PT Final Exam Review
I decided to take the Physical Therapy Boards Examination in April this year for a few reasons.
- My wife and I were moving for her residency and I wanted to be able to start working very soon after graduation in May.
- The spring semester of our PT program was ‘less intense’ than other semesters, so I felt that it would be doable.
- I feel like I perform better when I have multiple things going on.
I started preparing for the exam in January, thinking that 4 months would be more than enough to tackle the biggest exam of PT school. I knew there were a lot of books and online study groups, so I really had to do some research on what I felt was the best use of my time in order to maximize my study efforts.
Here was my NPTE game plan:
- Use O’Sullivan as base study book
- Enroll in an online mentor program (I chose PT Final Exam)
- Take the TherapyEd boards review class
- Take as many practice exams as possible!
I used the 2015 edition of the O’Sullivan book (I took the 2016 NPTE) just because our class ordered them in bulk at the end of the year. The only difference between 2015 and 2016 was the flash drive of exams – 2016 has 1 different exam than 2015.
Why Enroll in a PT Boards Prep Course?
I wanted to give myself the best chance possible to pass the exam on the first attempt. Yes, the boards books are a must for studying, but I felt that having a little more guidance could be well worth the time, effort, and money invested into a more structured review course.
After reaching out to Will Crane at PT Final Exam, I knew that it was the program that I was looking for. He allowed me to join the Mastermind Study Group in exchange for an honest review of the program.
How I Passed the NPTE On My First Attempt
Yep, I’m thrilled to say I was able to pass the NPTE on my first attempt! My score was actually very close to my PEAT score (just under 700), which was interesting to learn. I’m not saying any of this to boast – and of course there’s no guarantee that you’ll earn a similar score studying with the tools I used. But hopefully a few of my study strategies pay off for those who might not know where to begin when it comes to studying for the NPTE.
PT Final Exam Overview
The Mastermind Study Course from PT Final Exam was an 8-week intensive overview of the major topics you might see on the NPTE.
All of the features can be seen on the PT Final Exam Mastermind Course Page, but I wanted to highlight a few that really helped me along the way.
Live Course Webinars
I enjoy learning through video and having the ability to replay a course later for review if I missed something. The PT Final Exam core content review sessions were great reminders of the topics that are outlined for the NPTE. They lasted between 50 and 100 minutes and you could access the powerpoints and videos after each session.
A common theme among practice exams that I saw was this: KNOW THE BASICS! It’s easy to brush over something and to think that you need to focus on the very specific material. I found that the video sessions were a great reminder of areas that I needed to focus a bit more on independently.
The team at PT Final Exam rotated but the core group of students was the same for each session. You could be as active as you wanted in the chats during the review sessions, which was great. Leading up to each session, the team PT Final Exam would send out an invitation to the next session, so it was easy to add it to the calendar to be accountable with the sessions.
Well Outlined Material / Assignments
I really appreciated the well organized and outlined materials that PT Final Exam uses. The ‘assignments’ were given, once a week for 4 weeks. While it is not ‘required’, going through the assignments were helpful to me for 2 reasons:
- I learn best when I have to research something on my own.
- I like to have a concise study guide of major concepts, so these assignments were perfect to keep me focused on the relevant material.
What I Would Change
The instructors encourage you to use key textbooks to supplement your studies for the NPTE. I had a couple (Colby & Kisner and the Differential Dx text) but I didn’t go out of my way to borrow or use a copy of other PT texts at a library. Even thumbing through a few could have been a better use of my study resources.
Having the ability to watch the videos on a 2x speed would be a great feature to add. It might very well be a possibility, but I didn’t spend the time to look into it more to figure out a way to speed up the videos.
I would add some more information on how to split up the material in designing a personal study schedule. This course is great for that student who wants an extra push and some excellent guidance, but it can be easy to just sit back and wait for the next lecture.
My suggestion to anyone taking the NPTE is to build a study schedule with a minimum of 6-8 weeks of dedicated study. My approach was to break each week down into days that covered a specific topic. I’ll make a new post sharing exactly how I broke down each week of study for the NPTE.
Do You Have a Plan to Pass the NPTE?
So what’s your plan? I know plenty of people who only used the O’Sullivan or ScoreBuilders book for their NPTE prep. All I know is that I felt more than prepared having used my study methods and that being a part of PT Final Exam was very helpful in kick starting my studying and guiding me along the way. I’d recommend checking out PT Final Exam and would be glad to answer specific questions about my studying plan – just leave a comment below!