Have a Plan
“How do I get ready for the NPTE?” This is a question that comes up a lot when I get emails from students working to get ready for the National Physical Therapy Examination. It can be a very difficult question to answer because it is different for every individual.
Many students try to just open a review book and read through all of the information. This can be a bit tedious and really only gives you a cursory knowledge of the material contained therein. Lightly glossing over the material may be a good way to review broad topics and “cram” for the exam, but it does little to really give you the depth of understanding required for the NPTE. After all, the NPTE is testing 3 years’ worth of a clinical doctorate program. Their whole job is to make it appropriately challenging for even the best students.
Likely, much of the material is familiar to you. You just need to fill in the gaps and be able to apply your knowledge to a clinical-based NPTE. The questions are each designed to incorporate a few different topics and test your knowledge in a clinical scenario. One of the best ways to gauge your knowledge is by asking yourself, “What would this patient look like? Would I at least have an idea of how to treat this patient?” If you ask yourself these questions about each scenario, you’ll gain a firm grasp on most concepts.
Something that I wish I had paid more attention to is the FSBPT content outlines. They describe in vague detail all of the pertinent information that will be on the exam. One look at it tells you that they are trying to be vague enough to be able to include pretty much everything you learned in school and then some.
I have spent some time creating a detailed study outline that will help you really hone in on the material that the FSBPT intends for you to know. I share this with sincere hopes that it will really help guide your studies in the weeks to come.
Mastermind Study Groups
Just to put one last plug in for the Mastermind Study Group that is beginning this weekend—if you don’t have a good plan of attack, this is the way to get one. We work together to create study guides tailored to your specific needs. We also spend time answering your questions and making sure that there are no surprises on the NPTE. Please check out the Mastermind Study Groups webpage to get more information and to register.