The Kaplan Nursing Entrance Exam is a screening test administered by nursing schools that tests your basic reading, writing, math, and science skills. The test is officially called the Kaplan Nursing School Admission Test, but you’ve probably heard it referred to as the Kaplan Admissions Test, the Kaplan Nursing Admissions Test, the KNAT or the Kaplan Nursing Entrance Exam. While we may use these names interchangeably, they are all referring to the same test.

The KNAT score is just one component that nursing schools and other medical programs use while evaluating your application, but you need to pass the test to be accepted into many nursing programs. This pre-admission test predicts your ability to succeed in nursing school. 

The test is taken on a computer, usually at the testing center of the school you are applying to. You’ll have two-hours and forty-five minutes to complete the 91 questions. Fees differ by school but range from $29 to $93, and some schools include an administration fee for proctoring the exam.

Did you know?

The Kaplan Nursing Admission Test has 91 questions that assess your reading, writing, math, and science knowledge. There is no need to have previous nursing knowledge to do well on the test. Every nursing program sets its own passing grade, with some schools setting both a minimum score and a priority score. Most schools require a minimum cumulative 65% grade to be considered for admission.


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Icon Questions Explained White KNAT Question Types Explained

The Kaplan Nursing Admission Test is a multiple-choice test. It is divided into four sections and must be completed within two-hours and forty-five minutes.

SectionNumber of QuestionsTime LimitAverage Time Per Question
Reading2245 minutes122 seconds
Math2845 minutes96 seconds
Writing2145 minutes128 seconds
Science2030 minutes90 seconds

Reading

In the reading section, you will be given four passages to read and then be required to answer a total of 22 questions based on the different passages. The passages vary but often contain a science, nature, or historical theme. The questions are designed to demonstrate your reading skills in four areas:

  • Determining the logic of a passage 
  • Comprehending details
  • Drawing basic inferences
  • Identifying the purpose of a passage

Winning Tip for Reading Comprehension

Before rushing to answer, take the time to read through the passage and the questions carefully. Test makers will frequently give you two answers that are both plausible or partially correct. In most cases, you are asked to select the best answer, rather than an answer which is acceptable. You have over two minutes to answer the question, which should give you enough time to be careful.

Math

The math section will present you with 28 different math questions. These questions range from basic arithmetic to algebra and are written as basic equations or word problems. You will need to apply mathematical principles in these four areas:

  • Unit conversions – imperial and metric units, temperature (℃ and ℉), length, weight, volume, etc.
  • Basic operations – 4 basic operations with whole numbers, fractions, and decimals
  • Advanced operations – percents, ratios
  • Basic algebra – exponents, solving equations, simple polynomials
  • Word problems

Winning Tip for Math Questions

You don’t always need to work out the exact answer. Oftentimes you can simply eliminate enough multiple-choice options and use estimation to answer questions quickly and move to the next item. 

Writing

There are 21 questions in the writing section. While you will not actually be required to write, you will be asked to read nine passages and answer questions. Note that the sentences in each passage are numbered, and the questions refer to the numbered sentences. This section of the test measures your writing skills in these three areas:

  • Assessing passage development
  • Assessing paragraph logic
  • Assessing mechanics of writing – grammar, syntax, punctuation, etc.

Winning Tip for Writing Questions

Eliminate answers that are obviously wrong. With the remaining answers, determine the difference between the answers, and see which answer best reflects the question. 

Science

The science section focuses on your knowledge of physiology. You will need to answer 20 questions covering these areas of the human body:

  • Cardiovascular system
  • Electrolytes
  • Gastrointestinal system
  • Immune system
  • Neurology
  • Renal system
  • Hematological system
  • Homeostasis
  • Respiratory system
  • Sensory system

Winning Tip for Science Questions

There are no tricks in science questions. Either you know the answer, or you don’t. Your best tip is to study from a good textbook or online tutorials, like those offered by iPrep, that cover the relevant topics. Make sure to learn what you need to know and do not exhaust yourself studying topics that won’t be on the test.

Icon Preparation Strategies White KNAT Preparation Strategies

If you are serious about nursing school, it’s vital that you prepare for the KNAT. Kaplan offers a nursing school entrance exam study guide, which can help you prepare for the test. 

The Kaplan guide includes practice tests, a diagnostic exam, lessons, and other information that will help you gauge how prepared you are for the test. 

In addition to the Kaplan guide, there are other steps you can take to give yourself the edge you need when competing against other candidates. 

We have found that while some applicants can prepare for a test in just a few weeks, most candidates will need 2-3 months to study and prepare. Give yourself enough time to prepare, as that will help you reach your goals. 

Find a Test Preparation Course that Meets Your Needs

You need an online test prep course that can guide you through all the different sections of the Kaplan Admissions Test, rather than looking for different courses that focus on reading, math, and science. While looking for the right course, keep the following in mind:

  1. Find a course that matches your learning style. If you prefer reading materials, your study course should be text-heavy. If video and audio courses are easier for you to understand, sign up for courses with those options. 
  2. Don’t settle for a generic nursing or health course. Find a course that uses the same format as the Kaplan Admission Test, which will help familiarize you with the test before you sit down and make it easier for you to focus on test day. 
  3. The course should focus on areas of study on which you will be tested. There’s no sense in taking a course that includes the study of astronomy when your focus needs to be on reading, math, and science.
  4. Sign up for courses with recent user reviews. There are plenty of prep courses that merely offer you study guides that are out of date. 
  5. Look for a book or online course that was published by a familiar author.

Find Your Strengths and Weaknesses

Identify the sections of the test where you need to spend more time focusing your efforts. Rather than trusting your gut to identify your strengths, take a diagnostic test. 

The results of your diagnostic test will help you focus your areas of study, making the time you spend preparing more efficient. For example, if you struggled with math but scored well on the writing section, there’s no reason to dedicate long periods of time studying up on writing. 

By taking the diagnostic test, you’ll also reduce test day anxiety, as you’ll have a pretty good understanding of your skillset.

Once you’ve identified your weaknesses and found your learning style, develop an action plan to strengthen those areas in which you struggle. As part of your plan, create measurable goals so you can see progress. For example, after taking the diagnostic exam you may have scored a 40% in math. 

Create a plan in which you study for one hour per day for five days straight, with the goal of improving your score by 10%. After three weeks, if you can reach your targets, your score will be 70%. If you find that you are not reaching your goals, consider modifying your study time or approach. 

Identify Trouble Areas but Stay Positive

Over the course of your study plan, you may find that there are some areas where you are not seeing the improvement you expect. Look for the root cause of the mistakes you are making, and spend extra time working to overcome those mistakes. However, make sure not to worry too much. Focus on the benefits of passing the exam, and how it will help carry you towards a better future. 

Practice Answering Multiple Choice Questions 

This might seem like a waste of time, but there is a skillset that will allow you to get through these questions quickly. As all the questions in the Kaplan Nursing Entrance Exam are multiple-choice, this cannot be overstated. 

To be successful, you need to learn how to eliminate options and make educated guesses. You’ll also want to learn time-saving techniques for math problems. Find a guide that teaches these tips and tricks. 

Be sure to check out iPrep’s tutorials. We include techniques like these in our online courses, helping you save time when working through these questions. 

Practice Timed Simulations

The closer you get to test day, the more important it becomes to simulate the actual test experience. Take as many simulated tests as you can, which will help you feel comfortable with the test and with the time constraints that you will be facing in each section of the test.

Icon Test Features White Test Features

The Kaplan Nursing Admissions Test allows different nursing programs to set some of their own policies. For example, some schools allow students to retake the test after 30 days, while others restrict retests for two years. While the information that follows is accurate under most circumstances, we recommend that you check the details of your school’s policies before registering for the exam. 

Test Fast Facts (tl;dr)

  • Total of 91 questions
  • The test takes two hours and forty-five minutes to complete. Be sure to park somewhere with at least a three-hour limit, as you may be given a short tutorial before the test.
  • There are four academic sections
    • Reading
    • Writing
    • Math
    • Science
  • Calculators may not be brought into the test. There is a built-in calculator that you can use while taking the test. 
  • Passing schools differ by school, but most accept a cumulative score of 65% to pass.
  • Many schools allow students to take the test off-site, using Examity to proctor the exam. Check with your school for details. 
  • You will need to show a picture ID to take the test.
  • There is a fee for the test, ranging from about $29-93.

Common Names of the Test

There are a number of different names for this test. They are:

  • Kaplan Nursing Entrance Exam
  • Kaplan Entrance Exam
  • Kaplan Admissions Test
  • Kaplan Nursing Test
  • Kaplan Nursing School Entrance Exam
  • Kaplan Nursing Admission Test
  • KNAT
  • Kaplan Pre Nursing Test
  • Kaplan Pre Admission Nursing Exam

Retake Policy

Retake policies differ by institution, but there are some general guidelines. 

  • If you have taken multiple tests, admissions departments will evaluate your application based on the most recent test.
  • Test scores cannot be combined, so if you did well in one section one year and a different section the next year, you will be evaluated only on the most recent results.
  • Tests may only be taken once during an application period.
  • Some schools allow retakes within 30 days. Others have much longer periods, up to two years. 
  • Scores are valid for 1-5 years, depending on the school.

Closed Book Exam

When taking the test, you may not use any materials to help you with the questions. You may use a piece of scrap paper and a pen.


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Digital Testing

The KNAT is administered on a computer. It does not offer the option of using pen and paper. Tests are either given at the school’s testing center or through an online proctoring service. 

Fast Results

Your scores will be accessible immediately after completing the test. You will also be able to log in at a later time to view and print your results. 

Success Predictor 

The Kaplan Admission Test is nationally normed and designed to predict a student’s ability to succeed in a nursing program.

Icon Results Scale & Interpretations White Results Scale and Interpretations

While there are only four sections in the test covering reading, writing, math, and science, the results section will include six scores. In addition to scores for the four sections, your results will include a score for critical thinking, which is embedded into the questions of the different sections. Additionally, your results will include a cumulative score. 

Most schools will look at your cumulative score when assessing your application to their program.

Results Availability

Your test results are available immediately after completing the test. You can see your detailed score report and print it directly from the test interface. 

Interpretation of Your Score

Each school weighs the results of the test differently. Some have minimum score requirements while others use the score of the exam in conjunction with your GPA and other applicant data to determine your likelihood of succeeding in their program. 

That being said, most schools require a minimum cumulative score of 65% when considering a candidate. Your score is only one element that is used in assessing your application.

Icon Frequently Asked Questions White KNAT FAQs

What’s on the Kaplan Nursing Admissions Test?

The KNAT consists of 91 questions in four sections, covering reading, math, writing, and science.

What is the passing score for the Kaplan Nursing Entrance Exam?

Every school sets its own passing grade. However, most schools look for candidates who scored 65% or higher on their Kaplan Nursing Entrance Exam.

How many questions are on the Kaplan Nursing Entrance Exam?

There are 91 questions in four sections. You will be challenged with 22 reading questions, 28 math questions, 21 writing questions, and 20 science questions.

How many times can I take the Kaplan Nursing Entrance Exam?

Most schools limit you to taking the test once per application period.

What kind of math is on the Nursing Entrance Exam?

The Nursing Entrance Exam challenges you with questions ranging from basic arithmetic to algebra. The stories include standard equations and word problems.

Can you use a calculator on the Kaplan Nursing Entrance Exam?

The KNAT has a built-in calculator that you can use. You may not use your own calculator or any other electronic device.

Is the Kaplan Nursing Admissions Test hard?

The test can be challenging, especially for applicants who have been out of the classroom for a while. To see if you are ready for the test, try a practice exam that shows you how well you perform in the different sections. That will help you see what areas you need to focus on.

What is on the Nursing Entrance Exam?

The Kaplan Nursing Admissions Test has questions covering your reading, writing, and math skills. The science section tests your knowledge of physiology.

Icon Tips White KNAT Test Tips

Follow these tips to improve your results.

  1. Carefully read the instructions
    Read every question quickly but thoroughly. Scan the information for the relevant data and use it to find the right answer. Read through the question and your answer a second before clicking the Next button.
  2. Pace yourself
    Don’t spend too much time on any one question, but don’t go too fast. You have between a minute and a half and two minutes for each question. However, if something is taking too long, move on to the next question.
  3. Take educated guesses
    If you are stumped by a question, try to eliminate obvious wrong answers and make an educated guess. You don’t lose points for wrong answers. 
  4. Answer as many questions correctly as you can
    Don’t stress over scoring 100%. You don’t need to score that well to get into your program. If you see you are running out of time and still have a number of questions to get through, start making educated guesses to get through the material faster. There’s no penalty for wrong answers, so even a guess is better than no answer at all.
  5. Plan and practice
    Create a study plan up to three months ahead of the test and keep on practicing. The more familiar you get with the test, the fewer surprises you’ll face on test day.

Icon Administration White Administration

Test Location: Tests are usually given at either the school you are applying to or at home using an Examity proctor. However, double check with your admission office due to changes related to COVID-19.

Test Schedule: Each institution publishes its own testing schedule, depending on the program you apply for. All Kaplan Nursing Entrance Exams are taken by appointment and not on demand.

Test Format: Multiple choice taken on computer.

Test Materials: Taken on a computer with a calculator built into the platform. You will be provided with scratch paper.

Cost: Fees vary by school, ranging from about $29-$93.

Retake Policy: Most schools allow you to take the test once per admission period. Some schools have different policies.


Free KNAT Practice


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The Kaplan Nursing Entrance Exam was created and developed by Kaplan Nursing, a division of Kaplan. Kaplan has provided educational services to colleges and universities for over 80 years. 

The Kaplan Nursing Entrance Exam provides nursing and healthcare programs with detailed, unbiased information about candidates that indicates the likelihood that they will succeed in the program. 

Disclaimer – All the information and prep materials on iPrep are genuine and were created for tutoring purposes. iPrep is not affiliated with Kaplan Nursing, Kaplan, or any other company mentioned.

Curriculum

  1. Course Introduction
  2. Question Types Introduction
  3. Reading Comprehension
  4. Math
  5. Science - Anatomy and Physiology Guide
  6. Full-Length Test Simulations
  7. Course Conclusion

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(9 Ratings)
  1. Avatar
    Nicole B*******
      August 5, 2021 at 12:53 AM

    A great way to practice an actual test, for questions that I’ll be encountering on the real exam! A great way to get prepared for the real thing!

  2. Avatar
    monica g*****
      August 3, 2021 at 9:25 PM

    Iprep has helped me so much! I reviewed the lectures a few days before for my exam and it was a great refresher!

  3. Avatar
    Bethany J******
      July 28, 2021 at 12:10 AM

    This review is helpful as it acted as a refresher for me and I liked the questions during the sections. It was easy to skip areas that I’m more comfortable with and focus on the ones I’m not.

  4. Avatar
    Maria L******
      July 27, 2021 at 7:52 PM

    I think the one section this is lacking is the grammar portion; otherwise it is a great tool. I really enjoy the practice test and how answers are explained.

  5. Avatar
    Hannah H******
      July 24, 2021 at 1:56 AM

    Lots of good information right on my phone for me to review anytime. Very easy to read and comprehend. Totally worth getting the account.

  6. Avatar
    kenneather c*****
      July 18, 2021 at 7:51 AM

    I enjoy the app.It is easy to use and the break down of the problem instructions is beneficial. I want to go into the Nursing field and with the help of this app, I will be successful.

  7. Avatar
    Jessica C*********
      July 15, 2021 at 1:57 PM

    I was so nervous to prepare for teh admissions test. I found i prep. This has been so helpful and easy to naviagte, thank you!!

  8. Avatar
    Rebecca K******
      July 9, 2021 at 1:50 AM

    I haven’t been in school for 30 years. I would like to go into the nursing program. This was a superb review of things I haven’t looked at in a very long time.

  9. Avatar
    Jared C********
      July 6, 2021 at 8:43 PM

    I am using this and study.com to review for the RN entrance exam for the medic to rn bridge. We will see what the final results bring.

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