I'd been so AFRAID to take boards since graduation May 2017, that I didn't even tell my family I was taking the exam!
I sneaked out to take it and showed up at home in a T-shirt I had made at the mall afterwards: "I Passed!" (front), "The 1st Time!" (back)...
Since I can remember, ANY time I had a Major Exit exam in order to advance to the next level, I have ALWAYS FAILED FIRST and passed on the SECOND time.
**8th grade; High School; Associate's program exit exam and first RN state Board 20 yrs ago; and then Master's RN DRT March 2017**
While I don't share this for pity-sake, nor to demean myself, I do hope to encourage others who may struggle the same.
Now, admittedly, I did not have the greatest study plan-initially. But it got better...
First, here's my exam breakdown (from what I could remember).
MY EXAM: 200 questions (175 graded)
1. Nearly half was non-clinical: Practice, Research, NP role, Professionalism, Ethics (including definitions)
2. Approx. 10 Derm. questions
3. Approx. 5-8 Resp. questions
4. Approx. 10 Contraception, OB, STDs, Gyne, Women's health
5. Approx. 5-10 Gero. of varying types (appropriate meds, age-related changes, injury, appropriate communication, etc.)
6. less than 10 Peds
7. less than 5 Health Screening & Promotion questions
8. 4-5 Cultural questions EENT, hearing, vision
9. And a variance of Psych, Neuro, Cardio, Renal, GI
10. NO Cranial nerve questions (and I was Really prepared for those)
Types of Questions
1. Multiple choice-single answer option
2. Multiple choice-"choose 2", "choose 3" (specific # indicated)
3. Photos (examples)
Knowing which patient you might need to order a topical steroid for this disorder
Knowing which patient would need an vascular surgical intervention?
An Xray-knowing where a disorder might initially manifest in the chest
An Xray, CT, or MRI of a joint, spine, etc
4. Drag & Drop (3-4 questions)
Example: Place these interventions in the order in which you would perform them
5. Placing types of studies in the order of strength (4-5 questions) - Drag & Drop style
Example: Survey vs. Double Blind Randomized Trial vs. Expert-written article
WHAT I DID: it was organized on paper, but in real life, more hectic in execution
1. Initially, an app called "FNP" and answered all questions there (System-by-System); writing down all rationales/concepts that I couldn't remember easily; studying pertinent Mnemonics
2. LEIK: Chapter by Chapter, adding details to the System-by-System notes mentioned above (and Review questions)
3. BARKLEY: Listened to an audio review-- adding details to the System-by-System notes; very strong in pointing out HALLMARK s/s, BLACK BOX info, and KEY PHRASES.
4. ANCC 2-Volume study guide: Practice, Research, NP role, etc. (and Review questions)
5. FITZGERALD Review questions
6. Q-BANKS: BoardVitals (ANCC), ExamEdge (ANCC & AANP), Barkley
7. Essentially I had created and typed my own very large version of a Study Guide, that I could use to study Every System--but only the subject matter that I was most lacking in, needed help remembering, or that had very specific information (guidelines, stepwise, etc.)
BEFORE STUDYING: Inside EACH study tool you choose, read ALL of the "tips, tools, & tricks" they offer; Each one offered great advice I had never considered.
It changed how I read, understood, & answered questions.
1. Start studying early
2. Choose which board you will take (AANP vs. ANCC)
3. Plan which study tools you will use
4. Do not register for/set a date until you are ready to begin studying [I was still working more than full-time and not focused on studying until 3 weeks into my 90-day time-frame]
5. Stick with your plan
6. Answering questions from various Q-banks & Study Guides helps you learn to answer a variety of posed questions.
AT THE EXAM: Don't skip the tutorial; there are helpful features:
Strike-Out (answers you know are wrong)
High-lighting feature (in the body of the question; not in the answers)
Reviewing at the end
LONG 1st Post--but I hope it helps someone like other posts here helped me!
Last edit by triciapharaohFNP on Jan 13
I graduate in May I'm in PANIC MODE. I travel 1 hour to clinical and was wondering if anyone has reccomendations for audio reviews I need to listen several times
I mentioned in my post, the Barkley audio exam prep, but it is my only experience.
Because it was a recording of a live class, it was as entertaining as it was informational; I enjoyed it (as opposed to the Pharmacology online class which was very dry--basically reading the PowerPoints at you)... downfall, however, is that I did not have their training book that was used in the informational. But since you plan to listen while driving (thus not actively taking notes), this could still be useful for you!