Your final challenge after passing nursing school that’s keeping you from your dream of becoming a registered nurse or a licensed practical nurse is the NCLEX.
Getting asked every question on the NCLEX exam doesn’t help those feelings either.
Can You Fail the NCLEX in 145 Questions?
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.
The way NCLEX tests are administered and graded is unlike the typical standardized testing formats you may have taken in school.
It’s scored through a system called Computerized Adaptive Testing (CAT).
What is Computer Adaptive Testing (CAT)?
With CAT techniques, questions are adapted based on how well you’re doing during the test. The NCLEX questions become progressively easier or harder depending on how you’re doing on the exam.
With this method, students don’t have to waste time answering many easy questions, nor do they have to waste time answering many hard questions.
The computer adapts to how you’re doing. If you’re doing well, you get harder questions and vice versa.
How is the NCLEX Exam Scored?
The NCLEX is scored using 3 basic rules.
- The 95% Confidence Level Rule
- The Maximum Length Exam Rule
- The Run Out of Time Rule
For this article, I’ll focus on rule #2, the maximum length exam rule.
This rule takes into effect if you answer every question on the exam but have not achieved the 95% confidence level rule.
At that point, the computer looks at where you’re at in their estimation of how well you’re doing.
If that estimation is above the passing line, you pass. If it’s below the passing line, you fail.
What to Do If you Failed the NCLEX?
I wrote an article on what I think you should do if you fail the NCLEX. Check out that linked article for practical information on what you should do.
I will leave you with this one very important piece of advice. You need to remember that failing the NCLEX does not define you.
There are a bunch of reasons why people fail. Your job is to figure out what might have been your downfall and improve from there.
The NCLEX provides you some help with their NCLEX candidate performance report, but ultimately you still have to do the leg work.
In short, answering all 145 questions on the NCLEX does not mean you failed the exam.
It also doesn’t mean you necessarily passed either. Though most students, as I said already, will pass the NCLEX.
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- Is UWorld Harder than the NCLEX?
- What Should I Wear to Take the NCLEX?
- What Should I Bring to Take the NCLEX?
Frequently Asked Questions
Here are some frequently asked questions related to whether you can fail the NCLEX in 145 questions.