I was supposed to graduate in May, but due to the COVID pandemic, my clinical hours took a bit longer to complete. I ended up completing all the requirements for my program in mid-June. I received approval to test and scheduled my exam for about 1 month out. This allowed me to really take the time to focus and study. I studied most days 6-8 hours. I used Fitzgerald FNP Review, I also purchased Fitzgerald's practice questions book, Family Nurse Practitioner Certification Intensive Review by Maria T. Leik (came with an app too), the FNP mastery app, I also had the Kaplan FNP Prep Plus (I went way overboard on the study materials, but I am a very nervous test taker/studier 😂). You definitely do not need as many study materials as I had LOL
Fitzgerald FNP Review Audio / Online Version
I really liked Fitzgerald's FNP review. I felt she presented a lot of great information and real-life practice scenarios. I have read reviews where people say she goes really too deep into the material. For the boards, I somewhat agree with this statement, but I feel the material she presents you can use for the exam and take it into practice. It's not material you just study for the exam and forget.
I had the audio version of the material. I did not do the in-person review. I liked having the capability of learning chunks at a time. I started her review while I was at the end of my program. So I completed the majority of the review prior to my 1-month serious start of studying.
Fitzgerald Practice Question Book
I purchased this book and at first hated it. It had the questions and then basically a chapter worth reading of the content. The rationales to the questions are not right there to help, you have to go digging. I had set this book aside after purchasing. However, in my last week of studying before taking my exam, I did come back to it and practiced questions from it and read some of the charts and graphs (some were helpful). The questions in the book are also waaaay harder than what was presented on the exam. I don't really recommend this book as a first choice to study with. There are better options.
Family Nurse Practitioner Certification Intensive Review by Maria T. Leik
Like most students, I really liked this book. I highly recommend it. I went through the entire book and really studied it. It gives an excellent break down of the material. There is also an app called FNP Q&A by Leik. I utilized this app a bunch and highly recommend it. You can do questions anywhere at the store, standing in a line, etc. The app has hundreds of questions (I think they might be the same questions in the back of her book. I saw some duplicate questions from the app to book). The app also has mnemonics and a quick break down of the diseases. So make sure you check those features out as well!
FNP Mastery App
This app is a subscription app. I purchased 1 month right before I took the exam. I believe it was like 19.99 month to month (don't quote me on that LOL). It was very easy to use, gave great rationales and information, and had a great breakdown of each section. I do recommend this app. I will say the questions were harder than the board questions but it helps with really developing your knowledge and critical thinking skills.
Family Nurse Practitioner Certification Prep Plus
As an undergraduate nursing student, I utilized Kaplan to help me pass NCLEX boards. I really liked it. So I thought I would give the FNP book a chance. I purchased the book because I liked how easily they had the material broken down, but quickly put it aside to focus on the above materials because I thought it was way too simplified (compared to the other materials). I picked it back up about a week before I took boards; after taking the APEA predictor exam and the PSI predictor exam. After taking these predictor exams, I realized Kaplan actually had it right. The simplified version and the layout really helps you picture the case scenarios the board questions present to you. With that being said if I had to pick two books to really study from I would pick the purple Leik book and the Kaplan book. Leik gives you lots of good snippets of material. Kaplan will give you the entire case scenarios broken down into risk factors, symptoms, differentials, diagnostic tests, and patient education.
APEA Predictor Test
I purchased 1 APEA predictor test and it came with 50 extra bonus questions. I took the exams a few days before I took boards. I scored 73% on the 150 questions (National average around 68%). I scored 72% on the 50 bonus questions (National average around 68%). If you are super nervous (like I was) I encourage you to take a predictor exam (whether it be from APEA or PSI) to get a feel for the questions. It's definitely not a make or break you if you don't take one, but it does give you an excellent idea of what the questions will look like on the exam. (APEA was a bit harder than the PSI Practice Exam).
PSI Predictor Exam
These practice exams are $50 each and 75 questions. If you do want to take only one, make sure you select the 2020 exam (It felt it was harder, than the older version). I paid for 2 exams. The first one I took was the FNP-1 version and I scored 90%. The second one I took was the 2020 version and I scored 80%. After taking these practice exam I felt a lot more confident in my in-depth studies. I was shocked to discover the questions I had been doing were way more focused and specific than the predictor exams.
The biggest thing is you really need to have a good understanding of the material. I now understand why the study materials say practice questions aren't enough. You have to know really know how the patient presents, risk factors, diagnostic tests, and patient education, etc. The questions could be related to any of those, but they don't tell you what the disease the patient presents with. Make sure you look at ways to break down the questions from your study materials. This will help you to correctly answer what they are asking.
Sorry for the super long post, but I hope it helps! I know reading people's posts on their success and the materials used really helped me.
Good luck to everyone!
Put the time in to really learn the material, don't just wing it, and you will totally rock the test.