Can You Answer These 3 Practice Test Questions for the AANPCB Certification Exam?

Are you studying for the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners National Certification Board (AANPCB) exam? For both the exam room and as part of the larger healthcare system, the best approach to learning and acquiring information is to understand concepts and apply knowledge so you know what to do and why you are doing it.


The Fitzgerald Nurse Practitioner Certification Examina­tion Review, with hundreds of practice questions, pre­pares you in the why, how, and what of NP practice, while helping to prepare you for success on the NP boards. The Fitzgerald Method of NP review begins with a summary of the vast body of knowl­edge needed for evidence-based NP practice and for successfully passing the NP boards.


Practice tests* are a great way to wrap up your NP certification review. By the time you’re ready to take your board certification, you should be well versed in the subject matter, and being able to appropriately answer questions like the samples we’ve provided below will indicate whether or not you’re fully prepared for the exam. These tests help you evaluate how expansive your knowledge base is and how sound your clinical decision-making skills are, both of which are necessary for safe entry-level practice as an NP.


When deciding which practice exam resources to seek out, it is helpful to know what you can expect to see on the AANPCB vs ANCC exam. For example, you will find that the AANPCB test offers multiple choice questions with only one correct answer per question. Even if more than one answer is applicable, your job is to choose the one answer that is the most appropriate given the information provided. In comparison, the ANCC exam might contain questions that have more than one correct answer; in this case, your job is to select all the answers that apply.


If you are currently working toward a Family Nurse Practitioner certification and looking into taking your certification exam soon,  sit down and test yourself with the following three questions that are intended to help you hone your clinical decision-making and test-taking skills. For this sample AANPCB practice test, we include three levels of complexity commonly seen on these exams:


  • Fact-based questions, which assess your ability to recall memorized information, including general principles or theories
  • Comprehension-based questions, which assess your ability to interpret the facts provided in the question
  • Application-based questions, which assess your ability to analyze information and decide what is most appropriate given the situation described

Assess your skills with these 3 AANPCB practice test questions:


AANPCB Question 1: A Fact-Based Sample Question


Which cranial nerve is responsible for pupillary constriction in reaction to light?

  1. I
  2. II
  3. III
  4. IV

Answer: Fact-based questions only have one correct answer. In this case, the correct answer is C, cranial nerve III.


The only way you can answer this question correctly is by remembering that cranial nerve III (oculomotor nerve) is involved in pupillary constriction. Additionally, you must also remember what the other cranial nerves are and what they do.


To answer fact-oriented questions like this one, using memory aids such as mnemonic devices can be helpful.


AANPCB Question 2: A Comprehension-Based Question


Bell’s palsy is caused by paralysis of cranial nerve:

  1. V
  2. VI
  3. VII
  4. VIII

Answer: C, cranial nerve VII. Like fact-based questions, comprehension-based questions usually only have one correct answer. The difference is that correctly answering a comprehension-based question requires you to apply clinical assessment and management skills. In this case, you must know what Bell’s palsy is and which cranial nerve is involved.

AANPCB Question 3: An Application-Based Sample Question

A 32-year-old woman presents with a 12-hour history of sudden vomiting, diarrhea, and abdominal pain and cramping. She reports three episodes of vomiting and six episodes of watery, brown stools. Which of the following health history questions is most relevant to this situation?


  1. Have you had an appendectomy?
  2. Are you sexually active?
  3. Has anyone else in your home or workplace had similar issues?
  4. When was your last menstrual period?

Answer: C, "Has anyone else in your home or workplace had similar issues?" Since this is an application-based question, you are expected to read through all answers and then select which one is the most appropriate given the scenario. (Look for keywords in the question like most, first, or initially to clue you into the type of question you are facing.) Even though the other questions might also be appropriate to ask this patient, the third question is the most appropriate because it points to what could be the greatest risk in this situation.

Will You Be Taking the AANPCB Test Soon?

For FNP students, new practicing FNPs, and beyond, Fitzgerald Health Education Associates provides the resources and tools you need to accomplish your goals and sharpen your skills. Please do not hesitate to reach out with any questions about FNP certification or continuing education options.

*Disclaimer: It’s important to remember that practice tests should be used as a means of recognizing whether or not you’re ready to take your NP boards, and should be utilized as you’re wrapping up your NP certification review, not beginning it. For more information to help guide you through the first steps of your learning journey, visit to get started.




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