I took the ANCC exam and passed.
1. I used Margaret A. Fitzgerald review book and read it section by section, and
2. I made flash cards based on my readings. I made about 300 of them, on the stuff that I did not remember very well. Once I was done reading the book and making my flash cards, I re-read the book one more time, to make sure that I have covered everything. Then I made sure that I knew every thing on my flash cards. The second read was easy and took much less time. (took 1.5 weeks)
3. I used the review question book by Lynne M. Dunphy. The questions helped me master and apply what I studied on the Fitzgerald book and my cards. Each chapter of the question book had about 100 questions, which was helpful, and a CD that has questions and sample exams. (took 1.5 weeks)
4. Finally I used Maria T. Codina Leik's book, Just the last part of the book on the non clinical section where it talks about NP role, medicare and Medicaid, Licensing, and things like that. It was very very well done, helpful, short, and to the point. It's only few pages. Fitzgerald does not talk about that in her book or CD. (few hours)
5. I listened to Fitzgerald CD, especially chapter one or the first section that talked about the exam and how to prepare for it and what to expect on the exam, it is 40 minutes but it is worth spending the time. I listened to the CD after I studied very well to help review, I listened to it, in my car, working out, and things like that.
I studied for about solid 3.5 weeks, almost a month.
I hope this is helpful!