I haven't posted in quite a while, but I read allnurses almost daily. Yesterday, I took the AANP FNP test and passed, which of course was a relief. For the past several months the posts about people either passing or failing the exam were of special interest to me, so that I could see what might help me pass. There seemed to be alot of variations in what helped one person vs another, and I came to my own conslusion that there is not a "cookie cutter" recipe for studying. So, I am going to give you my little contribution, in the hopes it will be of help to someone preparing for the test, as I was recently.
I graduated in December, got my letter to test in early January, and I put off deciding when I would test because I thought I would have a revelation that I am ready. I could see that revelation wasn't going to come, so I chose a date and scheduled it. At least I knew that I have X number of days to prepare and I work better under pressure anyway.
At first, I assembled every book and note or printout that I had since beginning school. The dining room (my official study area) looked terrible, but everything was in one place should I need it. I had signed up for the APEA live review course, which was the weekend of Jan 12. My original strategy was to review my books, and refresh my memory, I realized that would take forever. I started officially studying after my son returned to school after Christmas holidays were over for him. I had also bought the Fitzgerald CD's a long time ago, and have listened to them off and on in my car, but they didn't especially help me on the test. I bought her review book in early January, and I found it very helpful!
The APEA review was also excellent, and I highly recommend it. However, the review alone would not have helped me pass. After the review, I came to realize that going through all my books and notes would not be the most effective use of my time. What would be effective would be to use the resources by APEA and Fitzgerald, since they seemed better for test prep than just rereading books. I purchased APEA's online testing and a couple of the "predictor" exams. In my opinion, that helped tremendously. The online testing has rationales to the questions, and when I wanted more info, I simple looked it up in my textbooks. I studied using the Fitz book and APEA site for the majority of my study time and they were very helpful.
Also, it's a good idea to refresh your memory on guidelines, such as JNC VII, GOLD for COPD, ATP III, and refresh your cranial nerves. Now I'm gonna have a bonfire with all those notes I have, LOL. Hope this helps someone.