NCLEX: Examination Application Process, And Results Analyses

NCLEX: Examination Application Process, And Results Analyses

NCLEX: Examination Application Process, Day of the Test, Test Scoring, And Results Analyses

Examination Application Process

Shortly before or after graduation from your school of nursing, you will need to apply for licensure
from the board of nursing in the state or territory in which you wish to practice. 
You should always apply for licensure in the state in which you want to practice. 
Although licensure may be transferred from one state to another, taking the NCLEX in the state in which you wish to practice saves you the time of applying for licensure in another state and saves you the additional cost of the reciprocity. 
After applying to the state board of nursing, you will receive an NCLEX-RN Examination Candidate Bulletin, which contains your application and provides detailed directions on how to apply for the NCLEX-RN. 
It is a good idea to keep the candidate bulletin until you take the test and receive your results in case you have questions that the bulletin can answer for you. 
After completing the application, you should submit it with a certified check, cashier’s check, or money order to the Pearson VUE group (the NCSBN’s contracted testing service) or register by phone for an additional fee. 
After receiving your application, Pearson VUE will notify you by mail that your application has been received. Before submitting your application, if you have a disability, you should notify your state board of nursing that special accommodations are needed at the testing center. 
Your state board of nursing will let Pearson VUE know of your eligibility to take the NCLEX-RN.
(ATT) and data on the most proficient method to timetable and take the NCLEX-RN® just as testing communities for your region, for the most part inside about a month of receipt of your ATT. 
The NCLEX-RN is administered at Pearson VUE.

Day of the Test

After arranging a testing date and time, you should go to the testing center at least 30 minutes before your scheduled time to ensure you have all your allotted time for the test. 
If you arrive more than
30 minutes late for your scheduled test, you may have to forfeit your examination registration fee.
You will need to take your ATT form, current picture identification with your signature such as a
driver’s license, and a secondary form of identification such as a school ID or social security card with you the day of the test. 
After displaying your identification, your picture and thumbprint will be taken, and you will be asked to sign your name. 
You will also get a vein pattern test. 
A scanner reads your palm vein and the information is stored on a digital template. 
These requirements add an additional level of security to the process and the verification of the applicant.
You will not be allowed to take personal belongings such as papers, books, scratch paper, school materials, purse, pens, pencils, beepers, cell phones, or handheld calculators into your testing cubicle. 
There is no eating, drinking, or smoking in the testing area. 
Taking a nursing textbook or any NCLEX materials into the testing area is strictly prohibited and may result in your being asked to leave the testing center and your examination canceled.
You will be given a note board and writing utensil to use during the test that can be replaced as often as necessary but at no time are to be removed from the facility.
You will be escorted to your testing cubicle for the first time for a brief orientation. 
There is fluorescent lighting used in the testing room, but if you would like a desk light, one will be provided for you.
You will have 6 hours to take the test, including a short tutorial before you begin the examination, two scheduled breaks, and unscheduled breaks as necessary. 
There is a 10-minute break that is mandatory after 2 hours of testing. 
After 3½ hours, there is another 10-minute break that is scheduled but is optional.
You will be notified on the computer screen when it is time for all scheduled breaks.
You will be required to leave your testing site during the scheduled breaks. 
You are also required to show your picture ID and sign your name before leaving and re-entering the testing room. 
During your examination, you must raise your hand if you need anything or want to leave your testing cubicle for any reason.
Included in the computer tutorial before you begin your examination is a brief summary of the
functions needed to use the computer to answer the items and three sample items. 
The tutorial will take you through step by step on how to highlight and record your answers. 
Also reviewed in the tutorial is the use of the on-screen calculator. Its use is optional when
you have a calculation item. 
Even after starting your examination, you may raise your hand if you have a question about any function of the computer.
At the end of your test, you will be given a brief questionnaire asking about your experience with the computerized NCLEX-RN. 
After you have finished the questionnaire, you must raise your hand to be dismissed from the testing area. 
Your note board and writing utensil will be collected, and you will be dismissed.
The actual NCLEX-RN exam may contain up to 265 items, including 15 new “tryout” items. 
This means that you may take up to 250 real items that will be scored and 15 tryout items. 
A tryout item is a first-time item that is being piloted to evaluate the level of difficulty of the item. 
It is not scored and
does not affect your passing or failing the examination. 
You must understand that in no way is the test length indicative of passing or
failing. 
You should plan on allowing yourself 1 minute per item, assuming you will need the 6-hour time limit to take the maximum number of items, or 265, but you can track your progress by referring to the timer in the upper-left corner of the screen and the item number in the upper-right corner.
The minimum number of questions to pass the NCLEX is 75. 
The purpose behind displaying the
test length and item number are to keep you informed of your progress so you can pace yourself.

Test Scoring

Using the CAT, each candidate begins the NCLEX-RN exam with an item of the same easy level of
difficulty. 
If a candidate answers this item correctly, the next item will be slightly more difficult.
If this item is answered correctly, the following item will be slightly more difficult, and the process will continue with more difficult items until an item is missed. 
If an item is missed, then the next item will be slightly easier. 
If that item is also missed, then the next item will be easier than the last one, and this process of administering an easier item will be continued until an item is answered correctly. 
Only answering an item correctly will result in the subsequent items being more difficult.
Putting this into perspective is that each item is individualized to fairly and completely evaluate
your knowledge, skill, and ability to be a safe registered nurse
After each item, your competency level is computed by the computer and analyzed as to the area of the test plan and level of difficulty of that item. 
When you have answered 50% of your items correctly or incorrectly, the area of error is very small, and the indication is clear that you have either passed or failed. 
The goal of every candidate’s examination is to answer 50% of all items correctly. 
This is why some candidates’ examinations are short and may end after 75 items, meaning 50% or more of the 60 real or scored items were answered either correctly or incorrectly and the candidates either pass or fail. 
Every candidate’s score is computer analyzed after the minimum number of items has been answered. 
After your items have been analyzed, one of three situations will occur. 
You will pass, fail, or continue to get more items.
A candidate who answers all 265 items has simply taken more time and items to establish the margin of error.
Pearson VUE will transmit your NCLEX test results to your board of nursing. 
You may have heard a rumor that at the end of the test, the computer displays the word “pass” or “fail” on the screen. 
This is not true. 
Your board of nursing will send you your results. It generally takes 2 to 4 weeks to obtain results. 
After completing the examination, you will be given information on obtaining quick results after 48 hours of the scheduled exam. 
There is a small fee to obtain results via the Internet and phone.

Results Analyses

A diagnostic profile is generated for all candidates who fail the NCLEX-RN. 
The diagnostic profile will come in the mail with the results of your examination, which generally take 2 to 4 weeks to receive. 
If you opt to obtain your results 48 hours after your examination either by phone or the Internet and you happened to fail, you will have to wait for your mailed results to receive your diagnostic profile.
The diagnostic profile will provide several pieces of information to help you in preparing for your retake examination. 
The first piece of information the diagnostic profile will provide you with is how close you were to the passing standard. 
It will also let you know how many total items you answered. 
Generally, candidates who answer all 265 items are either very close to the passing or failing standard.
On the back page of the diagnostic profile is an analysis of how well you did on each of the NCLEX-RN Test Plan content areas designed to inform you on how to be successful in your future examination.
The improvement needed in each of the content areas is outlined in this profile. 
The report gives the information that your performance was “Above the Passing Standard,” “Near the Passing Standard,” or “Below the Passing Standard” in the various test plan areas. 
These recommendations can only be used to identify overall weaknesses and strengths and can be used to further guide you in future preparation to retake the examination.
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