Nursing News

NCLEX Computer Adaptive Test (CAT) and How It Works

One of the main difference of NCLEX from all other nursing exams is that it is administered using CAT or Computer Adaptive Test method.

NCLEX-CAT is a method for administering exams that merges computer technology with modern measurement theory to increase the efficiency of the exam process.

How does NCLEX CAT work?nclex computer adaptive test video

  1. Every time you answer an item, the computer re-estimates your ability based on all the previous answers and the difficulty of those items.
  2. The computer then selects the next item that you should have a 50% chance of answering correctly.
    • This way, the next item should not be too easy or too hard.
    • The computer’s goal is to get as much information as possible about your true ability level.
    • You should find each item challenging as each item is targeted to your ability
  3. With each item answered, the computer’s estimate of your ability becomes more precise.

NCSBN prepared the new NCLEX® Using CAT video intended to explain further computer adaptive testing and how it is used by NCLEX to measure the competencies needed to perform safely and effectively as a newly licensed, entry-level nurse. Topics in the video also coveritem selection and pass/fail rules. Check out the video below:

NCLEX Computer Adaptive Test (CAT) Video


We hope you are pleased with the video and that it helps answer questions about the exam. Please forward this NCLEX CAT video link to other NCLEX test takers!

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