It really depends on you and your motivation. You have to be a self motivated individual and find ways to keep you going when you are not wanting to study. Some exams are harder than others but the free study guide from excelsior give you all the areas that you need to cover and what books to use. There are many options as far as what materials to use. Some people use all the recommended books or previous editions of them, others use study guide 101, nclex books, or publishing agencies (TCN, RUE, etc) or a mix of all. I took exams about every 2 weeks. How often you take exams is very individual. It depends on finances, how much you plan on studying per day, and your experience. Good luck with the program! Just some info on my experience. I started in March 2012 and had 2 pre reqs. I completed Dev psych in march and Micro in April . I completed 1 nursing course in may, 3 in June, 1 in July (took vacation), and 2 in August. I will begin the FCCA on sept. 3 and then CPNE as soon as I can after being eligible. I studied about 5 hours a night with some breaks to cook dinner etc. I worked full time as an ADON in a LTC facility and have a 9 and 12 year old highly involved in sports. I am telling you this because it's easy to find excuses not to study but if you have the motivation it is possible to study anywhere (basketball games/practices, football fields, wrestling tournaments, on break at work) I had something to study every where I went. Was it hard yes but doable. Just stay motivated and ask your family to be understanding. I had a long talk with my boys and husband before I started so they would understand.