a nursing student thinking

In this article, I'll discuss what it means if you thought the last question on the NCLEX was super easy.

Does it mean you passed? Or does it mean you failed?

The Last Question on NCLEX was Easy. What Does it Mean?

If the last question on the NCLEX was easy, it means you got a question that was easy or a topic you knew very well. While that could be a sign you passed, you won't know for sure until the official results are available.

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The Last Question is a Common Test Taker Puzzle

Every new grad nurse that’s ever taken boards wonders the same thing.

They want to know how well they did on the NCLEX based on the last question they got when that exam mysteriously shuts off.

Unfortunately, you can try to predict all you want, but the truth is that there’s no real way to know for sure how you did on the NCLEX until the official results are sent to you.

…there’s no real way to know for sure how you did on the NCLEX until the official results are sent…

There are some schools of thought regarding the last question on the NCLEX.

Some people will say that getting an easy last question is not a good sign you passed the NCLEX. Those people would say it's actually a bad sign you failed the NCLEX.

The reason for this is based on the way the NCLEX is scored. (Check the linked article for more information.)

Related: What Score Do You Need to Pass the NCLEX?

How is the NCLEX Scored?

In short, as you answer questions on the NCLEX, if you answer correctly, you'll get a harder question. If you answer questions incorrectly, you'll get an easier question.

You'll keep doing this until the computer can determine if it keeps asking you questions, you'll stay above the passing line.

With that train of thought, some people believe that if your last question is a hard one, then that's a good sign you passed the NCLEX.

Based on that, this would be a bad sign if your last question is an easy one.

Why Is This the Wrong Way to Analyze the NCLEX?

There's a couple of issues with this train of thought.

The primary one is that it's hard to gauge the difficulty of a question accurately. This is especially true when you're in the middle of testing.

Some students believe that a particular question format (like select all that apply) or topic makes a question hard, and that's not necessarily the case.

The difficulty of a question is more directly controlled by how the question writer wants to write the question. They are the ones that truly determine how hard they want to make a question.

If a test writer wanted, they could make a select-all that applies question that's easy and only requires regurgitating a fact. While also making a single answer question that requires a lot of critical thinking.

The last thing to keep in mind (and probably the most important factor) is that the difficulty of a question will also be based on you, the test taker.

There will be questions you'll find easier or hard just based on the topic alone.

If you're really bad at cardiac topics, you could get an easy question that you'll think is very challenging.

Related: What Does A lot of SATA Questions on the NCLEX Mean?

Wait for the Official Results

With all that said, you should wait for the official results or do one of two other things.

You can do the Pearson Vue NCLEX trick (I don't recommend it) or pay for the NCLEX quick results.

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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.

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