My feeling after taking boards...a lesson for all

  1. I prepared myself for months for the boards. I've read the sweatbook a total of 5 times! The memory master for a total of 2! I felt ready and prepared to take the exam and I did take it yesterday. Did I have anxiety? Sure. Some, but not a whole lot. That right there told me deep inside that I was ready. But I wasn't prepared for the HARD questions that hit me during the course of the exam.

    The first couple of questions were OK. I obviously missed a simple question that I should've known the answer to (it was a calculation question). A brief moment of brain fart I thought to myself. But, I was OK with it and moved on.

    The questions got tougher and thougher I thought. The fact that, I was trying to answer some of them through process of elimination (you know, like well A and B are totally wrong, so its between C and D...).

    Then, as the test progressed....just like the energizer bunny...it kept going and going and.....

    Past question 93 and I was still at it. My heart sank and my confidence got knocked out of me. I started to panic a bit. "How much time have I lost...do I have enough time to finish?". I stopped and took a deep breath. I told myself to GET A GRIP and FOCUS.

    The questions..."Where in the world did these questions come from?" From what I recall through the exam...most of the questions I was asked involved plenty of anatomy & physiology. Sure, I did get an easy question here and there, like the simple flow volume loop diagram. But, as soon as I breezed through a question or two like it, the hard questions came. And there were a lot of em! Now, I tried to rationalize...telling myself that, "Well, if most of the questions were hard....then I must've been doing OK. At least the computer was "adapting" to my capacity to answer these HARD questions. And if I was doing really badly, then my questions would've been easier and easier...OR it could've easily stopped at 90 something. CAN IT STOP AT ANY NUMBER ABOVE 90? Does anyone know?

    So, I answered ALL 160 questions and tried my very best yesterday. I was emotionally run down and drained of all emotions. I was a zombie, trying to drive back to my house which was an hour away. Thoughts of failure came to my mind. People that were counting on me to pass...HUMILITY that may come after I get my results.

    But, after waking up this morning from a BAD HANGOVER, I realised that nothing can really prepare you for an exam such as this one that is so unpredictable. Sure, the sweatbook helped. But in my opinion, the memory master didn't. I would advise those who will be taking this exam in the future to supplement your readings outside of the sweatbook and memory master. Sure, I tried supplementing my studies by reading M&M, but not thoroughly. That is my own fault. I take full responsibility for my successes and failures. And if I fail this one, then IT IS JUST A SETBACK. If I get knocked off this horse, then I'll just get up and get on it again. That's why they call it "School of Hard Knocks".

    It's out of my hands now. The waiting begins. Between now and the day the fed ex man comes, I will hit the books and start reading once again. This time, I'll start with Morgan & Mikhail.

    Goodluck to all who have and will take the board exam.
    Last edit by MaleAPRN on Sep 17, '06
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    About MaleAPRN

    Joined: Feb '04; Posts: 218; Likes: 17
    ICU RN / ER NP - resigned to go to CRNA school in Aug.
    Specialty: Nurse Practitioner/CRNA Pain Mgmt

    38 Comments

  3. by   JentheRN05
    CRNA - has a total of 160 questions? I did not know that. I think your confidence alone should say something. It takes a 'big man/woman' to say everything you said. I commend you. Just have faith. I'm interested in becoming CRNA myself - but sadly it would only be for the money - not because I WANT to do that. I however am very comfortable in my current position. So maybe I should just stick with it. For the first time - I am completely comfortable. So I probably shouldn't rock the boat.
    Sorry for rambling about myself. Good luck and will keep you in my thoughts.
  4. by   CougRN
    Thanks for the honest post vinny. I take my boards in 3 months and I'm scared to death. You have a great attitude today though and I hope it pans out for you this first time around. Best of luck.
  5. by   MaleAPRN
    Quote from CougRN
    Thanks for the honest post vinny. I take my boards in 3 months and I'm scared to death. You have a great attitude today though and I hope it pans out for you this first time around. Best of luck.
    Thanks for the well wishes. I'm a lot better today :wink2: Did a couple of hours of work on my car, mowed the lawn, went to Starbucks, then went back home and started reading M&M.

    Went on the AANA website and emailed the credentialling secretary to ask at what point in time could a candidate re-take the exam. She emailed me back quickly and stated that eventhough the AANA permits a candidate who unfortunately fails the exam a total of 4 tries a year, there is no minimum waiting time between exams. That is, if a candidate receives his/her failing results, then an application can be sent that very day. So, one can literaly retake the exam if needed within a month of receiving the results. I seriously thought that there was a 3 month waiting period. I guess there isn't. So, this was a little bit of good news I thought. This cheered me up a bit.

    Well, the wait continues...

    Vinny.
  6. by   asianrn
    hopefully everything works out well with you vinny
  7. by   RNCRNA2BE
    Good luck and god bless, Vinny! Keep us posted!
  8. by   SproutRN
    Vinny, I remember the exact same feelings from 8 months ago! And just so you know, I had a few folks in my class take all 160 questions and they passed! So keep your head up and stay busy while you await your results!

    I started working the week after I took boards and that certainly kept my mind very occupied for at least 8 hours a day. The day I found out the FedEx "man" was coming to my house was SO scary. We are all hoping and praying for you!

    Sprout
  9. by   underdog
    Vinny-

    Try not to stress too much....I know that is easier said than done. A bright spot however is that the CCNA randomally selects people to recieve all 160 questions no matter how well or how bad they do on the exam. This provides them with a way of asuring questions are "tested". So in your case, you probably aced it at 90, but were one of the poor suckers selected to sweat through all 160 brutal questions.

    Underdog
  10. by   MaleAPRN
    Thanks guys. That makes me feel better. I actually tried to get busy today. I read M&M for a bit, went to play with the cats & dogs. Then, I went back to my nurse anesthesia school (which was only less then 5 mins away) to talk to my school director about my exam experience. I told her that the exam was SUPER HARD and that I went through 160 items. She said the same things you guys have said....that is..."well, that isn't necessarily bad news". She said she's had past students who got 90 questions and have failed it. She was very reassuring...as you all have been. But, I still can't help but think of the worst. I'm getting over it though...slowly but surely.

    Vinny.
  11. by   charebec65
    Good luck Vinny. I have a friend who is a CRNA and he really loves it... I'm sure you'll be fine...
  12. by   TraumaNurse
    Hey Vinny,

    You have the right attitude. You can't change it now. You may well have passed and in a couple of weeks will have a hang-over in celebration. If not, you know what you need to do and will do it. You may have also been given a lot of the "tester" questions that do not even count towards your score. I wish you the best of luck and hope you will report back with good news soon.

    By the way, I take my boards on Thursday. I am a little more nervous now that I read you post since I have only read the "sweat book" twice and MM twice. I have one more day to review and then we will have to see what happens. I think a lot depends on the test you get on a particular day. I hope I have one of the "easy" ones. I have a big red "EASY" button to hit before I go into the test center...I hope it works!
  13. by   balutpinoysabutuan
    :bowingpur i congratulate you for your convictions:if you stumble and fall,pick up yourself and continue the battle.it may be hard in the beginning but you will ultimately win the war.KEEP IT UP GIRL!
  14. by   MaleAPRN
    Quote from TraumaNurse
    Hey Vinny,

    You have the right attitude. You can't change it now. You may well have passed and in a couple of weeks will have a hang-over in celebration. If not, you know what you need to do and will do it. You may have also been given a lot of the "tester" questions that do not even count towards your score. I wish you the best of luck and hope you will report back with good news soon.

    By the way, I take my boards on Thursday. I am a little more nervous now that I read you post since I have only read the "sweat book" twice and MM twice. I have one more day to review and then we will have to see what happens. I think a lot depends on the test you get on a particular day. I hope I have one of the "easy" ones. I have a big red "EASY" button to hit before I go into the test center...I hope it works!
    Hey TraumaNurse,

    You'll be fine! If you feel ready inside to take the test, then you are! A BIG GOODLUCK!

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