Asian girl talking on the phone in a classroom, distracted from her SATA questions.

Can You Pass the NCLEX Without Getting Any SATA Questions?

Yes, it is possible to pass the NCLEX without getting any SATA (Select All That Apply) questions. While SATA questions are an important part of the exam, they are not the sole determinant of passing or failing. Your overall performance and knowledge on the content covered in the NCLEX are what ultimately determine your success.

How SATA questions assess your knowledge

SATA questions are designed to test your ability to prioritize and make decisions in real-life nursing situations. These questions require you to apply your knowledge and understanding of various nursing concepts and principles. By selecting all the correct answers, you demonstrate your competency in the given topic.

Why you might not see any SATA questions

It is possible to not receive any SATA questions during the NCLEX for a few reasons:

  1. Random selection: The questions you receive on the NCLEX are randomly generated from a large pool of questions. It is possible that by chance, you may not encounter any SATA questions.
  2. Test algorithm: The NCLEX is an adaptive exam, meaning it adjusts the difficulty of the questions based on your performance. If you are performing well on other types of questions, the test algorithm may not present you with as many SATA questions.

Passing the NCLEX Without SATA Questions

Is it possible to pass without getting any SATA questions?

Yes, it is definitely possible to pass the NCLEX without encountering any SATA questions. Your ability to pass is not solely dependent on the number or type of questions you receive. It is important to focus on your overall performance and knowledge in all areas of the exam content.

The adaptive nature of the NCLEX exam

The NCLEX is an adaptive exam, meaning the difficulty of the questions adjusts in real-time based on your performance. If you are consistently answering questions correctly, the exam will present you with more challenging questions.

On the other hand, if you are struggling with certain topics, the exam will offer less difficult questions in those areas. This adaptive nature ensures that the exam accurately assesses your level of competence.

Preparation Tips for NCLEX Exam

How to study for NCLEX effectively

To effectively prepare for the NCLEX exam, consider the following tips:

  • Develop a study plan: Create a structured study plan that covers all the content areas tested on the NCLEX. Allocate sufficient time for each topic and incorporate regular review sessions.
  • Utilize reliable study resources: Choose reputable study materials such as review books, online courses, and practice question banks. These resources will help you familiarize yourself with the exam format and content.
  • Practice with NCLEX-style questions: Solve as many practice questions as possible to improve your critical thinking and decision-making skills. Focus on understanding the rationales behind the correct and incorrect answers.

Tips for handling SATA questions

If you do encounter SATA questions during the NCLEX, keep the following tips in mind:

  • Read the question carefully: Make sure you understand what the question is asking before selecting your answers. Pay attention to keywords and any specific details provided in the scenario.
  • Identify all possible correct answers: Carefully read each answer choice and determine if it is correct based on your nursing knowledge and understanding. Remember that more than one answer may be correct.
  • Eliminate incorrect options: Rule out any answer choices that are clearly incorrect. This can help narrow down your options and increase your chances of selecting the correct answers.
  • Consider the patient’s condition: Think about the patient’s condition and the nursing interventions that would be most appropriate. Use your critical thinking skills to prioritize and make decisions in the given scenario.
  • Practice time management: SATA questions can be time-consuming, so it is important to manage your time effectively during the exam. If you are struggling with a particular question, make an educated guess and move on to ensure you have enough time for other questions.

Remember, your overall performance in the NCLEX is what truly matters. Do not focus solely on SATA questions and neglect other areas of the exam content. Make sure you have a well-rounded understanding of all topics covered, including safe and effective care, health promotion, psychosocial integrity, and physiological integrity.


Q: What is the passing score for the NCLEX?
The passing score for the NCLEX is not a fixed number. The exam is designed to determine whether you have the minimum level of competency required to practice safely as an entry-level nurse. The difficulty of the questions you receive on the exam, as well as your overall performance, are taken into account to determine your pass or fail status.

Q: Can I use scratch paper during the NCLEX?
Yes, you will be provided with a dry-erase board or paper and marker to use as scratch paper during the NCLEX. This can be used for calculations, making notes, or working through questions.

Q: What happens if I run out of time during the NCLEX exam?
If you run out of time during the NCLEX exam, the computer will automatically end the exam. The number of questions you have answered up to that point will be taken into account to determine your pass or fail status. It is important to manage your time effectively and pace yourself throughout the exam.