How is the SIMCLEX® Passing Standard Determined?

How does SIMCLEX® work?

SIMCLEX® is a Computer Adaptive Test (CAT) that simulates the NCLEX-RN® using similar algorithms to determine whether you have a high or low chance of passing the NCLEX® within 75-145 questions.

Some of those rules are:

  • 95% Confidence Interval ✅
  • Passing Standard ✅

Your exam starts off with a random question and depending on how you answer that question, the following question will either be more or less difficult. It will continue to adapt based on how you answer each question until it can determine, with 95% confidence, you'll either Pass or Fail.

Everyone starts off with a wide Confidence Interval and, as you answer the questions, that Confidence Interval will narrow. This Confidence Interval must remain above the Passing Standard in order to Pass.
The Confidence Interval is something that is not visibly shown on your graph, but you can check out our What is the NCLEX? Lesson (click here!) for a deeper insight into what it looks like.

Essentially, the test is trying to find questions that you will get right about 50% of the time - what will change is the level of difficulty of the questions.
And that's what you're seeing when you look at your SIMCLEX® graph - the higher the line the more difficult the question as well as your ability to answer those difficult questions.

Once you have taken at least 75 questions, and the exam is 95% confident you either meet or don't meet the passing standard, then your test will end.

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