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  1. eternalstudent328

    Passed AANP Exam June 2020

    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 Fitzgerald 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. Leik 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. 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. Drug Names 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! Lab Values 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." Think positively!
  2. I just graduated on May 17th, 2020 and I passed my AANP FNP board exam on May 23rd (1st-time pass!). When I was studying for this exam, maybe like many of you, I was on this site looking for any helpful tips from successful students on how to pass this exam. First and foremost, you must know that I am the type of person that is NOT a good test taker. I get a lot of anxiety before an exam especially one this big. All the resources I used were helpful in their own way. So here's what I did: Began Reviewing Content March 30, 2020 I started with content review with the Leik book. I read the entire book front to back. Each day I focused on a different topic and then did the questions on the Leik app on my phone based on the topic I reviewed. E.g.: If I reviewed the content on Cardiac health and Pulmonary health, then I did the questions on the app focusing on those topics. Personally, I think this is the best way to grasp a good foundation before you get to the intense question practices. I think the Leik book, in general, was the best source I used while studying. It provides the most information without being too overwhelming. MAKE SURE TO FOCUS ON THE EXAM TIPS ON EACH CHAPTER! I can't express enough how much that helped me the final days of studying in order to pass this exam. This portion of studying took me about 4-6 weeks to complete. I reviewed content for about 2-3 hours per day. Don't feel like you need to study for 10 hours, YOU DON'T. Fitzgerald Live Review There are SOO many live reviews out there and I cannot speak to all of them. I personally chose the Fitzgerald review since I heard through the grapevine that Fitzgerald writes some of the board questions. On May 6-7, I sat at home in front of my computer doing a 2-day live review. Each day was about 8 hours. PRO: This review really dissects the questions so you know how to answer them. Some of the board questions can be tricky on what they are really asking and this review definitely helped me master that. They also provided great mnemonics to use so you remember certain things. CON: SUPER DETAILED!! The content you go over is EXTREMELY detailed. Although most of it is great to know, a lot of the specifics I felt weren't necessary for the exam. After the two day review, Fitzgerald provides you access to the online portion of the review. MAKE SURE YOU DO THE ENTIRE REVIEW. Like I said, there's a lot of info that they provided that they can't cover all in a matter of 2 days so the rest is left for you to finish. At the end of the online portion, there is a practice exam that I thought was VERY helpful. PSI Practice Exams and Board Vitals For the rest of the time being, I was on my own just reviewing content I was weak at and doing practice questions. Every day I did about 50 questions on my board vitals app religiously until the week of the test. NOTE: The questions on board vitals, in my opinion, are much more difficult in general than what the actual questions are on the board exam, however, they were great to use in order to practice how to dissect questions. The week of the exam I did two of the practice PSI tests on their website. There's a total of 3 practice exams now on PSI for FNP but I only did the first two. Each exam is $50 but I promise its the best money spent. These exams consist of "retired" questions from the board exams. These exams related most similar to my actual board exam! End Notes I hope this helps out some of you! Like I said, all my resources helped in their own way but I believe my favorite was the Leik book. Her questions are not that difficult but its good to go through them to just see how much you retained with content review. The board exam is 150 questions and you have 3 hours to complete the exam. I was able to finish in just shy of 2 hours. You will find out your results at the testing center. It is the best feeling in the world!! FACT: The best piece of advice I can give you is ... Believe in Yourself!! We have been nurses and we know our stuff! You will pass! Good luck
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