How to Prepare for the Nursing School Entrance Exam

Nursing School Entrance Exam

After moving to Philadelphia, I made the big decision to completely change my life and pursue a career in nursing. I have a strong passion for helping people, and when I asked myself what I really wanted to do in this life, nursing was the answer that came naturally to me. So, once I made up my mind to become a nurse, I had to figure out which nursing entrance exams I needed to pass. Today, I’d like to share with you my experience of going through this process and how I passed a test as demanding as the Kaplan nursing school entrance exam at my local community college.

What Is the Most Common Nursing School Entrance Exam?

I want to start off by saying that there are various types of nursing entrance exams out there. Each exam has its own unique structure, content covered, time limit, and associated fees. So, why am I telling you about these different exams?

Well, firstly, different nursing schools have different preferences when it comes to entrance exams. It’s a good idea to apply to multiple schools simultaneously. Nursing exams can be quite challenging, and by applying to multiple institutions, you increase your chances of performing well on at least one of them. Besides these tests, you’ll also quite often need to submit a personal statement explaining why you want to be a nurse, letters of recommendation from previous employers, and a good GPA in prerequisite courses. In other words, the admissions committee takes these additional factors into account alongside the entrance exam, and they can work in your favor if you pass the nursing school admission test with less than high scores.

So, it’s important to be aware of the various types of nursing exams and the requirements of each nursing school. By understanding this, you can prepare effectively and give yourself the best chance of success. Remember, it’s all about increasing your opportunities and showcasing your potential as a future nurse.

Overview of Various Popular Nursing Entrance Exams

I’ve prepared for you some nursing entrance test information to help you get your head around the topic.

National League for Nursing Pre-Admission Exam (PAX)

It is one of the most famous exams for nurses. To pass it, you need to try to answer 160 questions. You will be given two hours and five minutes to do so. Get ready to test your knowledge of math and science. A separate section of questions will also test your reading comprehension skills.

✔️ Number of questions: 160

✔️ Time limit: 125 min

✔️ Costs: Typically, up to $100

✔️ Passing score: More than 50%

Nursing Entrance Test (NET)

The NET nursing entrance exam is another all-encompassing exam. It evaluates not only your math and science skills but also essential aspects of the nursing profession. It includes tasks that assess your reading speed and how well you handle stressful situations. The test is designed to gauge your ability to think on your feet and handle the demands of the nursing field. You’ll have 155 minutes to navigate through the exam and show the examiners what you’ve got.

✔️ Number of questions: 91

✔️ Time limit: 155 min

✔️ Costs: Varies depending on the school

✔️ Passing score: 65 on math and 55 on reading, the passing marks for the remaining parts vary based on the college

Kaplan Nursing Entrance Exam

An important and challenging nursing school test that I personally took. It evaluates your knowledge of essential subjects like math, anatomy, physiology, and pharmacology. But it’s not just about knowledge; it also tests your critical thinking skills and your ability to quickly comprehend written information. How to pass the Kaplan nursing entrance exam? You should answer 91 multiple-choice questions. The test duration is 165 minutes, giving you enough time to carefully read and answer each question.

✔️ Number of questions: 91

✔️ Time limit: 165 min

✔️ Costs: Around $25-$45

✔️ Passing score: Around 70%

Test of Essential Academic Skills Exam (TEAS)

This nursing school exam assesses your skills in reading, math, language use, and science. Don’t worry, the exam focuses on knowledge typically acquired during high school. You’ll encounter a total of 170 questions on the TEAS exam. That might sound like a lot, but you have 209 minutes to work through them.

✔️ Number of questions: 170

✔️ Time limit: 209 min

✔️ Costs: Around $50

✔️ Passing score: Between 55%-70%

Health Education Systems, Inc. Admissions Assessment (HESI A2)

The nursing admission assessment exam is an opportunity for you to showcase your knowledge of biology and chemistry. It also covers grammar, reading, and math, all at the high school level. It’s a challenging test consisting of 335 questions that you’ll need to complete in less than 4 hours. But don’t worry, you’ve got this! Approach each question with confidence and draw upon the knowledge you’ve acquired.

✔️ Number of questions: 335

✔️ Time limit: No more than 240 min

✔️ Costs: Around $100

✔️ Passing score: At least 75%

PSB Registered Nursing School Aptitude Exam

A nursing school test specifically designed for those who desire to become registered nurses. This exam estimates your academic abilities as an applicant. Among other things, it checks your spelling skills, knowledge of specialized subjects, and likelihood of quick and high-quality professional adaptation. Get ready to answer 360 multiple-choice questions. You will have 105 minutes to demonstrate your skills and knowledge in each section of the test.

✔️ Number of questions: 360

✔️ Time limit: 105 min

✔️ Costs: Around $25

✔️ Passing score: Generally 60%-70%

Nursing School Admission Test: Costs

Now, let’s talk about an important aspect of nursing exams that can’t be overlooked: the cost. It’s true; these exams come with a price tag. And not just that, but if you want to maximize your chances, you should consider taking the tests at multiple schools, which means additional expenses. As a working single mom, I understand the struggle of managing a tight budget. However, it’s essential to view this as a challenge that you can overcome with determination and planning.

The cost of nursing entrance exams can vary depending on the exam and the school administering it. 

Generally, the price range for these exams falls between $25 and $100 per attempt. Keep in mind that this cost is per exam, so if you plan to apply to multiple schools, it can add up quickly.

To aid you in better managing the financial aspect, let me share some practical tips that helped me ease the burden:

  • Assessing the cost. Take the time to research the fees associated with each exam. Check out the websites of the respective exams or reach out to the testing centers directly for accurate pricing information. Make a list of the exams you’ll need to take and jot down their corresponding costs. This will give you a clearer picture of what to expect.
  • Planning ahead. Once you have an idea of the costs involved, it’s a good idea to create a budget specifically for your nursing entrance exam. Set a savings goal and allocate a small amount each month towards your exam fund. By planning ahead and saving gradually, you can avoid the stress of having to pay a large sum all at once. Remember, every little bit counts!
  • Prioritizing wisely. If you find yourself on a tight budget, consider prioritizing the exams based on the schools you’re most interested in or have the highest chances of acceptance at. By focusing your resources on a select few, you can allocate them more effectively and increase your likelihood of success. It’s all about making strategic choices that align with your goals and financial situation.

Remember, although the cost of entrance exams may initially feel overwhelming, it’s important to see it as an investment in your future as a nurse.

With careful planning, resourcefulness, and perseverance, you can overcome these financial hurdles on your path to becoming a nurse. Keep in mind that your dreams are worth every effort, and the rewards that await you as a nurse will make it all worthwhile.

My Experience with the Kaplan Nursing School Entrance Exam

Let me tell you about my experience with the Kaplan Nursing Entrance Exam. This exam is well-known and respected by nursing schools. It’s a test they use to see if you’re ready for their program. It checks your book smarts, critical thinking skills, and how prepared you are for nursing.

During the Kaplan exam, I faced different challenges that really tested me. They asked questions on math, science, reading, and critical thinking. Time management was a big deal, since each section had a time limit.

To get ready for the Kaplan nursing school test, I used a few tricks. First, I made sure to give myself enough time to study and review all the important stuff. I found study guides made just for the Kaplan exam, and they had all the info I needed along with practice questions. I also joined study groups and chatted with other people who wanted to be nurses. We shared knowledge and different ways of looking at things.

Practice tests were super important in getting ready for the Kaplan nursing entrance exam. They helped me get used to the format, timing, and types of questions I’d face. Nursing entrance exam practice helped me figure out what I was good at and what needed work. That way, I could focus on the areas that needed more attention. I used the results to make a study plan that was just right for me and spent extra time on the tougher topics.

By utilizing study guides, joining study groups, and taking practice tests, I was able to identify my strengths and weaknesses and create a personalized study plan that ultimately led to my successful passing the Kaplan Nursing Entrance Exam.

Nursing Test Preparation: How to Succeed

Once you’ve chosen the nursing school and identified the specific nursing exams they require, it’s time to focus on preparation. I understand that it can feel overwhelming and confusing at first, but no worries! I’m here to guide you in the right direction and ensure that you’re well-prepared for your exam. Let’s dive in:

nursing exam preparation tips

  • Take a deep breath. The initial anxiety is completely normal. Remind yourself that you have the ability and determination to succeed. Trust in your journey.
  • Gather your resources. Many schools and programs provide study materials right on their websites. Isn’t that convenient? Another great option is to explore online resources like Mometrix, for instance. They offer valuable nursing school test information. Also, if you’d like, you may purchase nursing entrance exam practice test preparation materials there.
  • Create a study plan. Develop a realistic study schedule that fits into your daily routine. Set aside dedicated time for focused studying, and break down the topics into manageable chunks. Remember, consistency is key.
  • Utilize flashcards. Flashcards are a handy study tool for memorizing key concepts, terms, and definitions. Create your own flashcards or use online platforms that offer pre-made flashcards for nursing entrance exams. They are portable, easy to use, and can be a quick review tool wherever you go.
  • Practice, practice, practice. Use practice questions and sample exams to get familiar with the format and assess your understanding. This hands-on approach will boost your confidence and help you identify areas that need more attention.
  • Seek support. You’re not alone on your journey; you can always discuss nursing school entrance exam questions and answers with your fellow students. Don’t hesitate to reach out for guidance and support. Join study groups or seek assistance from nursing school advisors.
  • Stay organized. Keep your study materials, notes, and resources well-organized. This will save you time and help you easily review and revise important information as your exam date approaches.
  • Take care of yourself. Remember to prioritize self-care throughout the preparation process. Get enough rest, eat nourishing meals, exercise, and take breaks when needed. A healthy mind and body will support your focus and overall well-being.
  • Believe in yourself. Embrace a positive mindset and believe in your abilities. Trust that your hard work and dedication to nursing test preparation will pay off. Remind yourself of your passion for nursing and the impact you can make on people’s lives.
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Cristel Roberts
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Cristel works in retail but is eager to switch to something that’s more human-related. As the mother of an amazing boy, she believes in the importance of permissive parenting. Recently, Cristel moved from Delaware to Philadelphia because of the love of her life, and though her personal life didn’t work out, she still finds great pleasure in exploring the history of this city.
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