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.

No matter how prepared you might be before the examination, your biggest fear (along with every other nursing student) is failing the NCLEX.

Getting asked every question on the NCLEX exam doesn’t help those feelings either.

Can You Fail the NCLEX in 145 Questions?

This video goes over whether or not you can fail the NCLEX in 145 questions. Subscribe to the channel for more nursing student related content.

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.

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How Does the NCLEX Work?

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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.

  1. The 95% Confidence Level Rule
  2. The Maximum Length Exam Rule
  3. 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 is the 95% Confidence Rule?

The 95% confidence interval rule takes into effect when the computer is 95% certain that your ability is either above (you pass) or below (you fail) the passing standard.

At that point, the computer will end the exam.

Please note that you would need to answer the minimum number of questions for this rule to take effect.

What to Do If you Failed the NCLEX?

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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.

Many nursing students find success if they get a good NCLEX prep course.

I’m not just talking about any prep course but a good one that’s been around for a while and has a proven track record.

Check out some of these NCLEX prep courses:

The NCLEX Prep Academy (formally NRSNG Academy)
Nurse Plus Academy
Kaplan NCLEX Prep

Key Takeaways

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.

New Nurse Academy
Trusted by 430,000+ future nurses and new nurses everywhere. Check out the course that helps new nurses bridge the gap and transition smoothly to becoming nurses.

Related Article

Frequently Asked Questions

Here are some frequently asked questions related to whether you can fail the NCLEX in 145 questions.

The NCLEX exam is made by the National Council of State Boards of Nursing (NCSBN).

Pearson Vue administers the NCLEX examination at one of their many testing facilities.

Looking at past historical data, about 85% of first-time NCLEX test-takers will pass the exam.

NCLEX stands for the National Council Licensure Examination.

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