What is the NCLEX Passing Score?

If you’re approaching your NCLEX-RN exam, one thing is for certain: you want to pass on the first try. So it’s natural to wonder…what is the NCLEX passing score? And what can you do to make sure you can reach that score? We’ll answer those questions (and more) for you in this post!

Does the NCLEX have a passing score?

In a sense, there isn’t really an NCLEX passing score! The NCLEX does not have a numeric score, but instead provides a pass or fail result. Basically, you pass or fail the exam based on your ability to answer questions at or above the proficiency needed for you to be a safe and competent registered nurse. 

So as it turns out, there is no NCLEX passing score per se—it comes down to whether you can perform at the passing standard expected for an entry-level RN.

How is the NCLEX scored?

The NCLEX is scored using computerized adaptive testing (CAT), which tailors the difficulty level of the questions to the test taker’s ability. The test is so individualized that you may receive different questions (and sets of questions) based on your previous responses. 

For example, if you answer a question correctly, the test will administer a slightly more difficult question next. If you answer a question incorrectly, the test will administer a slightly easier question next.

This will continue through the minimum number of questions (75 for NCLEX-RN and 85 for NCLEX-PN) and can continue to the maximum number of questions (145 for NCLEX-RN and 205 for NCLEX-PN) until the testing program has determined with 95% confidence that your ability is either above or below the passing standard. 

Once that determination is made, the test will end. This can happen at any point between the minimum and maximum number of test questions.

How do I know if I passed? 

Your official results will be sent to you from your nursing regulatory board within six weeks of taking the exam. If your board participates in the quick results service, you can receive your unofficial results within two business days. 

A candidate performance report will be sent to you if you don’t pass the first time to serve as a guide for preparing to retake the exam.

How do I make sure I pass on the first try?

It’s always best to make sure you feel as prepared as possible for your exam! It’s better to over prepare than it is to not put in the effort and have to retake the exam!

Here are some resources we recommend: 

👩‍💻 Be sure to check out the NCLEX Self-Paced Crash Course and Live Study Group from Blueprint Nursing!

🤝 Boost your confidence and join our Facebook group and find support from other students who are in the same boat!

📖 Check out our other post about How to Study for the NCLEX!

Final Thoughts

Now that you know there isn’t a specific NCLEX passing score and we’ve reviewed the answers to other FAQs, we hope you’ll be better prepared for exam day. You’ve come this far and we know you can pass! Be sure to reach out if you feel like you need a bit of extra help. You don’t have to go it alone. We’re here for you! 

For more (free!) content to help you pass your NCLEX, check out these other posts on the Blueprint Nursing blog:

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