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SMC|Academic Programs|Health Sciences|Nursing|Admission Assessment FAQs

Admission Assessment FAQs

Admission Assessment FAQ

********** ATTENTION*********

In order to remain in consideration for future admission, students must register for one of the available testing dates.  It is recommended to take this assessment as early as possible.

 1.  Is this readiness/assessment test a requirement for admission to the Nursing Program? 

 2.  What is the purpose of the readiness/assessment test ? 

 3.  Who should take this readiness/assessment test?

 4.  When can I take the readiness/assessment test?

 5.  What will the readiness assessment test cover?

 6.  What should I bring with me to the assessment?

 7.  Are CALCULATORS allowed or provided?

 8.  Where will the assessment be?

 9.  How can I best prepare for the test?

10. What is the format of the test?

11. What is a passing score and what does it mean?

12. What happens if I do not pass the test? 

13. What happens if I decide not to take the readiness/assessment test?

14. What if I have already taken the NLN-PAX RN? 

15. I have a bachelors or masters degree in another field, do I still need to take the test?

16. I need to reschedule my test at SMC, What do I do? 

17. When do I get my results and how do I send them to SMC?

18. If I didn't get to see my results after the test, how can I access them?

19. If I took my test at SMC, how do I send my results to the program?

20. I can't take the test during any of the listed dates, will there be more dates available? 

21. If I had my results sent by the company, how will I know if you received the results of my test?

22. If I need testing accommodations for a verified disability what do I do?

23. I passed, what's next?

 


 

 

 

1.  Is this readiness/assessment test a requirement for admission to the Nursing Program?

Yes. Beginning with the Spring 2008 class, Santa Monica College changed the process by which students are admitted to the Associate Degree Nursing Program per California Senate Bill 1309.  Prior to admission, all students must pass the Readiness/Admissions Test, which is a diagnostic readiness/assessment test (basic math, English, reading, and science) in addition to meeting the prerequisites and eligibility requirements. The admissions test has been demonstrated to have positive correlation with success in nursing programs.

 

 

2.  What is the purpose of the readiness/assessment test?

Every college-level educational program begins with a solid foundation in Reading, Math, Science, and English and Language Usage. Your previous educational roles might have given you all the preparation you need. On the other hand, you might have just gotten by, or perhaps it has been quite a while since you had to tackle those subjects in school.  The primary purpose of test implementation is to promote student preparedness, assist students in the successful completion of the Nursing Program, and to ensure an increase in the number of highly qualified nurses in California.

 

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3.  Who should take this readiness/assessment test?

Students who have completed the nursing program application process for admission and have been invited to take the admissions test.  Students must pass the selected California Community College Chancellor’s Office approved admission assessment prior to entrance into the program.  If a prospective student does not successfully complete the assessment, the student will be required to successfully complete readiness activities prior to program admission. 

 

 

4.  When can I take test?

You will receive an invitation from the Nursing Program to take the assessment.  The SMC Nursing Program Admissions Assessment is offered on an invitation only basis.  If you have not received an invitation, do not register or send in test results.

 

5.  What will the readiness/assessment test cover? 

The test is an assessment for pre-nursing students of your abilities in four essential areas.  It is a 3 hour, proctored, standardized assessment.  It has three parts that ask you to answer multiple-choice questions covering the following:

  • Verbal Abilities - 60 minutes
  • Math – 60 minutes
  • Science – 60 minutes

 

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6.  What should I bring with me to the assessment?

Please bring a current photo ID. 
Registration confirmation Sheet

During administration of the test, examinees are only allowed to have the following:

  • Writing utensil
  • Scratch paper (will be provided)

Students may NOT have any of the following items during the test administration:

  • Food, drink, or candy
  • Textbooks or reference books of any kind
  • Sunglasses, hats, or a hood
  • Music (CD players, MP3 players, iPods, etc.)
  • Communication devices including cell phones, pagers, PDA, etc.
  • Calculators are NOT allowed
 
 

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7.  Are CALCULATORS allowed or provided?

Calculators are not permitted during testing and a pop-up calculator is not provided.

During administration of the test, examinees are only allowed to have the following:

  • Writing utensil (please bring your own pencil)
  • Scratch paper (will be provided)
 
 

8.  Where will the assessment be? 

All testing is done on the Main Campus at the Assessment Center, Liberal Arts Building, Room 109. 

1900 Pico Blvd.  Santa Monica, CA  90405

 

 

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9How can I best prepare for taking the test?

General preparation materials for any assessment of basic math, reading comprehension, English usage, and basic sciences should be sufficient for preparation.  If you are interested in test specific materials, they are available through the following link.  http://www.jbpub.com/catalog/9780763762711/?AID=483

 

 

10. What is the format of the test?

It is a 3 hour, computer based, proctored, standardized assessment.  It has three parts that ask you to answer multiple-choice questions covering the following:

  • Verbal Abilities - 60 minutes
  • Math – 60 minutes
  • Science – 60 minutes

 

 

11.  I have my score report, but what is a passing score and what does it all mean?

The passing score on the NLN-PAX RN for California Community College ADN programs is a composite score of 114* (California Community College Chancellor's Office Approved Score)

 

GUIDE FOR THE INTERPRETATION OF THE SCORE REPORT SCORES

The individual tests included in the examination are identified in the left-hand column of the report. Immediately to the right, in the column labeled "Score" is the raw score the examinee earned. This score is the number of test items the examinee answered correctly. Each test contains some additional items that were included for test development purposes only. These items are not used to calculate the scores. The highest possible raw score in each test is as follows: Verbal Ability - 60; Mathematics - 40; Science - 60.

 

THE COMPOSITE SCORE

is based on the examinees' performance on the total examination, but is not the sum of the items answered correctly. It is a standard score, i.e., a weighted combination of the scores on the individual tests. Composite scores may range from 0 to 200. The average is 100, and the standard deviation a measure of variability around this average score, is 20. Most scores range between 50 and 150.

 

A PERCENTILE SCORE

for each test and for the composite score is reported in the column labeled "Percentiles." Percentiles, which range from 0-99, indicate what portion of a reference group of applicants to similar nursing programs earned raw scores lower than the examinee. For example, if the report test, shows a percentile score of 84 for a raw score of 49 on the Verbal Ability test, it means that 84% of the norms group received a raw score of 49 or less. The percentile scores do NOT indicate the percentage of items that were answered correctly.

 

NORMS GROUP

Each norms group used in preparing this report is identified at the top of the column labeled "Percentile Norms." For the Pre-Admission Examination-PN the norms group is comprised of all applicants to practical nursing programs who took this test during the period identified at the bottom of the report. For the Pre-Admission Examination-RN three sets of norms are provided: "DI" refers to applicants to diploma programs; "AD" refers to applicants to associate degree programs; and "ALL" refers to all applicants to any of the three types of programs preparing examinees for registered nurse practice. The most appropriate norms group to use is the group which matches or includes the type of program to which the examinee is applying. This allows comparisons with other applicants to similar programs. Each norms group is described in the section following the test scores.

 

INTERPRETING THE SCORES

Percentiles substantially above the 50th percentile indicate better than average performance, percentiles ranging from about 40-60 average, and those substantially below the 50th percentile is poorer than average. Noting those parts of the examination for which the percentiles are high or low may identify areas of strength or weakness. It should be noted that equal differences in percentiles do not indicate equal differences in ability since examinees' test scores tend to group around the average score. The further one is from the average, in either direction, the greater is the degree of ability represented by each additional percentage point. The difference between percentiles of 80 and 89 is far greater in terms of ability than the difference between 50 and 59; similarly the difference between percentiles 10 and 19 is greater than the difference between 50 and 59.

 

 

12.  What happens if I do not pass the test?

Students who do not achieve a composite score of 114* (California Community College Chancellor's Office Approved Score) or above will be required to complete additional pre-nursing readiness activities prior to admission and enrollment in the nursing program. Pre-nursing readiness activities and clearance of the diagnostic assessment must be completed within one year of the initial diagnostic assessment or you will be removed from the waitlist. This readiness/assessment test is mandatory for admission and students will not be admitted to the program until the readiness activities are completed and the assessment test has been passed.  Readiness and remediation activities completed at other colleges or institutions will NOT be accepted by the Nursing Program at Santa Monica College. 

Students are ineligible for the SMC ADN program should they fail to achieve a minimum composite score of 114 on the NLN-PAX during their second testing session. (SMC Nursing Program, Student Handbook, Page 71)

 

 

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13.  What happens if I decide not to take the readiness/assessment test?

In order to remain in consideration for future admission, students must register for one of the available testing dates. It is your responsibility to register for one of the appointments listed on the Nursing Registration Page and it is recommended to take this exam as early as possible. Potential Nursing students who have received an invitation and have NOT registered for the readiness/assessment test by the deadline stated in the invitation will be removed from the list of conditionally admitted students.

 

 

14.  What if I have already taken the test?

If you have taken the NLN-PAX RN within the last three years, please request that a NLN-PAX RN Official Test Report be sent to the Santa Monica College Nursing Program, ATTN: Ida M. Danzey by the last day of nursing admissons testing for the upcoming class.  

To order an Official Test Report, send a written request and payment $25 per report (money order or certified check only) to:

National League for Nursing
1840 Innovation Drive, Suite 106
Carbondale, Il 62903

 

 

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15.  I have a bachelors or masters degree in another field, do I still need to take the test?

Yes, regardless of prior education all prospective students seeking admission to the SMC Nursing Program must meet the approved minimum score of 114* (California Community College Chancellor's Office Approved Score) on  the NLN-PAX RN prior to admission to the program.

 

 

16.  I need to reschedule my test at SMC, what do I do?

Email Michelle Aragon at Aragon_Michelle@smc.edu including
1. your original assessment date
2. your full name (used to register)
3. your SMC Student ID number
Please state in your email that you will be rescheduling your testing date, then return to the Registration Page and select a different date.

 

 

17.  When do I get my results and how do I send them to SMC?

If you take the NLN-PAX RN at Santa Monica College’s Assessment Center your results will be automatically available to the SMC Nursing Program and you do not need to have them sent.

If you took the NLN-PAX RN at another location you will need to request that a NLN-PAX RN Official Test Report be sent to the Santa Monica College Nursing Program, ATTN: Ida M. Danzey by the last day of nursing admissions testing for the upcoming class.  

To order an Official Test Report, send a written request and payment $25 per report (money order or certified check only) to:

National League for Nursing
1840 Innovation Drive, Suite 106
Carbondale, Il 62903

 

 

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18. If I didn't get to see my results after the test, how can I access them?

If you took the computer based version of the NLN-PAX RN you may access your results at any time by logging into the testing website (www.nlnonlinetesting.org).  On the right had side of the screen their will be a list of all the assessments you have taken through the website.  Click on the NLN-PAX RN link that says review.  This submits a request for your results to be loaded as a PDF.  Please wait and/or following any further instructions that the website gives to you.  A dialogue box will appear after a few seconds asking if you want to Open or Save the document.  Once your results are open, your composite score will be on the left hand-side of the results page.  A minimum passing score is a composite score of 114*(California Community College Chancellor's Office Approved Score).

 

 

19.  If I took my test at SMC, how do I send my results to the program? 

It is not necessary to have test results sent if you took them at SMC.  The college is automatically provided an electronic copy by the testing company.  Results are printed and placed in your file on the day of the assessment.

 

 

20.  I can't take the test during any of the listed dates,  what do I do?

Contact Michelle Aragon at Aragon_Michelle@smc.edu or 310-434-3446. 

 

 

21.  If I had my results sent by the company, how will I know if you received the results of my test?

Contact Michelle Aragon by email Aragon_Michelle@smc.edu to check on the status of your results.

 

 

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22. If I need testing accommodations for a verified disability, what do I do?

Contact the Center for Students with Disabilities, for more information regarding the procedure for requesting testing accommodations.  The center is located on the north side of campus, next to Admissions and is open Monday through Thursday from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. For more information, please call (310) 434-4265 or (310) 434-4273 (TDD) You may also send faxes to (310) 434-4272.

 

 

23. I passed, what's next?

Once you have taken and passed the nursing program admission assessment, your points will be recalculated based on your test score results.  Selected students will then be notified if they have been conditionally admitted into the SMC nursing program.  Conditionally accepted students will need to accept or decline their offer by the deadline stated in the offer letter.  Failing to respond by the deadline will result in your name being removed from the applicant pool.  If a student accepts their offer and attends the mandatory orientation, their status will change from conditionally admitted to a confirmed admit.  WE NO LONGER MAINTAIN A WAITLIST so students who are not admitted into the program may reapply during the next application period.