Breaking Down the Nclex Questions

Topics: Assessment, Question, Multiple choice Pages: 3 (820 words) Published: July 20, 2013
Breaking down the NCLEX questions
A question consists of the stem (part that asks the question), the case (patient’s condition or the scenario), the answer, and distractors (choices that look correct but are actually wrong). It is easier to analyze once you have identified the different parts of the question.

1. Look for keywords
No matter how a long a question is, there is that one word or phrase that bears the most weight. Key words may relate to the client, the actual problem, and to specific aspects of the problem.

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2. Repeated words
The same words may appear in the NCLEX question and in the correct answer. It may be the same word or a synonym of the word.

3. Opposite answers

If two choices have opposites, like increased heart rate or decreased heart rate, one of the two choices is usually the correct answer.

4. The Odd answer
The one answer that is different from the rest is apt to be the correct answer.

5. Umbrella principle
If all answers seem to be correct and applicable, choose the one that includes all the choices in it. One answer is better than all the others because it includes them.

6. Eliminate obvious answers
In NCLEX questions asking for a single answer, some choices are obvious to be incorrect. You should be able to identify some of these incorrect responses if they are/have:

the same idea- eliminate choices that have the same concept or idea. these choices are just reworded but if you analyze them carefully, they are actually one and the same

absolute answers- choices containing the words all, never, always and the like are very likely to be incorrect.

unrelated to the question- if the question asks for interventions and the action in the choice is an assessment, it is obviously incorrect.

After eliminating the obvious incorrect answers, analyze the remaining choices and select the option that best answers the stem.

7. Prioritize based on patient’s needs

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