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Platinum Tests NCLEX Simulator

(8 Reviews, 5 stars)

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Price: $80(one time fee)
Platinum Tests' Question Bank specializes in one very unique aspect: a true Computerized Adaptive Testing system that mimics the math, science, and statistics behind the NCLEX.

A Detailed Review of PlatinumTests' NCLEX Testing System

January 5, 2017 by Kevin Pan

No matter how much time you spend preparing for the NCLEX, there's always this nagging doubt:

What if I'm going to be the one out of 5 students who fail?

Yep. I worried about that too. But what if there was a way to know for sure whether you prepared enough?

Well that's the promise of Platinum Tests.

Platinum Tests reports that their question bank is the first and only nursing CAT (Computerized Adaptive Testing) system other than the actual NCLEX.

And in this review, I'm going to take a close look. I was able to get full access to their system and ran it through multiple cycles of NCLEX questions. I also examined their results with a fine-tooth comb.

And finally, I'll give you the verdict on whether Platinum Tests is the real deal.

Why A Computerized Adaptive Testing Clone is So Important

Before I go into the nitty gritty, imagine this situation.

You're practicing for the NCLEX by doing question banks and answering NCLEX questions.

You're finding them wherever you can: books, the internet, your school...

But here's the problem:

How can you be sure the questions you're answering are the right ones?

How do you know if they're the right difficulty level?

Are the questions you're doing really organized just like the NCLEX would be?

You know the NCLEX is actually a very advanced and secretive test. How could anything you find really mimic the NCLEX?

The NCLEX is a CAT system - So You Must Know These Simple Facts about CATs:

In order to have a Computerized Adaptive Test, the first requirement is to have calibrated test items.

Here's what it means:

Each NCLEX question has to be rated on difficulty in a very accurate way.

They way to do this is by having many students answer each question and measuring how many students get it right and wrong.

If a lot of students get it right, it's an easy question.

If a lot get it wrong, it's a hard question. Of course, questions range from a spectrum of very easy to very hard.

That's why there are "pilot" questions on the real NCLEX - they don't count toward your score, and the NCLEX is using you as a guinea pig to calibrate their new questions. And you're the one paying them. Isn't it great? Anyways...

This is crucial:

Because on the NCLEX, if the computer decides with 95% confidence that you are able to answer questions that are at a high enough difficulty level, YOU PASS!

If not, you fail.

Platinum Tests knows this, and they report that hundreds of nursing students have answered and calibrated their questions: just like the NCLEX does.

But I wanted to find out for sure.

I Put Platinum Tests Through a Test. Here's How:

I signed in and had an NCLEX question in front of me within a few minutes.

It was quite a simple interface - I chose whether the test was timed and had the option of choosing from some NCLEX Categories.

The question itself was presented without frills.

Each question had 4 multiple choices. I'd answer and move on to the next.

No rationale or feedback was given after each question - this is meant to be an NCLEX Simulator, after all.

Here's What I Did:

  1. I went through a whole test just choosing the first answer.
  2. I went through the next test like I was taking the NCLEX: answering the best I could.

What I Found Out

The first time (where I wasn't trying), I got stopped at the maximum 200 questions.

The second time (when I was trying), I got stopped at 155 questions.

This is a good sign right off the bat, because that's how a CAT exam like the NCLEX should work.

Once the NCLEX determines your level of competency with a 95% confidence interval, it stops your test early.

Here's what really impressed me though:

The post-test results and analysis were excellent.

It actually assigned each and every question I answered to an NCLEX Area, Subcategory, and Concept.

As a reminder, the NCLEX Test Plan divides the NCLEX into 8 areas:

NCLEX Areas presented as pie chart. NCLEX Areas from the Test Plan.

From these 8 areas, the NCLEX Detailed Test Plan actually digs deeper and divides each area into subcategories.

From these subcategories, the NCLEX actually digs one level deeper into the NCLEX Concepts.

You can see it here: 2016 NCLEX Detailed Test Plan (Educator Version)

This is what Platinum Tests followed.

For example, I could drill down from Management of Care (NCLEX Area) -> Client Rights (NCLEX Subcategory) -> Recognize Client Right to Refuse Treatment/Procedures (NCLEX Concept) and see whether I got it right or wrong.

The subcategory and concept drilldown of Platinum Tests.

Here's the important part:

Each question had a rated difficulty, like I talked about earlier. The ratings were flexible and accurate on a hundred point scale.

It was NOT simply easy, medium, and difficult. Questions had difficulty ratings of 0.55, 0.35, etc. This allows their system to determine what your skill and judgement as a nurse is compared to other students.

Like I said before:

This is crucial. This is what separates this Platinum Tests from something that merely looks and feels like the NCLEX.

It also gave you a percentile rank for each subcategory and concept so you can see how you did compared to the overall student pool.

I can now confirm that PlatinumTest indeed has a true Computerized Adaptive Testing system. Amazing!

Here are Some Important Critiques...

My first critique is that it would be nice to be able to see exactly which question was assigned to which concept.

As of now, you can see whether you got it right or wrong, but you can't go back and see which question it was.

Adding this would help with transparency so we can see which questions are assigned to which concepts.

My second critique is that the mixture of test questions didn't actually follow the percentages outlined in the test plan (remember the first screenshot and pie chart?).

For example, I noticed psychosocial integrity had 50 questions (representing 25% of the total of 200 questions) in both of my test attempts on PlatinumTest.

However, the NCLEX Test Plan states psychosocial integrity should really only count for 6-12% of the questions (about 20 questions out of 200).

This is something I imagine wouldn't be too difficult for PlatinumTest to tweak, however.

My third critique is that at the time of this writing, each exam had up to a 200 maximum questions. However, the NCLEX-RN has a range of 75 to 265 questions. Again, I'm sure this is something they can tweak.

My last critique is that there are no Select All That Apply questions, even though those are obviously the scariest ones on the NCLEX!

Update: February 16, 2017

Platinum Test reports that they now have Select All That Apply questions in their question pool!

Last last mini-critique. There's no on-screen calculator for the dosage calculation questions. I'm sure there will be though, as that's not hard to include.

As always, I'll be keeping you updated on these critiques, as they change or are resolved by PlatinumTest.

One Thing You Need To Know so There's No Misunderstanding:

There is no way to see the actual questions you got right and wrong. You cannot read any rationales for any correct answers.

Understand that this is meant to be an NCLEX simulator, not a practice tool.

In fact, allowing students to practice by seeing the rationales and correct answers would compromise the validity of the question pool (just like the NCLEX: they can't let anyone know the answer key or their test is compromised.)

So it's quite understandable, but I wanted you to know the difference between a simulator and a practice tool.

Here's the Amazing Thing Though:

The ability to reliably tell whether you'd pass the NCLEX is such a valuable (and possibly stress-relieving) tool, it's GAME-CHANGING!

Can you imagine not having to worry about the mystery of passing the NCLEX?

Imagine not having to doubt whether you practiced enough or chose the right things to study.

That's the promise of Platinum Tests' test engine.

Here is My Final Verdict:

PlatinumTest indeed appears to have a true CAT (Computerized Adaptive Testing) system.

Their breakdown of NCLEX questions into the Test Plan Concepts is already deeper and more thorough than any other online question bank I've reviewed.

They appear to have all the components of a CAT exam, which is amazing and truly unique.

Do you know what this means?

For a one-time fee, you'll be able to reliably determine whether you are ready to pass the NCLEX.

I hope this in-depth report was helpful for you!

However, I still can't give you a complete picture. Not everyone will experience what I experienced.

That's why I want YOU students to write reviews!

Read reviews from real students who've used Platinum Tests. Those will be your source of truth.

Good luck on the NCLEX!

Kevin

User Reviews

(8 Reviews) Newest to Oldest

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took the None
Status: Passed
Review Date:

Help and Support(5)
Convenience of Use(5)
Quality of Content(5)
Overall Value for Price(5)

My nursing education started at North Idaho College (with an ADN degree), followed by a BSN at Lewis Clark College and an MSN from University of Phoenix. I have been teaching nursing students since 1990 and am currently nursing faculty at Chemeketa Community College in Salem, Oregon.

I utilized the online version of the course - this was to evaluate if it would be something to recommend to my students. I found the online testing to be very convenient. I believe, in addition to the student's program instruction, the Platinum tests would be helpful in preparing new graduates for the NCLEX-RN.

Because I was reviewing the tests for appropriateness for students, there wasn't really a "typical" day. There were several days that I spent 2-3 hours in the tests. I did not require any "personal or technical support".

The Platinum Tests are worth the cost; especially for students who recognize they are not fully prepared for the NCLEX exam. For my situation (as noted above), passing the NCLEX personally was not my purpose for reviewing the tests.

took the NCLEX-RN
Status: Passed
Review Date:

Help and Support(5)
Convenience of Use(5)
Quality of Content(4)
Overall Value for Price(5)

I attended Daytona State College for my ASN. I used the online portion of Platinum Tests because I have a working spouse and three children. It just seemed like it would be more doable to really study for the NCLEX on my own terms and own schedule. I usually studied while my spouse was at work and my children were in bed for the night. The application of online studying was extremely valuable. The test questions were close to the real thing on the NCLEX. The only lacking part was select all that apply style questions. I don't recall doing any of these during my time using Platinum. Overall great questions though!


The teaching on Platinum Tests was extremely useful as it provided a breakdown of how well I did in each section (psychological, physiological, etc.)


The typical day with Platinum Tests is I would do a comprehensive exam in the morning and look at my results. I would determine where I was lacking that day and then I would do a focussed exam on that specific topic. It seemed to work well and it really helped me in nailing down tons and tons of questions. I fortunately never had to use technical support but the site is consistently updated from what it looks like so I believe that support is readily available.


All in all, I think Platinum Tests is a great product for the money. It helps to develop your testing strategies and prepares you for questions comparable to the NCLEX. I think that due to diligence in studying, taking online practice examinations, and feeling that stress level go down over time really helped me pass the NCLEX.

took the NCLEX-RN
Status: Passed
Review Date:

Help and Support(4)
Convenience of Use(4)
Quality of Content(3)
Overall Value for Price(5)

My nursing education started at South Dakota State University in Brookings, South Dakota. Coming into college I had a faint idea about what I wanted to do for a career, knowing that I was interested in biology, but I did not know what path to take. I reluctantly chose a bachelor of science in nursing as a major...and it has been one of the best decisions I have made in my life. I received my degree in Bachelor of Science in Nursing in December 2016. Upon  graduation I believed that the hard part of my education was over, but preparing for the NCLEX has far and away been the most difficult obstacle I have accomplished. I passed it in January 2017. To help prepare I wanted to take as much practice questions as I could so I could see a variety of topics and to best prepare me to get into the nursing mindset of decision making. One of the resources I used was Platinum Tests after it was recommended by one of our professors. I immediately dove right into the practice test and to my suprise did pretty well on it. After passing the NCLEX, I would say that the teaching content from Platinum Tests is definiately applicable to the NCLEX due to the similar question styles and the content of the questions. However, I wish Platinum Tests would have allowed me to review the questions and the rationale in order for me to understand where I went wrong. Platinum Tests offered a lot of questions but I believe reviewing questions is how you can really benefit from the material. The convenience of Platinum Tests was a definite perk and allowed me to jump on my laptop anytime and knock out as many questions as I wanted. Similar to the NCLEX, Platinum Tests doesn't tell you how many questions you'll have to take until the test is done and made me realize to take one question at a time and thoroughly think each question through. At the time I did not realize how much of a benefit Platinum Tests could be in preparing for the NCLEX. After passing the NCLEX my first time though, I wish I would have used the resource more often. That being said I also wish Platinum Tests offered a review of the questions with rationales so I could learn from my mistakes apply that new knowledge to the NCLEX.


 

took the NCLEX-RN
Status: Passed
Review Date:

Help and Support(4)
Convenience of Use(5)
Quality of Content(5)
Overall Value for Price(5)

I graduated from LSU School of Nursing with my BSN in December of 2016. I learned of Platinum Tests after attending a state convention for student nurses. I worked on study questions online (which was very convenient for me) from Platinum Tests for a few weeks in preparation for NCLEX. The test banks were challenging, but forced me to apply all that I learned in nursing school in a way that helped me to master the NCLEX. Completing practice tests through Platinum Tests along with the insightful feedback helped me to feel more confident before the big day. I passed on the first attempt with only 75 questions. 

took the NCLEX-RN
Status: Passed
Review Date:

Help and Support(5)
Convenience of Use(5)
Quality of Content(5)
Overall Value for Price(5)

I passed my NCLEX on the first try, thank you Platinum! I graduated Dec 2016 with my ADN from RCC. I used the online Platinum course and I found it to be very helpful in preparing me for the NCLEX, similar to the actual test which put me at ease when it came to the actual test. What I liked best about using this program was that it had similar style questions as the NCLEX and I was able to work at my pace also if I needed to stop to do something, I could later pick backup at where I left off, so convenient. I did not need to use their technical support so I can't comment on that experience. I am glad that I used it and I did recommended it to other classmates.

took the NCLEX-RN
Status: Passed
Review Date:

Help and Support(5)
Convenience of Use(5)
Quality of Content(5)
Overall Value for Price(5)

I attended the bachelor's program at South Dakota State University and graduated December 2016. I used the online version of the review. The content was somewhat relatable to the content on the NCLEX. I found that the questions on the NCLEX were a little more difficult. I used Platinum Tests as one of many resources to study and found it effective. It was a great resource for questions. I also liked that I could pick which category I wanted questions on that day. The website was very easy to use. A typical day included answering 100-150 questions from the review. Usually I would take a test that included all of the topics and then take another with just the section I did the worst on. I never needed technical or personal support so I do not know if they were adequate. For me, the cost was absolutely worth it and I did pass the NCLEX on my first try! 

took the NCLEX-RN
Status: Passed
Review Date:

Help and Support(5)
Convenience of Use(5)
Quality of Content(5)
Overall Value for Price(5)

I graduated in December 2016 from WKCTC ADN program. I tried platinum tests after learning of them at the NSNA mid year conference. I really appreciate the way they don't just tell you an answer and a short rationalle, it showed me what concept areas I needed to work on. It was a great value. It was very easy to access, I left the tab open on my laptop and it was fine. I thought it was clear and concise. I recommended it to my classmates. I passed the NCLEX-RN in 75 questions and from the time I left my car and got back to my car was just less than an hour. I left feeling great, positive I passed. Thanks platinum tests!

took the NCLEX-RN
Status: Passed
Review Date:

Help and Support(5)
Convenience of Use(5)
Quality of Content(5)
Overall Value for Price(5)

I am a graduate of Henry Ford college with my associate in applied science. Platinum tests were very helpful. The more questions you do the better. PlatinumTests were easy to access and  very convenient. A typical study day for me would be to do a practice test  and once I was done. I would go back and see what I got wrong  and why. Even if I got an answer correct  I would go back to see why it was correct.  With the help of platinum  tests and other resources  I ended up passing the nclex! I recommend to anyone  who would like the practice.

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