AOCNP Practice Test

The Oncology Nursing Certification Corporation (ONCC) provides the nationally-accredited Advanced Oncology Certified Nurse Practitioner (AOCNP) exam with the intent to validate an individual’s knowledge in advanced cancer care practice. The certification recognizes those individuals who have met competency standards.

This page will cover the AOCNP examination, what information the examination covers, the number and type of questions you can expect, the score you need to pass, and everything you need to register for the assessment.

Eligibility

The AOCNP has eligibility requirements that must be met when the candidate registers for the exam. There are two pathways to eligibility.

Pathway 1

The registered nurse must have a current, active, and unencumbered registered nurse license valid in the US, its territories, or Canada. The candidate must have a graduate degree from an accredited nurse practitioner (NP) program with a concentration in oncology, with one graduate-level oncology course of at least two credits or 30 hours of oncology continuing education within the past five years. And the last requirement includes 500 hours of supervised clinical practice as an adult oncology nurse practitioner obtained within the graduate program or within the past five years.

Pathway 2

The applicant must have a current, active, and unencumbered registered nurse license valid in the US, its territories, or Canada. The candidate must have a graduate degree from an accredited NP program with a concentration in adult, family, gerontology, or women’s health, with one graduate-level oncology course of at least two credits or 30 hours of oncology continuing education within the past five years. Finally, the candidate must have 1,000 hours of practice as an adult oncology nurse practitioner obtained within the graduate program or the past five years.

 
If you are determined to be eligible to test, you will receive an Authorization to Test (ATT) from PSI within two to four weeks after you receive the confirmation email. Your ATT is valid for 90 days and contains the information you need to register for the exam. You must schedule and take your exam within the validity period, or your fees are forfeit.

About the Exam

Questions

The AOCNP test is a computer-delivered exam consisting of 165 multiple-choice questions. Twenty questions are pretest questions that do not count toward your final score. The pretest questions are dispersed throughout the exam, and you will not know which question is a pretest or not.

Each question contains a statement or question with four possible answers. There is only one correct answer.

Time Limit

You have three hours to complete the exam, including a tutorial and an after-test survey.

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Exam Outline Review

There are five subject areas on the AOCNP exam, each of which assesses your advanced oncology nursing practice knowledge.

1. Cancer Continuum (35%)

Sub-areas within this subject area include the following:

  • Screening, prevention, and surveillance
  • Assessment and diagnosis
  • Care plan across the life cycle

2. Cancer Treatment and Supportive Care (45%)

Sub-areas within this subject area include the following:

  • Clinical trials and research studies
  • Systemic therapy
  • Localized therapy
  • Surgical interventions
  • Radiation therapy
  • Blood and marrow transplantation
  • Multimodal therapy
  • Complementary, alternative, and integrative therapies
  • Delivery systems
  • Etiology, incidence, and patterns for disease-related symptoms
  • Palliative care
  • Pharmacologic interventions for symptom management
  • Non-pharmacologic interventions for symptom management
  • The interrelationship between disease, treatment, and comorbid conditions.

3. Oncologic Emergencies (10%)

Sub-areas within this subject area include the following:

  • Etiology
  • Risk factors
  • Prevention strategies
  • Assessment strategies
  • Treatment interventions

4. Psychosocial Issues (5%)

Sub-areas within this subject area include the following:

  • Psychosocial assessment instruments and techniques
  • Risk factors and at-risk populations
  • Psychosocial and emotional sequelae of disease and treatment
  • Psychiatric and psychosocial comorbidities
  • Community resources

5. Professional Practice and Roles of the APRN (5%)

Sub-areas within this subject area include the following:

  • Cultural competence
  • Legal and regulatory requirements
  • Accreditation standards
  • Ethical and legal issues
  • Advanced practice standards of care
  • Outcomes of APRN interventions and evidence-based care on individuals, groups, and systems
  • Quality improvement strategies
  • Competency evaluation of self and others
  • Patient education

exam outline for the AOCNP exam, which contains 165 questions and has a 3-hour time limit

Registration

After you have determined that are eligible to sit for the exam, gather your documentation and complete the application online at the ONCC website. Your application is complete when you provide the required information, documents, and fees. Incomplete applications are not processed until all materials and fees are received. You will receive an email confirmation that your application has been received.

Cost

The testing fee for the AOCNP exam is $296.00 for Oncology Nursing Society (ONS) and Association of Pediatric Hematology/Oncology Nurses (APHON) members and $416.00 for non-members.

DoubleTake Option

During your application process, you can participate in the ONCC DoubleTake program. DoubleTake allows you to retake the exam if you don’t pass on the first attempt without paying the full test fee again. The price for this option is $100.00 and must be purchased with your initial application. Carefully consider the cost of adding the retake option—the fee is non-refundable if you pass the test on your first attempt.

AOCNP Scores

Your AOCNP score is expressed as a scaled score (minimum 25, maximum 75), with a passing score being 55.

Your results are displayed after you complete the exam. Official results are available in your online account 24 hours after taking the test.

If You Pass the Exam

If you pass the exam, your score report indicates “pass” with a performance summary chart. In order to avoid inappropriate comparisons or interpretations of the scores, you are not shown your exact numeric score.

Your score report shows your performance in each major subject area, the number of points you will need for certification renewal, and the areas where the points need to be earned.

If You Fail the Exam

If you fail the exam, you receive a numeric score and the score required to pass the test. Feedback on your performance in each subject area is provided to help you prepare to retake the test.

Retaking the Exam

You can apply to retest two times after your initial exam, but you cannot take the test more than once in 90 days. Your third and subsequent attempts require a year’s waiting period before applying to retest. If you had three failures more than 36 months from the last effort, you could apply to retest, but not more than once in 90 days.

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How to Study for the AOCNP Exam

How to Study Effectively

Your success on AOCNP test day depends not only on how many hours you put into preparing but also on whether you prepared the right way. It’s good to check along the way to see whether your studying is paying off. One of the most effective ways to do this is by taking AOCNP practice tests to evaluate your progress. Practice tests are useful because they show exactly where you need to improve. Every time you take a free AOCNP exam practice test, pay special attention to these three groups of questions:

  • The questions you got wrong
  • The ones you had to guess on, even if you guessed right
  • The ones you found difficult or slow to work through

This will show you exactly what your weak areas are and where you need to devote more study time. Ask yourself why each of these questions gave you trouble. Was it because you didn’t understand the material? Was it because you didn’t remember the vocabulary? Do you need more repetitions on this type of question to build speed and confidence? Dig into those questions and figure out how you can strengthen your weak areas as you go back to review the material.

Answer Explanations

Additionally, many AOCNP practice tests have a section explaining the answer choices. It can be tempting to read the explanation and think that you now have a good understanding of the concept. However, an explanation likely only covers part of the question’s broader context. Even if the explanation makes sense, go back and investigate every concept related to the question until you’re positive you have a thorough understanding.

Comprehend Each Topic

As you go along, keep in mind that the AOCNP practice test is just that: practice. Memorizing these questions and answers will not be very helpful on the actual test because it is unlikely to have any of the same exact questions. If you only know the right answers to the sample questions, you won’t be prepared for the real thing. Study the concepts until you understand them fully, and then you’ll be able to answer any question that shows up on the test.

Strategy for AOCNP Practice

When you’re ready to start taking practice tests, follow this strategy:

  • Remove Limitations. Take the first test with no time constraints and with your notes and AOCNP study guide handy. Take your time and focus on applying the strategies you’ve learned.
  • Time Yourself. Take the second practice test “open book” as well, but set a timer and practice pacing yourself to finish in time.
  • Simulate Test Day. Take any other practice tests as if it were test day. Set a timer and put away your study materials. Sit at a table or desk in a quiet room, imagine yourself at the testing center, and answer questions as quickly and accurately as possible.
  • Keep Practicing. Keep taking practice tests on a regular basis until you run out of practice tests or it’s time for the actual test. Your mind will be ready for the schedule and stress of test day, and you’ll be able to focus on recalling the material you’ve learned.

FAQs

What is a passing score for the AOCNP?

A passing score for the AOCNP is 55 (on a scoring scale of 25-75).

How long is the AOCNP?

The AOCNP exam is timed at 3 hours.

How many questions are on the AOCNP?

There are 165 questions on the AOCNP, all of which are multiple-choice.

How much does the exam cost?

The testing fee for the AOCNP is $296.00 for ONS and APHON members and $416.00 for non-members.

When will I receive my scores?

You will receive your test scores as soon as you complete the exam. An official score report will be available online 24 hours after completing the test.

What do I need to bring on test day?

You must bring two forms of valid identification, one of which must be a photo ID.


By Kate Nockunas

Kate has been Mometrix’s Nursing and Medical Editor for over four years. She has a bachelor’s degree in Communications from Vanderbilt University, a bachelor’s degree in Nursing from Marymount University, and a master’s degree in Education from Johns Hopkins. Kate is a critical care registered nurse who still works occasionally in the ICU and PACU.

 

by Mometrix Test Preparation | This Page Last Updated: August 31, 2022