One of most common mistakes students make on the repeat attempt is that they repeat the same study pattern, re-read the same books, follow the same coaching program and re-take the same practice exams. That sets up what we call as a ‘pseudo-confidence shell’.
NPTE for repeat attempt candidates is a totally different ball game. It is important to realize that there will be ups and downs; one day you will feel like you are going to hit the next NPTE out of park and other days you will find yourself searching for alternate career options. The key to success is staying focused and following a schedule. If you retake the same practice exams you took during the last attempt, try to change the sequence of the practice exams. The flowchart below represents the ideal dates for taking the practice exams for the upcoming January NPTE.
The biggest change to your practice exam approach is to modify your PEAT schedule and take the retired PEAT first, approximately 1 month before your NPTE. Include new exams in the your study pattern and keep accessing your preparation at regular intervals. Even if you do well on the new retired PEAT, take the blue book exam to see how you do on relatively unfamiliar questions. Randomizing the order of 200 question therapy ed and scorebuilders exams and adding a 250 question NPTE Final Frontier exam also help get a realistic assessment of your preparation. These strategies would avoid the pseudo confidence even if you get a passing score on the PEAT’s.
Finally, use your preparation, and the scores on the practice exams as the deciding factor to take the NPTE. If you are not ready and your scores are not showing a significant increase, it is better to postpone the exam than to fail it. Good luck with your preparation for next few weeks. You can pass this entry level exam and start practicing as a licensed physical therapist.