After all the time spent in nursing school and preparing to take the boards, it is natural to ask, “How will I know if I passed the NCLEX-RN?”
Official results are mailed to candidates from their state board of nursing approximately six weeks after the exam. However, some states will allow test-takers to get results 48 hours after the exam using the Quick Results service. Keep reading for more information on scoring and results for the NCLEX-RN.
Computerized Adaptive Testing
As you may already know, the NCLEX uses a type of testing called Computerized Adaptive Testing (CAT). CAT testing adjusts the difficulty of questions based upon the previous answers given by the test-taker. There are many great resources to discuss how the score is determined, but what you need to know is that the computer is assessing your nursing competency in real time, with each question that is asked. A passing score is calculated by your ability to answer questions of appropriate difficulty correctly to demonstrate your nursing competence with 95% confidence.
Even though your score is being calculated in real time, each NCLEX-RN exam is actually scored twice, once at the testing center and then again when the record of the exam is sent to the test company, Pearson Vue. Since each exam is scored twice, the employees of the testing center do not have any information about passing or failing scores. Once results are processed, they are available through Quick Results for participating state boards of nursing or they will be mailed to you from your state board of nursing within six weeks of the exam.
Plan for the Waiting
Waiting for exam results is not easy but here are a few tips to make it just a little easier.
- Don’t over analyze. The test is over and you can’t change your answers now. You did the best you could, so second guessing yourself is wasted energy. (Trust me, I know!)
- Don’t believe the myths. There is no secret way to tell if you passed by the number of questions you received or the types of questions you were being asked.
- Find a distraction. You know you will be waiting at least 48 hours (the earliest results are available through the Quick Results option). You might as well enjoy the relief of being done and the freedom from test preparation. Make plans to see a movie, go out to eat, or hang out with friends. If your state board of nursing doesn’t participate in Quick Results, you will have even more time on your hands. This could be a great time for a vacation. Disney World, anyone???
Ultimately, you will know if you have passed the NCLEX-RN when you are provided with official results from your state board of nursing. There aren’t any secret ways to know before you have been given those results via mail or Quick Results. Good luck and happy studying!