1. Nursing Schools Near Me
  2. /
  3. How To Become A Nurse
  4. /
  5. Nursing Exams: What to expect

Nursing Exams: What to expect

Along with a strong academic record, many nursing schools, whether traditional classroom or online, require applicants to pass an entrance exam to demonstrate their potential for successfully completing the program. There are numerous types of examinations that you may take, and the ones that are required vary according to your program and degree level. You may be required to take a test designed specifically for nurses, a general exam such as the SAT, or a combination of the two. If you’re considering enrolling in a nursing program, continue reading to learn about the most often utilized entrance examinations and what to expect.

Exams Dedicated to Nursing

To get admitted to nursing school, potential participants are frequently required to complete a test prepared just for nurses. While little of the content relates directly to the duties of a nurse, the examinations are designed to assess your ability in areas such as understanding, communication, critical thinking, and general knowledge of the healthcare sector.

PAX NLN

The NLN Pre-Admission Exam (PAX), which is administered by the National League for Nursing (NLN), is one of the most regularly used admission exams for nurses. It assesses your linguistic abilities and mathematical and scientific comprehension.

Who is the test intended for? Aspiring registered nurses (RNs) and licensed practical nurses (LPNs) interested in obtaining a certificate, an associate’s degree, or a bachelor’s degree

What format will be used? There are three sections with multiple-choice questions.

How many are there? 80 in verbal, 54 in mathematics, and 80 in science

How long does the examination last? 3 hours maximum

What constitutes a passing score? Each institution establishes its own standards for acceptable scores.

How much is it? The cost varies according to school but is normally between $45 and $100.

What is the best method of preparation? The NLN provides a study guide with 1,000 practice questions and extra advice for improving test-taking effectiveness.

NET

The Nursing Entrance Test (NET) is another frequently utilized exam that assesses fundamental high school knowledge in the subjects of reading and mathematics. It is also used to examine your decision-making abilities, learning style, and how you handle difficult situations.

Who is the test intended for? Designed mostly for individuals entering LPN or RN schools.

What format will be used? Six sections of multiple-choice questions are included, as well as a one-minute reading speed test.

How many are there? 60 mathematics, 33 reading, 44 styles of learning, 17 social decisions, 49 stressful situations, and 30 exam-taking abilities

How long does the examination last? Approximately 2 1/2 hours

What constitutes a passing score? 65 points in arithmetic and 55 points in reading. The remaining sections are up to the schools to judge.

How much is it? Variable according to school

What is the best method of preparation? Complete Test Preparation sells a study guide that includes two sets of practice tests in the areas of reading and math.

Kaplan Admissions Test

Colleges across the country use the Kaplan Nursing School Admissions Test to determine a student’s chances for success in nursing school. It assesses students’ performance and gaps in reading, writing, mathematics, science, and critical thinking.

Who is the test intended for? LPNs and Registered Nurses

What format will be used? There are four sections with multiple-choice questions.

How many are there? Twenty-two reading, twenty-eight math, twenty-one writing, and twenty science

How long does the examination last? Two hours and forty-five minutes

What constitutes a passing score? Acceptable scores are decided by your school, although in general, a score of approximately 70% is required.

How much is it? Rates vary by school, but are often between $25 and $45 dollars. Numerous schools provide the test for free to pupils.

What is the best method of preparation? When you register for the test, you gain access to an online study plan. Additionally, you can purchase Kaplan’s most recent guide.

PSB Aptitude Examination for Practical Nursing

The PSB offers a variety of assessments that are utilized in a variety of healthcare educational programs. The Aptitude for Practical Nursing Exam consists of academic subtests and a personality portion that will help you choose the type of work environment that is best for you.

Who is the test intended for? LPNs

What format will be used? There are five sections with multiple-choice questions.

How many are there? 225 questions divided into the following categories: vocabulary, math, analytical thinking, spelling, natural science (chemistry, biology, and physics), clinical judgment, and the Vocational Adjustment Index.

How long does the examination last? Approximately 2 1/2 hours

What constitutes a passing score? Each institution establishes its own standards for acceptable scores. You will be provided with both a raw score and a percentile rank.

How much is it? Generally, $25

What is the best method of preparation? On the PSB website, you can get sample questions to aid with your study. Mometrix Test Preparation also includes an in-depth study guide.

PSB Aptitude Test for Registered Nursing Schools

Additionally, the PSB offers a separate examination for registered nurses. While the questions are slightly different, the topic is identical to that of the practical nursing test.

Who is the test intended for? RNs

What format will be used? There are five sections with multiple-choice questions.

How many are there? 30 vocabulary points, 30 math points, 30 analytical reasoning points, 50 spelling points, 40 reading points, 90 natural science points, and 90 on the Vocational Adjustment Index.

How long does the examination last? One hour and forty-five minutes

What constitutes a passing score? Each institution establishes its own standards for acceptable scores. You will be provided with both a raw score and a percentile rank.

How much is it? Variable according to school

What is the best method of preparation? The PSB website contains practice questions for the RN exam, and the same Mometrix study guide can also be utilized to study for the examination.

Examinations in Healthcare

Numerous nursing programs utilize exams created for all types of healthcare workers. While these assessments are not particular to nursing, they examine similar understanding and critical thinking abilities that are required of anybody working in the medical area.

 

TEAS

The Test of Academic Skills (TEAS) is one of the most often administered assessments to prospective nurses. It encompasses reading, science, English, and mathematics and has been demonstrated to be an excellent predictor of students’ readiness to enter the area of healthcare.

Who is the test intended for? Licensed practical nurses (LPNs) or registered nurses (RNs). Medical assistants may also be asked to take the exam, though it is far less usual.

What format will be used? There are four sections with multiple-choice questions.

How many are there? 53 reading passages, 36 math passages, 53 science passages, and 28 English/vocabulary passages

How long does the examination last? Approximately 3 1/2 hours

What constitutes a passing score? Acceptable scores are decided by each school, but often lie between 60% and 70%.

How much is it? Varies, but is normally in the neighborhood of $50. There are additional fees associated with sending your scores to your institution.

What is the best method of preparation? The TEAS website contains a variety of useful tools, including study packages and online practice examinations.

A2 HESI

Although the Health Education Systems, Inc. Admission Assessment (HESI A2) is most frequently used by nurses, it is occasionally required for students pursuing degrees in other fields of healthcare. It assesses high school mathematics and English, with a concentration on science. Additionally, it includes a personality assessment and an inventory of learning styles.

Who is the test intended for? LPNs or Registered Nurses

What format will be used? There are nine sections with multiple-choice questions.

How many are there? 50 percent arithmetic, 50 percent grammar, 50 percent vocabulary, 47 percent reading, 25 percent biology, 25 percent chemistry, 25 percent physics, and 25 percent anatomy/physiology. The profile section consists of 30 questions requiring critical thinking and 30 questions assessing personality and learning preferences.

How long does the examination last? Each school may determine the length of the test; however, most schools allow pupils between two and three hours.

What constitutes a passing score? Most schools require a minimum score of 75%.

How much is it? It varies each school but is frequently between $35 and $75.

What is the best method of preparation? Elsevier, the testing provider, sells practice examinations as well as other resources such as case studies and e-books.

PSB Aptitude Test for Health Occupations

Along with nursing examinations, the PSB offers a test applicable to a number of healthcare workers. The Health Occupations Aptitude Exam is quite similar in structure and substance to the other assessments.

Who is the test intended for? RNs pursuing associate’s or bachelor’s degrees

What format will be used? There are five sections with multiple-choice questions.

How many are there? 30 vocabulary points, 30 math points, 30 analytical reasoning points, 50 spelling points, 40 reading points, 90 natural science points, and 90 on the Vocational Adjustment Index.

How long does the examination last? One hour and forty-five minutes

What constitutes a passing score? Each institution establishes its own standards for acceptable scores.

How much is it? Variable according to school

What is the best method of preparation? Additionally, Mometrix Test Preparation includes a detailed study guide.

General Examinations

While many nursing programs need a healthcare-specific examination, others require results on a variety of standardization tests—sometimes in lieu of or in addition to a nursing examination.

SAT

Who is the test intended for? Anyone interested in becoming a nursing assistant, licensed professional nurse, or registered nurse

What format will be used? Two sections of multiple-choice questions, one portion of mixed-type questions, and one optional essay (though some schools require it)

How many are there? 58 mathematics, 52 reading, and 44 language and writing

How long does the examination last? 3 hours total, including breaks and the optional essay. I spent slightly over four hours with them in all.

What constitutes a passing score? At most universities in the country, a score of at least 1400 out of 1600 is considered competitive, however 1200 is frequently sufficient for entry-level nursing programs.

How much is it? Around $50, plus a cost for writing the optional essay.

What is the best method of preparation? Khan Academy provides materials such as hundreds of practice questions and full-length SAT-style tests. Taking the PSAT can also be an excellent method to become acquainted with the structure and ease your anxiety for the real exam.

ACT

The ACT is the second most popular test after the SAT, and it covers a similar amount of information. The key distinction is that the ACT includes science-related questions, which may make it a better fit for people interested in nursing.

Who is the test intended for? Anyone interested in becoming a nursing assistant, licensed professional nurse, or registered nurse

What format will be used? There are four sections consisting of multiple-choice questions and one optional essay.

How many are there? 75 percent in English, 60 percent in math, 40 percent in reading, and 40 percent in science

How long does the examination last? Without breaks or the optional essay, 2 hours and 55 minutes. I spent a total of three hours and fifty minutes with them.

What constitutes a passing score? A score of 23 out of 36 is considered above the national average, while admission to the most competitive schools will almost certainly require a 30.

How much is it? Around $50, plus a cost for writing the optional essay.

What is the best method of preparation? The ACT website features free study materials, daily questions, and sample tests for each part.

GRE

For nurses who have already completed a school and obtained their RN licensure, the next step may be to pursue advanced practice nursing education.

By earning a master’s degree in a particular sector, you can expand your work prospects and potential earnings.

 

If this option seems appealing to you, you may be required to take the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) prior to admission. This broad test assesses linguistic abilities, mathematical reasoning abilities, and the ability to write analytically. Additionally, subject tests exist in fields such as biology and chemistry.

Who is the test intended for? Current registered nurses seeking master’s degrees

What format will be used? Two sections comprised of multiple-choice, select-in-passage, and numeric entry questions, as well as one portion devoted to writing.

How many are there? The amount of questions varies according to how the test is administered. The computerized assessments contain 40 questions on verbal and quantitative reasoning, as well as two analytical writing exercises. The written examination consists of 50 questions on verbal and quantitative reasoning, as well as two analytical writing exercises.

How long does the examination last? The computerized examination lasts 3 hours and 45 minutes, while the written examination lasts 3 hours and 30 minutes.

What constitutes a passing score? Verbal and quantitative scores in the high 150s are regarded competitive, as is a writing score of 4.5.

How much is it? The General GRE examination costs $205. A $150 fee is required to take a subject test.

What is the best method of preparation? The Educational Testing Service offers free test preparation tools that include sample questions, scoring instructions, and recommendations for acclimating to the test.

Are You Looking for a Nursing School?

Are you prepared to begin your nursing career? It all starts with the appropriate education. Utilize the widget to learn about programs in your area, or see our article on How to Choose the Right School for more information. You’ll discover information about what to look for as you make this critical decision.