Easy Tips to Pass Your NCLEX RN Exam This Time!

The NCLEX-RN exam is the National Council Licensure Examination standardized exam. This test is entirely different from any tests you came across in nursing schools. It’s the NCLEX-RN exam that determines if the candidate is fully prepared and ready to start their nursing practice. Unlike nursing schools that have exams based on knowledge, the NCLEX-RN test is based on application and analysis. The knowledge you’ve gained in school is now practically used and tested. The NCLEX-RN test focuses on one more important thing, development of your critical thinking skills and ability to make nursing judgments.

What Categories Does the NCLEX-RN Test Cover?

The NCLEX-RN test covers four areas:

  1. Safe, Effective care – Environment

  • Management of Care 17-63% of questions on the exam includes the following subcategories:
    • Advanced Directives,
    • Case Management,
    • Concepts of Management,
    • Advocacy, Client Rights and Confidentiality,
    • Continuity of Care,
    • Delegation,
    • Consultation,
    • Establishing Priorities,
    • Informed Consent, Ethical Practice and Legal Responsibilities,
    • Referrals,
    • Quality improvement,
    • Supervision
  • Safety and Infection Control 9-15% questions of the exam
    • Nursing actions which include:
      • Error Prevention,
      • Surgical Asepsis,
      • Hazardous Materials,
      • Accident Prevention,
      • Use of Restraints and Standard Precautions
  1. Health Promotion and Maintenance

  • Growth and Development through the Life Span
  • Prevention and Early Detection of Disease
  • subcategories tested (6-12% of the exam questions);
    • the Aging Process,
    • Developmental Stages and Transition,
    • Health Screening,
    • Ante/Intra/Postpartum and Newborn,
    • Lifestyle Choices,
    • Health promotion programs,
    • Physical Assessment Techniques,
    • High-Risk Behaviors,
    • Self Care
  1. Psychosocial Integrity

  • Coping and Adaptation
  • Psychosocial Adaptation
  • subcategories tested (6-12% of the exam questions);
    •  Coping Mechanism,
    • Mental Health Concepts,
    • Grief and Loss,
    • Spiritual Influence on Health,
    • Stress Management,
    • Sensory/Perceptual Alterations,
    • Support Systems,
    • Chemical Dependency,
    • Therapeutic Communication
    • Behavioral Interventions and Crisis Intervention,
    • Family Dynamics,
    • End of Life Care
  1. Physiological Integrity

  • Basic Care and Comfort (6-12% of questions on the exam)
  • subcategories tested are:
    • Assistive Devices,
    • Mobility,
    • Elimination,
    • Nonpharmacological Comfort Interventions,
    • Personal Hygiene, Rest, Sleep, and Nutrition
  • Pharmacological and Parenteral Therapies (12-18% of the exam)
  • subcategories tested areas are:
    • Adverse Effect,
    • Blood and Blood Products,
    • Contraindications,
    • Central Venous Access Devices,
    • Chemotherapy,
    • Intravenous Therapy,
    • Expected Effect,
    • Medication Administration,
    • Pharmacological Pain Management and Dosage Calculation,
    • Total Parenteral Nutrition
  • Reduction of Risk Potential (9-15% of exam questions)
  • subcategories tested areas:
    • Diagnostic Tests,
    • Potential for Complications from Surgical Procedures,
    • Therapeutic Procedures,
    • Laboratory Values,
    • Health Alterations
  • Physiological Adaptation (11-17% of the exam)
  • subcategories tested areas:
  • Alterations in the Body System,
  • Hemodynamics,
  • Fluid and Electrolyte Imbalances,
  • Medical Emergencies,
  • Unexpected Response to Therapies,
  • Pathophysiology

NCLEX Test Strategies

Everyone taking the NCLEX-RN test has to answer a minimum of 75 questions to a maximum of 265 questions. The NCLEX-RN exam is a computerized test with questions based upon your previous answers. The questions are not chosen depending on your previous answer (wrong/right), but on the difficulty of the question, you have answered wrong or right. When you answer 75 questions (minimum), the computer will either indicate you are above passing the passing standard (meaning you passed) or that you have less than the minimum needed to pass the exam. If you are close to the passing exam level, you will be given more questions.

How Much Time Do You Have to Pass the NCLEX Exam?

You can take as long as you need to answer the questions, as long as it’s no longer than 6 hrs. Six hours is the maximum amount of time allocated for anyone to take the test including the time allocated to the tutorial portion of the test. After 2.5 hrs of testing you can take the first optional break, and after 3.5 hrs you can take the second optional break if you need to or choose to.  It’s not a bad idea to stretch use the rest room or get a drink and clear your mind for a few minutes.

NCLEX Exam Grading and Passing Requirements

The NCLEX-RN exam is not just a regular exam with grades. Here there are only two options: you either pass, or you fail. The test has no numerical grades or scores. There are no boards or websites you can check your result. Your State Board of Nursing will notify you within four weeks after the exam (approximately 2-4 weeks after you took the test).

NCLEX Pass Rate of the Exam

According to statistics from 2012, the NCLEX pass rate is high when it comes to US-educated students. Out of 194,898 candidates who took the NCLEX exam, 150,266 were US-educated students and their average pass rate was 90.34%, while 7,764 internationally-educated students had the average pass rate of 36.59%. This problem with internationally-educated students is related to English not being the primary language. Preparation and studying are crucial for passing the NCLEX-RN exam. Make sure you have chosen the right sources for studying, consider getting NCLEX RN tutors and that you have gathered all information possible as you prep for the test.

What Happens If You Failed NCLEX?

No big deal. It happens – you will not be the first failed NCLEX, guaranteed! The stress, nervousness and maybe not starting your prep on time can lead to not getting the score you wanted. Lack of concentration or distractions can make you lose your focus. Failing is not the end of the world. You always have a second chance and with taking the NCLEX-RN exam, you have 45 days and then you can have another try.

Before the Exam – How to Apply for the NCLEX-RN?

The first step in taking the NCLEX-RN exam is submitting the application to the National Council of State Boards of Nursing. You are required to follow the procedures to complete your registration and apply for the exam. Depending on the state, the registration for the NCLEX-RN can be combined with the application for licensure, or you have to do it in two steps: 1st you have to apply for licensure and after your application and upon receiving a Candidate Bulletin you have to register for the NCLEX-RN exam.


Taking the NCLEX-RN exam is $200. To see if there are any additional license fees, you have to contact the State Board of Nursing. Registration can also be done by phone (1-866-496-2539 in the USA; 1-952-681-3815 for outside the USA) and this service will cost you additional $9.50. If you prefer, a personal check, money or cashier’s check can be sent to the National Council of State Boards of Nursing. Once the payment is received, you will be notified by a postcard sent to your address, confirming your registration. The appointment for taking the exam cannot be scheduled until you receive an Authorization to Test in the mail. After you’ve received it, you are ready to book a date and take the exam.

Be Prepared

Preparation is the primary factor you want to focus on for the NCLEX. Make sure to spend sufficient time covering all the different areas and getting answers to questions that you may have.  Remember, it took you years to learn the information initially, why shouldn’t it take awhile to prep for an NCLEX Rn exam that will be covering 4 years of study?   If you have already failed once or you’ve tried to study on your own, try hiring an NCLEX RN tutor to get you the consulting help and answer that you need to ace your exam!

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Easy Tips for Acing the NCLEX RN Exam

Another:  How to Pass the NCELX Exam with Help From Those Who Know

How to Pass the NCLEX Exam with Help From Those Who Know




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How to Pass the NCLEX Exam with Help From Those Who Know

Finally!  You have made it to the NCLEX Exam, so why are you so glum?  Maybe that’s exactly why you are so down – You now have to register and pass the NCLEX exam after all of this schooling.  And as you know, that’s not the easiest of things to make happen.  But, since you are reading this post, you are starting to take the steps that you need to successfully and smoothly master what’s needed to ace the exam.  Well, we’re going to make it simple and share with you some tips from “those who know”.

What we mean by “those who know” is those who have been there and done it already.  We’re talking former students, teachers and NCLEX tutors that KNOW what you need to know and are willing to share show they made it through to the end.

We’ll cover some NCLEX test study tips in another post soon. So be on the lookout for that one.  Right now let’s focus on the fundamentals.  Just what do you need to know and how does that break out in terms of the overall test.  According to the National Council of State Boards of Nursing, the NCLEX test categories are as follows:

Physiological Integrity

  • Basic Care and Comfort                                                    7-13%
  • Pharmocological & Parenteral Therapies                      5-11%
  • Reduction of Risk Potential                                              12-18%
  • Physiological Adaptation                                                  12-18%

Safe, Effective Care Environment

  • Management of Care                                                        7-13%
  • Safety and Infection Control                                            5-11%

Psychosocial Integrity

  • Psychosocial Adaptation                                                   5-11%
  • Coping & Adaptation                                                         5-11%

Health Promotion & Maintenance

  • Prevention & Early Detection of Disease                     5-11%
  • Growth & Development Through the Life Span         7-13%

If we break out our studying into the above categories and groupings, we can focus appropriate amounts of studying time on each area proportionate to its weight on the exam.  Of course, you need to check and see which of these areas are you strongest in and which is your weakest and add a bit of additional time as needed in the areas that you feel you need to bone up on a bit more.

Our goal here was to find tips from those who have gone before that can help you create your own game plan for prepping and then acing this exam (yes, you CAN DO THAT…).

NCLEX Exam Success Story #1 –

  • Some nights I studied with a partner and shared books and review notes.
  • Scheduled exam as soon as I got my eligibility letter and definitely recommend doing that! I didn’t have any listening with headphones questions or click the diagram but did have a ton of select all responses that applied.
  • Best advice – Study with someone at least part of the time and argue out your reasons why. It helps with learning from one another.  Also, approach the “select all” questions with a true or false mindset in helping to choose.

NCLEX Exam Success Story #2 –

  • Dedicated 4-8 hours a day from graduation on for practice, studying and understanding the rational behind the answers to each question.
  • Used NSSBN learning extension as a cheap online course for some review and practice tests.
  • Best advice – Schedule and take the NCLEX as soon as possible after graduation. It keeps the concepts fresh and in your mind.

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 NCLEX Exam Success Story #3 –

  • I used review books, online questions and various online websites and sources.
  • Like others, I scheduled my exam as soon after graduation as possible and worked under a temporary license until then.
  • Take time when answering the questions. Work through them – you know the information! Don’t beat yourself up if you get something wrong or don’t even get the questions.
  • Best advice – the night before, cut yourself off from reviewing. Do what relaxes and soothes you and get to bed early!

NCLEX Exam Success Story #4 –

  • I had an NCLEX tutor HYPERLINK help me with covering all the material needed for the exam. She made me stay on topic and not lose track of what I needed to get done.  Was definitely worth it for me.
  • I covered over 1000 practice questions during my review days. It just helped with covering everything and feeling comfortable with the material.


NCLEX Exam Success Story #5 –

  • I did a combination of studying with an NCLEX tutoring option as well as on my own. That made it cost effective plus I was able to get answers and assistance when I needed it.
  • Took my test in August but recommend taking it as soon as you can. Waiting is so hard!  I had over 2 months to prepare but probably needed less.
  • Best advice – Don’t panic if you get a bad score on a practice test! Just keep tracking yourself and your overall progress and results.  That’s the goal.  Don’t study the day before.  Only check over big concepts but don’t do practice questions.  Relax and try to do something that takes your mind off the next day.  Don’t compare yourself or your test to anyone else.
  • Day of Exam Best Advice – Have breakfast! No last minute studying!  You know it and you’re ready.  Have your stuff ready to go the night before and call someone that can cheer you on while on the way there!  Moms are good for that kind of call.  And once it’s over – do something fun…

NCLEX Exam Success Story #6 –

  • I would encourage people to go through a review course or study with a private NCLEX tutor at some points. I scheduled my exam 3-4 weeks after graduation.  I took tests, reviewed every day.  This worked for me and others in passing the exam first time around.

From these and other reviews and comments that we’ve received, we can sum up some of the critical points for success in NCLEX exam tips and studying:

 NCLEX Tutoring and Study Tips:

  1. Schedule your exam as soon as possible after graduation. It’s good for you, your brain and your success with the NCLEX.
  2. A study partner, at least part time, can be helpful in getting new information ideas and sharing that pain.
  3. A review course or private NCLEX tutors can help you stay on track and cover everything you need to cover as successfully as possible.
  4. No matter what you do, YOU have to be self-motivated to be successful!
  5. Preparation time periods seem to run from 4 weeks to 10 weeks depending on person and schedules. Allocate an appropriate amount of time for you and your preparation.
  6. The day before the exam is when you shut the books, put it all away and relax before the exam day.
  7. Once you have finished the exam it’s time to reward yourself! We’ve heard it all – workout, shopping, spa therapy and so much more. What’s going to be your reward for a job well done?

Hopefully these review tips and NCLEX exam preparations from those of us at PrivateTutoringAtHome.com will help you in successfully acing that exam!  Let us know how you do in the comments below.

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Easy Tips for Acing the NCLEX RN Exam

Being a nursing student is already tough but being a registered nurse is an even a tougher battle to conquer. What makes the licensing exam a lot more difficult is the fact that it incorporates four years of nursing education into a set of test questions. Plus, passing or acing this test requires achieving an exceptionally high score.

Check Out Our Top Rated Nursing Tutors to Help with Exams and Courses!

If your goal is to pass the NCLEX, you need more than the textbook basics. In fact, it is recommended that you cover several subjects in depth and with a variety of resource aids if you really want to get the score you need. To help you out, here are some simple, yet effective, ways you can get great help for passing the NCLEX.

  • Enroll in a Review Course

There are actually many review courses available today. Aspiring nurses get to choose between online courses or classroom review courses. These classes provide the exam taker with various educational resources that can be useful for him or her. Such resources include sample questions and guidebooks. Additionally, they also provide classroom teaching for those that choose that option which helps students to determine the rationale behind the answers to the test’s questions. If you have the time and interest, this might be a great starting place!

  • Hire A Private NCLEX Tutor

One of the best ways to prepare for this kind of exam is to seek help from the professionals. This is the reason why NCLEX tutoring has become quite popular nowadays. The best thing about working with a tutor is the fact that they can determine your weaknesses and help you turn those into your strengths. Finding an NCLEX tutor is recommended for those people who would prefer receiving individualized instruction.  In addition to the focused individualized attention, private NCLEX tutors also work on your timeframe and schedule which is really helpful if you are cramming last minute or have just identified an area that needs extra attention. You can opt for in home tutorial services, online or at learning centers.   Choose which of these options would be most effective for you.  For ease of use and less stress, having your own private tutor can make a world of difference!

  • Find A Study Buddy

Studying alone can be quite boring. Plus, it can get really tedious as well. To combat such issues, the best thing that you can do is to find a study buddy. This is an inexpensive and a convenient way of preparing for the big test. If you have any friends who will be taking the exam too, study with them. You can help encourage and keep each other motivated throughout your review season.  Having someone else that is in the same boat is a way of being held accountable which can be a pretty strong motivator.

  • Make Sure to Have the Right Study and Training Resources

In exams like these, the more resources that you have, the better. Any and all study guides, books or training material that you have collected over the years can come in handy. Check with others that know this test and subject and ask for insight into tools they used to prepare for this exam. Everyone learns differently and making sure that you have what you need to prepare is critical for success.

As mentioned above, passing and acing the NCLEX is a tough job to tackle but it is not at all impossible.  Try a couple of the suggestions mentioned above and prepare to spend the time required and you may well be surprised at how well you do on this exam! Good luck on this last step in becoming a nurse!

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