PAX PN Exam Review & Practice Test

Pre-Admission Examination for Practical/Vocational Nursing (NLN PAX PN/VN)

The National League for Nursing (NLN) pre-admission examination for practical/vocational nursing (PAX PN/VN) is a prerequisite for anyone wishing to enter a practical or vocational nursing program; and eventually to become a licensed practical nurse or a licensed vocational nurse. All candidates must have a high school diploma or the GED equivalent in order to take the examination. Other entrance requirements vary depending on the program. Minimum passing scores for the examination may also vary based on the standards of the academic institution.

The PAX PN/VN examination is conducted as a hand-written test; a computer-based PAX PN/VN examination is not available at this time. The examination is made up entirely of multiple-choice questions, and candidates have three hours in which to complete the examination. Topics covered include the following:

  • Verbal skills (word knowledge and reading comprehension)
  • Mathematics (basic calculations, word problems, algebraic and geometric concepts, conversions, graphs, and applied mathematics)
  • Science (general science, biology, chemistry, physics, and earth science)
  • Nursing (health and first aid)

The NLN has a very strict no refund policy regarding examination fees. The $100 examination fee is not refundable for any reason, even in emergency situations. Examination confirmations are also non-transferable. An examination confirmation is for a seat at a specific date, time, and place, and cannot be transferred to another date, time, or place without forfeiting the original examination fee and paying a new one.

On examination day, bring a hardcopy of the examination confirmation. Also bring two pieces of identification, one with a photograph. Acceptable identification includes a state-issued driver’s license, an identification card, or a social security card. Bring pencils, as pencils and other writing implements will not be provided by the testing center. Calculators are not permitted under any circumstances. Allow ample time for travel to the test site; examinations begin promptly at the appointed time, and late arrivals will not be admitted or allowed to begin the examination. Missing an examination for any reason will forfeit all examination fees paid.

If the candidate fails the NLN PAX PN/VN examination and wishes to take it again, there is a waiting period before he is able to make a second attempt to pass the test. The minimum waiting period is usually between one and six months. Many schools offer the examination only once a year. Advanced study and preparation is critical for the successful completion of this examination. Good study habits will help ensure success in nursing school and in a nursing career.
The PAX-PN exam is a challenging and comprehensive pre-admission examination for those looking to enter a registered nursing program. The content of the exam is divided into three main areas: verbal skills, mathematics, and science. Each of these areas is the focus of a one-hour section of the exam.

The verbal skills section of the PAX-PN exam covers vocabulary and reading comprehension. The vocabulary and subject matter used in this section may not be related to nursing. The vocabulary questions ask you to identify synonyms and antonyms and to define words in context. The reading comprehension questions ask you to perform tasks like finding a main idea of a text, inferring facts from context, and evaluating an author’s argument. In the mathematics section of the PAX-PN exam, you must solve problems related to basic arithmetic, algebra, geometry, conversions, graphs, applied mathematics, and word problems. As with the verbal skills section, the issues addressed in the mathematics section may not pertain directly to nursing or healthcare. The science section of the exam, meanwhile, includes questions on biology, chemistry, physics, and earth science. There may also be some questions related to health and first aid. These questions may ask you to give information or to solve problems. The PAX-PN exam was developed by the National League for Nursing.

Free PAX PN Practice Test


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Last Updated: June 4, 2019