Types of Questions on the NCLEX exam.

I wanted to talk some today about types of questions you’ll find on the NCLEX exam. Next time we’ll talk some about some strategies for answering questions.

  1. Standard multiple-choice – probably what most of the questions on your NCLEX test will be. You choose the best answer from the list.
  2. Multiple-response (sometimes referred to as “select-all-that-apply”) – probably one of the most dreaded questions on the test. You have to choose all of the answers that apply. These can be tricky and cause many folks to second guess themselves. In the ‘normal’ questions some of the time there are two close answers that can be correct. When you have these questions (choose all that apply) you get to decide whether both of those answers are right or not.
  3. Fill-in-the-blank math calculations – for math questions. You’ll want to do your calculation and again put in the correct answer.
  4. Ordered-response for nursing procedures – putting a list of things in the correct order. A good example would be you see an unconscious patient, place the following in the correct order.
  5. Hot-spots identification – normally you have an image and you need to highlight whatever that it is asking for. An example would be you have a picture for an infant, you have several circles over different parts of the body and the question asks you where you would check for a pulse.
  6. Chart/exhibit format where candidates will be presented with a problem and will need to read the information in the chart/exhibit to answer the problem. An example of this would be a patient’s lab results – maybe the question is what would you do first when you get these lab results.
  7. Audio item format where the candidate is presented an audio clip and uses headphones to listen and select the option that applies. These sounds are normally heart or breath sounds. An example would be if you heard ‘wet’ breath sounds, what would those be – or what would you need to do for the patient.
  8. Graphic Options that present the candidate with graphics instead of text for the answer options and they will be required to select the appropriate graphic answer.

I would recommend that you check out the NCLEX site. It will let you download some example questions for each of the types of questions.

Go to this page – https://www.ncsbn.org/9010.htm
Scroll down to the What is an alternate item format? Section. Click on the ‘English’ link and you will download a program. These gives you an example of each of the question types.

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