Nurse Practitioner Certification Examination
NEWS & INFORMATION (ANCC and AANP certification exams for FNP/AGNP)
ANCC New Question Formats
This is the link for the new question formats. Visit these pages so that you will know what to expect for the ANCC.

FNP alternative exam formats link

AGNP alternative exam formats link

The majority of questions are still in the classic multiple choice format with 4 answer choices.

Multiple Choice question with 5 answer options.
You will be asked to pick out 2 or 3 answer options  out of the 5 presented.

Questions with Photos
Photos divided into 4 quadrants ('Hot-spot")
You will see a colored photo of an abdomen that is divided into 4 quadrants. To answer, you left click on the correct quadrant or you answer the question that is about the photos.

There will be MANY color photos of skin and eye conditions. 
The most common type of question is asking you for the diagnosis. Or it may ask how it is treated.  

Drag and Match Format
There are two columns. The left one contains the 3 samples of research studies (Evidence-based medicine). On the right column, there will be 3 boxes from 1 (strongest) to 3 (weakest evidence). You must DRAG the sample study on the left column into the matching rating on the right column. 

EKG strip
I will discuss in my review course (this is entry level test). You do not have to  figure out a heart block or anything fancy.

Chest Radiograph/x-ray
One chest x-ray film may be included. I will discuss this in my  review course. 

I discuss (and give samples) of the new ANCC question formats in all my review courses. 

​Both ANCC and AANPCB certification exams for FNPs and AGNP/AGPCNPs are entry-level (of practice) exams. The majority of test-takers are new graduates. The ANCC exams stay in circulation for about 2 years (usually, but there are exceptions). But the AANPCP exams are now updated yearly.
The NEW version of the AANP exam was released about February 2018. And YES, the Leik Review courses address the current version of the AANPCP exam.

How many times can I retake the exams?
ANCC: up to 3 times per calendar year (at least 30 days apart)
AANP: up to 2 times per calendar year (submit 15 contact hours continuing education). You can use the credit hours from the Leik Review Courses to fullfill this requirement.

ANCC FNP (Feb. 2016) /AGPCNP (Dec. 2015) 
Time allowed: 4 hours
# Questions: 200 total (25 not graded)
Passing Score: 350 points or higher (range 100 - 500)

Time allowed: 3 hours
# Questions: 150 total (15 not graded)
Passing Score: 500 points (range 200-800) 

When do I get my scores?
ANCC and AANPCB: you will find out right away, after you complete your exam. Ask the proctor to print your scores.
It will be in "Pass/Fail" format (unofficial scores). If you fail, you will get a "number" score. Your "official score" will not be released if the ANCC/AANPCB does not receive your final transcripts. Your official scores will be printed in a letter with the start date of certification printed on it.Certification is good for 5 years.

How long does it take to process an application?
It depends. If all your documentation  requirements are met, it will take about 3 - 4 weeks. Only the ANCC has an Expedited Application option (extra fees).

How many copies do I need of my official final transcript?
I suggest you order 4 copies of your final transcripts. Open one copy to make sure there are no errors, it should list the type of degree with the NP specialty.
Passing Rates (as of August 2018)
​These stats are for the current exams.

ANCC (2016 version)
FNP: 82%  
AGPCNP: 82% 

AANPCB (2017 rates)
 FNP: 80%
 AGNP: 82%

​*ANCC uses the designation of "AGPCNP" or Adult-Gerontology Primary Care Nurse Practitioner. 
The AANP designation is "AGNP" or Adult- Gerontology Nurse Practitioner.
United States Department of Labor
Bureau of Labor Statistics

Occupational Employment and Wages for Nurse Practitioners: MAY 2016 (latest available)

National Estimates
Mean Annual Wage: $104,610 (increased). It was            $92,670.00 on 2015.
Mean hourly wage: $50.30

By Industry
Physician Offices: $103,030 (increased). 
It was $99,760 on 2015.

General Medical and Surgical Hospitals: $109,030

Specialty Hospitals (except psychiatric/substance abuse): 117,120 (increased). It was  $105,690 on 2015

Outpatient Care Centers: $107,160 (increased).
 It was $103,710 on 2015. 

University/Colleges/Professional schools: $96,750 (increased). It was $94,050 on 2015.

​Personal Care Services: $136,280.

Top 5 States with the Highest Pay for NPs
Annual Mean Wage By State

Alaska: $121,250 (was $111,800 in 2015)

California: $124,330 (was $110,590 in 2015)

Massachusetts $117,860

Hawaii: $117,180

New Jersey: $115,230

More states listed, visit link. They also list several cities and mean wage in those area.

Top Paying By Metropolitan Area

Altoona, PA: $180,520

San Francisco-Redwood City-South San Francisco, CA:

Peabody-Salem-Beverly,MA: $155,320

San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA: $145,480

Bridgeport-Stamford-Norwalk, CT: $136,450

Panama City, FL: $136,020

FNP Exam Procedures (AANPCB Exam)

LINK: AANP FNP Exam Blueprint

Minor lesion removal

Incision and drainage


Diagnostic interpretation of ECG

Pap tests

Diagnostic interpretation of X-ray

Joint aspirations and injections

Cerumen removal

Skin biopsy

Pulmonary function testing & office spirometry

Therapeutic injections

Fluorescein dye

Wound closure

Long-term contraceptive management


Long-term hormonal implantation


Foreign body removal

Wound management

Nail removal
A-GNP Exam Procedures (AANPCB Exam)
LINK: AGNP Exam Blueprint

Minor lesion removal




Pap tests


Joint aspirations and injections

Wound debridement


Incision and drainage

Therapeutic injections

Foreign body removal

Application Tips:
When you apply, make sure that the name in the application form matches the name you have on your primary ID. A primary ID  has your picture and signature and is the original government-issued ID (unexpired) such as a drivers license. 

If you are getting married, you may want to wait after you pass the exam before legally changing your surname.

Do not forget to send your official FINAL transcript (from the school registrar or from you) to complete your application. If you applied early to the AANPCB and you already took their exam, your official scores will not be released until they receive your official final transcript.

Check your State Board of Nursing website for the requirements  on how to become licensed as an advanced practice nurse/ nurse practitioner in your state. 

AANPCB Question Formats

Compared with the ANCC, this exam does not currently contain colored photographs of skin or eyes.

The majority of questions are still in the classic multiple choice with 4 answer formats.

Multiple choice questions with 5 answer options
Very few of this type. You will be asked to pick 2 to 3 answers. 

EKG strip
You may see one strip. I will discuss the EKG strips in my review course.

Chest X-ray or chest radiograph
You may get one chest film. I will discuss which films in my review course.