Next Generation NCLEX Scoring
NGN-style items have 2 scoring methods to allow for partial credit.
All of the new items are either correct or incorrect. Some will have partial credit. This is referred to as polytomous scoring.
Traditional NCLEX Items
With traditional NCLEX items, answers are either right or wrong.
Responses may receive 0 or 1 point. This is referred to as dichotomous scoring.
Partial credit scoring can be assigned in different ways:
+/- scoring: Candidates earn 1 point for each correct response and lose 1 point for each incorrect response. Scores are summed together to get the item total score. If the summed value is negative, the final score will be truncated to 0. 0/1 scoring: Candidates earn 1 point for each correct response and points are not deleted for incorrect responses. Points are summed together to get the item total score.
Dyad/triad: In a dyad, candidates earn one point when both responses in a paired set are answered correctly. In a triad, candidates get one point if they get the cause and one effect correct. The candidate gets two points if they get all correct. NOTE: Standard items (Fill-in-the-blank numeric, Multiple choice, Multiple-response select all that apply, Hot spot, and Ordered response) continue to be worth 1 point. (The multiple-choice item can be text or a graphic. In 2023, Multiple-response items will receive partial scoring.)
The length of the Next Gen NCLEX
The length of the new exam is slightly different than the previous version of the NCLEX.
The NGN presents 70-135 scored items (plus 15 pretest items) based on the test-taker's ability. The unscored items (which are randomly mixed in to the exam) do not contribute to the candidate’s test score but are used for future exam development. In all, the total exam length is 85-150 items. Among the scored items on a minimum length test, candidates should expect 3 case studies with 18 of the 85 items (21%) to be NGN.
Candidates may take the entire allotted 5 hours to complete the NCLEX.
New item types on the Next Generation NCLEX
The most significant change to the test are unique new item types.
The NCSBN researched a variety of item types to determine which ones best measure clinical judgment. The organization settled on 12 for use with case studies and 2 for the use of stand-alone items. (A standard multiple-choice item can also be used in a case study.)Learn more about NGN item types
Next Gen NCLEX tools, tips, & information
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