Handling difficult NCLEX questions


One of the best ways to increase your chances of passing the NCLEX is to get REALLY familiar with the assortment of questions. The NCLEX includes fill-in-the-blanks for calculation questions, multiple-choice, order response, select-all-that-apply questions, or SATA questions. There are a handful of great tools and reviewers that can help you prepare and get accustomed to these styles of questions. If you have weeks or months to prepare, you can get a head start with an AspireRN NCLEX question of the day and get hold of the AspireRN SurePass courses. 

Order response and SATA questions tend to be the ones that give test takers the most difficulty. Order response questions give you a list of actions and a scenario. You must put the steps in the order in which they should be performed in this particular scenario. SATA questions provide a statement or scenario and then a list of potential answers. The test taker must decide whether or not each answer applies to the procedure. Order response and SATA questions are tricky because there are multiple opportunities to select the wrong answer or place actions in the wrong order in each question, leading to failing the question.

AspireRN’s Tips and Tricks for the Most Difficult NCLEX Questions

If you struggle with unit conversions, make sure you become very comfortable with them before taking the NCLEX. There are fill-in-the-blanks questions for drug dosage calculations, meaning you cannot rely on multiple-choice options to help you out.

To perform well on order response questions, it is necessary to have a good grasp of prioritization and the nursing process. Remember, ADPIE is your friend – Assess, Diagnose, Plan, Implement, and Evaluate. Remembering ABCDE prioritization (Airway, Breathing, Circulation, Disability, Exposure) will also help you with these questions.

When it comes to SATA questions, remain calm and view these questions as extended true-or-false questions. When considering each answer option, re-read the question and determine whether that particular answer pertains to the question. While this strategy certainly does not make the questions any more comfortable, it reduces some anxiety. Who does not like true-or-false questions? Let us be glad there are not any essay questions on the NCLEX!

Preparing to take the NCLEX is enough to make just about anyone nervous or anxious. It is a challenging exam and a major leap in your career as a registered nurse. Remember that most people pass the NCLEX on the first try. However, if you already took the NCLEX before, it happened for a reason. Don’t despair, AspireRN will be here to help you out! Preparation and confidence are crucial to passing the NCLEX.