How to determine if you are NPTE Ready

As the NPTE approaches, you may start wondering whether you are ready and if all your studying and hard work will pay off. You want to figure out exactly where you stand concerning going into the NPTE and DOMINATING it. 

Are you feeling nervous about taking the NPTE? You’re not alone! Many students feel anxious and overwhelmed before their exam. However, if you’re prepared and know what to expect, you’ll be much more confident heading into the NPTE and crushing it. So how can you tell if you’re ready for the NPTE? Dr. Kyle Rice, or “Coach K,” as his students call him, breaks down the SEVEN THINGS you should make sure you have to go in and DOMINATE the NPTE. 

Why? Because if you have these seven things in place, you can almost guarantee you will go in and pass the NPTE. 

  1. Turn weaknesses to strengths – Did you address the main NPTE content weaknesses that you feel would keep you from passing? You didn’t just study the whole book, but you targeted personal weaknesses and were able to earn those points back? Maybe it was MSK Examinations, or perhaps it was endurance problems. What is that for you, though, and did you correct it and become stronger by doing so?   

Addressing your weaknesses is a must. There needs to be intentional studying in the form of finding those areas where you lose points inconsistently and ADDRESSING them. You can’t expect your Cardio scores to improve if all you do is study MSK! 

  1. Practice Exam Scores – This one is HUGE—practice exam scores. There are three major practice exams that Coach K typically recommends, and he breaks down the numbers you are looking for before the NPTE. For PEAT scores it’s around a 620 or higher. For TherapyEds, a 71% or higher. For score builders, a 75% or higher.

    Now, hold on a minute. Hold on, hold on, hold on. Plenty of students had never passed the peat and then crushed the NPTE. Coach K failed his retired peat seven days before the NPTE but still got an 800 out of 800 on his actual exam. Do you want to know why? Because the other things on this list were in place.
  1. NRGs – Let’s talk about your NPTE Ready Goals and where you stand today concerning them. You may be unfamiliar with what those are. Coach K has his students create NRGs before they begin studying to know precisely where to aim and see real-time progress. They are improvements you would like to see to go into the NPTE CONFIDENT you will dominate!

    An example of an NRG is getting 75% or 41 out of 55 of the Musculoskeletal system questions correct. You could set an NRG for your desired anxiety level heading into the test. During prep, you may be an 8 out of 10 anxiety-wise. For the real NPTE, you set the goal to be around a 2 out of 10. Where are you in relation to your NRGs? 
  1. Confidence – Your confidence level will be the number one reason you do not perform well on the NPTE. Low confidence levels lead to missed questions because of the self-doubt they create inside of you. It would help if you had confidence in your knowledge and should confidently be able to say, “I don’t know everything, but I know enough to PASS this NPTE.” You need confidence in your ability to trust your judgment.

    A lot of the time, 80% – 90% of students have more than enough knowledge to pass the NPTE. However, their confidence in their ability to perform on game day leaves them with 597s and 594s. They did not trust their skills and knowledge and ended up second-guessing themselves and failing… by one question in some cases! 
  1. Future After NPTE – Students often see failure on the NPTE because they have not honestly asked themselves if they are ready to be a physical therapist. After you pass, there is a lot of responsibility that comes with that.

    Are you ready to start changing lives and impacting people? The spotlight is on you to get patients better. Are you prepared for that? If you resonate with this currently and feel that you are not ready, this is a question you need to ask yourself and truly consider. It is a standard mental block that can prevent students from passing the NPTE and moving on to their dream job.

    Answering that question with confidence and excitement for your future tells you that you are ready to crush this exam. If you answer otherwise, ask yourself why? Why do you feel like this? Answer that question first. 
  1. Taking The Exam For Yourself – You need to be taking the NPTE because you know that the time and effort you have put into studying has prepared you to pass it. You need to take the NPTE because you know this is the right time for you, not because family or friends say it is. You may be taking the NPTE because you have an old professor reaching out asking whether you are or not, and you finally want an answer to that question. Besides your knowledge that you are ready, any outside influence misaligns your purpose for taking the exam. Your purpose needs to be clear, defined, and all about you. 
  1. No Regrets – If you walk into the NPTE, fail it, and walk out… would you have regrets? Seriously. We all will feel that there are some things that we should have done that we didn’t, whether that is reaching out and getting with a study partner, talking to that faculty member, or getting into a review course and stop trying to do it all yourself.

    Coach K has often heard students say they regret taking the NPTE because they were working forty-hour weeks leading up to the exam, took the exam on someone else’s timeline, or did not look into joining an actual review course and stuck to the books. When you go into the NPTE, you have to be able to have no regrets. 

These were Dr. Kyle Rice’s seven factors when determining a student’s NPTE readiness. If you can go through all seven things and feel confident about each one, that is how you know you are ready for the NPTE. You come to a point where it’s like, it’s my time. I’m going in here to smash this NPTE. I’m going in here not just to take an exam but to get my dream job and start living the future I should be. These points are not to say that if you do NOT have these seven things in place, you will not pass. You can still pass without all 7 in place. These are simply the seven things Coach K looks at in his students to determine their NPTE readiness. 

If you can resonate with one of these points, maybe you need to fix number seven or need to fix number five, now is the time to take some corrective action! If you are looking for guidance on how to go in and address a specific topic from this list, then follow our Facebook Page for tips and tricks on how to get you across that finish line on NPTE gameday. If you’d like to contact us to see how the PT Hustle can help you, we would be more than happy to assist! 

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