You’ve come so far and the PT Exam is now so close! This is what Dr. Rice calls ‘Hustle Week’, the final week before your NPTE. Let’s take a look at how you should be prepping for Hustle Week, including a strategic NPTE study schedule that may help you on this final stretch to dominate your PT Exam!
How much studying should I do the week before the PT Exam?
Dr. Rice of the PT Hustle recommends that you dedicate 4-6 hours a day to studying during the final week before the PT Exam. When you get to 2 days out from your NPTE exam, taper that off to maximum 2-3 hours of studying, and check out the recommendation below for what to do on the day before the exam. It all comes down to this – don’t burn yourself out! Make sure to balance studying, rest, and normal life activities during the last week before the PT Exam.
What do I study to get the most out of the week before the PT Exam?
This is tough because you’ve learned so much while studying for the PT Exam so you may feel overwhelmed when deciding what to focus on during the last week. However, don’t worry – Coach K has a final week study strategy to help you prepare for this critical week!
Narrow It Down
● First figure out your final big 3 (the final big 3 are the areas in which you’re missing the most points – this could be musculoskeletal, neuro, cardio, other systems etc.) — every PT student’s big 3 will be different!
● Isolate 20 of the most important concepts from each of the big 3. Stick to the concepts that you feel are definitely going to come up on the exam.
● Focus on those 60 total concepts in the last week before your PT Exam. Remember, this last week should be a pretty solid review. You shouldn’t really be learning concepts for the first time in this last week.
Should I study the day before?
You may be used to taking other tests throughout PT school and spending the final day, hours, and minutes before the exam cramming as much info as possible in your mind. Dr. Rice’s final day recommendation for the PT Exam is the exact opposite of this!
He points out that you don’t run a marathon right before the actual marathon! Because if you did, you wouldn’t have the energy to get through the real thing. Don’t burn all your fuel before the PT Exam. The founder of the PT Hustle adds one caveat to his NPTE study schedule, saying that maybe you can do a run through – a quick 30-minute refresher the day before but otherwise….
Do Not Study The Day Before The PT Exam! Do This Instead:
● Hang out with family
● Do whatever it is you enjoy and that will boost your self-confidence
● Store up the energy you need to take the PT Exam.
Last Minute Tips and Tricks (to Handle Anxiety)
Knowing the material is only one piece of the PT Exam puzzle. How you handle your anxiety will go a long way in determining whether you pass or fail the NPTE. Dr. Rice developed PT Hustle’s NPTE courses specifically because he wants you to learn and retain the material, manage anxiety, and dominate the PT Exam! And he has several last minute tips and tricks to handle your test-taking anxiety.
See a therapist
If you have time and access to a therapist, make an appointment and talk to a professional. Mental health is key in handling the anxiety before taking your PT Exam and in life.
Ride the Waves
Dr. Rice says that if you don’t have time to make an appointment with a therapist remember this: anxiety hits like a wave. It may come on strong at times but eventually, that wave of anxiety will wash away. Remember and focus on the reality that your anxiety will not last forever; it will end. If you remind yourself of this when the next wave of anxiety arrives at your shore, you may be able to calm down sooner.
Use the Alexander Technique breathing exercise to help handle anxiety before, and during, the PT Exam:
● Breathe in for 4 seconds
● 4 second hold
● Exhale for another 4 seconds
Don’t fight anxiety. Instead, accept it. Fighting it only serves to make the anxiety worse and may cause it to stay with you longer. Don’t freak out — stay focused!
Anxiety During the PT Exam
The NPTE is a game of strategy. Remember this should you have an anxiety attack during the exam and begin to stress out about time — it’s ok! Let the wave of anxiety wash over you and know you have more sections of the PT Exam to make up time. You have the time, and you can do this!
Get even more help with your last minute PT Exam studies!