National League for Nursing Pre-Admission Examination RN (PAX)

All students applying to Nursing are required to pass the National League for Nursing Pre-Admission Examination RN (PAX) as part of the Waukesha County Technical College (WCTC) Nursing Program entrance requirements. The PAX is a good indicator of success in a nursing program. Candidates must achieve a composite score of 100 or greater and a verbal relative performance score of 50 or greater. There is a maximum of 3 attempts. Applicants must wait 4 months between each attempt.

Overview of the NLN Pre-Admission Exam (PAX)

The National League for Nursing Pre-Admission Examination (PAX) is a standardized entrance exam for potential nursing students who seek admittance into nursing school nationwide.

The NLN PAX comprises of three main areas: Verbal skills, which consist of both word knowledge (vocabulary) and reading comprehension; Mathematics, which includes basic calculations, word problems, and incorporates algebra, geometry, conversions, graphs and applied mathematics; and Science, which measures general biology, chemistry, physics and earth science knowledge.

The PAX consists of three one hour multiple choice test. The first section is Verbal Ability, followed by Mathematics and Science. It is a timed examination and must be completed during one test session.

How do I prepare for the PAX?

You may want to purchase the following review book: McDonald, Mary (Ed) the NLN Review Guide for RN Pre-Entrance Exam. Third Edition

It is available through the WCTC Bookstore or you may order this directly from the publisher, Jones and Bartlett. To order, contact Jones and Bartlett at 800.832.0034. The WCTC Library has a few copies of the review book on reserve as well.

You may also contact the WCTC Learning Place for PAX content support (262.691.5318). There may a nominal Learning Place fee for this option.

In addition to these offerings, there are free practice exams in the areas of math, science and verbal ability on Blackboard. Go to Blackboard/Library Tab/Learning Express Practice Exams/Jobs and Careers/Nursing and Allied Health/Entrance Test Preparation. You will need to register to use this resource. Please follow the directions on the Library site. If you have any difficulty, you may ask a reference librarian for assistance at 262.691.7877 or 262.695.3459.

How do I register for the PAX?

You will need to go to the NLN testing services website to register, schedule and pay on-line for the exam. You must register at least three days (72 hours) before you plan on taking the test. You will be given a NLN ID# which you will need to bring with you when you take the test in the WCTC Health Occupation Testing Center (room S-102). The PAX test will take approximately 3 hours to complete. Please arrive 15 minutes early for the exam check-in process.

  1. Go to National League for Nursing
  2. Click on "Testing Services"
  3. Go to "on-line PAX registration"
  4. Scroll down to General Exam Policies FAQ and read the polices. (There are specific requirements for taking the test which you must follow. i.e. picture ID, no cell phones, etc.)
  5. Click on "Register Now" and follow the prompts.

What if I have a disability?

If you have a disability as defined by the Americans with Disability Act, you may qualify for specific testing accommodations. Requests must be made to the National League for Nursing (NLN) at least 8 weeks prior to your scheduled test date. Find out more about how to request testing accommodations.

In order to receive special accommodations in the Nursing Program, you must have a valid accommodations card. Please contact Deborah Jilbert, Director of Counseling, Retention and Student Services at WCTC (262.691.5210) to discuss classroom accommodations.

Who receives the test scores and how do I know if I passed?

Both you and WCTC will receive a copy of your results immediately. A letter from the Nursing Program will be sent to you explaining your status approximately two weeks after receiving your scores. As stated before: Candidates must achieve a composite score of 100 or greater and a verbal relative performance score of 50 or greater.

Can I repeat the NLN PAX?

There are two re-test attempts. Instructions are included in the letter explaining your status.