How I Passed the ANNP Exam

I graduated last December 2016 for my FNP program. My school did not offer any reviews but made a recommendation to join an APEA review. Honestly, when I graduated I felt like I did not know anything. I was clueless.


How I Passed the ANNP Exam

I didn't know where to start studying. But I did schedule an APEA review the first week of January 2017. Before going for the review I was researching how to study for the Board Certification. Browsing the internet; looking for any updated information about the exam. I decided to take AANP I felt it was my strong side the more of the clinical. But there was no current information of FNP's who posted about the AANP in this site. So I decided that when I passed my examination I would post here so that I could return the favor and help others too. I started studying seriously on the month of February 1st.

So anyways here is the breakdown for the review books I used:

1. LEIK is 'THE BOOK' to study.

It was recommended too by my co-worker who passed the exam last year. For me this book contains everything. It summarized Fritzgerald (this book is too broad and to much information to digest). The LEIK offers great summary and pointer points. It has exam tips that really help me when I took the exam. I have read and studied this book 8 times. Took the exam 640 questions at the back of the book, three times. Until was able to get the 80% score like 595/640. So then I felt I was ready to take the exam. I have 80-90% of the book information digested. I studied per system each day and answering 50-100 questions a day. This book has it all. If you really study and read it well you will have a good foundation.

2. APEA review book as what Ammelie said this is just the basic.

You have to expound and have another resources. This is a good combo with the LEIK. If you memorize it and understand it will you will have a good standing in passing the exam.

3. I also bought the FNP mastery my to go APP while on break, reading and analyzing each rationale.

It contains 800+ questions. IF you study well LEIK and APEA you will be able to answer the questions. I was scoring 80% and above with the by systems so I knew I was ready to take the exam. It has a lot of MINEMONICS too. It also monitors your progress.

4. I bought the question book from APEA.

It is really nice and good investment. It contains by systems questions and contains three sets of 150 questions for FNP exam which is nice to help you answer the 150 questions and know your pacing with good rationales. I say read well each rationale and understand it. IF you don't get the rationales, re-read LEIK and APEA.

So this is all my resources for my review. I did not want to spend so much with review centers or books as my classmates have done. Some of them went to review centers APEA, FRITZ and BARKLEY 2-3 times which I was expensive. I say no matter how many books or review you go to if you don't study there is no point. I paid attention to make weak areas or systems and spend more time studying them. Although I repeated in answering the questions, trust me you won't remember them when you answer them back again. I studied 5-8 hours on my off days I only work 3 days 12 hours shift. On the days I work I made sure I answered minimum 50 questions.

Two weeks for my exam date I took the APEA predictor exam I scored 69% ($30 150 question) I recommend you to take this too so you will know your pacing in answering questions; it is timed for 3 hours like the real exam and I took the AANP exam (available on the site for $50 75 questions) so I will be familiar on how the questions are structured.

I felt it was not a good standing so I spend 8-10 hours of serious studying for the remaining 2 weeks. Until I got sick of studying (literally like my brain wants to puke the information already) I had the same feeling with I took my NCLEX. I knew I was ready. I decided not to retake another predictor exam like what APEA said 69% are risks takers. I felt if I took it and did not make the 70% cut off it might take off my confidence and trust.

Two days before the exam I rerun the whole book for LEIK only reading the EXAM POINTS per chapter just to refresh my memory. The day before the exam no more studying I had body massage, exercise--cardio, and sleep early at 0800 pm. I have to wake up at 0430 am my exam was at 0900am but it was a long drive to the site and we might be stuck in the traffic. I asked my brother to drove me that day which I recommend so you won't be stress driving and you will be relaxed.

On the day of the exam, what I did FIRST was before touching the computer I was given a scratch paper on the front page I wrote all the mnemonics, cranial nerves (especially the SOME, SAY... sensory/motor/both), MR. AS and MS. AR, hyper/hypothy, STDS and tx/labs., anything I could remember so that later when I answer I will not be confused and it will guide me.

At the back of the scratch paper, I number them 1-50, 30 per column. This strategy I found out myself. I figured out you need at least 100/150 to have 65%. So each column I need to score a minimum of 20 points. Yes, you can mark the questions in the computer if you want but this one was a better strategy for me. I mark X or checkmark on each number. Checkmark for questions I knew I was right and X mark on the questions I don't know the answer or I guess the questions. At the end of the 150 questions. I tallied each column I had 120 check marks. I know I had to have a buffer of 10 points to make sure I pass. I had 90 minutes remaining. I decided not review my answer as I might change them. So I submitted and answered the survey.

I went out and told the proctor I was done and YES I passed the AANP exam first take. So tips I could give? study really hard spend 5 hours or more if your target is take the exam within 2 months and answer questions daily it will help your critical thinking. I usually used the process of elimination when answering questions.

Yes, join a APEA review it will help you and don't get intimidated if you felt you don't know anything when you there I was like that clueless. Used it as a motivation to study harder. I studied per system together both LEIK and APEA.

As for the exam questions, it was very random from geriatrics to peds to maternal to std, to cardio and derma.. and more. So take the AANP exam it will help you oriented how the questions are structured. These are actually exam questions from before but was taken out due to updated guidelines.

Anyways, I also prayed said the rosary each day. I believe prayers and hard work pays off at the end. So if you have questions feel free to message me or anything I am very much willing to help.

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Specializes in NICU, Pediatric Urgent Care. Has 9 years experience.

thanks for the info!


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You're welcome. I hope this could help you somehow.


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This is amazing. Thank you so much for posting. I recently took the exam and failed and I have felt very discouraged and disappointed. I felt prepared but I also felt like I could have practiced more questions. Every time I would take a test if it were 10questions, 150 questions or 50, I would always score a 60%, so I had no clue that meant I really wasn't prepared. Any more tips or suggestions would be great! Thank you again.


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Don't get discouraged about it. Study harder by spending minimum of 4-5 hours a day. Erase what you learned. Start fresh. When I started answering questions at the beginning of my game plan I was 50-60% after 4 weeks I saw improvement I was hitting 60-80% in each systems. I keep on focusing on areas I am weak at with 70% or less scores. Download FNP mastery it's $39 you can monitor our progress. Study per system and take exams per system before you take comprehensive exams with 150 questions. I have done this technique when I took nclex I write in the bond paper using sharpie important stuff to study and memorized and tape it in the wall. I would run through reading it before and after I study everyday. Like disease condition, tx, labs, evaluation. My wall from my study room was filled with all of these. 2 weeks before you take the exam take the predictor exam apea and AANP you need to hit at least score 65% or above even 70% for higher chance to pass. Just constant reading, studying and understanding would be the essential key to pass.


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Hi Mighty Boomer! When u studied did u just study the review info more in depth? I seem to get off teack!also, d u recommend a study guide?




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Mighty boomer, thank you for all the tips. I unfortunately did not pass my first attempt. I did the Fitzgerald review and went through two of her books and then went through all of leik as well. I think leik has all the information I need. Now I am at a loss of what else to study because I felt prepared. I scored a 77% on the aanp exam. A 61 on first apea and a 73 on the second one.

So I guess my question is do you recommend purchasing more apea predictor exams and go over leik again?! I was also going to purchase the apea q bank OR the apea question book?? What are your thoughts?! Thank you for all your tips!


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The column marking sounds like a great didnt freak you out at all though?