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NLN Pre-Admission Exam (PAX-RN)

The National League for Nursing Pre-Admission Examination for RN applicants (NLN PAX-RN) is a standardized entrance exam for prospective nursing students used as part of the admissions process by nursing schools nationwide. The NLN PAX-RN is comprised of three major sections:

  • Verbal ability, which assesses reading comprehension, critical thinking, and word knowledge;
  • Mathematics, which assesses mathematical reasoning and problem solving ability involving basic operations, word problems, unit conversions, fractions, decimals, algebra, and geometry; and
  • Science, which assesses knowledge of general biology and microbiology, chemistry, physics, anatomy and physiology, ecology, and health science.

The NLN PAX-RN contains 160 questions total: 60 verbal, 40 math, and 60 science, with 40 minutes allotted to each section.

The NLN offers a series of official study guides (by subject area) and practice exams to help nursing school applicants prepare for the exam; see their FAQ for more details (PDF). These products are available through the NLN Student Store.

Other subject-based learning resources include Khan Academy, Crash Course, CliffsNotes, and Quizlet.


Exam Registration and Schedule

The Hunter College Testing Center at the 68th Street Campus (695 Park Avenue, Rm 150 North, New York, NY 10065) administers this exam to students who plan to apply to the Generic BS or the Accelerated Second-Degree BS program.

Winter 2020 Exam Dates (PDF)

April - December 2020 Exam Dates (PDF)


Register and pay for the exam in advance at the NLN Examination Portal. Be sure to select Hunter College as your test site. On the day of your exam, you will need your NLN Examination Portal login credentials and valid photo ID bearing both your photo and signature. When checking in, a separate administration fee must be paid by money order made payable to the Hunter College Testing Center (695 Park Avenue, Rm 150 North, New York, NY 10065). This fee is separate from the NLN's exam registration fee; please refer to the Testing Center's web page for the current amount.

Hunter College permits test takers to use the Windows desktop calculator during the exam. Students are allowed to take the NLN PAX-RN once every six months. The Hunter-Bellevue School of Nursing will accept scores for up to two years. If the exam is taken multiple times, we will consider the highest score in the admissions process.


For information about testing procedures and the latest exam schedule, please visit the Hunter College Testing Center or call 212-772-4868.

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