Date Published: May 10, 2019
When it comes to the NCLEX Exam, there’s a lot to keep track of! Our nurse educators took some time to answer the frequently asked questions that we hear from students. Take a look at their thoughts below!
Related read: NCLEX 101 – Exam Essentials
What topics are covered on the NCLEX?
NCLEX comprises eight main client need categories: Management of Care, Safety and Infection Control, Health Promotion and Maintenance, Psychosocial Integrity, Basic Care and Comfort, Pharmacology, Reduction of Risk, and Physiological Adaptation. Within each category are nursing topics learned during nursing school. See NCSBN’s Test Plan (RN & PN) available for download.
Where do you take the exam?
You will take the NCLEX Exam at a Person Vue testing center. Before you do, you must first register with the State Board Of Nursing and then register for the NCLEX with Pearson Vue. Once you do this, you will receive an acknowledgement email, as well as an ATT, and then register to take the exam at a testing center.
How long is the NCLEX for both RN and PN versions?
This varies on the program type that you are testing for! There is a six hour maximum duration for the NCLEX-RN and a five hour maximum duration for the NCLEX-PN.
What study tips can you share?
- Block time off to study each day.
- Join a study group, but no more than three or four included.
- Refer to the ATI review modules or books.
- Review the corresponding chapters.
- Take available practice assessments to identify knowledge gaps.
- If you still have questions about certain subjects, seek clarification from your professor.
- Don’t forget to schedule free time. This is important for stress relief.
What are the item formats that I can expect to see on the exam?
- Hot spot
- Drag and drop
- Multiple choice
- Multiple response
Do you have any advice for test anxiety?
The biggest thing that you can do is to prepare. Gong into the exam having practiced, especially earlier on, you will feel very confident.
If you are a first semester student, you can start decreasing your test anxiety right now! If it is to the point where you cannot sit through a test, it would be a good time to go and talk to your professors about special accommodations.
Don’t forget to take deep breaths, give yourself positive commentaries and have a plan! A lot of times you can work through it by aromatherapy, meditation, etc.
See more helpful advice about test anxiety in this blog post, Tips for Overcoming Testing Anxiety.
I am still in nursing school and don’t take the NCLEX for awhile. What can I do to prepare now?
We recommend remediation! Here are places to start:
- Look back on the areas in which you have not been as strong in throughout nursing school.
- Revisit your past exams and make an appointment with your professor if needed.
- Pay attention to concept topics that you missed, not just the questions themselves! Be sure to take a pen and paper to jot down as you go along. These topic areas may be similar throughout the year.
Once you identify the areas for remediation, looking at the ATI review modules. These modules have both written and video content that is helpful in remediating.
What is your suggestion for select all that apply questions?
First, take a deep breath! These questions are tough even when they are easy. Keep in mind that you have five or six questions in one. A lot of times you will want to look at all of your options, but with SATA it is a little different.
Next, you will want to use your test taking strategy by identifying your issue and then taking a look at each option. Look at your first option and determine if it is true of false for the story. Don’t be afraid to write down T or F on the whiteboard you are provided. If you have a positive stem, the you add up the number of trues to find your answer.