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What is the ANCC Psychiatric-Mental Health Nurse Practitioner (PMHNP) Exam and How Can I Pass?

May-03-2020
What is the ANCC Psychiatric-Mental Health Nurse Practitioner (PMHNP) Exam and how to pass header

When vulnerable people need help, they often turn to sensitive and highly-trained healthcare workers. Mental health practitioners provide life-saving care when their patients need them most. Before these healthcare workers can begin practicing professionally, though, they need to first demonstrate their knowledge and skills. The PMHNP certification exam offered by the ANCC is one way to qualify aspiring mental healthcare workers for their jobs.

The American Nurses Credentialing Center created the ANCC PMHNP exam to determine whether aspiring mental health practitioners are indeed qualified for professional practice. It's one of the very last hurdles aspiring mental health workers have to jump before they can start working in the field. Given how much is riding on a successful outcome, it's no wonder that so many people look for ANCC PMHNP test taking strategies. Here are just a few helpful tips and tricks to get you ready to ace the ANCC PMHNP certification test.

ANCC PMHNP Exam Breakdown

Before you can begin studying, it helps to understand what the ANCC PMHNP exam encompasses. Featuring 175 questions, the test must be completed in a span of three hours and 30 minutes or less. Expect PMHNP ANCC exam questions on topics like diagnosis and treatment, psychotherapy, ethical and legal principles, and advanced practice skills.

So just how hard is the PMHNP ANCC exam? In order to pass, you'll need to earn a scaled score of 350 points or more. Since possible scores range from zero to 500, you'll definitely have to be smart about your pacing. Fail to answer enough questions before the time runs out and you may struggle with passing the ANCC PMHNP exam. Thankfully, there are a few ANCC PMHNP exam tips to help you achieve a passing score on your first attempt.

PMHNP Certification Study Plan

As soon as you are signed up to take the ANCC PMHNP exam, begin developing a detailed study plan. While you might be tempted to cram as much studying as possible in right before your test date, it's better to break up your study sessions over an extended period of time. Distributed practice has been repeatedly proven to be more effective than cramming, so set aside an hour a day for ANCC PMHNP exam prep. Daily practice can help you get into a study routine and ensure your brain can retrieve test-related information more quickly.

Another key component of your PMHNP certification study plan should be practice testing. Research shows that practice tests are one of the very best forms of study, so why not leverage online practice exams for your benefit? Kickoff your PMHNP test prep by taking a practice test or two. The results will show you how you'd fare on the exam if it were today, and detailed explanations of each incorrect response will highlight which content areas merit extra attention.

ANCC PMHNP Test Taking Strategies

On the day of your ANCC PMHNP exam, it's important to go into the testing center with confidence. Be sure to get plenty of rest the night before and eat a healthy breakfast before settling in for the exam. Once the test begins, be mindful of your time. Pacing is everything on the ANCC PMHNP certification exam.

This computer-based exam includes an option to mark questions you're feeling unsure about and revisit them later. While the technology itself is helpful, delaying difficult questions until the end won't net you the score you need to pass. Rather than putting off questions you're not sure about, go with your gut and move on quickly. Time is a luxury on the ANCC PMHNP test, so embrace your instincts and answer each question as it comes. Don't forget to use the process of elimination and other classic ANCC PMHNP test taking strategies as you work!

Conserve mental energy while taking the test. Read each question thoroughly before moving on to answer options. Note keywords like always, best, expect and first. Identify key points like diagnosis, age, comorbidity and time frame in each question. Don't make assumptions – all the information you need to answer a question will be included in the test item. Passing the ANCC PMHNP exam will come down to your knowledge of healthcare best practices, so trust yourself to make smart choices on exam day.

Begin Your ANCC PMHNP Exam Prep Now

If you're serious about passing the ANCC PMHNP test on your first attempt, it's time to begin preparing in earnest. An ANCC PMHNP practice test can help you identify blind spots in your knowledge and give you real time feedback on your performance. We're offering a free sample practice test for new Exam Edge users, giving you the chance to preview our resources and see how valuable our tools can be for your test prep. Get started now by clicking here!

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