I just passed the AANP FNP exam and like many nervous test-takers, I scoured this site and the internet for any info. I found this site the most helpful so I felt it was my duty to keep paying it forward. Here is my experience/thoughts/etc. I will break this post into two parts: how I prepared and stuff about the test.
How I Prepared
I graduated at the end of April and took a 2-day Fitzgerald review course. It was CRAZY. It was so fast and furious. At some points the presenter was going so fast I couldn't even take notes. Having never done anything like this before I initially thought "WOW!!, that was a lot of info, but great!" In hindsight, I would not recommend this. I felt the price tag (~$600) was outrageous for what you get. I left feeling like I wasn't prepared because they do give you too much information. I can appreciate the approach of better to over-study than under-study but again, these are just my thoughts. Knowing my test was in exactly 4 weeks I felt very overwhelmed. Also, the website review that is supposed to be done after the in-person review is just not good. The layout is not totally user friendly, you can only take practice quizzes a total of 2 times, and you must sequentially move through the chapters. This is to say that while they strongly emphasize you start studying your weaker areas first, their website is not laid out so you can do that! If you are weak on say, dermatology and skin stuff and that's chapter 8, you must first complete chapters 1-7. The review book that comes with this course is okay but again, I liked Leik better. Fitzgerald is also wayyyyyy into using mnemonics. I like these sparingly because it got to the point I couldn't keep them all straight.
FNP Mastery Phone App
I then bought the FNP mastery phone app to do practice questions. I like this app. It was inexpensive (~$30) and great that you can do them anywhere. Gives you answer explanations and you place each question into a category (know/somewhat know/don't know) so you can go back and review whichever category you desire. This would be the only thing I would say was probably unnecessary. I would find myself when I wasn't at home with little time to study so honestly what was the point. oh well. great app if you can use it.
I had ordered the Leik review on amazon but it took forever to finally arrive. Once it had, I was very glad I bought it. It was (~$50) and my brain could more easily wrap my head around how they presented information as opposed to Fitzgerald. Leik does say the more resources you use the better, but I think if you only use Leik you will be fine. I am not trying to poo-poo Fitzgerald, simply saying for me, and how I learn, Leik was better fit but Fitz does have great information, too (obviously)! Leik has a bunch of online practice questions (725 total I think). Do all of them- they'll def help. I think the book arrived about 2 weeks before my test so I studied about 5ish chapters a day and then did all of the practice questions over 2 days. Then I was able to go back and review weaker areas and continue to do practice quizzes.
So I remember for the NCLEX I felt better doing quizzes to gauge where I was at and did the same thing this time. I tried an APEA test, PSI, and Exam Edge. They are all great options. I would recommend doing APEA earlier on in your studies because it highlights your weak areas in their scoring which is helpful. I did PSI 2 days before the real thing to get a feel for the testing layout. Exam Edge I would recommend getting with a classmate. It was ~$40 for 5 quizzes (they do offer different bundles) but more than this I think is overkill. You can do each Exam Edge quiz a total of 4 times. I felt each of these 3 options (APEA, PSI, EE) helped me prepare honestly. While taking the real thing I absolutely felt like some of the questions I had seen before however being that I did use so many resources I can't say where I felt like I saw them. All in all practice questions is a huge part of learning/studying because it does take some serious mental stamina to be able to do 150 questions in one sitting and have your brain do mental gymnastics bouncing from topic to topic.
Passing the Test!!
Nervous? Flag a Question
I'm not sure if it was Leik that said this (she does give some great exam tips) but just an FYI for all you nervous folks: you can mark/flag as many questions as you like. If you do not mark a question you can still go back to it, just be sure you wrote down the question number otherwise it will obviously be hard to find.
Time Can Be Distracting
I could not figure out how to hide the time but it is so small it thankfully wasn't distracting. You are allowed one 5 minute break.
I would say 95% were generic drug names but I distinctly remember a question or two using ONLY brand names. Thankfully it wasn't anything too out there, or one you couldn't easily decipher the drug class, but yes both generic and brand names on the test!
Normal lab values were usually given for most of the questions, but I also remember the values changing slightly. So while on one question (for example) it would say normal MCV is 80-100, on another it would say normal MCV is 85-105. Not huge changes but just something I made mental note of.
My apologies if this post is rambling. If you have other questions, I would be happy to answer as I will say I couldn't find many posts from 2020 while preparing. My mantra I kept telling myself is, "you are going to walk in an RN, and out an NP."