About NET Test
A career in the field of health and medicine has always been held in high regard. A medical professional not only stands to gain financially but also earns the admiration and respect of others around him. It is this job satisfaction and financial stability that prompts most students to pursue a career in health related fields, whether it is that of a doctor or of a nurse. Students desirous of pursuing higher education in a nursing school will have to take the NET as this is the first step that one will have to take to gain admission to a nursing school in the United States.
What is NET and why is it required?
As in the case of most colleges offering professional courses, nursing schools have also started considering the performance of candidates in entrance tests to assess their aptitude for carrying out nursing studies. NET (Nurse Entrance Test) is one such entrance test, the scores of which are considered by nursing schools along with the applications for admissions to the courses being conducted by them. ERI (Educational Resources, Inc.) is the organization that provides a mechanism in the form of the NET for assisting nursing schools in selecting suitable candidates for their nursing programs. It has been proved that students with a higher score in this test are more likely to succeed in their nursing studies as compared to those students who have not been able to fare well in the test. Therefore, nursing schools lay a significant amount of importance on your NET scores if you are keen to join the programs being offered by them.
The importance of NET scores is two-fold:
- Scores of NET provide assistance to nursing schools for evaluating the abilities of the candidates in successfully carrying out nursing studies.
- NET scores of the students provide assistance to nursing schools for understanding the capabilities of the students so that they can be guided for better performance during the course of their nursing studies.
What is the NET Test Format?
NET is not only a test of the knowledge that you would have acquired while carrying out your high school studies, but it also assesses your capabilities to skillfully apply that knowledge for completing your nursing studies. It is a computer-based test consisting of multiple-choice questions. It consists of seven or eight test sections, from the ones listed below, depending upon the nursing school conducting it.
- Essential Math Skills
- Science Reading Comprehension
- Written Expression (grammar)
- Reading Rate
- Test-taking Skills
- Stress Levels
- Social Interaction Profile
- Learning Styles
All the test sections have to be completed for qualifying the NET. However, your composite score in the test is calculated on the basis of your scores in the Essential Math Skills, Science Reading Comprehension and Written Expression test sections only. The remaining test sections are not scored. These unscored test sections are designed to evaluate your abilities to apply your knowledge in everyday living. Your performance in these test sections helps the school admission committees in forming a general assessment of your personality and behavior. Your scores in the Written Expression test section may or may not be required by the nursing school of your choice. Therefore, it is advisable to check with the nursing school what their requirements are before you start preparing for the test.
What are the Minimum NET Scores?
You need to score at least 50 in the Essential Math Skills and the Science Reading Comprehension test sections for earning the composite test score. Some nursing schools may set 60 or even 65 as the minimum score for each of the scored test sections being considered by them. On an average a composite score of 60 is considered competitive by most nursing schools.
Hence, it becomes important to check from the nursing school of your choice what their passing standards are, so that you can prepare for it accordingly. Moreover, you need to carefully go through their interpretation of NET scores or else you may find yourself at the losing end if you were unaware of the policies regarding the test scores. For instance, there are nursing schools that may grant admission to you even if your personality or behavior as reflected by the unscored test sections is poor; whereas other nursing schools might not give you this special consideration.
How to Register for NET?
Almost all nursing schools that offer nursing programs conduct NET test in their own campuses also. The NET procedure for registering, retaking the test, the cost of taking the test and the minimum test scores required will be different for different nursing schools. The cost of taking the test would be approximately $30 for almost all nursing schools. Some nursing schools provide the facility for registering online for taking the test whereas others provide the facility of walk-in registration of the day of the test. All nursing schools provide information brochures and some even host websites with details of how they interpret the scores, the dates on which the test will be conducted and the location of the center for the test. Make sure that you go through this information before you plan on taking the test for joining a particular nursing school.
An important point to be kept in mind is that a large number of nursing schools do not accept the scores earned by taking the NET for another nursing school. Therefore, carefully plan on taking the test depending upon the nursing schools you wish to apply to. Avoid taking a series of entrance tests as they may unduly stress you out. Shortlist the nursing schools you wish to apply to and prepare well for entrance tests that are being conducted by them.
How to Prepare for NET?
As in the case of other standardized exams, one cannot hope to score high in the test without adequate preparation. Follow the steps given below for thorough preparation for taking NET:
Step 1: Contact the nursing school which you wish to join and find out the policies regarding taking the test that have been implemented by the school.
Step 2: Find out the test format and the content either from the official website of the test, www.vue.com/net/ or from the website of the nursing school of your choice. Also, find out the minimum test scores that are required for qualifying for admission to the nursing school. This information will also be available at the nursing school campus in the form of an information booklet.
Step 3: Collect study materials for preparation. You can buy a study guide from the official website also. Get hold of sample questions that will help you understand the types of questions that will be asked in the test. Look around for tips and techniques that can help you to score high in the test.
Step 4: Work out a study plan. Keep the following points in mind while chalking out the study plan and following it:
- The study plan should concentrate more on your weak subject areas from the content being tested.
- Ensure that you follow the study plan rigorously.
- The study plan should include time for content review as well as for practice in solving problems.
- Practice the tips and techniques that you would have collected for doing well in the test.
- Do not leave any tip or technique to be tried out on the day of the test.
- NET is a computer-based test. Ensure that you are familiar with the computer controls necessary for taking the test. Go through the tutorial available at www.vue.com/net/.
- Start your study plan well in time. Do not postpone your studies till the last week before the exam.
- Make adequate use of the study materials collected by you. Go through all the study books thoroughly and solve as many practice problems as you can.
- If possible, form a study group with others who are preparing for the test. You will learn a lot from each other’s expertise in the content being tested.
Prepare well for NET and rest assured that your scores will help you realize your aspirations of joining your desired nursing school.