With just two months to go for the April date of the NPTE and two more testing NPTE exams for this year, I am sure that everyone who is reviewing or even planning on reviewing for the NPTE are overwhelmed with HOW to study for this exam.
Well, I know I have created a basic study review guide and provided study tips on how my studying and reviewing , this time around I would like to point out MY MISTAKES when I reviewed for the NPTE back in 2010, for my first attempt to take the exam.
1. Trying to Cram my head with too many books. You name, I tried reading it! Trying to read reference text books like Magee, Kisner and Sullivan from cover to cover. And then trying to read two to three physical therapy review books did not help either! It is useful to have the mentioned reference textbooks on hand just to read through if there is a certain topic that you want to get a more detailed explanation of.
2. Reading one Review Book at a time. I remember getting so excited when I received my IER or the Sullivan National Physical Therapy Exam Review Book in the mail the first time. I didn’t have an exact plan on how to really review, I just read it from page one up until the end for a month! It did not help me retain the must needed knowledge that you really need to be able to answer the NPTE. Best way to go about it is focus on a topic or case for a certain amount of days. For example, you can read the neuromuscular chapters of the IER, Mark Dutton’s McGraw-Hill NPTE book and Scorebuilders in two to three days to help you retain the cases in your head better than just trying to zip through a whole review book. I personally only used TWO REVIEW BOOKS, just to give me a better understanding on a per case basis. I used IER and Mark Dutton’s book; I did not have the resources and time to get the Scorebuilders, just thought I’d let you know.
3. Not Doing Enough Practice Exams. This was MY WORST MISTAKE on my first attempt to take the exam. I only did three practice exams for my 2010 exam and my mind and MY BODY was not prepared enough to take a 5-hour long exam in one sitting. Just think of the NPTE as a marathon, do at least one practice exam a day 3-4 weeks before your NPTE exam date. The review books I mentioned have practice exams in CD included and you can rotate these exams on a daily basis. I would also highly recommend that you purchase the PEAT and include it in your mix of practice exams; it gives you a FEEL on how the REAL NPTE is like on screen. The NPTE is 5 hours long; so take advantage of the breaks every 50 items and do that during your Practice exams and your body won’t get into shock of getting so overwhelmed when you take your actual NPTE.
These are just my two cents on how NOT to make the same mistakes I had when taking the NPTE. I will share more when I get more information along the way.