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Preparing for the NCLEX

does so with 95% certainty that your ability

exceeds the passing standard.
You demonstrate a lack of minimum competency, according to the computer program.
Youve answered the maximum number of
questions (265 total questions).
Youve used the maximum time allowed
(6 hours).

answer (a number, without any words, units

of measurements, commas, or spaces) in the
blank space provided after the question. Rules
for rounding are included in the question
stem if appropriate. A calculator button is
provided so you can do your calculations

Mouse marks the spot!

Unlocking the NCLEX

In April 2004, the NCSBN added alternateformat items to the examination. However,
most of the questions on the NCLEX are
four-option, multiple-choice items with only
one correct answer. Certain strategies can
help you understand and answer any type of
NCLEX question.

The third type of alternate-format item is a

question that asks you to identify an area
on an illustration or graphic. For these hot
spot questions, the computerized exam will
ask you to place your cursor and click over
the correct area on an illustration. Try to
be as precise as possible when marking the
location. As with the fill-in-the-blanks, the
identification questions on the computerized exam may require extremely precise
answers in order for them to be considered

Click, choose, and prioritize

Alternate formats
The first type of alternate-format item is
the multiple-response question. Unlike a
traditional multiple-choice question, each
multiple-response question has one or
more correct answers for ever y question,
and it may contain more than four possible
answer options. Youll recognize this type
of question because it will ask you to select
all answers that apply not just the best
answer (as may be requested in the more
traditional multiple-choice questions).
The harder
it gets, the
better Im

All or nothing
Keep in mind that, for each multiple-response
question, you must select at least one answer
and you must select all correct answers for
the item to be counted as correct. On the
NCLEX, there is no partial credit in the scoring of these items.

Dont go blank!
The second type of alternate-format item is
the fill-in-the-blank question. These questions
require you to provide the answer yourself,
rather than select it from a list of options. You
will perform a calculation and then type your

313419NCLEX-RN_Chap01.indd 6

The fourth alternate-format item type is the

chart/exhibit format. For this question type,
youll be given a problem and then a series
of small screens with additional information
youll need to answer the question. By clicking on the tabs on screen, you can access
each chart or exhibit item. After viewing the
chart or exhibit, you select your answer from
four multiple-choice options.

Drag n drop
The fifth alternate-format item type involves
prioritizing actions or placing a series of
statements in correct order using a drag-anddrop (ordered response) technique. To move
an answer option from the list of unordered
options into the correct sequence, click on
it using the mouse. While still holding down
the mouse button, drag the option to the
ordered response part of the screen. Release
the mouse button to drop the option into
place. Repeat this process until youve moved
all of the available options into the correct

Now hear this!

The sixth alternate-format item type is the
audio item format. Youll be given a set of
headphones and youll be asked to listen to an

4/7/2010 5:08:56 PM