Exam day is here!

In the past, you would be one of the students filing into the exam venue carrying all sorts of things.

Pens, extra pens, pencils, erasers, blank paper for notes, and of course, a calculator for working out those hard dosage calc problems.

That’s no longer is the case.

What Do You Need to Bring to Take the NCLEX?

Because the NCLEX exam is all computerized, there’s not much you need to bring to the testing site besides yourself and your identification. Some food and drink, as well as comfortable clothing, should also be considered.

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What Type of Identification is Required?

id criteria

When you arrive at the venue, you will need to present photo identification to the test administrator. The ID needs to meet certain criteria:

  • It needs to be issued by a government organization like a driver’s license or permanent residence card.
  • The photograph needs to be recent
  • The identification card needs to carry your signature

Besides an identification card, you will be required to provide some biometric identification.

The testing center will collect your signature, take an electronic photograph of you and administer a palm vein scan to ensure you are who you say you are.

The last form of identification is the Authorization to Test (ATT) letter. It used to be printed and given to students to present at the test venue, but this is no longer the case.

It’s now sent by email directly to the testing center. The name they have on your ATT needs to match your I.D.

What Happens When You Want to Make Notes During the Test?

a college student is taking notes

If you want to write something down, your test administrator will provide an erasable note board that you can use for your exam. Afterward, the board is handed back.

Your test paper will be on the computer screen, and you will place your answers directly into the computer. One thing to remember about that is that once you submit your answer to the question, you cannot go back to change it.

So, take your time to make sure you pick the right answer from the multiple-choice.

Where Will My Personal Belongings be Stored?

things you cant take to the nclex testing area

You cannot take any coats, scarves, gloves, food and drink items, or any electronic devices (including Fitbit watches on your arm) into the testing site.

A locker will be provided for you to keep these items while you’re testing.

Even though you cannot eat or drink inside the testing area itself, you will be able to get your snacks and drinks from the locker during break time.

It’s a good idea to have some nutritious snacks with you to keep up your concentration levels if the test takes you a long time to finish.

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Can I Leave Test Station During the Test?

Leaving during test

The test is taken at your own pace. You are allowed up to five hours to complete all the questions. So you may leave your station anytime for a quick toilet break or to have a snack during a scheduled break.

The scheduled breaks are calculated into your test, and a message will appear on your screen to let you know that the break time has started.

The first break is allocated two hours after the test begins, and the second break at three and a half hours after the exam starts.


The clock will NOT stop for a break. It’s up to you to ensure you will still have enough time to complete all the questions if you take a break.

To leave the venue, you need to raise your hand to indicate your intention to the test administrator. The test administrator will escort you out, and a palm scan will be taken as you exit and again when you re-enter the room.

Once you have submitted answers to all the questions in the test, a message saying “Your test is concluded” will appear on the screen. This will indicate the end of the exam.

Afterward, you will be given an exit survey that needs to be completed before you’re allowed to leave the venue.

Key Takeaways

So, to sum up, the only thing you need to bring to the exam venue is identification. A locker will be provided to store all your electronic and personal belongings.

You will not have access to your electronic devices during testing, but you will be allowed to access your personal belongings like food during break times.

All break times count against the total time allowed for completing the questions.

Once your test is done and your exit survey is completed, you will be able to leave the venue by alerting your test administrator.

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Have You Read These Yet?

Frequently Asked Questions

Here are some frequently asked questions related to what you should bring to the NCLEX exam.

Yes, you can bring a water bottle with you to the test center. You will have to put it in a locker because you cannot have it in the actual testing room.

NCLEX test takers are not allowed to chew gum in the testing room of the NCLEX. Chewing gum may be a distraction for other students.

For test day dress comfortably and arrive early for the exam (this is not an exam you want to be running late for). Make sure you have a government-issued ID that matches your authorization to test-ATT.

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