How much or how little, in the way of study resources, that you use to prepare for these tests is totally up to you. The first thing you should start out with is the study outline that EC provides for each test on its publication page. Download that. Then look inside the study guide for the list of recommended texts. You should obtain a reference library of nursing texts anyway, so you might as well get the EC recommended books for med surg nursing, pharmacology, peds, etc. From there on out, you can decide what you want in addition. Good sources are: ebay (type in Excelsior College for your search) for study group 101 and/or Lisa Arends study guides, as well as used copies of other study guides from the various study guide publishers, the files sections of the various EC study groups on yahoo (free), www.flashcardexchange.com
. The best investment for each test is the Excelsior College practice exams for $60. These have test questions that are very similar to, (and reportedly sometimes the same as), the actual tests. That is about enough of a selection for you to choose from. Whatever you do, don't get involved with The College Network, Rue, Chancellor's, or any other publishing company. Several thousand dollars wasted to get study material that can be had for free or very little money elsewhere. Good luck.