5 Reasons You Should Take an NCLEX Practice Test

Young female pretty nurse taking SimpleNursing NCLEX practice text at a desk with a laptop and a notebook.

You’ve put in the time, effort, and money to complete your nursing education.

Now, all that’s standing between you and your dream of becoming a licensed nurse is the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX) exam. But before you can pass, you need to prepare.

And one of the best ways to do that is by taking an NCLEX practice test. Whether you’re a first-time test taker or have attempted the exam multiple times, taking a practice test should be an essential part of any study plan.

What is the NCLEX?

The NCLEX, a standardized test by the National Council of State Boards of Nursing (NCSBN), is a fair, reliable tool to measure the minimum competency required to deliver safe, effective entry-level nursing.

The test covers various clinical scenarios and nursing concepts.

It measures a candidate’s abilities, knowledge, and skills in four major categories:

  • Safe and effective care environment
  • Health promotion and maintenance
  • Psychosocial integrity
  • Physiological integrity

How scoring works

The NCLEX is a computerized adaptive test (CAT) that adjusts the difficulty level of the questions based on performance.

The exam starts with a question of average difficulty and then gives higher or lower-level questions depending on whether you answer correctly. The computer decides if you pass when it has enough information to determine your ability level accurately.

It does this by using one of the following three rules.

  1. 95% rule: If the test concludes with 95% certainty that you’re above the passing standard, you’ll pass.
  2. Maximum-length exam rule: When you reach the maximum exam length, the computer decides whether you passed or failed based on performance.
  3. Run-out-of-time (ROOT) rule: If you run out of time, the computer will determine whether you have performed above or below the passing standard.

5 reasons to take an NCLEX practice test

There are many benefits to taking a practice test.

Here are five.

1. It helps improve time management skills and reduce stress.

The NCLEX is time-sensitive, and managing time is crucial to completing it on time.

A practice test helps determine how long it takes to answer each question. This allows you to develop a strategy for pacing yourself during the actual exam.

Knowing how to manage time can also reduce stress and anxiety during the exam because you’ll feel more confident about completing it on time.

2. It familiarizes you with the exam’s format and style.

The NCLEX-RN exam includes different types of questions, like:

  • Audio or video
  • Drag and drop
  • Chart or graphics
  • Fill in the blank
  • Hot spot
  • Multiple choice questions (MCQs)
  • Ordered response
  • Select all that apply

By answering NCLEX practice questions, you can become familiar with the format and style of the exam and learn how to approach different types of questions.

3. It helps you prepare for retakes.

No matter how much you prepare for the exam, there’s always the possibility of having to retake the test.

However, retakes are expensive and require a length of time before you can retest, so give your best on the first try. Taking NCLEX practice tests enhances the preparation for retakes and reduces the probability of having to pay for another test.

4. It provides a benchmark for progress.

As you take more NCLEX mock tests, you can track progress and see how much you’ve improved.

This may motivate you to keep studying and give you an idea of where you stand.

5. It exposes any knowledge gaps.

One of the most significant benefits of taking an NCLEX practice test is identifying knowledge gaps.

The format of NCLEX questions differs from those encountered in regular coursework, so practicing answering them will give you a better understanding of your strengths and weaknesses. NCLEX questions test your ability to apply concepts rather than regurgitate knowledge, so taking practice exams can improve critical thinking skills.

Where can I find the best NCLEX mock test?

If you’re looking for a high-quality NCLEX practice test that simulates the actual exam experience, sign up for SimpleNursing’s NCLEX-RN 48-hour free trial.

The trial includes access to our adaptive assessment exam, which adapts to your performance and simulates the real NCLEX, ensuring you get the most realistic practice possible. We also offer a variety of study materials, including animated videos, lecture series, and guides — all designed to help you pass the NCLEX.

Start your free trial today and take another step closer to becoming a licensed nurse!