Don’t Make These Common NCLEX Mistakes!

Safety & Maslow

The most correct answers on this test will usually be the safest options (or least safe if it’s one of those opposite type questions). If you are presented with a question that is asking about what you should do for your patient first, or what concerns you the most, always look for what is most or least safe options. Be careful to differentiate regular questions from Maslow questions because you might get them wrong if you don’t.

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Maslow’s Hierarchy

Maslow’s Hierarchy is all about what is most important for people. Physical needs like food, water, and shelter are most important for survival. Without them, you’re dead. Next is safety, i.e. staying alive. Next would be psychological needs including emotional fulfillment, relationships, etc. Finally, self-actualization are needs that are related to someone feeling that they’ve lived a full and complete life.

The concept is that you cannot worry about a higher category until you’ve fulfilled the lower levels first. So, if you have no food and water, you cannot focus on self- actualization for example.

So, if you are given a question and they mention that the patient is homeless, then a priority for the patient will be finding a safe place to reside, not finding a fulfilling relationship. If the patient is wealthy, has a house, and has otherwise already met all of their basic needs, then they can worry about finding a fulfilling relationship.



You need to be careful when you’re taking this test. Sometimes you’ll think you know the exact answer to a question and then you move forward just to realize that you missed a key word… except. Take your time and read each question slowly. Don’t let that single, pesky little word screw up your test!


Call the doctor

Remember earlier how I said that a common bait answer choice is one stating to “Call the physician” or “Call the doctor?” You should know that these answer choices are rarely the correct response. Usually, there are other options that you can do besides simply calling the doctor, and the only time that this answer response is correct is when there is literally nothing you can do first!

The reason I’m repeating this is because it’s crucial you don’t fall for this trick! There will probably be a lot of questions with a possible answer choice including calling the doctor, and it will probably hardly ever be the correct response. If you select this answer on every question on your NCLEX you might fail because of the sheer number of wrong answers… this is a common answer choice, yet it’s almost always a wrong answer.


The longest & most detailed answer choice is usually correct

This is sometimes the case, but it’s also not necessarily true. If you always rely on simply picking the answer choices that seem to be the most detailed you could be walking into a trap. You will need to carefully read each answer response to determine whether or not the longest one is actually a correct answer or just a detailed wrong answer.

That being said, if you’ve narrowed it down to 2 or 3 answer options and both are basically saying the same thing, I would assume that the longer and more detailed of the two answer choices is the correct response.


Practice Questions

This article is part of Your Guide to NCLEX Success available in free and premium editions on our store!

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2 thoughts on “Don’t Make These Common NCLEX Mistakes!”

  1. Leslie Millsaps

    Quick opinion needed…I took NCLEX today and did the quick view results. I got the triangle that indicates I passed. Later I did it again on my phone and didn’t get the same result. What’s going on? My test shut off after 87 questions with the majority being SATA and priority questions.

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