The National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses, or NCLEX RN, is a test that all registered nurses must take in order to prove competency before entering a nursing program. The questions on the test increase in difficulty in order to test your knowledge and level of competence. You must answer a minimum of 75 questions to pass, with 256 being the maximum number of questions. There is no numerical grading system for the NCLEX, only pass or fail.

Look back over the notes, quizzes and tests you took in your nursing classes. These can provide helpful study guides as you prepare to take the NCLEX.

Go to your local library and check out NCLEX study guides. These are invaluable resources to you when preparing for the NCLEX, because they will familiarize you will the way the test is set up and how your level of competency is determined.

Register to take the NCLEX and sit for the exam. The questions will start out relatively easy, asking basic questions about nursing procedure, physiology and anatomy. As you answer questions correctly, they will become harder. If you get a question wrong, the next one will be easier. In this way, your level of competency can be determined.

Answer the minimum of 75 questions. You will be given 15 experimental questions to answer that will not count for or against you. After 75 questions, you can choose to end the exam or continue on in order to attempt to pass.