How to Study For Nursing School Exams | A Complete Guide 2023

Have you ever wondered about how to pass nursing school exams? This is the first step in becoming a nurse. After our previous article on How to prepare for nursing school in 2023|A Complete Guide for students. The World study portal team decided to put this piece together to help students who are preparing to write their nursing school exams.

These exams will test your chances of success in the nursing program. They are used by schools to measure your understanding of several academic and healthcare-related topics. These tests also assess your comprehension, critical thinking, and communication abilities.

The type of exam you take is determined by the school to which you are applying and the degree you wish to obtain. This guide will introduce you to some of the most typical nursing exams.


If you wish to learn more about the exams and application procedure for a specific nursing program, you should contact your preferred nursing school.

Nonetheless, For this exam, you will need to know the basics of anatomy, physiology, diagnostic procedures, patient care, nursing management, administration of medications, and other related subjects.

How Well Do I Need To Prepare?

A lot of preparation is required for this exam, especially for those who plan to pursue careers as an RN.

Most colleges and universities require a passing average of at least two years in a nursing program before you can take the exam.

For students, this means taking at least three years of college and having completed all their credits by the end of their sophomore year.

If you wish to pass these nursing school exams, you will also need to have a decent academic record. Good grades are required for many scholarships and teaching positions within the healthcare industry.

Some students work with tutors and teachers in their spare time in order to improve their scores. You should always strive to do well on tests and other requirements of your school in order to get into the school of your choice.


This will ensure that when you start applying to nursing schools, you’ll be able to apply to those that offer scholarships and grants aimed at helping you achieve your goal.

How to Pass Nursing School Exams Easily.

There are several ways to study for and pass nursing school exams.

One way is to get a book on nursing or a magazine on nursing. Another way is to read journals on nursing. It is very important that you keep a healthy diet and lifestyle, as this will show through your performance on these exams.

You may also want to invest in a study guide that you can use while studying. The better you prepare, the better you will perform.

Nursing school exams consist of multiple choice exams that cover various aspects of nursing.

These exams include skills, knowledge, judgment, and medical terminology. Once you’ve passed the first time, you can then move on to the second part of the exam, which is the theory test, in order to see if you still have the skills and knowledge needed to pass.

How pass nursing school exams can be a challenge, but if you stick with it and study hard, you will be able to pass. Try to find a good tutor or teacher, who will help you study and brush up on your knowledge.

It is very important that you understand what you are trying to test. If you know what the examiner is looking for, you will have a better chance of passing the exam.

Once you get your certification, you can work towards a career as a nurse, or even begin a degree in nursing, so that you can go further and have more options open to you.

Types of Nursing Exams you Can Apply For

There are literally different types of entrance nursing exams. The type you will write solely depends on the school you are applying to; here are the types of nursing school entrance exams

1. National League for Nursing Pre-Admission Exam (PAX)

The PAX exam is one of the most commonly used nursing school entrance exams. It is intended for RNs and LPNs pursuing a certificate, associate degree, or bachelor’s degree in nursing.

The PAX assesses verbal abilities, mathematical skills, and understanding of scientific topics. It includes 160 multiple choice questions covering three subject areas:

  • 60 questions in reading comprehension and word knowledge
  • 40 math questions
  • 60 science questions

Test-takers have two hours and five minutes to complete the entire exam.

Many companies, such as Mometrix, offer free practice questions and study guides for students taking this test.

You can register for and take the PAX through the schools you apply to. Exam fees typically cost $60-$100.

2. Nursing Entrance Test (NET)

The NET is another common nursing school test for LPN and RN programs. Split into six parts, test takers have 155 minutes to complete this exam. Similar to the PAX, this test evaluates mathematics and reading speed skills. It also assesses learning styles, social decision-making, and the ability to deal with stressful situations.

The math portion of the test includes concepts often taught in high school math courses. Students usually spend extra time studying for this part of the exam. The other five sections cover a broader range of non-nursing topics.

Your performance in these sections depends on your general academic skills, attention to detail, critical thinking, and reading comprehension. You can prepare for the exam by following a study guide with practice test questions.

Earning a score of 65 and 55 on the math and reading sections, respectively, will make you a competitive nursing school applicant.

Schools evaluate scores on the remaining four parts based on their internal standards for passing scores. The cost of the NET nursing entrance exam varies by school.

3. Kaplan Nursing School Admission Test

The Kaplan nursing school exam reflects students’ performance in LPN or RN programs. The exam does not require any prior nursing experience.

This exam is divided into four sections with 91 multiple-choice questions each. It assesses exam takers’ abilities in writing, reading, math, science, and critical thinking. The Kaplan nursing school admission test lasts up to 180 minutes and costs $50-$70. A passing score on the exam is normally between 60% and 70%. However, each institution has its own scoring system.

Test-takers often choose to brush up on high school-level topics in reading, writing, math, and science. According to Lansing Community College’s nursing program, many students prepare for the Kaplan nursing school exam by using the Kaplan study guide, TEAS prep books, YouTube instructional videos, and SAT prep materials.

4. Test of Essential Academic Skills Exam (TEAS)

The TEAS assessment is another common nursing school test for RNs and LPNs. The multiple-choice exam contains four sections:

  • Reading
  • Mathematics
  • English and language use
  • Science

The test requires 209 minutes to complete. Some online materials to prepare for the exam include’s practice tests and study guides and ATI’s TEAS prep products.

Test takers must answer 170 questions selected from high school-level knowledge in each subject. There are 53 questions on passages, maps, and graphs in the reading part. The math segment contains 36 questions that include general problem-solving, algebra, statistics, and geometric calculations. The 53 science questions span physiology, anatomy, life, physical sciences, and scientific reasoning in general. Finally, the English section assesses comprehension of standard language patterns and terminology.

You can take the TEAS nursing school entrance exam online, at designated testing centers, or through the school where you wish to apply. The TEAS exam requires a $35-$70 fee.

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

Prospective RNs and LPNs take the HESI A2 nursing school entry exam. The exam is divided into nine sections: grammar, biology, chemistry, reading comprehension, and math. Questions need high school-level knowledge, with an emphasis on science themes. The HESI A2 test includes parts on learning styles and personality as well.

Learners prepare for the exam with a variety of resources, including Mometrix’s HESI A2 Secrets Guide. Learners can also find practice exams for the HESI A2 test through and

While the exam fee varies among locations, most schools charge $40-$65.

6. PSB Aptitude for Practical Nursing Exam

PSB nursing entrance tests are designed for applicants interested in entering a healthcare program. LPNs who aspire to enroll in practical and vocational nursing programs are included. The test assesses the skills, information, and talents that a student has acquired through time. This examination is less concerned with psychological or abstract personality qualities. It does, however, provide a vocational adjustment score that looks at test-takers behavioral features.

The remaining four portions of the 360-question, 105-minute PSB nursing school exam assess academic aptitude in vocabulary, math, nonverbal comprehension, spelling, natural sciences, and clinical judgment and comprehension. There is no component on reading comprehension.

The Mometrix Secrets Study Guide and the Ascencia PSB Practice Nursing Exam Study Guide are two study guides for the PSB nursing school entrance exam.

Applicants can expect to pay a $25 exam fee.

7. PSB Registered Nursing School Aptitude Exam

The PSB RN nursing school aptitude exam is designed for aspiring RNs. This is a 105-minute, 360-question test made up of five multiple-choice sections:

  • Academic aptitude
  • Spelling
  • Reading comprehension
  • Natural sciences
  • A vocational adjustment index

The academic aptitude section consists of 30 questions divided into three sections: verbal, mathematical, and nonverbal. According to Mometrix, a nonverbal portion is a form of IQ exam that requires test takers to identify the relationships and differences between things.

Many students spend extra time studying for the verbal and mathematical sections of the exam. Students can use the Mometrix Secrets Study Guide and flashcards to prepare for the PSB RN nursing school entrance exam.

Methods for developing one’s nonverbal skills are also included in the study guide. PSB RN exam takers often pay between $25 and $45 to sit for the exam.

Nursing School Exams
A nursing preparing for an Exam.

8. PSB Health Occupations Aptitude Exam

Schools administer the PSB Health Occupations Aptitude Exam (PBS HOAE) to students pursuing healthcare training, including nurses. This exam is widely utilized by registered nurses who intend to enroll in an ADN or BSN program.

The exam assesses fundamental knowledge in reading comprehension, spelling, and natural sciences. It also evaluates test takers’ intellectual ability in math, verbal, and nonverbal domains.

A vocational adjustment index is also included in the PSB HOAE exam. This assesses test-takers behavioral and personality features in order to measure their likelihood of success in the field. Candidates pay between $25 and $60 to take the PSB HOAE nursing school exam.

To put their best foot forward on the PSB HOAE, students can use iPrep’s free practice resources and low-cost online courses.

How to Study For Nursing School Exams

There is a huge difference between nursing school and passing your nursing exam. You must prepare for both. The first few weeks or months will prepare you for the exam, but then you need to get into the practice of actually studying and putting the knowledge you have gained into practical use. This may take a considerable amount of time, but it is well worth it when you come to think of it.

#1. Put Together Specific Study Program:

One of the very first steps you should take when you want to know How to Study For Nursing School Exams is putting together a solid study program. The curriculum will have to cover every piece of information you intend to review without feeling overworked.

It is even recommended by the nursing school that you should break your exam preparations into actionable units. That is easier to read and stores more information that you can access during your Nursing Exams.

#2. Make Use Of Online Resources

If you are preparing for an exam for certification as a nurse, or any other certification, you should begin by looking at the options available online for how to study for nursing school exams.

Thus, aside from having a solid study plan, access to good study materials will help you study well for your nursing exams.

As long as you follow the guidelines you set out in the course material, you will be fine.

There are no guarantees, but you will probably be able to take more courses in this manner. It is really a matter of finding what works for you.

#3. Learn At your Own Pace

Once you have decided which online courses you will take, you can now begin the process of how to study for your exam. This can be done at your own pace, and you can complete one class a week if you can manage it. You should always take notes in class, so it is important to keep track of your assignments.

As you go through your lessons, make a list of questions you don’t know the answers to and try to tackle them one at a time. This will not only help you feel more prepared when the time comes for the exam but also help you keep track of what you are learning.

#4. Learn to Use Practice Test:

Another way you get to know about how to study for nursing school exams is by learning how to use practice tests. As a matter of fact, it is universally recommended you get an NCLEX book as it contains the same question in your Nursing exams.

if you are preparing for your nursing exam with a practice test, make sure to tackle the questions you know first and keep track of questions that were difficult for you.

#5. Start Studying For your Nursing Exams on Time

One thing you should never do is to start studying for your nursing school exams late. This is a mistake that many people make, as their schedules get behind and they find themselves cramming in all the information they can get. The last thing you want to do is not be ready for the test when you took it! In addition to rushing through your studies, you might even wind up failing the course.

#6.Memorize The Important Facts:

Another way to prepare for your nursing exams is to keep the information you have studied stored in your memory. To do this you will have to repeat the facts to yourself.

The more you read or listen to something repeatedly the better it stuck in your memory

What Are Entrance Exams For Nursing School?

Nursing entrance exams are mandatory for each and every aspiring nurse who want to pursue his career in a reputed institution. For those who already have a degree or an Associates’ degree in nursing, it is very easy to clear these exams.

On the other hand, nurses who don’t have any degree at all will have to face the difficulties of clearing the entrance exam for nursing school.

Some of the most common points you need to before writing these entrance tests for nursing school can be explained below:

  • The examination format used by every entrance examination varies with the different nursing schools.
  • Know that every school has its own set of rules and regulations for preparing for the exam. You can find the details of these on the website of the admission authorities of the nursing school you choose.
  • Some of these tests cover all the basic course requirements, some may include lab tests; there are some that only require a certain topic and you will be asked to answer a few general questions; while some may not even require you to show your hands.

Since there are numerous entrance exams for nursing, you should choose the one that is most suitable for you. If you are preparing for an entrance exam for an Associate degree then you can combine the topics from your previous subjects.

For example, if you are going to take up chemistry as your major in nursing then you can include this subject in your previous subjects that you have passed.

However, in case you are planning to take up a course in early childhood development then you will be asked to complete an unrelated entrance exam which will serve as your main exam.

What Testing Requirements Do I Need For Nursing School?

Most health care organizations require that all nursing students pass a drug test before being allowed to enter the program and complete their training. This is usually done by having the student pass a random drug test before entering the program.

In many cases, the substance which is random for the drug test will have an effect on what is required in a nursing program and what kind of privileges a nurse will have once they are in the program. Some health care organizations also have specific drug testing requirements for their program.


For a student nurse to pass a drug test they generally need to be tested at least fifteen hours prior to entering the nursing program. If the student has had a prior positive drug test, the school may request that he or she take an additional sample drug test to confirm the positive result.

A sample drug test will usually consist of a pill that a nurse will take once they have consumed alcohol. Once the school has determined whether or not the student will pass their initial drug test they will send the results back to the institution.

The nursing school will usually have its own procedures for handling the substance sample. The student will need to ensure that they keep the drug test kit with them at all times and that they return the completed test to the pharmacy with the completed sample in the same packaging that the original bottle was in when it was filled. This will help speed up any collections.


How to study for nursing school exams is the same whether you take them in person, online, or by mail. If you find that taking the extra time to learn everything you need to know is beneficial to you, then do so. Even if you are nervous about taking the exam, you need to be prepared just in case you have to take it. This way you will not feel as though you aren’t prepared and you will most likely be surprised at just how much you learned on your first try.


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