply to two-part drag and drop questions in the Next Gen exam.
There will also be new additions to the existing questions on the exam. New questions on the 2023 NCLEX will be all about determining your clinical judgment. You’ll see case studies and standalone judgment questions using real-world scenarios. You will have a minimum of three of these scored case studies (18 questions) that are static–meaning your questions won’t change according to your previous performance.
And finally, the Next Generation NCLEX will be 135 questions with a minimum of 70 questions. You’ll still have five hours to complete the exam at your pace.
Whether you’re taking the exam in 2022 or 2023, you’re bound to pass! Just make sure you use the right tips and tools to crush the NCLEX. You got this, and good luck.
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What percent do you need to pass the NCLEX 2022? ›
How the 2022 NCLEX is Scored. The NCLEX is scored using dichotomous scoring, so you can either pass or fail the exam. Currently, to pass the NCLEX-RN, the standard is 0.00 logits–or answer questions correctly at least 50% of the time.Are there any changes to the NCLEX 2022? ›
For now, the NCLEX is not changing, so if you are planning on taking the NCLEX before 2023, you can free up some brain space and not worry about what the Next Gen version will look like. Continue to prep for the current version of the exam, and work to become an expert in its structure and content.Can unofficial NCLEX results change 2022? ›
While your unofficial NCLEX results can change, it's unlikely unless cheating is suspected.What changes will be made in NCLEX 2023? ›
The Next Gen NCLEX will also have a new scoring method. Currently, the NCLEX items are scored as either all incorrect or all correct. Using a scoring model that accounts for multiple answers will allow for partial credit. It will go into effect in April 2023.
You must get at least 75 questions correct, or achieve a 95% confidence level, to pass the NCLEX.What are good signs you passed NCLEX? ›
- You feel confident about the exam. ...
- You answered questions during NCLEX prep that were very similar to questions on the NCLEX. ...
- You took an NCLEX-prep class and did well in the class. ...
- You scored well on the NCLEX Predictor Test.
Answering all 145 questions on the NCLEX-RN alone does not mean you failed the exam. However, with each correct answer you provide, the test should give you a question that becomes increasingly more difficult than the previous one.Is the new NCLEX going to be harder? ›
Harder Question Content
This increased client acuity means that new NCLEX questions are more difficult, with an increased focus on caring for more critically ill clients.
A new NCLEX means a better evaluation of graduates' readiness for the challenges of real-life nursing practice — but that has meant they will face more difficult, in-depth questions that could put your pass rates at risk.How do you know if you passed NCLEX before 48 hours? ›
Unfortunately, the only way to know for sure if you have passed the NCLEX is to wait for your official results.
Are the unofficial NCLEX scores accurate? ›
While the NCLEX Quick Results are unofficial test results, they are believed to be accurate, which means you can stop worrying about whether you passed the test or not.Can NCLEX shut off between 75 and 145? ›
Since the minimum number of questions you'll take on the NCLEX is 75 and the maximum is 145, this could happen at any point between those 2 numbers. Theoretically, the computer could know from your first 75 questions that you failed and stop giving you more, or it could know that you passed.How many questions are on the new NCLEX 2023? ›
As of 2022, both versions of the NCLEX® comprise anywhere between 75 and 145 items selected from a pre-set question bank, which include 15 pre-test items that are not scored. These items are a combination of up to 6 types that a candidate may see on the exam. The 6 item types are: Multiple choice.What percentage do you need to pass NCLEX 2023? ›
To pass the NCLEX, you must answer at least 60% of the questions correctly. The National Council of State Boards of Nursing uses a minimum standard score of at least 0. 00 to pass the exam, which equates to a passing score of approximately 55 to 60%.Does NCLEX give partial credit for select all that apply 2023? ›
Select all that apply (SATA)
When the new NCLEX rolls out in 2023, the SATA will change. You will be able to get partial credit on a SATA. This means that if you choose one of the correct answers you will get a point. But if you choose an incorrect answer you will get a point taken away.
If the NCLEX shuts off at 75 questions, you likely passed the NCLEX. I say this because over 80% of nursing students will pass the NCLEX their first time. So statistically speaking, most students will pass the NCLEX, especially if they went through a good NCLEX prep course.How many questions do you need to get correct on the NCLEX? ›
Failing the test can result in not answering the minimum amount of 70 questions within the allotted time. You can answer the first 69 questions correctly, but you will automatically fail the exam if you don't reach number 70.What are considered high level questions on NCLEX? ›
Analysis, synthesis and evaluation questions would be considered higher-level NCLEX questions. Synthesis questions are based on creating or proposing solutions, such as a plan of care.What is the fastest way to find out if you passed the NCLEX? ›
The only way you will receive your official results is through your nursing regulatory body. This takes place approximately six weeks after you take the NCLEX. Some things to note: If you have not received your results after six weeks, contact your nursing regulatory body.Is getting 145 questions on NCLEX bad? ›
While you can fail the NCLEX PN or NCLEX RN exam in 145 questions, it's unlikely. Most students are more prepared than they think, hence why most students pass the NCLEX exams.
Does NCLEX tell you a score? ›
Exam results are available only from your nursing regulatory body (NRB) and will be sent to you approximately six weeks after taking the exam. Do not call Pearson VUE NCLEX Candidate Services, the test centers or NCSBN for exam results.What is the minimum number of questions on the NCLEX-RN 2022? ›
On the NCLEX® examination, test takers will see a minimum of 75 questions and a maximum of 265 (145 maximum due to new COVID-19 policies). The NCLEX® examination is taken through Computer Adaptive Testing (CAT). During the five-hour examination, test takers will be offered two optional breaks.What is the minimum questions for RN NCLEX 2022? ›
If you did not answer at least the minimum number of questions (60 for NCLEX-RN and NCLEX-PN), then you receive an abbreviated CPR, which tells you how many questions were answered and how many are required to be evaluated.Does the last question on NCLEX determine pass or fail? ›
If the last question is below the level of difficulty needed to pass, the candidate fails. If the last question is above the level of difficulty needed to pass, the candidate passes.What state is the easiest to pass NCLEX? ›
- #1 Connecticut. ...
- #2 Montana. ...
- #3 New York. ...
- #4 Northern Mariana Islands. ...
- #5 South Dakota.
The NCSBN Board of Directors voted in December 2022, to uphold the current passing standard for the NCLEX-PN Examination. The passing standard will remain at the current level of -0.18 logits and will remain in effect through March 31, 2026.How much of the NCLEX is changing? ›
NCLEX Changes 2023: Let's Review
The entire exam is not changing; however, there will be new NGN-style items included on the exam – between 20% and 25% percent for every candidate.
Cramming Before the Test
Even the most experienced students can tend to cram before a major test. It is one of the biggest and most important challenges to overcome if you want to take and pass the NCLEX-RN.
First Time NCLEX Pass Rates and Schools
According to the NCSBN, the national first time NCLEX-RN pass rate for US educated nurses in 2020 was 86.5% and the PN pass rate for the same period of time was 83%. The pass rate for repeat RN test-takers was only 42.9% and for PN 35.6%.
The NCLEX is designed to test your critical thought process. The questions start out relatively easy and get progressively harder with each correct answer in order to determine your highest level of knowledge.
How many questions to pass NCLEX 2022? ›
While it's possible to pass the NCLEX after answering all 135, it's also possible to pass the test with a minimum of 70 questions or any number in between. Keep in mind NCLEX has a time limit of five hours. If you haven't answered enough questions correctly when the clock runs out, you will fail the test.How many percent should you get to pass NCLEX? ›
So, expect to answer at least 75 and at most 145 questions in the NCLEX. This is because the test will keep on giving you questions until it is 95 percent sure that you have achieved a passing grade. Once the 95 percent probability of passing the test is achieved, the test will end for you.What is the minimum and maximum NCLEX questions 2022? ›
On the NCLEX® examination, test takers will see a minimum of 75 questions and a maximum of 265 (145 maximum due to new COVID-19 policies). The NCLEX® examination is taken through Computer Adaptive Testing (CAT). During the five-hour examination, test takers will be offered two optional breaks.