How to Know if You Passed the NCLEX® Right Away

How to Know if You Passed the NCLEX® Right Away

All of the hard work and dedication that you’ve put into nursing school will culminate on the day that you sit to take the NCLEX–no pressure though! Of course you’re feeling nervous about taking your boards and you’re probably eager to know how quickly you’ll find out your score, and if there are any immediate ways to know if you passed or failed. This article will break down some basics of NCLEX scoring and how you can best ascertain if you’ve passed.


All about the NCLEX Changes
Sophia M.


December 28, 2023

NCLEX Scoring Basics

The first and most important thing to understand about the NCLEX is the way that the questions work. The complexity of the questions adapts to how well you are answering them. If you answer a question correctly, then the next question will be more challenging. If you answer incorrectly, the next question will be easier. This is why some people panic if they see easy questions on the NCLEX since they assume this suggests that they’re failing.

Examples of Non-Passing Level NCLEX Questions

It is hard to give exact examples of non-passing level NCLEX questions since every test varies so much. Typically, the more complicated questions are ones that require you to apply knowledge, rather than just recalling information. It is important, however, to keep in mind that you may get an easier question or two and still pass.

Just because you’ve gotten some easier questions doesn’t inherently mean you failed the entire test.

Also, some questions may seem easier to you if they happen to be about a subject that you know more about, when actually these are considered higher level questions. 


How to know if you passed the NCLEX

The only definitive way to know if you’ve passed the NCLEX is to wait for your official score. You will be able to access unofficial results shortly after taking the exam, which means you can look online to see if you passed or failed. After that, you’ll receive official notice of passing and you will get your nursing license mailed to you (woohoo!)

How long does it take to receive your official NCLEX score?

You won’t receive your official NCLEX results until about six weeks after taking the exam. However, you can usually access your unofficial score (or Quick Results) as early as two business days after the test. Note: If your exam date falls on a Friday or around a holiday, it may extend the time it takes for you to receive your official results. 

Is there a way to find out if you’ve passed NCLEX before getting your official score?

The most reliable way to find out if you’ve passed the NCLEX is to wait until you receive your results. I know, it’s hard to wait for something so important. This is why many aspiring nurses scrutinize every detail of their test that they can recall to try to determine whether they passed or failed. To be totally honest, a lot of nursing graduates walk out of their NCLEX thinking they’ve failed, only to discover they’ve actually passed. Try not to worry too much and just distract yourself as much as you can until the results are available to you. 

Does the number of questions you get on NCLEX determine if you’ve passed or failed?

Many nursing graduates evaluate the amount of questions they were asked to help them gauge their exam performance. Although this may be somewhat of an indicator on how you did on the exam, I wouldn’t focus on it too much. You could be asked the minimum amount of questions and fail the exam. You could also be asked the maximum and pass. There is really no way to truly know, other than waiting to get your results. 

What happens if you fail the NCLEX?

If you do end up failing the NCLEX, you have the option to retake the exam 45 days later. Thus, you should spend this time reviewing your study materials and preparing to sit for the exam again. 

Final Thoughts

When you’ve put in all the effort to complete nursing school and now all of that depends on a test score, it’s hard to be patient.

For this reason, many nursing graduates spend time going over the questions they encountered on the NCLEX, attempting to decipher if they’ve passed or failed. However, at the end of the day, the best way to find out if you’ve passed is to simply wait for your results.

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