NCLEX Higher-Level Questions: Examples & FAQs

 Nursing students and recent graduates can feel overwhelmed by the NCLEX exam. The waiting period between taking it and getting results is often agonizing, with many wondering if they succeeded. This article provides some solace – we’ll explore 15 promising signs that your hard work paid off on this crucial test! Plus, you can find out just how well fellow candidates scored in 2023 so far for a better insight into what success looks like.

What is the NCLEX?

National Council Licensure Examination, abbreviated as NCLEX, is a standardized test that all nursing hopefuls must pass to become either a licensed practical nurse (LPN) or a registered nurse (RN). This exam is both challenging and comprehensive, designed to evaluate the nursing skills, knowledge and understanding necessary to provide safe and effective care. It can be taken at Pearson Professional Center testing sites throughout the country.

Depending on the type of license for which you are applying, it may consist of multiple choice questions or computerized adaptive tests (CATs). The test content focuses on four key areas: safe and effective care environment; health promotion and maintenance; psychosocial integrity; and physiological integrity. The exam emphasizes essential nursing competencies like critical thinking and safe decision-making abilities. You must pass the NCLEX to get your license to practice as a registered nurse.

What Are Considered Higher Level Questions On NCLEX?

Higher-level questions on the NCLEX are designed to gauge a student’s critical thinking and decision-making abilities. The questions will often require the student to analyze a complex situation, identify and address critical components of the case, and form an appropriate response.

Higher-level questions also often include a series of related questions requiring the student to draw upon their knowledge and experience to formulate a solution. These questions may consist of drug dosage calculations, nursing interventions for specific cases, and principles of patient care.

It’s important to note that the NCLEX is more than just a test of your knowledge—it’s also an assessment of your ability to think on your feet and make decisions under pressure.

It would help if you got the minimum competence level to pass the NCLEX. But if you can answer higher-level questions correctly, it demonstrates that your skill level is above the minimum required. Higher-level questions will help you establish your mastery of the material and show that you are competent and ready to become a nurse.

What Are Higher Level NCLEX Questions?

In 1956, Benjamin Bloom revolutionized the way we approach understanding concepts with “Bloom’s Taxonomy”. Through this innovative document, he proved that analytical and cognitive abilities can be sharpened by measuring higher levels of conceptual comprehension.

Nowadays, his work is still used to assess mastery on exams such as NCLEX through questions developed to identify a candidate’s level of subject mastery.

The NCLEX exam isn’t just another multiple-choice test that requires applying knowledge and critical thinking skills to provide correct answers.

The more questions you answer correctly, the more difficult you will receive. This process will continue until you answer a question incorrectly.

With questions designed to challenge even the most seasoned medical practitioner, aspiring nurses must push themselves beyond simple memorization to ace this vital examination!

A proficient nurse must have the knowledge and judgement to prioritize care for patients in any condition. The set is made to assess a candidate’s ability; questions are explicitly tailored to evaluate how a potential practitioner would respond analytically under pressure.

Questions focus on scenarios where nurses must consider multiple factors before taking action – requiring analysis of all available information before making decisions that can make or break patient outcomes.

You can recognize the higher-level questions by their complexity – they will often involve multiple-choice answers that can be used to measure a candidate’s decision-making processes and problem-solving skills.

Example Of Higher-Level Questions On The NCLEX

Higher-level questions like this will assess your ability to recognize an emergency and make the correct decisions promptly. These questions will help demonstrate your competency and readiness to become a nurse!

Example – 1:

A patient is admitted to the hospital with a diagnosis of dehydration and severe hypotension. Which of the following nursing interventions should be done first?

  1. A) Administer IV fluids.
  2. B) Monitor the patient’s vital signs.
  3. C) Perform a physical assessment.
  4. D) Administer medications.

The correct answer is A—Administer IV fluids. Dehydration and hypotension can lead to severe complications, so the first step is administering intravenous fluids to quickly restore the patient’s hydration levels and improve their blood pressure.

Higher-level NCLEX questions are an important part of demonstrating mastery of the material and are essential to passing the exam. Preparing yourself for these questions will help you ace the examination and become a successful nurse. So, challenge yourself and practice answering higher-level questions as part of your NCLEX preparation.

How Can You Prepare For The NCLEX Exam?

If you want to prepare for the NCLEX exam, developing a plan and sticking to it is essential. Start by creating a timeline and setting goals for yourself. Set aside time to study and review the material and practice answering questions. It is also essential to get adequate rest before taking the exam to be mentally rested and prepared for any query.

Using NCLEX prep materials such as books, videos, or online courses is also beneficial to help you review the material and practice answering questions. Finally, make sure to use practice exams to familiarize yourself with the questions on the exam and learn how to apply your knowledge in a timed environment. With dedication, hard work, and proper preparation, you will be well-prepared for success on the NCLEX exam. Best of luck!

All NCLEX exams will contain questions from the four primary areas of nursing. The main groups are:

  • Safe and Effective Care Environment
  • Health Promotion and Maintenance
  • Psychosocial Integrity
  • Physiological Integrity
  • Parenteral and pharmacological therapies

Reviving what you learned in nursing school may seem daunting, but don’t fret! After all, the National Council Licensure Examination is just a test of your hard-earned knowledge. Be sure to utilize their free study guides so that you can be fully prepared for success on exam day!

If you’re looking to give yourself a competitive edge, boost your exam preparation and gain support from fellow nurses striving towards the same goal, then this NCLEX prep platform is just what you need. Its array of practice questions and community feedback will provide an opportunity for growth and build confidence in tackling the test – ultimately giving you every chance of success.

What We can Learn?

Taking the NCLEX exam is a skill every nursing student must master to become a nurse. Proper preparation for the exam is essential for success, so it is crucial to create a study plan and utilize the resources available. To get the most out of your preparation, use NCLEX prep materials such as books, videos, online courses, and practice exams to review material and practice answering questions. With dedication and a comprehensive plan, you will be well-prepared for success on the NCLE X exam.


What is the NCLEX-RN pass rate?

With 86% of first-time test takers passing their tests, the good news is that most newcomers to the exam can expect a successful outcome. However, for those retaking it after failing once before, things become much more challenging – with only 42% claiming success this time.

What should I do after the NCLEX-RN?

After all the hard work, now comes the waiting game! Rest easy knowing that some states offer a Quick Results service to help ease your worries and quell any uncertainties. In just two business days, you can find out if you’ve made it through – then celebrate with friends or treat yourself to making it over this significant hurdle on your journey towards nursing licensure.

What happens if I don’t pass the NCLEX-RN?

If you don’t pass the NCLEX-RN exam the first time, it is understandable to feel distressed. However, you are certainly not alone in this situation, and there is still hope for success if you opt to retake the exam. The Candidates Performance Report (CPR) issued by the National Council of State Boards of Nursing gives an individualized understanding of your performance on the exam. It helps to guide you in areas that need more attention.

Take some time to reflect on what went wrong, plan what you want to do next, and focus on studying the areas where you didn’t perform as well. With hard work, dedication, and persistence, it is possible to pass the exam and achieve your dream of becoming a registered nurse.

What’s the “Next Generation NCLEX” (NGN)?

The Next Generation NCLEX® (NGN) is a comprehensive exam that uses real-world case studies to evaluate nurses’ ability to make informed decisions in various healthcare settings. To accurately assess a nurse’s critical thinking and problem-solving skills, the NGN has incorporated a variety of new assessment items, such as:

  • Extended Multiple Response
  • Extended Drag and Drop
  • Cloze (Drop – Down)
  • Enhanced Hotspot (Highlighting)
  • Matrix/Grid

Are SATA questions higher-level NCLEX questions?

Yes, but for some questions, not all, Selected-Response Alternatives (SATA) questions are considered higher-level NCLEX questions and require more excellent critical thinking. SATA question items need you to select one or more responses from the given alternatives that best answer the presented clinical scenario. You should spend extra time studying for these types of questions to ensure your success on the exam.

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