Exam Day

In this section, you will find an in-depth look at the candidate exam day process and the rules to be followed during the administration of your exam at a Pearson Professional Center. Below are a few things to think about on the exam day:

Be Prepared

When you arrive for your NCLEX, you'll need your acceptable ID.

You will no longer need to bring a paper copy of the Authorization to Test (ATT) for admittance to the NCLEX. For further details, please visit Authorization to Test

Important Exam Day Tips

  • Make sure to bring your ID. Candidates without proper ID will not be allowed to take the NCLEX.
  • Know the NCLEX Candidate Rules! These include policies specific to personal items, confidentiality, NCLEX administration and break procedures.

Dress Comfortably

You're required to leave hats, scarves, gloves and coats outside of the testing room. (Provisions are made for religious/cultural dress.)

Arrive Early

Plan to arrive 30 minutes before your exam. If you are more than 30 minutes late, you may have to forfeit, reregister and pay another exam fee.

Provide Your Biometrics

In order to be tested, the following biometrics will be taken: signature, photograph and palm vein scan.

Receive Materials

You may not bring in paper or writing instruments for this computer-administered exam. An on-screen calculator and erasable note board/marker for making notes will be provided.

Set Your Pace

You'll have up to 6 hours to complete the RN exam and 5 hours for the PN exam, including the short tutorial and 2 optional breaks (the first 2 hours into testing, the second after 3.5 hours of testing). Take time to analyze each question carefully—once you submit an answer you can't return to that question. Learn more about computer adaptive testing (CAT)

Special Research Section

Beginning in July, 2017, NCSBN will present a Special Research Section as part of the NCLEX-RN administration. By participating in the Special Research Section, candidates will be making valuable contributions to the future development of NCSBN examinations as well as to the enhancement of the nursing profession.

The Special Research Section will be given to select candidates taking the NCLEX-RN and will take approximately 30 minutes to complete. This section will be administered following the regular exam and will not count as part of the NCLEX score.

Once a candidate finishes their exam, an introductory screen will indicate the beginning of the Special Research Section. This section will also continue to be numbered in accordance with the completed exam – for example, if a candidate's exam ended with question 153, the first question on the Special Research Section will be numbered 154. Despite the consecutive numbering, these new questions will have no impact on NCLEX scoring or results. 

Candidates may take the entire allotted six hours to complete the NCLEX. All questions on the NCLEX-RN and the Special Research Section are confidential.

For additional information on the Special Research Section, please visit our Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs); available in both English and French

Finishing Up

You'll end with a short computerized survey. Afterwards, raise your hand and wait for the TA to dismiss you.

Keep in mind that although the exam is graded as you progress, scores go through a second verification process at Pearson VUE. Your score is not available and will not be released at the test center. See After the Exam for results info.