How to Know If You Passed the NCLEX Right Away: Good Signs

How do you know if you’ve passed the NCLEX right away? This is a question that lingers in almost every NCLEX candidate’s mind.

And many nursing graduates find themselves scouring the internet for signs they’ve passed. But can you really know before your official results are in? Well, let’s see.

Understanding the NCLEX and Computer Adaptive Testing

The NCLEX employs a unique method called Computer Adaptive Testing (CAT). In this system, the difficulty level of your questions adjusts based on your performance. The better you perform, the more challenging your questions become.

This ensures the test remains fair but still pushes your limits. So, traditional signs of passing or failing, such as an ‘easy’ or ‘hard’ test, will not apply to the NCLEX.

Related: Here’s everything you should know about the Next Generation NCLEX (NGN)

Official NCLEX Results: How long does it take to get NCLEX results?

Quick Results

One way to find out if you passed the NCLEX shortly after taking the exam is through the Quick Results service offered by Pearson Vue.

However, this service is only available for candidates seeking licensure in the U.S., whose nursing regulatory body (NRB) participates in this process.

You can access your unofficial results within 48 hours after completing the test by paying a small fee of $7.95.

Keep in mind that these unofficial results are not a guarantee of licensure, and you will still need to wait for the official results from your state board of nursing.

State Board of Nursing Confirmation

The National Council of State Boards of Nursing (NCSBN) states that official NCLEX results are sent to candidates by their nursing regulatory bodies (NRBs) approximately 6 weeks after taking the exam.

Please be aware that Pearson Vue and NCSBN cannot provide your exam results, so it’s essential to keep an eye out for communication from your state board of nursing.

During the 6-week waiting period, it might be tempting to reach out to your NRB for updates, but remember that inundating them with inquiries may only delay the process further.

Instead, you should stay patient and focus on preparing yourself for your new nursing career.

7 Good Signs You Passed the NCLEX

1. The Pearson Vue Trick

The Pearson Vue Trick, or PVT, has been circulating in the nursing community for some time. After completing your test, you try to re-register for the NCLEX on the Pearson Vue website.

If the system blocks you from paying and registering, it might be an indicator that you’ve passed.


This is where you get the ‘Good Pop-up’, which says “Our records indicate that you have recently scheduled this exam. Another registration cannot be made at this time.”

On the other hand, a ‘Bad Pop-up’ would be the system declining your payment when re-registering after putting in, say, a bad cvv/security code or an expired date on the card. Or if the system processes the $200 payment (ouch!) when you used valid card details.

More often than not, the PVT trick works.

However, we have also come across situations when the PVT isn’t always accurate. In some instances, the system has shown the bad pop-up to students, often crushing their spirits.

And then only finding out that they have passed during the quick results check- what an emotional rollercoaster!

The PVT trick should not be your sole source of reassurance or despair. Plus it isn’t endorsed by Pearson Vue.

2. Perceived Difficulty of the Exam

The CAT system tailors the NCLEX to your ability level. As a result, the test might feel challenging. Generally, the feeling of a tougher exam is a good sign, assuming you were well prepared.

But remember, difficulty is subjective and can vary from person to person. What feels like a difficult test to you could feel easier to someone else, or vice versa.

3. The Last Question

The type or difficulty level of the final question could be an indicator of your performance. If the last question was a higher-level question, it might be a sign that you’ve done well.

However, the CAT system doesn’t rely on a single question to determine your fate but uses your overall performance throughout the test.

4. The Variety of Question Types

A mix of different question types could be a potential sign of success. The NCLEX comprises multiple-choice, multiple-response, fill-in-the-blank, drag-and-drop, and hotspot questions.

Seeing a variety of these might indicate you’re performing well enough to answer a range of question types.

5. Number of ‘Select All That Apply’ (SATA) Questions

The ‘Select All That Apply’ questions are usually considered to be more challenging. So, getting a lot of these might be an indicator that you’re performing well.

But, it’s still important to take this with a grain of salt because the NCLEX aims to assess your overall competency, not just in one type of question.

6. Coverage of Major Content Areas

If you notice that your questions are covering a wide range of topics, from medical-surgical to pediatric to psychiatric nursing, it might be a good sign.

The NCLEX seeks to assess your competence across all major areas of nursing, so a comprehensive spread of questions could indicate you’re meeting its standards.

7. Shutdown at Minimum or Maximum Number of Questions

The Next Gen NCLEX (RN & PN) can shut down anywhere between 85 and 150 questions. So, if your exam stops at 85 or a couple of questions later, it might be an indicator of passing.

In this case, the system would have determined with great confidence that you’ll continue performing above the pass threshold even with more questions.

However, remember that these cut-offs are just the CAT system’s way of determining if it has enough information to assess your competence.

If the system can assess that even with continuous questions, you will be below the pass line, the exam will stop and you will fail.

Waiting for Official Results

Waiting for official results can be nerve-wracking. Most candidates receive their official NCLEX results within six weeks. While waiting, try to remain patient and avoid jumping to conclusions based on perceived test performance.

Coping with Post-NCLEX Anxiety: 7 Ways

Managing stress and anxiety post-NCLEX is essential for your well-being. The anticipation of your results can be a roller-coaster of emotions. But, hey! it’s normal to feel this way.

You’ve just tackled a significant milestone in your nursing career, and it’s okay to have mixed feelings about it. Here are some ways to help you cope with post-NCLEX anxiety effectively:

1. Maintain Your Routine

Try to stick to your normal routine as much as possible. This will provide a sense of familiarity and stability during this time of uncertainty.

2. Connect with Your Support System

Spend time with friends and family who understand what you’re going through and can offer comfort and support.

Join online forums or social media groups where you can connect with other nursing graduates who are in the same boat- like this subreddit here.

Sharing your experiences and hearing about others can be very reassuring.

3. Engage in Relaxing Activities

Enjoy activities that bring you peace and happiness. This could be anything from reading a book, gardening, painting, or simply watching your favorite show.

Also, try out relaxation techniques such as deep breathing exercises, yoga, or meditation. These practices can help lower stress levels and promote a sense of calm.

4. Exercise Regularly

Physical activity is a great stress reliever. You don’t have to hit the gym hard—simple activities like walking, biking, or dancing can boost your mood and energy levels.

Plus, outdoor activities can be particularly beneficial as they can also help you get some fresh air and connect with nature.

5. Eat a Balanced Diet

Good nutrition is obviously important for physical health, but it also plays a role in our mental well-being. Make sure you’re fueling your body with a variety of nutritious foods.

Don’t skip meals, and try to minimize high-sugar, high-fat snacks which can cause energy crashes and increase feelings of anxiety.

6. Get Adequate Sleep

Restful sleep is crucial for managing stress and anxiety. Aim for 7 to 9 hours of sleep per night, and maintain a consistent sleep schedule.

While you’re at it, avoid screen time for at least an hour before bed, and create a calming bedtime routine to help you relax and prepare for sleep.

7. Practice Self-Care

Prioritize self-care during this period. This might include taking a warm bath, getting a massage, or just spending a few moments each day to check in with yourself and how you’re feeling.

Understand that you’ve already done the hard part by sitting for the NCLEX. Now it’s time to relax, take care of yourself, and patiently await your results.

No matter the outcome, you’ve worked hard, and you should be proud of the effort you’ve put in to get to this point.

Just to Recap

With the 7 good signs, you’ve now learned how to know if you passed the NCLEX right away. But remember that these signs are not a guarantee.

The official NCLEX results will come from your state board of nursing and may take up to six weeks to arrive.

In the meantime, you can get an unofficial indication of your performance through Pearson Vue’s Quick Results service, but always remember that the main confirmation comes from your nursing regulatory body (NRB).

Career Advancement After Passing the NCLEX

Passing the NCLEX is a huge milestone in your nursing career, as it confirms that you have the necessary knowledge and skills to practice as a nurse.

Let’s explore the various ways in which you can advance your career after passing the NCLEX.

Licensing: RN and LPN

Obtaining a nursing license is the first step to practice as a registered nurse (RN) or a licensed practical nurse (LPN).

Once you’ve passed the NCLEX, you’ll need to apply for licensure with your state’s Board of Nursing and complete any additional requirements.

Remember, a passing NCLEX score is nationally recognized, so you are eligible to apply for licensure in any state where you want to practice nursing.

Employment and Networking

Once you have your nursing license, it’s time to start looking for jobs. The nursing profession is vast, and there are numerous specialties to choose from, such as pediatric nursing, emergency nursing, oncology nursing, and more.

As a newly licensed nurse, you should research your field’s employment opportunities and identify job openings that best match your interests.

Networking can be advantageous at this stage, as it can help you connect with potential employers, mentors, and colleagues.

Joining professional nursing associations or attending conferences can provide valuable networking opportunities.

Continuing Education: BSN and MSN Programs

Advancing your education will grow your career growth and improve your nursing practice. There are different education paths available, such as completing a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN), a Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) program, or even a Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) program.

BSN Programs: Many nurses with an associate degree or a diploma in nursing opt to pursue a BSN program. Earning a BSN degree can increase your job opportunities, allow for higher salaries, and improve your overall capabilities as a nurse. BSN programs typically take two years to complete, or less if you have an existing associate degree or diploma.

MSN Programs: Obtaining an MSN degree can open the door to various nursing specialties, such as nurse practitioner, nurse educator, or nurse administrator roles. MSN programs usually take about two to three years to complete, depending on your chosen specialty and prior education level.

Related: Top 10 Shortest RN to MSN Online Programs

DNP Programs: For those seeking to reach the pinnacle of clinical nursing education, a DNP program is an excellent option. This doctoral degree focuses on the clinical aspect of nursing rather than academic research.

If you want to become a nurse practitioner, note that the National Organization of Nurse Practitioner Faculties (NONPF) has recently reaffirmed its call for the DNP degree as the entry-level preparation for Nurse Practitioners by 2025.

Related: 9 Best BSN to DNP Programs in Texas

Related: 8 Best BSN to DNP Programs in California

NCLEX Pass Rates for First-Time Takers By State

Frequently Asked Questions

While the official NCLEX results typically take 48 hours to be available, most candidates have reported success with the Pearson Vue Trick. This involves checking the Pearson Vue website for any changes in the status of their exam shortly after they’ve completed it. However, this method is not guaranteed, and it’s always best to wait for your official results.

Aside from the Pearson Vue Trick, you can obtain the Quick Results Service from Pearson Vue, which provides unofficial results within 48 hours for a fee. Additionally, you can also check your results on your state’s Board of Nursing (BON) website, but the time it takes for results to appear may vary between jurisdictions.

Note that the number of questions does not directly determine whether you have passed or failed the NCLEX. The exam uses a computer-adaptive testing algorithm that adjusts the difficulty of questions based on your performance. The test shuts off when it determines you have met or failed the standard, or when you reach the maximum number of questions. So, while some correlations might exist, it’s not an exact indicator of success or failure.

If your NCLEX test shuts off at 88 questions, it could mean several things: you either met or didn’t meet the passing standard, or it reached the exam time limit. It is important not to assume you have passed or failed based solely on the number of questions you received during the exam.

The Pearson Vue Trick is an unofficial method that may help indicate if you’ve passed. While most candidates report success with this method, it is not 100% accurate and should not be relied upon as the definitive indicator of your results. Always wait for your official results from Pearson Vue or the BON to confirm your performance.

The time it takes for NCLEX results to appear on the BON website varies between jurisdictions. Some boards may post results within 48 hours (such as California BON), while others may take longer. Official results will be sent to you by your board of nursing. Keep checking the website regularly, and be patient while waiting for your results.

Related Nursing Readings:

12 Bad Signs You Failed the NCLEX

Next Generation NCLEX (NGN): Everything You Should Know

The Difference Between Nurse Practitioner And Doctor

Best Online Nurse Practitioner Programs in New York

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