Kaplan Assessment

PLU’s School of Nursing evaluation processes require the use of independent, external measures of student performance. This enables student performance to be compared to that of students in other nursing programs across the country.

Nursing education is academically rigorous, culminating in a comprehensive national licensure exam. While it is our goal that every student admitted to the PLU School of Nursing will be successful in achieving RN licensure, it is necessary and prudent to implement measures shown to foster first-time NCLEX-RN success. To assist students and faculty in assuring success, the School of Nursing employs both internal and external assessments of students’ progress.

The external testing package currently in use for all BSN and entry-level students is a nationally standardized exam from Kaplan. The Kaplan testing package includes multiple resources for students and faculty, including secure, proctored exams in major areas of study, online review modules, and un-proctored practice tests. The cost of Kaplan testing and resources is included in the School of Nursing Program fee.

The testing resources available from Kaplan are used as external assessments, providing students an opportunity to practice with NCLEX-style questions and identify areas in which additional academic work is needed. Faculty use the results of the Kaplan tests to evaluate student progression and curriculum effectiveness. In some courses the test is required as part of the class grade.

Test scores are available to students via the Kaplan website. Faculty advisors are available to review Kaplan results with all students. If a student performs below expectations on external testing, the student is responsible for seeking remediation (with faculty guidance), which may take the form of self-study, re-testing, use of PLU resources, a class, or other opportunities. Students set up a Kaplan account, check test results, and take un-proctored exams at www.kpatest.com/login.


Focused Review Tests

The “Focused Review Tests” (e.g. Kaplan) are un-proctored practice tests associated with course content and assigned during each pre-licensure semester. These tests review basic nursing content and provide topical retest opportunities. The tests are designed to coach students through specific content. Each test provides a rationale for correct and incorrect answers and comprehensive remediation, as well as alternative question stems to enhance student comprehension of the written questions.

The purpose of the Focused Review Tests is for students to have practice with NCLEX-style questions and to increase student knowledge. The Focused Review Tests are not to be used to evaluate student knowledge. Each semester students will have specific focused review tests assigned.

  • Each Focused Review Test consists of approximately 30 questions.
  • Tests are specifically placed in the curriculum to coincide with concepts being taught in that course. However, not all content questions on the focused review test will be taught in the course. Students are required to complete all of the assigned Focused Review Tests (achieving a score of 90% or higher) to qualify to take the Integrated Secure Proctored Tests.
  • Students who repeat a course are required to complete all focused review tests assigned in that semester in order to take the Integrated Tests for that Semester.
  • Students may take the Focused Review Tests, remediate and retake Focused Review Tests as many times as they desire to learn the content.
  • Students take these tests on their own time in preparation for taking the secured proctored test at the end of the semester.


It is highly recommended that all students participate in remediation for both the Focused Review Un-proctored Tests (in preparation for the end of course Kaplan Integrated Test) and the Integrated Proctored Tests (as preparation for the Kaplan Secured Predictor and the Pharmacological/Parenteral Therapies A Integrated Assessments during the Senior II semester). Students are required to meet with their faculty advisor during their Junior II Review and Senior I semester to review scores, and trends, and to discuss suggestions in preparation for the NCLEX-RN®.

What is remediation?

  • The intentional study of content to improve student learning.
  • There is a difference between review and remediation. Review is “going over,” whereas remediation is taking the time to understand what you didn’t know.
  • Remediation is the process of improving or correcting a situation.
  • Remediation in this sense is a way of conducting self-feedback and evaluation to improve knowledge. Remediation confirms that you understand the information.

When to remediate?

  • Remediation should happen immediately after completing a test
  • Review the question until you understand why the correct answer is the best answer, and why the other choices are wrong.
  • Remediation is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, in multiple formats so students can correct knowledge deficits. Remediation tools include:
    1. Online remediation explanations with links to essential content from Kaplan Nursing and various nursing textbooks
    2. The Kaplan Basic Book
    3. Kaplan PowerPoint review and videos
  • Reference the document “Analyzing & Remediating your Kaplan Integrated Tests” on your course website for specific instructions.

Remediation for Focused Review Un-proctored Tests

  • It is highly recommended that students remediate all questions on the Focused Review Tests.
  • Students can view their results and access remediation by clicking on “review results” on their homepage.
  • The question will appear followed by a rationale for each possible answer to the question.
  • Topic Review: there may be up to 3 bolded areas:
    • Kaplan Overview – general information on the topic
    • Essential Nursing Care – more in-depth information that includes assessment, implementation, and outcomes
    • Background for Nursing Care – additional information on patient teaching, pathophysiology, and complications

Secured Predictor and Integrated Assessment (scheduled at the end of the semester)

Students must successfully complete all Focused Review Tests achieving a score of 90% or higher to qualify to take the Integrated & Secure Predictor Assessment examinations. Successful completion is demonstrated through taking the exam and completing all appropriate remediation. Faculty can verify successful completion, the number of exam attempts, time spent in examinations, remediated content, and time spent in remediation.

  • The Integrated Exams can be repeated once. Students failing to meet the national standard must complete remediation prior to retaking the exam.
  • The Predictor Assessment Examination is taken once in the final semester of the program.

Integrated Exams Percentile Ranking & Course Grade Points Scale

Percentile RankingCourse Grade (Out of 5% or 5 points)
90th or higher5
80th -89th4.5
70th – 79th4.3
60th – 69th4.2
50th – 59th4.0
40th – 49th3.8
30th – 39th3.6
20th – 29th3.4
10th -19th3.2
Below 10th3.0

Analysis and Remediation of Integrated & Predictor Assessments

Students will receive a detailed test summary report after completing the Integrated Test. This report includes important information for analysis of your performance. The percentile rank (on Integrated Tests) is positioned above the overall or raw percent correct on the screen. The number correct, the number incorrect, and the number of test items not completed. If there are questions students did not reach, it is because the student ran out of time or quit the test before completing it. Answer-changing behavior is detailed on the right mid-screen.

On the detailed test summary report, students will not see test questions. Students will be shown information about specific content the question focused on and the level of difficulty. A student’s performance according to the level of difficulty, nursing process, clinical concept, demographic, and client need category is provided in bar graphs. Checkmarks indicate the number of questions that were answered correctly. Blue lines indicate the number of questions omitted. “N” indicates the total number of questions for each category.

Students not passing the Integrated exam must review the test analysis and meet with their advisor to discuss their remediation plan. Remediation will include retaking focused exams and completing content remediation sections for all incorrect and unanswered question content. Use the “Analyzing & Remediating your Kaplan Integrated Tests” document on your course website to assist in reviewing your test analysis and preparing your remediation plan.

The dates for retaking the Integrated Exams will be scheduled by the School of Nursing dependent upon proctor availability and occur prior to the start of the subsequent semester. Students must submit proof of remediation prior to the retake.

The Predictor Assessment Examination will be utilized by students to identify areas where they should focus their attention prior to sitting for the NCLEX-RN.

Student Responsibilities

  • Develop a specific study plan for test preparation and adhere to it
  • Commit to completing Focused Review Assessments in preparation for Integrated Proctored Tests at the end of the semester.
  • Meetings with advisors should occur during Sophomore II and Junior II semesters. Additional meetings should be scheduled based on individual needs.
  • Commit to completing a test remediation plan that best suits individual learning and understanding
  • Utilize Kaplan resources to reinforce learning (Mid-Fidelity and Essential Nursing Skills Simulation Videos)
  • Seek assistance through the Office of Accessibility and Accommodations (OAA) for study and test-taking support if needed
  • Students must request Alternative Testing Accommodations through OAA at the beginning of each semester.
  • Students should meet with professors at the beginning of the semester to discuss accommodations and the test schedule for each course.
  • Maintain a positive attitude and a vision of the goal (program completion and first-time success on the NCLEX)
  • Maintain personal wellness through healthy eating, adequate sleep, physical activity, healthy and responsible social activities
  • Engage in anxiety control and stress reduction/management strategies as necessary before and during tests (centering, guided imagery, breathing, meditation, visualization, exercise, faith-based or cultural approaches, and other relaxation techniques)
  • Self-identify to your academic advisor or course faculty if concerned about Kaplan/NCLEX success
  • Accept personal responsibility for program success