Court0514

2+ Year Member
Jul 28, 2016
19
10
Hi all,

I just took the July 20th NPTE and unfortunately did not pass. I have never been the strongest test taker, and struggled a lot through DPT school but managed to pull through.

I made a study plan and began the first week of May, mainly using the TherapyEd review book. I read through it all, supplementing with other resources when needed. The last 3 weeks of studying was focused on my weaknesses and reviewing exam questions. I felt very confident going into the exam, but unfortunately did not come through in the end. My practice exam scores were high 60s for both O'Sullivan and Both PEAT exams.

I am retaking in October, and want to crush it obviously but am also very nervous about failing again.

Any advice would be greatly appreciated, I plan on using score builders to supplement this time, take those practice exams, and retake both PEAT exams. Any stories to lift my spirits would also be appreciated :)

Thank you!
 
Jan 20, 2013
11
4
Status
Rehab Sci Student
Sorry to hear about your results. I think regardless of pass/fail this whole process has been a humbling one. For me, the questions I got wrong were not for lack of knowledge but mostly because a) I misread the question or b) my line of reasoning was off. Instead of continuing to study notes I practiced writing down on paper key terms from the stem and further defining the answers (ie. answer a is static, answer b is dynamic, answer c doesn't address this key word in the stem etc). I did this when I took the PEAT practice and retired test. Doing so prevented me from being this passive participant to a more active one (if that makes any sense). At least for me, it helped me pass this July's boards.

Regarding questions that you're getting wrong, is it due to lack of knowledge (that was the case for a few questions for me), or was your line of reasoning off (a majority of the time for me)?

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Court0514

2+ Year Member
Jul 28, 2016
19
10
Sorry to hear about your results. I think regardless of pass/fail this whole process has been a humbling one. For me, the questions I got wrong were not for lack of knowledge but mostly because a) I misread the question or b) my line of reasoning was off. Instead of continuing to study notes I practiced writing down on paper key terms from the stem and further defining the answers (ie. answer a is static, answer b is dynamic, answer c doesn't address this key word in the stem etc). I did this when I took the PEAT practice and retired test. Doing so prevented me from being this passive participant to a more active one (if that makes any sense). At least for me, it helped me pass this July's boards.

Regarding questions that you're getting wrong, is it due to lack of knowledge (that was the case for a few questions for me), or was your line of reasoning off (a majority of the time for me)?

Sent from my SM-G920V using SDN mobile
Thanks for the advice, I think that is a really good approach that I am going to try. I think a lot of my issues were reading questions and my line of reasoning. Did you have to retake an exam?
 
Jul 11, 2016
10
3
Sorry about your results

Here's what i did.
Read Sullivan 2016 3x
Read Giles 2015 3x
Read Kisner
Read Physical Rehab Sullivan
Read Goodman chapters 1 to 4
Took PEAT and Retired NPTE
Wrote down in a pocket sized notepad Normal values (blood, ABG, etc.)

Hope this helps.
 
Jul 28, 2016
1
2
Sorry to hear that. But really, to me, failing this test doesn't mean that you are not smart. It only said that you need to study more and potentially to change some strategies.

During study:
1. Reviews every exam and every answer.
2. Try to think a step beyond what the question asks because this kind of test is trying to mimic a real situation that when a patient comes in, you need to think about everything around the patient, including, physical/mental problems, social challenges, and etc.
3. When you read something from books or internet, make a note of it in your own language or make a mind map.

On the test day:
1. Read each question twice. The first time to extract keywords from stem, esp left/right side or brain. I did what Ridge215 did too. I jogged down the keywords on paper. The second time, focus on the keywords.
2. Mark questions that you aren't sure but you have a great chance to get it right, which is worth coming back. Don't mark the question that you have no clue.
3. Take a full break because you have no idea how exhausted you brain was from the first two sections. It needs a break.
4. Take a quick break (maybe close you eyes) if you have a minute or two left after the end of each section.

It sounds like you studied a lot and had a solid plan the first time around. Just keep it up and good luck!
 
Last edited:
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Court0514

2+ Year Member
Jul 28, 2016
19
10
Sorry to hear that. But really, to me, failing this test doesn't mean that you are not smart. It only said that you need to study more and potentially to change some strategies.

My prep scores (in chronological order): retired PEAT=59%, SB1= 56.5%, O'Sullivan = 57%, SB2 = 66.5%, PEAT= 70%.
I worked full time and prep for this exam. I worked 7 am-4pm and studied from 6 pm to 10-11-midnight.

During study:
1. It is important to take each prep exam like you are taking the test. Practice managing the time, taking the break, eating some snacks, using restroom, and etc... The good study strategy from an SB instructor was "think about this exam like running a marathon. You are not going to wake up tomorrow and run a marathon if you haven't done that before. You need to work you way up until the race."
2. Reviews every exam and every answer.
3. Try to think a step beyond what the question asks because this kind of test is trying to mimic a real situation that when a patient comes in, you need to think about everything around the patient, including, physical/mental problems, social challenges, and etc.
4. When you read something from books or internet, make a note of it in your own language or make a mind map (sometimes it is easier to memorize pictures than text).

On the test day:
1. Sleep well on the night before (or at least try to)
2. Stay clam. Be strong.
3. Read each question twice. The first time to extract keywords from stem, esp left/right side or brain. I did what Ridge215 did too. I jogged down the keywords on paper. The second time, focus on the keywords.
4. Pace yourself. Answer every question even the ones that you mark. Mark questions that you aren't sure but you have a great chance to get it right, which is worth coming back. Don't mark the question that you have no clue.
5. Take a full break because you have no idea how exhausted you brain was from the first two section. It needs a break. Eat some snacks regardless you are hungry or not. Even if I had 2 protein bars and a yogurt, my score on the 4th section is the still the lowest. It has always been for me.
6. Take a quick break (maybe close you eyes) if you have a minute or two left after the end of each section.

It sounds like you studied a lot and had a solid plan the first time around. Just keep it up and good luck!
Thanks for taking the time to reply to my post. I will definitely take your tips into consideration. Luckily I can still work under another PT as long as I'm signed up for the exam... So I plan on restructuring my studying and taking some time off before starting again. I'm staying positive :) thank you!
 
Jan 20, 2013
11
4
Status
Rehab Sci Student
This was my first time taking the boards but I was seriously worried after taking the O'Sullivan tests. I had no idea how to improve my critical thinking skills so I ended up looking up stuff online and went to the bookstore to see if there was any exercise books to help with that. After doing some research on improving critical thinking skills I ended up making a set of rules for myself to remember:
1) summarize the stem
2) categorize the answers into commonalities OR re-define the answers into simpler terms
3) are two answers very similar? If yes, then I can probably eliminate them
4) is an answer something that I'd rarely see in the clinic? If yes, then I can probably eliminate that answer
5) are there two completely opposite answers? If yes, then one of them is probably the correct answer

Develop a strategy for yourself, a set of rules to follow, when answering questions.

For the practice questions I had already seen, I practiced the steps listed above despite knowing the correct answers already.

Keep doing that routine you set for yourself until it becomes a habit.

Keep your head up, you'll pass so long as your honest with yourself regarding where your deficits are and you address those deficits properly (if that makes any sense).

Feel free to PM me if I wasn't clear on anything. I tend to have a convoluted way of stating things. Lol.



Sent from my SM-G920V using SDN mobile
 

Ndebt

2+ Year Member
Jan 29, 2016
87
33
3
Tennessee
Status
DPT / OTD
I feel like reading the study guides 2 and 3 times is not necessary as long as you are taking your time and making sense of each and every chapter, doing the exercises and fully understanding it.
 
OP
C

Court0514

2+ Year Member
Jul 28, 2016
19
10
This was my first time taking the boards but I was seriously worried after taking the O'Sullivan tests. I had no idea how to improve my critical thinking skills so I ended up looking up stuff online and went to the bookstore to see if there was any exercise books to help with that. After doing some research on improving critical thinking skills I ended up making a set of rules for myself to remember:
1) summarize the stem
2) categorize the answers into commonalities OR re-define the answers into simpler terms
3) are two answers very similar? If yes, then I can probably eliminate them
4) is an answer something that I'd rarely see in the clinic? If yes, then I can probably eliminate that answer
5) are there two completely opposite answers? If yes, then one of them is probably the correct answer

Develop a strategy for yourself, a set of rules to follow, when answering questions.

For the practice questions I had already seen, I practiced the steps listed above despite knowing the correct answers already.

Keep doing that routine you set for yourself until it becomes a habit.

Keep your head up, you'll pass so long as your honest with yourself regarding where your deficits are and you address those deficits properly (if that makes any sense).

Feel free to PM me if I wasn't clear on anything. I tend to have a convoluted way of stating things. Lol.



Sent from my SM-G920V using SDN mobile
So helpful! I was feeling the same way with the O'Sully quizzes in regards to my clinical thinking skills, so I reviewed and reviewed the answers but I didn't really have a set approach like you did, so I will definitely try your strategy and see if other strategies work. Multiple choice has always been my downfall unfortunately. If I have any other questions I will message you, thanks so much for your input and advice. Congrats on your passing score!
 
OP
C

Court0514

2+ Year Member
Jul 28, 2016
19
10
This was my first time taking the boards but I was seriously worried after taking the O'Sullivan tests. I had no idea how to improve my critical thinking skills so I ended up looking up stuff online and went to the bookstore to see if there was any exercise books to help with that. After doing some research on improving critical thinking skills I ended up making a set of rules for myself to remember:
1) summarize the stem
2) categorize the answers into commonalities OR re-define the answers into simpler terms
3) are two answers very similar? If yes, then I can probably eliminate them
4) is an answer something that I'd rarely see in the clinic? If yes, then I can probably eliminate that answer
5) are there two completely opposite answers? If yes, then one of them is probably the correct answer

Develop a strategy for yourself, a set of rules to follow, when answering questions.

For the practice questions I had already seen, I practiced the steps listed above despite knowing the correct answers already.

Keep doing that routine you set for yourself until it becomes a habit.

Keep your head up, you'll pass so long as your honest with yourself regarding where your deficits are and you address those deficits properly (if that makes any sense).

Feel free to PM me if I wasn't clear on anything. I tend to have a convoluted way of stating things. Lol.



Sent from my SM-G920V using SDN mobile
Also, do you have any suggestions for bookstore reads to help with critical thinking skills? I plan on taking a couple weeks off to rest my brain but I am interested in doing some reading for fun and something like you suggested might be really helpful. Thanks :)
 
Jan 20, 2013
11
4
Status
Rehab Sci Student
Thanks. Anything I can do to help, I really don't mind because I know it could have easily been the other way around (I was barely in the middle of the pack regarding grades. Lol). You made it through PT school so you'll make it through boards.

Sent from my SM-G920V using SDN mobile
 
Jan 20, 2013
11
4
Status
Rehab Sci Student
I ended buying the following book from Barnes and Noble:

Critical Thinking Skills Success in 20 Minutes a Day
by LLC

There's probably other books out there but that's the only one I found at the bookstore.

It gave me some insight into how to think critically. How much it helped for the NPTE is anyone's guess but honestly, if it got me one or two more points on boards it's worth it. Also review the intro of O'Sullivan where it reviews testing strategies (which I kind of covered above).

Also, if you're in need of more practice questions use the following url:
https://physicaltherapyed.com/npte-practice-quizzes/

It covers all domains.

But I wouldn't try them until you have your test strategy down.


Sent from my SM-G920V using SDN mobile
 
Aug 30, 2017
6
1
Status
Physical Therapy Student
Does anyone feel that the july npte is harder than the ones offered the other months?