It can be hard to believe that the day you’ve been anticipating for 3 long years is just around the corner. For those of you taking the NPTE on July 22-23, you have only 3 more weeks to prepare for this huge test. The good news is that the material being tested is stuff that you’ve been learning and practice for your entire DPT program. The bad news is that some information tends to disappear with time.
7 Pointers to Help You Prepare
I have worked with a number of students over the last 2 years who frequently ask me if they are ready for the exam. While there are a number of individual variables, I usually answer them with a checklist that includes these 7 items:
- Applied for State Licensure and received your Authorization to Test (ATT) letter—June 17 was the deadline for this exam.
- Scheduled your exam at a Prometric testing center
- Reviewed the FSBPT Content Outline for the NPTE—You can access this here. It is critical that you read through this document thoroughly.
- Used the Study Outline to make sure you haven’t missed any topics—This Study Outline is used to help flesh out the FSBPT Content Outline and make it more manageable.
- Created a detailed list of your individual weaknesses and a plan to attack them—List your top 10 specific weaknesses on the Content Outline and attack them with a vengeance!
- Taken at least 4 practice exams (including the PEAT) and scored above 70%–At the end of the day, you need to score 75% on the actual NPTE (600/800)
- Planned your test day in detail—Know when you’ll arise, what you’ll eat for breakfast, and how you’ll get to the testing center. Make sure you have a good “Plan B” in place for the inevitable unexpected emergencies.
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7 Common Mistakes to Avoid
In the past, I’ve spoken with many, many students who have not passed the NPTE on their first attempt. Overwhelmingly, they did not pass because they did not have a plan. They overestimated their knowledge and underestimated the difficulty of the exam. Here is a list of how NOT to prepare:
- Leave your studying to the last week
- Not take any practice exams
- Take 10 practice exams and score less than 30% on each one
- Wait until the last-minute to try to find your Prometric testing center
- Allow test anxiety to build
- Study only out of a review book (and not the actual sources)
- Say that you have studied when you have actually only skimmed over the chapter headings and convinced yourself that you’re the world expert on that topic when you could no more describe that topic in detail than you could do a cross-over reverse dunk over Michael Jordan.
An important thing to remember is that it only costs $25 to postpone your exam date if you do it more than 5 days before your exam. In some states, you are only allowed a few attempts, so make sure that you are ready for them! I’m always available for questions—I want to be an awesome resource for your preparation. I’ll be announcing the dates very soon for my Mastermind Study Group preparing for the October NPTE. Be sure to subscribe so that you never miss a post.