Hard NCLEX Questions and How to Answer Them

Mike Linares MSN, RN Feb 26, 2024
Stressed African American Black female doctor with hand on forehead while working with laptop computer in hospital. Unhappy female nurse in office at hospital

Mastering the NCLEX examination is the final hurdle to becoming a licensed nurse, and conquering hard NCLEX questions is an essential step toward success.

By understanding what constitutes hard questions on the NCLEX, identifying higher level questions, and practicing with realistic NCLEX practice questions, nursing school postgrads can enhance their test-taking skills and increase their chances of passing the NCLEX examination.

Join us as we explore challenging NCLEX questions, discover strategies to tackle them, and unveil a powerful digital NCLEX study tool that will empower you on your journey.

Jump to Section


  1. What are considered hard questions on the NCLEX?
  2. The Hardest Questions on the NCLEX
  3. What are considered higher level questions on the NCLEX?
  4. Examples of Hard Questions on NCLEX

Read here to learn about Next Generation NCLEX (NGN) questions.

What are considered hard questions on the NCLEX?

The NCLEX examination is designed to evaluate the competency of nursing school postgrads and ensure their readiness to enter professional practice. Hard questions on the NCLEX test the depth of your knowledge, critical thinking abilities, and ability to apply concepts in complex scenarios. 

The most difficult NCLEX questions typically require you to think beyond the basic level of knowledge. They may involve analyzing complex patient scenarios, prioritizing interventions, making clinical judgments, or applying nursing concepts in unfamiliar contexts. 

These questions assess your ability to think critically and make sound decisions under pressure, mirroring the challenges you may encounter in real-life nursing practice.

The Hardest Questions on the NCLEX

To excel on your nursing exams, it is crucial to familiarize yourself with the hardest NCLEX questions. By understanding their characteristics and knowing how to approach them, you can boost your confidence and improve your performance on test day.

The hardest nursing questions on the NCLEX often require a deep understanding of nursing theory, pharmacology, pathophysiology, and nursing interventions. They may present complex clinical scenarios involving multiple patients or require you to identify the best course of action when faced with conflicting information. 

These questions challenge your ability to synthesize information, prioritize care, and think critically under pressure.

What are considered higher level questions on the NCLEX?

Higher level questions on the NCLEX assess your ability to apply knowledge, analyze situations, and make clinical judgments. Understanding the characteristics of higher level questions can help you prepare effectively and develop the necessary skills to tackle them successfully.

Higher level questions require you to move beyond basic recall and demonstrate a deeper understanding. They may ask you to predict outcomes, identify nursing interventions based on patient assessments, analyze data, or apply principles to complex patient scenarios. 

These questions evaluate your ability to think critically, problem-solve, and provide safe and effective nursing care.

Examples of Hard Questions on NCLEX

Since you can’t skip questions on the exam, you’ll have to practice these harder questions. So, let’s explore a few examples of higher level NCLEX questions to understand how they challenge your nursing knowledge and critical thinking skills from our YouTube channel:

Don’t let hard NCLEX questions intimidate you

Conquering these difficult NCLEX questions requires diligent preparation and practice. Remember, success on the NCLEX is not just about knowledge but also about developing critical thinking and clinical judgment skills. To enhance your study experience and master the art of test-taking, consider utilizing a digital NCLEX study tool.

SimpleNursing, a cutting-edge digital platform designed specifically for NCLEX preparation, offers comprehensive question banks, detailed explanations, NCLEX tips, and customizable practice sessions. 

It provides real-time performance feedback, identifies areas for improvement, and helps you build confidence in tackling hard questions. Take advantage of this powerful resource to optimize your study efforts and maximize your chances of NCLEX success.

Embark on your journey toward becoming a licensed nurse with confidence with the nation’s top NCLEX Prep course.

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