Are you wondering if the SIMCLEX has harder questions compared to the NCLEX?

Keep reading.

I’ll answer that and discuss what to do if you don’t do well on the SIMCLEX. As a bonus, you’ll get to read my rant about questions like this.

Is the SIMCLEX Harder Than the NCLEX?

Many students will find the questions on the SIMCLEX to be as hard or harder than the NCLEX. The reason has to do with how the tests are constructed and the purpose of each exam. The NCLEX tests your readiness for practice, while SIMCLEX tests to see how prepared you are for the NCLEX.

NCLEX Prep Academy

The only NCLEX prep you’ll need. Check out the nclex prep course that helps graduate nurses pass their state board.

What does it cover?

  • Test Taking Tips
  • Nursing Cheatsheets
  • NCLEX Topics Covered
  • Video Lessons
  • Practice Questions
  • Mobile App

Just to name a few.

The NCLEX and the Simclex Are Different

You need to keep in mind that the SIMCLEX and the NCLEX both serve different purposes.

How the Questions Are Set-Up

Let’s start with how the exam questions are curated.

The NCLEX works because it uses CAT or computer adaptive testing technology.

The CAT technology works by adjusting the questions you get based on how you’re doing.

As you answer questions, your next questions will be harder if you get them correctly. If you get it wrong, your next question will be easier.

You’ll keep doing this until the computer can determine if you’re above the passing line.

The SIMCLEX exam is actually also computer-adaptive. Similar to the NCLEX, it’s supposed to adjust based on how well you’re doing on the exam.


The SIMCLEX is the only NCLEX prep course I’m aware of that is also computer adaptive.

The Simclex Exam and the NCLEX Have Different Goals

While the SIMCLEX and the NCLEX are both adaptive tests, I think it’s important to understand the underlying goal of each test.

For starters, the NCLEX tests your ability to practice safely as a new nurse, while the SIMCLEX tests your ability to pass the NCLEX.

The Tricky Part of Determining Which is More Difficult

Because both tests are adaptive, your perception of which is more difficult will change based on how you do on each one.

So let’s think about this from a logical standpoint.

If the better you do on the SIMCLEX determines how much better you do on the NCLEX, it would only make sense that the easiest questions on the SIMCLEX wouldn’t be easier than the easiest questions on the NCLEX.

Because of that, based on where either exam cuts off could give you a different perception of difficulty.

The other thing that I think is often overlooked when debates like this come up is that your anxiety will be higher taking the NCLEX.

Simulation or not, you can’t simulate the actual experience of taking the NCLEX in a Pearson Vue testing center.

When you couple that with people’s natural bad ability to gauge and compare, it really makes questions like this not very helpful.

Why Are You Asking This Question?

Is this a good course?

If you just want to gauge if the platform is good, it is.

Many students have had great success using it, and with their 200% money-back guarantee and really high NCLEX pass rate, many students will find success.

I bought this course and just took the NCLEX.

If you’re asking this because you just took the NCLEX and are unsure how well you did, I have several articles on this that you should check out.

I bought this course and didn’t pass the NCLEX.

If you bought the NCLEX prep and didn’t pass the NCLEX, then I would consider seeing if there’s something you could have done better or if the platform didn’t work for you.

Both are very possible.

As good as this prep course is, and I think it’s one of the better ones out there.

Certain study materials work better for others. There are many other NCLEX prep courses, each with its own strengths, weaknesses, and teaching styles.

Check out this article on the best NCLEX prep courses if you want to see the other options.

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