Did you know that you will NEVER know enough nursing information to be able to get a 100% and “ace” NCLEX? That’s because NCLEX uses Computerized Adaptive Testing (CAT). CAT is a method used to select the difficulty level of each NCLEX question you will have to answer. That means that if you are getting a lot of questions correct, then the CAT method will start giving you harder and harder questions until you are getting them wrong about half the time. If you start getting questions wrong more than half the time, then the CAT method will start picking slightly easier questions for you.
The NCLEX test writers use a lot of research and statistics to determine at what difficulty level nursing students should be able to answer questions correctly in order to be a safe, effective, beginning nurse. That’s why their goal is to find your “sweet spot” where the questions are so difficult for you that you can only answer correctly about half the time! Then, if your “sweet spot” is above the difficulty level that NCLEX writers decided a safe, effective, beginning nurse should be at…you pass!
Because of the way that NCLEX is designed, it’s impossible to answer every question correctly, so don’t lose your confidence just because you see a question you don’t know. And the same goes for when you’re practicing your NCLEX-style questions in an NCLEX review book! When you remember that you will ALWAYS get some wrong, it becomes a little bit easier to “shake it off” and move on to the next question.
Sometimes, if you’re able to maintain your confidence, you can even increase your chances of getting a question correct when you have NO CLUE what the right answer is! I’ll share some of those “guessing” techniques with you in a future blog post.