Next Generation NCLEX® Scoring Guide and Pass Rate Data
What are the Pass/Fail Rules?
The CAT algorithm determines whether you pass or fail based on one of the following three rules: the 95% Confidence Interval Rule, Maximum-Length Exam Rule, or the Run-out-of-time (ROOT) Rule. These are sometimes also referred to as the exam “stopping rules” that indicate when the exam will end.
- 95% Confidence Interval - The exam ends when the computer is 95% certain that the candidate's ability is clearly above (pass) or below (fail) the passing standard.
- Maximum-Length Exam - If a candidate receives the maximum number of questions and the candidate's ability is close to the passing standard, the computer will determine whether the candidate receives a pass or fail score.
- Run-Out-of-Time - If time runs out and a candidate has not answered the minimum number of questions, they will fail. If the candidate has answered the minimum number of questions, the computer will determine a pass or fail based on existing responses.
The NCLEX will deliver a minimum of 85 questions or a maximum of 150 questions to each candidate. However, because 15 questions will be unscored pretest or pilot questions for use on future exams, the number of scored questions ranges from 70-135. All examinees have up to five hours to complete the NCLEX. The number of questions you receive depends on when the computer determines with 95% certainty that your ability level is clearly above or below the passing standard.
What is the Passing Standard?
Every three years, the NCSBN convenes a panel of nurses to reevaluate the passing standards for the NCLEX-PN and NCLEX-RN. The NCSBN Board of Directors considers their recommendation to help set the passing standards for the NCLEX-PN and NCLEX-RN that reflect current competencies required to practice as an entry-level nurse. The 2023 passing standard for the NCLEX-RN is 0.00 logits and -0.18 logits for the NCLEX-PN.
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Which scoring rule applies to each NGN question type?
How Long Does It Take to Get NCLEX Results?
Nursing Regulatory Bodies (NRBs) take about six weeks from an exam date to send NCLEX results. Although the computer scores your exam in real time, results are not released at the test center, and staff cannot access them. Instead, your exam record is transmitted to Pearson VUE, where it's graded a second time. If you haven't received your results within six weeks, contact your NRB (do not contact Pearson VUE or the test center).
What is a candidate performance report?
If you fail the NCLEX, you'll receive a Candidate Performance Report (CPR). This two-page report includes the number of questions answered and information on performance within each of the eight NCLEX content areas. Performance is rated as Below the Passing Standard, Near the Passing Standard, or Above the Passing Standard.
The CPR also includes the weight of each content area and descriptions of their related topics. Use this information in preparation for your retest. Prioritize the content sub-needs where you performed Below the Passing Standard, then Near the Passing Standard, but also continue to review areas where you scored Above the Passing Standard so you don't forget anything on your next exam.
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How many times can I retake the NCLEX?
What happens if a candidate fails 3 times on the NCLEX exam?
2023 Pass Rates for NCLEX-RN and NCLEX-PN
The charts below indicate pass rates divided among first-time takers/repeaters and US-educated/international students. You'll notice that pass rates among repeat takers are markedly lower than first-time takers. This phenomenon can likely be attributed to students failing the NCLEX due to a poor study plan or low-quality resources, then taking the exam again without making changes.
Fortunately, UWorld Nursing offers a learning system based on exam-level content that simulates the NCLEX in format and quality. We believe that if you treat practice like it’s the real exam, then the real thing should be as easy as practice.
Here is the summary of the number of candidates taking the NCLEX examination and percent passing by type of candidate.