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NLN Pre-Admission Exam (PAX-RN)


Remote Testing Notice: The Hunter College Testing Center is offering very limited testing appointments on campus at this time. Online/remote-proctored PAX exams are available through the National League for Nursing. Please visit the Testing Center's website for more information on how to prepare and register for a remote-proctored exam.

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 Exam Catalog. Alternately, applicants may find the NLN Review Guide for RN Pre-Entrance Exam (3rd Edition, ISBN-10: 0763762717) to be a good printed resource.

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


Online Proctored Exam

We recommend taking the PAX-RN exam remotely at this time. Please visit the Hunter College Testing Center's website for information on how to prepare and register for a remote-proctored exam. The exam should be taken by the end of February to be considered for Fall admission.


Students are allowed to take the NLN PAX-RN once every six months. The 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 registration and testing procedures, please visit the Hunter College Testing Center.