How to Answer NCLEX Style Questions

The biggest transition I’ve experienced in nursing school has been getting used to answering NCLEX style questions. For all you soon to be nursing students, NCLEX is the exam that you will take to get your Registered Nursing license. The thing about these questions is that they are focused around the highest levels of Bloom’s Taxonomy and all of the possible answers were right but you have to pick the one that is ”Most Right”. How are you supposed to pick the most right answer, you ask? Well I wasn’t sure at first either, so I’m including an easy step-by-step process on how to answer NCLEX style questions.

Step 1. Can you identify the topic of the question?

Yes– Proceed to step 2.

No– Read answer choices for clues; Identify the topic of the question. Proceed to Step 2.

       ***TRAP! =NCLEX “hides” the topic of the question

Step 2. Are the answers assessments or implementation?

A mix of assessments and implementations- Read stem to determine if you should assess or implement.  Select correct answer.

Are answers all assessment or implementation?- Proceed to Step 3.

      ***TRAP! =Is validation required?

Step 3. Does Maslow Fit?

No- Are all answers physical?  Proceed to Step 4.  Are all answers psychosocial?  Proceed to Step 5.

Yes- Eliminate psychosocial answers.  Do the physical needs make sense?  Apply ABCs.

      ***TRAP! =Physical needs take priority over psychosocial needs.

Step 4.  Are all answers physical?

No- Proceed to Step 5.

Yes- Apply ABC’s.

      ***TRAP! =Don’t automatically select respiratory answers.

Step 5.  What is the outcome of each of the remaining answers?

Determine outcome of each answer.  Is it desired?  Select correct answer.

      ***TRAP! =Don’t select answers that “sound” right.

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