PAX stands for Pre-Admission Exam. Nursing schools use the exam to determine if an applicant has the skills and aptitudes necessary to do well in a program of nursing education. While a high score isn’t enough by itself to guarantee admission, a low score can ruin a person’s chances of being admitted, no matter how qualified they are in other ways. The PAX test is a timed, standardized test consisting of multiple choice questions in three areas – verbal ability, math, and science. The same pax test is now given to both RN and PN students, and median correct scores of RN and PN groups will be provided to universities.
Section 1 of the PAX exam is the verbal ability section. This portion of the test is made up of 60 questions divided into two subsections: reading comprehension and word knowledge.
Section 2 of the PAX exam is math, which is composed of 40 “computation and word problems.” Typically, you will find that there are fewer computation questions on exams.
Section 3 of the PAX exam, science, has 60 questions, like the verbal section. It covers topics ranging from, biology and human anatomy to physics and chemistry. Many of the questions in this 3rd section of the PAX are adapted from Bloom’s Taxonomy.
NLN exam questions are wide-ranging, covering such topics as reading comprehension, vocabulary, biology, basic math, algebra, chemistry, physics, geometry, and earth sciences. You are provided only 2 hours and 5 minutes for the entire exam, and the allotment for that time goes as follows:
- 45 minutes for verbal
- 35 minutes for math
- 45 minutes for science.
There are no passing or failing scores; each nursing program has its own standard for acceptable scores. It’s critical to do as well as you can on the exam, because a person who performs poorly may only retake the test two times. Here at Mometrix Academy you’ll find a large number of free PAX test prep videos that can help you do your very best on the exam.
PAX Practice Test
Use the free PAX practice test questions below to get a better understanding of the PAX exam. Take advantage of this valuable resource to pinpoint your strengths and weaknesses.
PAX Study Guide
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What Is the Registration Process for the PAX RN Exam Like?
While the exam itself is the same no matter where you take it, it is going to be administered by the school that you are applying to. So you will register for your appointment through the school. The exam fee also depends on where you are taking it but will usually range from $60 to $100.
When you register, you will have a range of dates to choose from. It is offered several times each month. Many locations will also offer a range of start times on each date so that you can find something that fits best with your schedule.
Which Skills Will Be Tested on the Verbal Section of the PAX RN Exam?
Similar to other college admissions exams, the verbal section is focused on fundamental reading, writing, and critical thinking skills. This section will contain 60 questions divided into three main categories:
- Reading comprehension: understanding and interpreting information from a text.
- Critical thinking: reasoning within the text and beyond the text.
- Word knowledge: vocabulary, sentence structure, grammar, and word choice.
The ability to comprehend what you read, construct your thoughts in clear, grammatically correct sentences, and critically analyze ideas are all essential for success in your classes.
How Should I Prepare for Test Day?
The entire exam will last about two hours. You get 40 minutes per section, regardless of the number of questions. That means you have less than a minute per question to complete the 60 questions on the verbal section.
Aside from the time limits of the exam, you also need to be prepared in general to make sure you are able to perform your best on the day of the test. With that in mind, here are a few tips to make sure you come to the testing center rested and ready:
- Get to bed early the night before so that you can wake up early enough to eat a full breakfast the morning of the test.
- Arrive at the testing center at least 30 minutes before your appointment to check in.
- Bring your valid government-issued photo ID.
- Don’t bring a calculator or any personal items into the testing center.
All of the questions will be multiple choice and you are able to skip questions and come back to them later. So, if you get to one that stumps you, just move on and get through the ones you can answer quickly. Then, use the rest of your test time to answer the difficult ones.
What Is the Minimum Score Needed to Pass the PAX RN Exam?
The exam is given a cumulative score ranging from 1 to 199. However, in order to receive a score at all, you need to complete all three sections. So your top priority should be making sure you answer all of the questions, even if you have to guess. Beyond that, there is no set minimum required.
However, the program you are applying to will usually have either their own minimum requirements or be able to tell you what the average scores are for the students they accept. As guideline while you study, you should aim to score above the 50th percentile which means you should try to get a 103 or better.