Studying for the NPTE Exam can be an anxiety-inducing experience but there are a number of different tips and tricks that may help you prepare, learn, retain and ultimately pass the exam with flying colors. Let’s take a look at eight study tips and how the PT Hustle may help you not only pass, but dominate the NPTE Exam!
Study in Bite-Sized Pieces
A great tip from Dr. Rice himself is, “when studying for your NPTE Exam, study in bite-sized pieces as opposed to big chunky blocks of time.” This bite-size approach was the foundation of Coach K’s personal NPTE Exam study strategy. Studies on test prep and effective studying show that focusing on a few topics for shorter periods on different days may help to improve retention more than elongated study time spent on a single subject.
Don’t Wait For Inspiration To Strike
Make a plan (and stick to it!) to study at a similar time and in a dedicated space every day. Having this kind of disciplined approach to studying for the NPTE instead of waiting for inspiration to strike may help you dominate the test and become a physical therapist. As a bonus, establishing more structure in your everyday life may help you succeed in your PT career too!
Identifying Your Weaknesses
Another great tip from Dr. Rice when studying for the NPTE Exam is to truly know yourself. Knowing yourself is key to quality and efficient study time for the NPTE Exam. Many students fall into the trap of studying the information they already know because it is more comfortable. Think about it – you feel good when you study information that you understand. However, the problem is that focusing only on areas that you’re already good at won’t lead to significant score improvements on NPTE practice tests, or on the NPTE. Using practice exams to identify your weaknesses and then honing in on those topics is one of the quickest ways to start getting points back on the NPTE!
When studying for the exam, pivot between different NPTE topics, as well as other activities, to keep your mind and body fresh in the same way you might when at the gym. Our bodies react best when stimulated in a myriad of ways while exercising, and the same could be true of your brain when studying for the NPTE. Instead of focusing hours straight on a single PT topic, move between disciplines to help your mind become more nimble (as we’ve already discussed) but also, take plenty of well-timed breaks to read a short story, fold and put away laundry, stretch, dance around to a few of your favorite songs, and prepare a healthy snack to refuel. All of this will add diversity to your days spent studying and may prevent you from becoming bored or overwhelmed.
Rewriting / Paraphrasing
99% of servers at restaurants write down orders to help them remember when juggling many tables and customers. The simple act of writing, rewriting, and paraphrasing in your own words or in a shorthand assists in the retention of important information. When studying for the NPTE Exam, the same can be true. Rewrite the material in your own words, to truly make it your own, so that your brain may more easily recall the information when taking the test.
Study in a Clean Space
A clean, organized study space may help declutter your mind, allowing you to focus more of your attention on NPTE topics, practice questions, and your studies.
As you divvy up blocks of study time into bite-sized pieces, consider being physically active as a break from your NPTE Exam prep. Even if you’re unable to get outside in the fresh air to go for a run or ride your bike, you could utilize parts of the Alexander Technique to help reduce tension and stress in your body while studying for the NPTE. Keeping your body fresh may go a long way to keeping your mind equally as invigorated.
Ask For Help
You may have all the NPTE Exam material down pat and are just anxious about standardized tests or maybe you want to be coached one-on-one from start to finish. No matter where you are in the process of studying for the exam, it’s okay to ask for help! The PT Hustle is here for you with a NPTE course designed to help you study better and to dominate your NPTE Exam.