The NCLEX exam, also known as the National Council Licensure Examination, is a standardized exam that each State Board of Nursing uses to determine whether or not a candidate is prepared for entry-level nursing practice.
But your first step is to successfully complete an accredited nursing degree.
NCLEX Eligibility & Registration In order to take the NCLEX exam, you must apply for a Nursing license from a State Board of Nursing. That board will determine whether or not you meet its criteria for NCLEX Examination-Eligibility. You must then register to take the exam.
Once you’ve applied for a license from your state board of nursing, you will receive an NCLEX Examination Candidate Bulletin in the mail. You may then register with the National Council of State Boards of Nursing’s testing service by phone, or by filling out a mail-in registration form.
Once your state board of nursing has verified your eligibility to take the NCLEX examination, you will receive an Authorization to Take the Test (ATT), along with a list of testing centers and instructions for how to schedule an appointment to take the examination.
The cost to take the NCLEX is $200.

In this section, you will find an in-depth look at the candidate exam day process and the rules to be followed during the administration of your exam at a Pearson Professional Center. Below are a few things to think about on the exam day:
Be Prepared
When you arrive for your NCLEX, you’ll need your Accepted ID
You will no longer need to bring a paper copy of the Authorization to Test (ATT) for admittance to the NCLEX.
Important Exam Day Tips
1 – Make sure to bring your ID. Candidates without proper ID will not be allowed to take the NCLEX.
2 – Know the NCLEX Candidate Rules! These include policies specific to personal items, confidentiality, NCLEX administration and break procedures.
Dress comfortably
You’re required to leave hats, scarves, gloves and coats outside of the testing room. (Provisions are made for religious/cultural dress.)
Arrive Early
Plan to arrive 30 minutes before your exam. If you are more than 30 minutes late, you may have to forfeit, reregister and pay another exam fee.
Provide Your Biometrics
In order to be tested, the following biometrics will be taken: signature, photograph and palm vein scan.
Receive Biometrics
You may not bring in paper or writing instruments for this computer-administered exam. An on- screen calculator and erasable note board/marker for making notes will be provided.
Set Your Pace
You’ll have up to 6 hours to complete the RN exam, including the short tutorial and 2 optional breaks (the first 2 hours into testing, the second after 3.5 hours of testing). Take time to analyze each question carefully—once you submit an answer you can’t return to that question. Learn more about computer adaptive testing (CAT).
Special Research Section
Since July 2017, NCSBN started presenting a Special Research Section as part of the NCLEX- RN administration. By participating in the Special Research Section, candidates will be making valuable contributions to the future development of NCSBN examinations as well as to the enhancement of the nursing profession.
The Special Research Section is given to select candidates taking the NCLEX-RN and takes approximately 30 minutes to complete. This section is administered following the regular exam and does not count as part of the NCLEX score.
Once a candidate finishes their exam, an introductory screen indicates the beginning of the Special Research Section. This section will also continue to be numbered in accordance with the completed exam – for example, if a candidate’s exam ended with question 153, the first question on the Special Research Section will be numbered 154. Despite the consecutive numbering, these new questions will have no impact on NCLEX scoring or results. 
Candidates may take the entire allotted six hours to complete the NCLEX. All questions on the NCLEX-RN and the Special Research Section are confidential.
Finishing up
You’ll end with a short computerized survey. Afterwards, raise your hand and wait for the TA to dismiss you.
Keep in mind that although the exam is graded as you progress, scores go through a second verification process at Pearson VUE. Your score is not available and will not be released at the test center.

After The Exam 

Unofficial and Official Results Unofficial Result If your board of nursing participates in the Quick Result Service, you can receive your “unofficial” results two business days after the exam. This service is available for $7.95 on the Pearson Vue NCLEX candidate Website. *only applies to candidates seeking licensure in the U.S.
Official results are only available through your board of nursing/regulatory body (BON/RB) and will be sent to you approximately six weeks after the exam. Do not call NCSBN, Pearson VUE NCLEX Candidate Services or the test center for results.
Candidates Who Do Not Pass
If you didn’t pass the exam, you’ll receive a NCLEX Candidate Performance Report(CPR). The CPR is an individualized document that shows how a candidate performed in each of the test plan content areas. Candidates who fail the exam can use the CPR as a guide to prepare them to retake the exam.
Retaking NCLEX
Do the following if choosing to Retake the NCLEX.
1 – Contact your BON and notify them that you plan to retake the exam. Determine what fees or materials you need to submit to the BON.
2 – Reregister with Pearson VUE and pay the Fee.
3 – Wait to receive your new ATT.
4 – Schedule your new exam.
Per NCSBN policy, you’ll need to wait a minimum of 45 days between each exam. This length of time is determined by the BON and will be reflected in the new ATT’s validity dates.
For quality control purposes, every NCLEX is scored twice; once by the computer at the test center and then after the exam record has been transmitted to Pearson VUE.
Getting Your Results
1 – Although the exam is scored as you complete each item, no results are released at the test center. In fact, test center staff do not have access to the exam results.
2 – Exam results are available only from your board of nursing/regulatory body (BON/RB) and will be sent to you approximately six weeks after taking the exam.
3 – Do not call PearsonVue NCLEX Candidate Services, the test centers or NCSBN for exam results.
4 – If more than six weeks have passed and you have not received your results, contact your Board of Nursing.
5 – Some states allow you to access your results after 48 business hours through the quick result service. The quick results service is not available for candidates seeking licensure/registration in Canada.
Test Security & Invalid Results
NCSBN strives to report results that accurately reflect the ability of each test taker. Accordingly, our standards and procedures for administering exams have two related goals: giving test takers comparable opportunities to demonstrate their abilities and preventing any test takers from gaining an unfair advantage over others.
To promote these objectives, NCSBN reserves the right to cancel or withhold any test results when, in its judgement:
1 – A testing irregularity occurs
2 – There is an apparent discrepancy in, or falsification of, a test taker’s identification
3 – a test taker engages in misconduct or irregular behavior
4 – a test taker violates the candidate rules or otherwise breaches his/her Confidentiality
5 – the results are believed to be invalid for any other reason, notwithstanding the absence of any evidence of a candidate’s personal involvement in irregular activities

NCSBN may cancel or withhold a candidate’s results if, in NCSBN’s judgment, there is a good faith basis to question the validity of the results for any reason, notwithstanding, the absence of any evidence of a candidate’s personal involvement in irregular activities. Evidence of invalid results may include, but are not limited to, unusual answer patterns or unusual score increases from one exam to another. If a candidate’s result is cancelled, revoked or invalidated without a finding that the candidate engaged in irregular behavior, the candidate may appeal the decision and/or will be offered a free retest. An appeal is a candidate’s exclusive means of redress with regard to NCSBN’s decision to take this action.


The first and last names printed on your identification must match exactly the first and last names found on your Authorization to Test (ATT) email. If the name with which you registered is different from the name on your identification, you must bring legal name- change documentation to the test center on the day of the test.
The only acceptable forms of legal name-change documentation are the following:
1 – Marriage license
2 – Divorce decree and/or court action legal name change documents
All documents must contain the name change in Roman characters and be the original copies. Candidates wishing to make a legal name change address change or email address change must contact their board of nursing/regulatory body (BON/RB). This cannot be done at the test center.
If the name on your ID and ATT email do not match, you will be turned away and will have to reregister and pay another exam fee.
Identification Requirement
When you arrive at the test center, you will be required to present one form of acceptable identification. If you arrive at the test center without acceptable identification, you will be turned away and required to reregister and pay another exam fee. If you paid the additional international scheduling fee, that will be forfeited as well.
All forms of identification must be valid and meet the following requirements. If the ID does not meet these requirements, you will be turned away and required to re-register and pay another examination fee:
1 – Government-issued
2 – Non-expired
3 – Name (in Roman characters)
4 – Recent photograph
5 – Signature

Examples of acceptable forms of identification for domestic test centers are:
1 – Passport books and cards
2 – Driver’s license
3 – Provincial/territorial or state identification card
4 – Permanent residence card
5 – Military identification card

The only identifications acceptable for international test centers, including Puerto Rico, are:​
1 – Passport books and cards

If your ID does not contain a signature but meets all other ID requirements listed above, you must bring in a secondary form of identification to the test center. The signature on your secondary ID must match exactly with the first and last name on your primary ID and with the names that you provided when you registered. The secondary identification must contain:
1 – Signature (in Roman characters)