The NCLEX exam is the last step to obtaining a nursing license. There are two types of NCLEX exams –
- The NCLEX-RN for those vying for a Registered Nurse license.
- The NCLEX-PN for those vying for a Practical or Vocational Nurse license
The NCLEX tests are designed to protect the public by setting forth standards that must be met by entry-level nurse professionals – either as Licensed Practical Nurses (LPNs) or Registered Nurses (RNs). Essentially, the NCLEX exam is the way in which nursing students demonstrate that they possess the required skills, knowledge, and critical thinking to meet the requirements of the nursing license.
Committing to a study plan is one of the most important ways to ensure your success when taking the NCLEX exam. There are many NCLEX test prep online services that offer quality study materials – often without any fee!
The internet offers a plethora of NCLEX study options to meet the needs of even the most finicky of students. And to boot, most NCLEX exam preparation and study service companies offer moneyback guarantees to students – who do not pass the test but followed the study plan otherwise.
If you are beginning to consider which of these varied NCLEX study prep options, it is important to recognize what kind of student you are – Do you need to be held accountable? Do you work independently without direction?
The answer to the questions will help you decide which NCLEX exam prep option will best meet your needs.
1. Princeton Review
The Princeton Review’s longtime reputation as one of the best college prep resources makes it a shoe-in as one of the best NCLEX prep courses. The Princeton Review offers resources that competitors just can’t match, including:
- More than 3,500 practice questions
- 1900 questions purchased directly from NCSBN
- In-house content experts including nurses, nurse educators, and NCLEX writers
- Online flashcards
- Full score reports with detailed explanations for answers
- 18 hours of live instruction
Best of all, for nurses preparing for the NCLEX – unlike competitors who only offer a few months of access, Princeton Review customers get a full year of access. For students who choose the $199 year-long plan, PR offers a “Pass or your money back” guarantee.
Pass the exam with The Princeton Reviews top-notch NCLEX prep course!
2. Kaplan Test Prep
Kaplan Test Prep was founded in 1938 in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. AS a long-established test prep provider, Kaplan offers comprehensive prep options. At Kaplan, each of their NCLEX test prep online options includes the following –
- The full NCLEX course – which is available on-demand or live.
- 18 hours of nurse-educator lectures.
- More than 2,000 exam Qbank questions with detailed answers and explanations.
- The NCLEX-RN Content Review Guide
- Three CATs – Computer Adaptive Tests – full-length.
- NCLEX Channel lessons.
- A mobile interface that offers On-the-go study plans.
- More than 300 Content videos on essential nursing topics.
- A 500+ page e-book.
The most popular of Kaplan’s best online NCLEX prep products is the 180-day accessoption that is taught by Kaplan’s finest instructors. The price for this study prep option is $279, but students can give it a try for free. Kaplan Test Prep offers an unconditional moneyback guarantee – pass the NCLEX on the first attempt or receive your money back.
3. Hurst Review Services
Hurst Review Services offers some of the best online NCLEX prep products in the educational marketplace. Students who use Hurst Review Services (other than Qbank) have a first attempt pass rate of 98%.
- Hurst Qbank – this option allows for 30 days of online access to more than 1,500 questions and dual modes of flashcards/quizzes. In addition, students receive content-rich rationales and 30% alternate format questions. The price of Hurst QBank is $109.
- Hurst Now – this option allows for 90 days access, with all of Qbank plus four exams, a workbook, and must-known content. The price for Hurst Now is $199.
At $399, Hurst Review Services offers Hurst Now Plus and Hurst Live for additional access or live access. Hurst offers a 7-day free trial for those studying for the NCLEX-PN or the NCLEX-RN, which allows a student to decide if Hurst’s NCLEX test prep online study options will meet their needs.
4. ATI Nursing Education
ATI Nursing Education offers nursing students comprehensive NCLEX test prep online study options. ATI Nursing Education’s best online NCLEX prep products include –
- BoardVitals – offers 3,000+ board review practice questions, including detailed explanations and adaptive quizzes. This is a three-month review with a cost price for this NCLEX-RN package is $121.
- Virtual ATI – offers a personal virtual coach who is a nurse educator with professional experience in test preparation. (with extra time available) and offers students access to board vitals. The price for this NCLEX-RN full package is $500.
- Live Review -offers a live and interactive course with testing strategies, alternate format questions/rationales, and critical thinking strategies.
If a graduate from ATI receives its green light and sits for the NCLEX within three weeks and does not pass – they are given another 3-month access for no fee.
5. UWorld Nursing
UWorld Nursing has assisted more than 70,000 nursing professionals preparing to sit for the NCLEX exam. Their best online NCLEX prep products are designed to challenge you as you prepare to take the NCLEX nursing license exam and to help refine your critical thinking skills.
UWorld Nursing’s NCLEX test prep online study options include these features –
- More than 200 nurse-educator developed practice questions.
- In-depth rationales and explanations to correct and incorrect answers.
- Illustrations to assist in comprehending the topic at hand.
- Performance monitoring that helps reveal areas in need of attention.
- Software the mimics the NCLEX test.
UWorld Nursing offers six pricing options. The higher the price, the longer the access and the more study materials offered.
- 30-Day access – $129.
- 60-Day access – $159.
- 90-Day access – $199.
- 180-Day access – $279.
- 360-Day access – $339.
- 730-Day access – $399.
Additionally, UWorld offers renewals between 7 days and 360 days.
CrushNCLEX is a user-friendly NCLEX test prep online company offering students a variety of testing resources for both the NCLEX-RN exam and the NCLEX-PN exam. CrushNCLEX offers nursing students four of the best online NCLEX prep products, as follows –
- The Basic Plan – offers 1 month with 2,000 NCLEX practice questions, high res color images, a prep guide, performance analysis, and email support. Cost – $99.
- The Gold Plan – offers all of the Basic Plan features plus 100 hours of NCLEX video reviews and 3 months of access.
- The Platinum Plan – offers all of the features of the Gold Plan with six months of access.
- The Lifetime Plan – offers lifetime access to all features for a cost of $297.
CrushNCLEX also offers a free trial by simply completing an online form, plus free study materials like a free study guide and 7 Mistakes to Avoid When Studying for the NCLEX.
7. NCLEX Mastery
NCLEX Mastery offers some of the most affordable and best online NCLEX prep products on the market. NCLEX Mastery offers NCLEX test prep online study materials that are available on any electronic device at any time of day.
NCLEX Mastery offers students studying for the NCLEX more than 1,800 practice questions that provide detailed explanations for each answer – both correct or incorrect, with digital photographs. Each of the study options allows students to calibrate their strengths and determine the areas in need of extra attention, using in-depth statistical tools.
NCLEX Mastery offers nursing students 3 subscriptions that auto-renew as follows –
- The one-month option is $29.99 per month.
- The three-month option is $59.99.
- The one-year option is $119.99.
NCLEX Mastery promises that students will pass the NCLEX exam or receive twice their money back.
Pearson offers innovative learning and education options and has done for many successful years. Pearson offers traditional NCLEX test prep online study materials by offering several comprehensive NCLEX review books –
- Pearson Review & Rationales: Fluids, Electrolytes & Acid Base Balance – 4th Edition.
- Pearson Review & Rationales: Pathophysiology – 4th Edition.
- Pearson Review & Rationales: Medical-Surgical – 4th Edition.
- Pearson Review & Rationales: Nursing Fundamentals – 4th Edition.
- Pearson Review & Rationales: Physical Assessment – 4th Edition.
- Pearson Review & Rationales: Nursing Leadership and Delegation – 4th Edition.
Pearson also provides digital learning options. These best online NCLEX prep products expand the traditional learning options with –
- Digital Career Success Programs.
- Learning and Engagement Tools.
- On-demand tutoring with Smarthinking.
- Revel – an immersive educational experience offering better retention and understanding.
- Data, Analytics, and Adaptive Learning Modules.
These options from Pearson offer NCLEX students the opportunity to study in various ways. Pearson offers students the option of customizing every learning experience.
Nursing.com boasts a NCLEX pass rate of 99.86% and offers some of the best online NCLEX prep products on the educational marketplace. Nursing.com’s impressive pass rate is based on those students who pass its SIMCLEX – a NCLEX computer adaptive test simulator. Additionally, Nursing.com offers its students a moneyback guarantee of twice their money back if they do not pass the NCLEX.
Other NCLEX test prep online study materials from Nursing.com includes –
- More than 6,000 practice questions.
- More than 300 video lessons of must-know NCLEX content.
- Study plans pre-determined for 2-12-week plans.
- A comprehensive NCLEX 400+ page ebook for review.
- Build custom quizzes from 21 categories.
- A mobile application that will allow NCLEX students to study anywhere your phone goes.
Nursing.com offers students a test-drive that allows you to try the study materials for 3 days for only $1. The NCLEX Prep academy – which offers all features noted above is $99 for 3 months, with another 3 months provided at no cost.
The NCSBN is the professional organization that administers the NCLEX-RN and NCLEX-PN exams. As a leading regulatory provider, NCSBN offers NCLEX students NCLEX test prep online study materials (that were released in May 2020) that include practice questions, important nursing content and pre-designed test plans – that can be purchased as follows –
- For 3 weeks – $50.
- For 5 weeks – $70.
- For 8 weeks – $100.
- For 15 weeks – $160.
NCSBN’s best online NCLEX prep products also include learning extension courses, practice exams, test-plans, and recorded webinars, plus a plethora of websites and applications to support NCLEX students. Additionally, the National Council of State Boards of Nursing (NCSBN) offers a variety of educational videos (in English and French) regarding relevant nursing issues and important nursing topics.
11. Nurse Plus Academy
Nurse Plus Academy operates in the United States and Canada. As NCLEX study support site, Nurse Plus Academy offers students a variety of NCLEX test prep online study materials to help NCLEX test-takers optimize their exam results. Nurse Plus Academy offers some off the best online NCLEX prep products with its on-the-go mobile app – the NCLEX Test Genie.
Nurse Plus Academy offers nursing students studying for the NCLEX the following features –
- 60- Day Access ($45) – includes 1,300 questions, 55+ Practice tests, Unlimited NCLEX Simulated Exams.
- 90 Day Access ($67) – includes all the above features plus a pass guarantee.
- 180 Day Access ($99) – includes all the above features plus a pass guarantee and more than 300 NCLEX flashcards.
- 1 Year Access ($139)– includes all the above features plus a pass guarantee, more than 300 NCLEX flashcards, and four NCLEX cheat sheets.
What is the NCLEX Exam?
If you are ready and are preparing to take your NCLEX-RN exam, consider the fact that you are essentially in the home stretch as you vie for your Registered Nurse (RN license).
As you begin your research and preparations, make sure you have a full understanding as to the answers to these questions –
- What is the NCLEX?
- What is the NCLEX exam?
- What is the NCLEX-RN exam?
The NCLEX is the nationally approved licensing exam for nurses that is given in the US and Canada. NCLEX offers two different nursing license tests –
- The NCLEX- PN for LPNs – Licensed Practical or Vocational Nurses.
- The NCLEX- RN for RNs – Registered Nurses.
Once you have earned your diploma or degree from an accredited school of nursing, you are then eligible to take the NCLEX-RN exam.
The NCLEX-RN test (which is officially known as the National Council Licensure Exam) is the last step to earning a Registered Nursing license. The NCLEX-RN is a six-hour exam. Test takers are encouraged to sit for the exam as soon as possible after graduating to make sure their retention levels are optimal when taking the nursing license exam.
The NCLEX-RN test has been developed to specifically evaluate the test-taker’s knowledge of the pertinent nursing facts and knowledge, plus their critical-thinking skills. Test takers are strongly encouraged to prepare for the NCLEX-RN exam thoroughly.
The reality is, preparation prior to taking the NCLEX-RN exam is vital to a successful outcome.
To register for the NCLEX-RN exam, follow this link to the NCSBN.org.
What is the NCLEX-RN Exam Format?
The NCLEX exam is delivered using a Computerized Adaptive Testing (CAT). This means that as you study for the NCLEX, you need to remember that not one single NCLEX-RN exam will be the same. A test-taker’s exam creates new questions for the test-taker based on how the test-taker answers the previous questions.
The NCLEX-RN exam includes a variable number of questions that could range from 75 to 265 questions.
Studying for the NCLEX
If a student approaches the NCLEX – RN exam appropriately, each and every test-taker has the opportunity to pass the test on the first try. This approach includes a strong commitment to study for the NCLEX. Don’t fall into the trap that if you aced each course in nursing school, you would ultimately pass the NCLEX-RN.
If you have been considering what may be the best ways to study for the NCLEX be certain to answer these questions –
- What is the best way to learn how to study for NCLEX?
- What do experts recommend in terms of how long should you study for the NCLEX?
- Is it important to learn what to study for the NCLEX?
Students preparing to take the NCLEX-RN exam should remember that one of the best ways to study for the NCLEX is to allocate at least one or two months to study.
If you don’t pass the NCLEX exam on your first try, they can re-test after they wait out a 45-day timeframe.
Stress Management & Studying for the NCLEX
There are ways to manage your stress about taking the NCLEX test. Test anxiety is a real phenomenon, and one of the best ways to study for the NCLEX is to mitigate your anxiety by ensuring you eat well and sleep enough prior to sitting for the exam.
Make a Study Plan
Studying for the NCLEX exam is best accomplished by committing to a well-defined plane of study. Consider this example of how to study for NCLEX examination –
- Set a study schedule that includes the specific days of the week, which days to take practice exams, and which days to rest.
- Set a goal prior to each study session. One of the best ways to study for the NCLEX is to allot a certain amount of practice questions or designate which topics you will complete on a given day.
If you choose to study for the NCLEX without a plan, you will likely have trouble passing the NCLEX. It is noted that NCLEX-RN is not the type of exam that cramming can succeed. The NCLEX -RN exam is a holistic testing model that is designed to evaluate one’s knowledge and competence that was gained throughout the years.
Do Practice NCLEX Exams Help?
To pass the NCLEX-RN exam, it is important to understand how the exam is written AND what knowledge it tests. Therefore, it is essential to take advantage of proven test-taking strategies available online.
One of the ways to best accomplish this is to search the Internet for the free NCLEX practice exams available by many professional companies dedicated to supporting the efforts of nursing professionals vying for a nursing license.
Conquering a set of NCLEX exam practice questions is a great way to set a baseline score when you begin studying for the NCLEX. There many NCLEX practice exams and study materials from which to select. For the most part, it pays to select both NCLEX RN practice exams (even those with a fee) and NCLEX free practice exams.
When you take one of the many practice NCLEX exams and NCLEX exam practice tests, you will notice that many of the questions/answers have obvious themes. Pay attention to the themes on this practice NCLEX exams to help determine the correct answer to the question.
NCLEX Exam Practice Questions
NCLEX practice exams are generally the best method to prepare. However, only taking the free NCLEX practice exams only takes you half-way –
When taking NCLEX RN practice exams –
- Look up those questions answered incorrectly. The banks of questions offered by the NCLEX free practice exams generally offer explanations.
- Make notes of those concepts you need to study.
How Do I Know If I Passed?
If you have decided to schedule your NCLEX-RN exam, it is important to answer these questions –
- What is the NCLEX pass rate this year?
- How can I learn how to pass the NCLEX exam?
- What are the NCLEX tips and tricks that will help in passing the NCLEX?
- What is a passing score for the NCLEX?
- Is the NCLEX hard to pass on the first attempt?
- What is a passing score for the NCLEX – RN, and does it differ from the NCLEX – PN?
- How can I learn how to pass the NCLEX exam using the many online tests and practice materials?
- Are there NCLEX tips and tricks offered by online NCLEX prep companies?
- What are the good signs you passed NCLEX while taking the exam?
What is the Passing Score for NCLEX?
The NCLEX exam is scored as a pass or fail exam. And while your score is calculated throughout the exam, the reality is many test-takers understand the good signs you passed NCLEX while taking the test. The exam’s results will be forwarded to the relevant board of nursing in about six weeks after you take the NCLEX.
The NCLEX gives a different amount of questions to each test-taker. So, passing the NCLEX may be done with only 75 questions or as many as 265 questions. So, to answer the questions – What is a passing score on the NCLEX? – is a bit complex. The reality is the NCLEX pass rate does not rely on a simplistic score, but rather the computer test creates a confident interval (95% to pass) for the test-takers logit score.
The NCLEX Pass Rate
The NCSBN makes the statistics for NCLEX exams take public. In 2017, the percentage of first-time test candidates who received a NCLEX pass rate was 87.11%. In the same year, first-time NCLEX test takers – with a BSN or diploma has a NCLEX pass rate of 90%.
Official results for the NCLEX is only available through the test-taker’s BON.