Passed Adult AANP Certification Exam

  1. I am not sure how many people are taking AANP compared to ANCC. I passed it, and thought I would take a few minutes to share some thoughts.

    1) The exam was much better than the books. I used Fitzgerald and Leik. Both were older editions, so many of the questions regarding guidelines were outdated.

    I didn't really like Fitzgerald book very much. She tries really hard to be obscure, and often her answers added more to the confusion. It was valuable spending 20 minutes looking for the source of some of her answers. Leik is much more to the point.

    2) I initially went through the 500 questions in Leik, and scored about 60% - cold. When I moved on to Fitzgerald, I took the questions first, scoring about 50-60%, then read the rationale that followed. I think a lot of her rationale was goofy, so I used Epocrates and emedicine to cross reference, and went directly to the guidelines from AHA, JNC7, etc, when it was appropriate.

    3) Then I went to APEA. I took the first predictor exam - 57%. Now I am thinking I am a loser. Studied hard on the weakest subjects, and took another one. 76%. Now we are onto something. Studied again, another one, 81%. The questions were almost all unique, except for a few repeats.

    4) Learned cranial nerves, antibiotics for all of the major disorders (CAP, UTI, Diverticulitis, AOM, Strep A pneumonia, vaginal infections, STD's, etc. Studied anemias and thryroid disorders. Maneuvers and signs, red flags.

    5) When I started out in the exam room, I used the scratch paper to write down all of the antibiotics I had memorized with their corresponding disorder, and wrote down the anemias and their corresponding lab values. It woke up my brain and gave me a cheat sheet to speed up my decisions.

    Summary. My test was heavy on female disorders, thyroid, and dermatology. All subjects I think should be removed or lessened on an initial certifying board. It was very light on cardiology, had some respiratory with spirometry, and a few cancer questions.

    Very little on governing, licensing, ethics, or health promotion. Almost no neuro. Too bad, I like neuro.

    So that's my take on it. 5 years work for a 150 question exam.
  2. Visit casias12 profile page

    About casias12, APRN

    Joined: Aug '12; Posts: 98; Likes: 135
    ARNP - Cardiology
    Specialty: 30 year(s) of experience in Cardiology nurse practitioner


  3. by   HumptyDumpty
    Awesome, thanks for that! I am taking mine in a couple weeks. Gone through fitzgerald and leik and mostly just going over it again. I took the AANP $50 practice test and scored a 80 on. Been scoring in the low 80s on leiks questions as well. So I think I will continue to review some stuff and then do lots of practice questions the last week before the exam.

    So a lot of womens health huh? Dang it... I hate women's health too. So did you feel like it was pretty random?
  4. by   casias12
    Yeah. Pretty random. The problem with these boards is that they focus on stuff you just don't ever see in actual practice.

    "Just learn it once and move on." That's my policy.

    I didn't use to have a policy, but now I have that one.
  5. by   caliduck
    I just passed the AANP exam on May 20th and had 3 weeks to prepare for the exam. I am not a good test taker, so hopefully my experience may benefit others preparing for the test.

    I bought Fitzgeralds NP Certification Preparation and Practice Preparation book and borrowed her CD's from a friend. I listened to the CD's everywhere I went. Honestly found my attention wandering listening to her voice and didn't get much from the CD's. As for the NP comprehensive review book, I found it helpful, easy to follow and understand, but she presents way too much information. I will likely keep it in my office as a quick reference.

    I also bought Leik's Family Nurse Practitioner Certification Intensive Review and really liked it. Yes, there are typo's in the book, but overall she gives you a condensed version of just the important information. There are review questions at the back of the book, I would encourage you to go through them. Some of them slightly re-worded appeared on my exam.

    Lastly, I purchased the APEA QBank. You will receive unlimited access for 30 days. As I reviewed a section in Fitzgerald, I went on the QBank and took practice questions related to the same content. You are given the choice to do your practice questions in the exam mode or tutorial mode. The tutorial mode gives you the rationale for the answer, which I found very helpful. The main benefit of the QBank is that you learn how to answer questions presented in the same manner as those on the certification exam.

    As for the exam, there are a few questions that are straight forward, so don't over-think the question. I had quite a bit of women's health ( STD,s pregnancy related emergencies), pediatrics, dermatology, hematology. I only recall 1 on cranial nerves, several on cardiology, so remember MRTRAS and MSPRAR. Get a good nights sleep before your exam, don't drink too much fluids the day of your exam, and go to the bathroom before your test begins. While you are allowed to use the bathroom during the exam, the time continues to count down, the clock doesn't stop!

    Best wishes and good luck!
  6. by   dennisavage
    I took the AANC and failed it. I had studied way too much, and I was trying to cover everything. Any suggestions for my next try, AANP. I am actually afraid I might fail again.
  7. by   caliduck

    i am sorry you didn't pass, don't get discouraged. I found purchasing the QBank questions and reviewing on tutorial mode very helpful, it gives the rationale for the answer, but more importantly it teaches you how to answer the questions... weed out the distracting crap and figure out exactly what it is they are asking. The test questions are in no way a reflection of core knowledge nor are they entry level. I focused on Leik's review book-the comprehensive quick review. She presents it short and to the point. Make sure you carefully read the question, may are worded in an effort to trick you.

    Let me know if you have any other questions!
  8. by   Isabel-ANP-BC
    When I took the AANC exam it was heavy on ethics, beneficence and endocrine. One, thank god, question about women's health. I think the test randomly downloads stuff... I actually didn't study much, but I did use the AANCs online study program. cost me about $250. It was great cause the lecturer always said "And this would make a great exam question."

    Passed on the first try....
  9. by   AtomicWoman
    Quote from Isabel-ANP-BC
    When I took the AANC exam it was heavy on ethics, beneficence and endocrine. One, thank god, question about women's health. I think the test randomly downloads stuff... I actually didn't study much, but I did use the AANCs online study program. cost me about $250. It was great cause the lecturer always said "And this would make a great exam question."

    Passed on the first try....
    AANC or ANCC? These acronyms make me crazy sometimes.

    I have taken and passed both the ANP and AGPCNP exams through ANCC. The AGPCNP exam was very different from the ANP exam I took last year.
  10. by   Isabel-ANP-BC
    aNCC...sorry about that....I was on a phone
  11. by   Alexis33
    Casias12 is right about the boards. A good deal of the questions I have yet to see at the clinic. I was thinking more along the lines of the most common diagnoses that are usually seen in outpatient clinics and primary care but nope. Ortho to the bones and policy out my ears. Bones I never knew existed. Policy- never gonna work in that area.
    Now I know.
  12. by   lillyarnp2013
    Did you feel the apea review questions helped
  13. by   Barinbass
    I took the AGNP AANP exam two days ago and passed it. I was shocked as I was not sure if I was doing well or not, but I guess it was good enough. I didn't find the APEA book of questions and tests as helpful as I had thought and did find information that conflicted with my Fitzgerald and other sources. Glad that is over with, and now the hard part of finding a job.
  14. by   l'infermiere
    I really appreciate all the posts on here regarding the exam and wanted to give my feedback as well.

    Just took my AANP exam and passed it. I had both Fitzpatrick and Hollier (APEA) CDs. I listened to both in their entirety but found myself going back and using APEA more. I preferred her style and the accompanying handbook. I also found the Leik book to be excellent as well as the Fitzgerald Cert Exam book.

    I took two practice test with AANP first time 69, second time 74 about three weeks apart. They seemed similar. I also took two APEA test and scored in the low 70s. It was suggested to me by a classmate who had recently passed the AANP as well to use AANP-FNP(dot)com website for practice tests. I found them to be really good and similar to the test. They give an explanation as well unlike the AANP ones. It is also cheaper, $50 for 5 tests (100 questions) vs $50 for one (75 questions). I scored 67, 69, 71, 71 and 74 on these.

    I was nervous that I was not scoring higher but really felt burnt out and just wanted to take the test and give it a shot. One thing to point out, not that anyone wants to fail but you can only take the AANP exam twice in a CALENDAR year (Jan 1 to Dec 31) according to their website so I figured if I did fail I could take it again before December.
    All the topics that have been pointed out above are the same ones I had on my exam.

    GOOD LUCK!!!