If you wish to pursue a career in nursing, then the first step to be taken for accomplishing your aim would be to join a good nursing school. Joining a desired nursing school is not as easy as it may seem. You will have to take the NET (Nurse Entrance Test) and do well in the test in order to demonstrate your skills and knowledge to the school admission committee. Hence, good scores in NET are the first thing that you will have to aim for if you wish to join a nursing program.
The Importance of NET Scores
Nursing schools are now increasingly relying on entrance tests like NET for assistance in selecting suitable candidates for admissions to the nursing programs being conducted in their campuses. High scores in NET reflect the ability of a candidate to excel in the pursuit of a career in nursing by performing well in his nursing studies. Therefore, nursing schools utilize this test's scores to evaluate the competence of prospective candidates in successfully completing their nursing studies. At the same time, the scores also assist the faculty conducting the nursing program to identify the weaknesses of their students for imparting effective guidance and counseling during the course of their studies.
How are NET Scores considered by Nursing Schools?
Nursing schools have different policies regarding the scores in NET. You may have to check with the nursing school of your choice to find out their policies regarding consideration of test scores. You can gather this information from the website of the nursing school you wish to join. This information will also be available in the form of a booklet or a pamphlet at the nursing school campus. Some such policies are listed below. Go through these to get an idea of how your test scores are likely to be considered by different nursing schools:
- Minimum NET Scores: Most nursing schools lay down 60 as the minimum composite score in NET for being considered for admissions.
- Consideration of GPA: For certain nursing schools, scores of NET may not be the only criteria being considered for selection of suitable candidates. These nursing schools may consider your NET scores in conjunction with other factors, like your undergraduate GPA, with different weightage for the different eligibility criteria being considered.
- Taking the NET: Almost all nursing schools conduct NET at their own testing centers or campuses. Some nursing schools make it mandatory for the candidates to take this test being offered at their campuses. They do not accept the scores attained by you in the NET taken at some other campus.
- Retests: Different nursing schools may lay down different policies regarding how the scores of a retest will be considered.
- Written Expression (Grammar) Test Section: Certain nursing schools will consider your scores in the Written Expression test section while others may not do so.
Essential Math Skills Scores
A score of 60 in the Essential Math Skills test section is considered competitive by most nursing schools. A score of 48 or below is considered to be a high risk math score which implies that the test-taker has poor knowledge of the fundamentals of mathematics and algebra.
Reading Comprehension Scores
There are three score levels for the Reading Comprehension Section:
- Independent (60-100): Scores in this range are attained by the test-takers who have done exceedingly well in this test section. A test-taker with a score in the independent reading level will be able to read textbooks even without the assistance of a class or any other form of instruction.
- Instructional (45-59): Most test-takers will receive a Reading Comprehension score in this range. Test-takers who score in this range will be able to read textbooks with guidance and assistance from their teachers.
- Frustration (0-44): Scores in this range imply that the test-taker will face difficulties in reading textbooks during the course of his nursing studies.
Written Expression Scores
The nursing schools that consider scores in the Written Expression test section generally accept 50 as the minimum scores required for admission.
Composite NET Score
Most nursing schools calculate the composite score of NET on the basis of the Math score and the Reading score; others will consider the scores in the Written Expression test section also for calculating the composite test score. A composite NET score of 60 has been laid down by most nursing schools as the minimum score required for being considered for admissions to the nursing programs being offered by them.
Note: The requirements of minimum scores vary from nursing school to nursing school. There are certain nursing schools which have not set any passing scores at all whereas there are other nursing schools which have set the minimum scores in each of the scored test sections to be as high as 60 with the composite score of NET at 65. Therefore, it would be in your interest to contact the nursing school of your choice and find out their requirements in respect of test scores.