How much time should I spend preparing?
Preparation time can vary from student to student, so it is important to accurately assess how much time it will take you to study all of the topics that will be covered in the NPTE exam. As you look over the topics, identify the areas for which you will need the most review time and the areas in which you need the least time, to help prioritize your studying. To start, look at your current schedule. How much time you can devote to studying? What are your current responsibilities, and how much time does that eliminate from your study time? What amount of time can you commit to each day or in total each week to study? Ensure you are giving yourself enough time to master each topic. Sticking to a schedule will help you pace yourself efficiently and allot for time to revisit topics that need additional review.
Use proper note-taking and critical reading strategies
As you well know by now, using proper note-taking and critical reading strategies that have worked for you in the past will make your time more effective and allow you to optimize the time you are spending. Review the sections of this guide to ensure you understand the high-yield terms. Think about how questions could be formed based on the topics. Think about how you would explain certain concepts to another person. These are effective strategies to enhance your learning.
Test-taking strategies for multiple choice questions
Use of the multiple choice test-taking strategies to help eliminate one or more of the possible answers can help improve your overall exam performance. After reading the question completely and determining what is being asked, rule out the wrong answer or answers. Use your existing knowledge rule out any option that is clearly wrong. Sometimes working backward by looking over the answers first and then looking at the question can also be helpful. Pay attention to absolute words like always, all, only, must, or never, because these can determine what is being asked and help an option stand out. Finally, recognize responses that are opposites. One of the two is commonly the answer.
If more help or insight is needed into a particular topic, you can explore other resources to master it. From your old notes, former instructors, and online sources, the resources are limitless. Some students form study groups to better prepare for the exam, especially if you recently ended your program.
The NPTE is timed and taking timed practice test will assist you in your preparation. This will allow you to see how quickly you progress through questions and will let you know if it is necessary to shorten your time per question to ensure you do not run out of time to allow for you to review after you have answered your question to confirm you have selected the best answer.
As noted earlier, there are scheduled breaks. Use this time during the test to rest your mind, get water, or move your legs. Breaking up the sitting time over the 5-hour exam will benefit you.
It is important to keep your composure and remain focused. The brain performs best when it is well oxygenated and when you are not experiencing nerves or anxiety. Preparation before the exam will also help calm your nerves, but on the day of the exam make sure to breathe deeply in between questions or any time you start to feel anxious.