Top 12 Questions About AGACNP Qbanks & Board Exams

September 10, 2020
Researching AGACNP board certification exam details and the best board review methods can be overwhelming—especially when you’re balancing patient care, your personal life, and now preparing for your NP certification. Rosh Review is dedicated to keeping things simple and straightforward for you throughout your career, so we’ve done the time-intensive searching to provide answers to your common questions. This will help clarify what types of board review options exist, which one(s) are right for you, and what you need to know to prepare for the ANCC or AACN certification exam. Did we miss a question? Let us know and we’ll get the answer for you.

What is ANCC and AACN certification?

There are two AGACNP certification options: the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC) and the American Association of Critical-Care Nurses (AACN). If you pass the ANCC exam, your credentials will be AGACNP-BC, and if you pass the AACN board exam, your credentials will be ACNPC-AG.

What is an AGACNP board review Qbank?

A question bank (Qbank for short) is a database of multiple-choice questions that helps you prepare for your board exam. These questions are in the same format as the ones you’ll see on the actual exam (for example, no “All of the following except…” no “Which of these is incorrect?”) and should cover the topics included on the exam. 

The point of a Qbank is to help you simultaneously practice for the exam and learn about each topic (so you can figure out your weak points). To help with this, the Rosh Review Qbank includes detailed explanations with every question, including why the correct answer is correct—and just as importantly—why the incorrect answers are incorrect. These explanations also include related teaching images that distill the important information. And as a bonus, each Rosh Review Qbank question includes a One Step Further question: a short, fact-based question and answer related to the main topic. So every question in the Rosh Review Qbank is actually two questions to help further cement your understanding.

Should I use a Qbank for my AGACNP board exam?

There are many ways to study for the exam, such as live courses, self-directed study, and Qbanks. You need to choose the option that’s best for you. We’re a Qbank company, so we (not surprisingly) think Qbanks are an excellent way to prepare for your test. We’ve detailed How to Select the Best AGACNP Board Review, which will help you answer these questions:

  1. Do I need to use a Qbank?
  2. What criteria should I use to make a decision? 
Which AGACNP Qbanks should I compare?

If you don’t have the time to read through our “How to Select a Qbank” article but know you’re interested in a Qbank or other resources, these are the companies we suggest trying. Compare them by signing up for a free trial and see which one is right for you:

  • APEA
  • Barkley & Associates (
  • BoardVitals
  • FHEA
  • Rosh Review
How do I study for the ANCC or AACN exam with a Qbank?

We have a detailed article about How to Boost Your AGACNP Board Exam Score that includes our favorite study tips. Spoiler alert: we recommend targeting your “unknown unknowns.” Here’s how you do that:

  • Answer a question from a Qbank
  • If you answer incorrectly, read the explanation
  • Take notes about why the correct answer is correct, and make sure to take notes on anything in the explanation that you didn’t already know

If you do this for every question you answer incorrectly, and if you regularly review your notes and add information to topics as you do more questions, you’ll eventually determine your unknown unknowns. In return, you’ll uncover most of your blind spots that questions on the board exam can ask about. 

Our “How to Boost Your Score” article also includes day-of tips like which grammatical mistakes to keep an eye out for to help you narrow down answer choices. Our goal is to help you succeed, so read as many of these tips as you can before exam day.

How many questions are on the ANCC and AACN AGACNP board exams?

The ANCC board exam currently has 200 questions, which you have 4 hours to complete. Starting November 1, 2020, the exam will have 175 questions and you have 3.5 hours to complete it. The AACN board exam has 175 questions, which you have 3.5 hours to complete.

Check the ANCC exam blueprint and the AACN exam blueprint for content breakdowns.

How are the ANCC and AACN exams scored?

Of the 200 questions on the ANCC board exam, 175 are scored and 25 are not (called “pretest” questions). The AACN board exam has 175 questions, and 150 are scored and 25 are not.

Pretest questions look just like the regular scored questions and are being vetted for their use as scored questions on future exams. You won’t be able to tell the difference between the pretest and scored questions, so just know that not all of the questions will affect your score.

What is a passing score on the ANCC and AACN exams?

The highest scaled score on the ANCC exam is 500, and 350 is a passing score. The passing score varies each year on the AACN exam and is determined by a panel that reviews the difficulty of each question.

When does my AGACNP certification expire?

Every 5 years. Read more about ACNPC-AG renewal and AGACNP-BC renewal.

What if I fail my AGACNP board exam?

Life happens. Between practicing medicine, studying for the boards, having a personal life, and dealing with a global pandemic, there is always the possibility that you might not pass the exam. We believe in you, which is why we extend your subscription until you pass. Even if you didn’t use Rosh Review before taking your exam and you didn’t pass, we will give you a complimentary subscription until you succeed. We’re here to stand with you throughout your career—not just sell you a product and move on.

How do I get a discount on Rosh Review?

If you’re part of a group purchase or program purchase, we offer a discount based on the number of people in your group or program. We also offer discounts to active military and to attendees of certain conferences. Otherwise, we do not offer individual discounts. We believe in what we offer, and we strive to continually elevate our Qbanks rather than racing to the bottom with constant discounts. You can read about Rosh Review’s Discounts, Promo Codes, and Coupons for more details.

Are Qbanks worth the money?

Depends on who you ask! Some people do better with live courses, while some swear they wouldn’t have passed their exam without a Qbank and that the cost was reasonable and well worth it. Your best bet is to try a free trial and determine what’s right for you. And if you choose Rosh Review, we’ll be with you every step of your career.

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