Uworld NCLEX Review: Pros, Cons, My Scores and Tips - The NCLEX Tutor (2024)

Uworld NCLEX questions are a very popular resource to use for NCLEX prep. I did all the questions (~2200) in 3 months and ended up spending $284 for it! I wanted to find out if what I heard was true.

Uworld NCLEX Review: Pros, Cons, My Scores and Tips - The NCLEX Tutor (1)

Are they really that hard?

Are they really that good?

Are they too medical?

Are the low scores normal?

Are the rationales awesome?

Are the rationales too much to read?

In this blog post, I go over the pros, cons, show you my scores and offer tips when doing Uworld NCLEX questions.

The Cons

1. The rationales can be too detailed a lot of the time. The rationales are what Uworld is known for. It can look impressive with all that content, but it was too much at times. There was information in there that didn’t really matter for the answer or wasn’t important to know as a nurse. I like rationales a little more to the point (but not bare like some resources I’ve seen). There could be a lot of wasted time reading rationales. However, you may like the longer rationales and that’s totally fine!

Uworld NCLEX Review: Pros, Cons, My Scores and Tips - The NCLEX Tutor (2)

2. The answers can be too medical sounding. Some of the answers would be how a doctor would respond, not a nurse. For example, the correct answer would be explaining risks of a procedure. This can sound “scary” to a client and a nurse would not say this.

3. The questions were about obscure or rare diseases. The NCLEX people say that the test is about common and basic nursing content. So when Uworld is asking about something obscure, then it starts to sound more medical. I wondered if some of the medical questions were repurposed for nursing or maybe even medical students wrote some of the questions. For example, I’ve never heard of volmann contractures, sjorgens disease, diaylsis disequilibrium disorder or validation theory. And you’ve never heard of it either, because it’s rare and not worth remembering!

4. The answers are about things you’ve never heard of or are too detailed. It’s difficult to choose the answer if you’ve never heard of it before and it’s not something common or basic. Once again, this would be a very medical type of answer. This could be one of the reasons that Uworld may have such low scores.

The Pros

1. The questions are not too wordy. Students have told me multiple times that the questions were like reading a long paragraph and could be too complicated. I disagree – the questions were straight-forward and the problem was clearly stated. It could be that the questions look long because the rationales are so detailed.

2. It looks like the real NCLEX. This is important because being familiar with format of the real NCLEX decreases stress.

3. There are lots of SATA. Overall, the SATA were well-written. There are probably too many with all the answers correct. And some answers I disagree with. But as usual, not all questions are written perfectly or thoroughly tested for accuracy.

4. There are a lot of “Who do you see first?” questions. These are the multi-patient prioritization questions. It is a common type of question on the NCLEX and Uworld provides over a 100 of these types of questions and most are very well-written. Being able to pick out the immediate complication is an important skill.

5. There are lots of delegation questions. There are many poorly written delegation questions out there. However, Uworld did a good job writing these. There were surprisingly few that I disagreed with.

6. The pharmacology section is great. Uworld absolutely asks about the most common things to know about meds. And there wasn’t anything overly medical or detailed.

My Scores

Overall, I got 77% of my questions correct! I was in the 99th percentile for passing which is a very high chance for passing NCLEX. The median score was 48% so I was quite a bit higher (I expected to do well since I teach this stuff!). It’s important to know that scores are not the only indicator of passing. It’s VERY possible to get low scores (in the 50’s) and still pass NCLEX as long as you are reviewing basic content and understand that the test is based on SAFETY. So, content and choosing safe answers is key to passing.

Uworld NCLEX Review: Pros, Cons, My Scores and Tips - The NCLEX Tutor (3)

My scores for the individual topics were:

  • Adult health: 78%
  • Child health: 74%
  • Critical care: 78%
  • Fundamentals: 76%
  • Leadership/Management: 76%
  • Maternity/Newborn: 72%
  • Mental health: 79%
  • Pharmacology: 80%

Here’s an example page from some tests I did and how I did the questions.

I always did my tests in sets of 25 because I have a short-ish attention span! I used study mode so I could read the rationale immediately after doing the question. I would then take a minute or two to rest and then start another test. If I got it right, I skipped the rationale. If I got it wrong, I would read the rationale. If I thought the content was important, and it wasn’t already in my nugget pages book, I would write it down. I never wrote down things that were rare or obscure.

Uworld NCLEX Review: Pros, Cons, My Scores and Tips - The NCLEX Tutor (4)

You might be wondering why doesn’t Justine consistently get in the 80’s and 90’s?! Well, I try not to look up content before doing questions. But I will review content first. And because I teach this stuff, wrote a book and made flashcards, I should already know it. But I’m not going to know everything and even I forget some things! I also made some dumb mistakes when doing the questions, like missing key information or not really thinking about the answers enough. I hate when I do that! I also had so much nervous energy when I started Uworld that I did horrible on my first test of 25 questions and only got a 56% for Fundamentals: med administration! But I redeemed myself and did much better on test 3 the next day.

Uworld NCLEX Review: Pros, Cons, My Scores and Tips - The NCLEX Tutor (5)

Uworld can ask about obscure or rare diseases. There’s just no way I’m always going to be able to get the right answer if I just don’t know what that thing is. I still haven’t looked up sjorgens disease or validation theory. 🙂

Can I Recommend Uworld?

Yes, absolutely! Uworld NCLEX questions are a solid set of questions to use with your NCLEX prep! Just make sure to review content before doing the questions. My students use my nugget pages book and flashcards.

There are other good resources out there such as: Hurst Review, Remar Review, Live Klimek Review or a book like Saunders. Just don’t use too many resources or you’ll get overwhelmed.

Why are there low average scores for Uworld?

In my opinion, the average scores for questions was way too low. After each question, you can see how many people choose the right answer(s). I thought that maybe students were 1) rushing through the questions and not really thinking about the answers or 2) didn’t study content before doing the questions and/or 3) there’s too much obscure/medical sounding questions and answers.

Whatever the reason for the low Uworld scores, it’s important to be thoughtful when doing the questions.


If you do decide to use Uworld, here are some tips.

1. Study content before doing practice questions. If you don’t know content, then it’s really hard to get the questions correct. So go review the topic first, then go do some questions. For example, if you are working on adult health cardiac, then go review cardiac first.

2. Do the fundamentals, critical care and priority questions last. These questions include content from all the systems and it’s important to have a good understanding of the content before attempting those.

The priority questions come from the leadership/management section and include all the “who do you see first” questions. These are questions where you have to choose the most immediate complication. You’ll want a thorough understanding of the immediate complications from all the systems.

3. Read the rationale if you get it wrong or don’t understand why you got it correct. Yes, there will be content in there that doesn’t matter, but it’s the only way to see why you got it wrong. If you get it correct and you understand why, then just skip the rationale.

4. Limit the number of questions to around 100 a day. Give yourself time to do the questions thoughtfully and don’t rush.

5. Add questions from another resource if the Uworld questions seem too hard. Remember that the real NCLEX asks about common and basic nursing stuff. You want to get the easy questions correct. I suggest the Saunders book to do questions because they ask about more common/basic things. Many other resources are fine to use also, such as Davis, or Lippincott.

My next NCLEX adventure is to do all the questions from the NCSBN review. This is a much cheaper option and many of my students have used it. Be on the look out for that REVIEW.

Find it helpful? Please share it!

Uworld NCLEX Review: Pros, Cons, My Scores and Tips - The NCLEX Tutor (2024)


What's a good score on UWorld to pass NCLEX? ›

Learners with an average QBank score of 56% pass the NCLEX at a 92% rate. While your average UWorld QBank score gives you important information, studying each question's explanation is the most valuable way to spend your time.

Is using UWorld enough to pass NCLEX? ›

For many students, UWorld is enough for them to pass the NCLEX. With an almost 100% pass rate, it's pretty clear that students successfully use the UWorld NCLEX prep to prepare them for the National Council Licensure Examination.

What is a 48% on UWorld? ›

The 48th is the cumulation of the scores for all the students who are using Uworld as their study material. At 33rd rank, you are currently below the median rank.

What is a good score on UWorld self-assessment NCLEX? ›

According to UWorld, "99% of learners who earned an average QBank Score of 57% AND a "High" or "Very High" result on a Self-Assessment Exam passed the NCLEX-RN in 2022."

Is 60% on UWorld bad? ›

58-60% is OK, a good sign is being consistently above the average scores. The Uworld package I bought came with 2 assessment exams.

Can I pass NCLEX with 50% UWorld? ›

If you are getting above 50% on Uworld you will be fine, just keep reading rationales because that is the most important part.

Is UWorld harder than the actual NCLEX? ›

Yes, Uworld is harder than NCLEX.

According to a recent survey, 90% of students found that Uworld was as difficult or more difficult than the actual NCLEX test. Uworld is the test prep for the NCLEX exam, as well as the SAT, ACT, MCAT, and USMILE.

Is the actual NCLEX easier than UWorld? ›

Most students will find the questions on the UWorld test bank are as hard or harder than the questions on the NCLEX. This is a good thing because it means students studying with UWorld know if they do well in UWorld Nursing, there's a good chance they'll do well on the actual NCLEX.

How to use UWorld NCLEX effectively? ›

My recommendation: Use TUTOR mode. Answer all the question in each subject area, in manageable chunks, by selecting UNUSED and a moderate number of questions until you get through the section. After you have completed all the questions in a section, go back and work through the INCORRECT.

Is 65% on UWorld good? ›

My Assessment #1 was a 65%, which was an indicator of a VERY high chance of passing. My Assessment #2 was a 61%, which was an indicator of a high chance of passing.

How many questions a day should I do on UWorld? ›

If you're making/doing excellent Anki cards, you might top out at doing 80-120 questions/day. However, while you will find people who (productively) do more than 120 UWorld questions in a day, they are often not doing Anki.

How long should 40 UWorld questions take? ›

On timed mode, UWorld allows 90 seconds per question (the same amount of time allowed on the Step 1 exam). Thus, a standard 40-question block will take students no longer than one hour.

Is UWorld 2 predictive? ›

There are two UWorld self-assessments available for Step 2 CK, and it is recommended that UWSA 1 should be given 1 month before the exam, and UWSA 2 in the last week before the exam as it is also a very predictive assessment. These are also the assessment forms available on the NBME website.

What is a perfect NCLEX score? ›

While it's possible to pass the NCLEX after answering all 135, it's also possible to pass the test with a minimum of 70 questions or any number in between. Keep in mind NCLEX has a time limit of five hours. If you haven't answered enough questions correctly when the clock runs out, you will fail the test.

What should I be scoring on NCLEX practice tests? ›

Again, you should be scoring 50 to 60%. That's going to give you a really great opportunity and chance to pass the NCLEX.

What is the minimum UWorld score to pass Step 1? ›

As of January 26, 2022, Step 1 became pass/fail. You will not be given your specific test scores, and neither will residency programs. The current minimum score to pass Step 1 is 196, so if you pass, you at least scored 196 or higher.

What is 65 percent in UWorld? ›

The UWORLD site itself says 65% is about average for those who are going through it the first time for prep. They tell you not to worry, they design the test this way, reasoning that it means at least 45% that you got wrong using their bank, is all helping you grow as a learner for the real thing.

What is a good first pass UWorld percentage? ›

If this is your first time ever exposed to UWorld, then UWorld is actually a very prognostic exam for the purpose of estimating your Step 1 performance. Scores of 32/40 or 80% on your first attempt at random blocks of UWorld is very strong performance.

Can you pass the NCLEX with 50% of questions right? ›

The NCLEX is scored using dichotomous scoring, so you can either pass or fail the exam. Currently, to pass the NCLEX-RN, the standard is 0.00 logits–or answer questions correctly at least 50% of the time.

Can you fail the NCLEX in 77 questions? ›

To pass the NCLEX RN or PN, test takers must correctly answer at least 85 questions (the minimum amount). Unfortunately, that means you can also fail the exam within those 85 questions or items.

What is the minimum passing score for NCLEX? ›

A candidate that asks, how many questions do you need to pass NCLEX, will not receive a definite answer. Candidates must answer at least 75 questions in the five available hours or fail the test. The maximum number of questions in both exams is 145. Therefore, test-takers typically answer between 75 and 145.

Which state NCLEX is the hardest? ›

None. There is no “easy” state to take the NCLEX. The NCLEX is a national exam administered by the National Council of State Boards of Nursing (NCSBN). Because it's national, the NCLEX will be the same regardless of what state you choose to take it in.

What is the hardest part of the NCLEX? ›

Let's look at the 16 most common challenges NCLEX candidates face and ways you can overcome them.
  1. Second-Guessing Your Abilities. ...
  2. Changing Answers Repeatedly. ...
  3. Reading Questions Too Fast. ...
  4. Cramming Before the Test. ...
  5. Not Using the Right Study Tools. ...
  6. Not Getting Enough Rest Before the Test. ...
  7. Reading Too Much into a Question.

What are considered hard questions on NCLEX? ›

Analysis, synthesis and evaluation questions would be considered higher-level NCLEX questions. Synthesis questions are based on creating or proposing solutions, such as a plan of care.

Is the new NCLEX harder than the old one? ›

One of the NCSBN's findings when evaluating the NCLEX is that nurses are more often caring for critically ill clients than has traditionally been the case. This increased client acuity means that new NCLEX questions are more difficult, with an increased focus on caring for more critically ill clients.

Does the NCLEX get harder every time you take it? ›

Does NCLEX-RN Get Harder with Every Retake After Failing? Some candidates mistakenly believe that the NCLEX is harder each time. Questions become more challenging with each correct answer you provide on the NCLEX. However, subsequent tests are not easier or more difficult than previous exams.

How close is the NCLEX to UWorld? ›

UWorld questions and NCLEX questions are similar in that they both test a nurse's knowledge and ability to apply that knowledge in clinical situations. However, UWorld questions tend to be more comprehensive and in-depth, while NCLEX questions are more focused on minimum competency and patient safety.

How can I increase my chances of passing the NCLEX? ›

How to Pass NCLEX-RN: 8 Tested Tips
  1. Give Yourself Sufficient Time to Prepare. ...
  2. Familiarize Yourself with the Test Structure. ...
  3. Learn the Types of Questions. ...
  4. Take Practice Tests. ...
  5. Develop Test-Taking Strategies. ...
  6. Create a Robust Study Plan. ...
  7. Hone Your Stress Management Skills. ...
  8. Prepare for Exam Day.
May 3, 2022

What is the trick to answering NCLEX questions? ›

You must always figure out what the question is asking, and you must always eliminate answer choices. Choosing the right answer often involves choosing the best of several answers that have correct information. This may entail your correct analysis and interpretation of what the question is really asking.

What is the best thing to use to study for the NCLEX? ›

Practice tests (preferably realistic Computer Adaptive Tests) are great to get a “feel” for where you are in your study plan. Your test results can be used as an indicator for areas of further study, and as a checkpoint to measure your progress. Spend time remediating test results.

What does 68th rank mean on UWorld? ›

It means you are 68% better than the majority of people that have taken that same assessment. My nerves were starting to get the best of me. I was doing about 150 questions a day, trying to learn the stuff that I had trouble with.

Can you pass Step 1 with just UWorld? ›

Is UWorld Enough to Pass Step 1? UWorld alone is not enough. You should use UWorld along with these tips to effectively prepare for Step 1: Combine UWorld with other resources, such as First Aid and NBME self-assessments.

What does the UWorld percentile rank mean for the NCLEX? ›

For example, if you are scoring in the 75th percentile, you are scoring higher than 75% of people taking the test. It's a statistical analysis. The median score is the middle score of everyone who has taken it.

How long should you spend reviewing UWorld questions? ›

70% of your day should be doing or reviewing questions. Try to make it so 30% of your day is content review. So in a 12 hour study day, a little over 8 hours will be spent on questions. Group 2: You are struggling to pass the NBME practice exams, so focusing on building your knowledge base is key.

Does everyone get same questions on UWorld? ›

So I'm aware that everyone has the same access to the same 2,000 questions included in the subscription. I'm also aware that by purchasing the 180 day subscription, you can reset the Qbank.

How many questions a day for NCLEX? ›

Plan to study no more than 4 – 5 hours per day, and to complete between 50 – 150 questions per day.

How long does it take to complete UWorld? ›

There are 1684 questions on UWorld (non-CARS), and that should take approximately 30 days to complete if you've done 59 a day. I would also practice CARS but focus more on finishing the sciences first.

How long does it take to study UWorld? ›

In summary, getting through the UWorld Qbank in 30 days is definitely possible! That being said, it is still recommended to start earlier than 30 days so that you can both move through the QBank at a slightly more relaxed pace and work through it twice, which is ideal.

How well should I be scoring on UWorld? ›

Learners with an average QBank score of 56% pass the NCLEX at a 92% rate. While your average UWorld QBank score gives you important information, studying each question's explanation is the most valuable way to spend your time.

What is the best alternative to UWorld? ›

Top uworld.com Competitors and Alternatives
  • efficientlearning.com. Discover how your top competitor's audience surfs the web so you can tailor your website experience perfectly at every stage of the customer journey. ...
  • elitemedicalprep.com. ...
  • jdadvising.com. ...
  • kaptest.com. ...
  • testprepinsight.com. ...
  • becker.com. ...
  • ncbex.org.

Is the second UWorld assessment harder than the first? ›

My Uworld average, after completing the whole test bank, was 55%. And I scored a high chance of passing on both of the self assessments. The second self assessment was harder than the first one so I was surprised I still got a high chance of passing on both.

How many questions out of 75 do you need to pass the NCLEX? ›

Run-Out-Of-Time Rule

A test-taker must have answered the minimum number of required test questions to be eligible to pass. For examinees taking the NCLEX-RN, at least 75 questions must be answered. A minimum of 85 questions must be completed on the NCLEX-PN exam.

What is the passing score for the NCLEX 2023? ›

The 2023 passing standard for the NCLEX-RN is 0.00 logits and -0.18 logits for the NCLEX-PN.

Does the last question on NCLEX matter? ›

If the last question is below the level of difficulty needed to pass, the candidate fails. If the last question is above the level of difficulty needed to pass, the candidate passes.

Do the first 15 questions count on NCLEX? ›

The first fifteen questions are pretest items and are not used to score the exam and determine if a test-taker has passed the NCLEX-RN. Not all candidates will answer the maximum number of questions. However, everyone who takes the exam must complete a minimum of 75 questions.

How likely is it to pass NCLEX with 145 questions? ›

Does 145 questions on NCLEX mean you failed? No, if you answer all 145 questions on the NCLEX, that does not mean you fail. In fact, if you answered 145 questions and each question was progressively more challenging, then that is a good sign that you passed.

Is 60 on uworld good? ›

Scoring in the 60s on Uworld is simply a good indicator that you will most likely pass this test without the need to improve your scores any further. Remember that this test is a pass/fail and that no one is handing out goodies for you to pass it in 75 questions.

What is the average UWorld 1 score? ›

Usually the averages are in the low 60s. Uworld is designed to be hard. 90% is God level.

What should I be getting on UWorld to pass Step 1? ›

What Is A Good Average On UWORLD Step 1. What is this? Scoring 65% in UWorld Step 1 Qbank is considered a good average especially for anyone who has taken it for the first time. Meanwhile, having 75% and above will most likely get you a 250+ in the exam!

What is a good UWorld first pass? ›

Scores of 32/40 or 80% on your first attempt at random blocks of UWorld is very strong performance. This would roughly correspond to Step 1 scores of 255+, assuming you sustain these scores through the entire question bank.

What is a passing score for NCLEX? ›

While it's possible to pass the NCLEX after answering all 135, it's also possible to pass the test with a minimum of 70 questions or any number in between. Keep in mind NCLEX has a time limit of five hours. If you haven't answered enough questions correctly when the clock runs out, you will fail the test.

Is average on UWorld enough to pass Step 1? ›

Yes, it's generally recommended for users to complete two full passes of the UWorld Step 1 QBank. However, UWorld also offers a 30-day subscription if you have discovered this service with your exam in 30 days or less. Utilizing any form of UWorld can be beneficial to your overall Step 1 score.

How to use UWorld most effectively? ›

So we need to make sure our use of UWorld reflects this mindset.
  1. Step up the number of questions per day (80-120 per day)
  2. Take practice blocks of undifferentiated topics. ...
  3. Let the percentage assigned to each question guide review. ...
  4. Keep an eye on your performance scores in each specialty as well as the disciplines.
Jan 17, 2023

What month do most students take Step 1? ›

Step 1 is administered by appointment on a year-round basis. While most students take Step 1 of the Boards at the end of their second year, consider not taking the exam until you're very confident you'll pass. Ideally, take Step 1 by April.

How does UWorld score correlate with Nclex? ›

90% of students report that UWorld questions are the “same difficulty” or “more difficult” than the actual NCLEX exam for which they were studying. Students with a QBank average of 56% or higher had a NCLEX pass rate of 92.2%.

Is a 62 on UWorld good? ›

Also from the Uworld Support Team: "...if you are scoring greater than 60% you should be confident you are ready for the exam. If you are scoring in the 50-60% range, you may want to review your incorrect questions to be certain you have mastered the concepts covered in those questions."

How long does it take to do 40 UWorld questions? ›

On timed mode, UWorld allows 90 seconds per question (the same amount of time allowed on the Step 1 exam). Thus, a standard 40-question block will take students no longer than one hour.

Do you need 50% on NCLEX to pass? ›

The NCLEX is scored using dichotomous scoring, so you can either pass or fail the exam. Currently, to pass the NCLEX-RN, the standard is 0.00 logits–or answer questions correctly at least 50% of the time. The NCLEX-PN standard is -0.18 logits.

What does it mean if you get all 145 questions on NCLEX? ›

Answering all 145 questions on the NCLEX-RN alone does not mean you failed the exam. However, with each correct answer you provide, the test should give you a question that becomes increasingly more difficult than the previous one.


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