There are soooo many resources out there to study for the NPTE. It can be overwhelming to think about which ones to buy, and also overwhelming thinking about studying all this stuff!
Here I’m going to tell you the EXACT resources I used to study and pass the NPTE.
Resources to study for the NPTE
Here are the resources I personally recommend to study for the NPTE and what I actually used to help get me a passing score!
1. The PEAT exams
These are practice exams offered by the FSBPT, the same people that create the NPTE. Some schools (like mine) offered them for free to their 3rd year students. If yours doesn’t, they cost $99 and I think they are worth it. Since they are written by the FSBPT, they are generally the closest to the actual test.
However, if you are short on cash or just don’t want to spend more money, if you can pass the Therapy Ed tests, I think you are good to go and can skip this expense. More on that below.
You can also pay to get a more in-depth look at how you did on the PEAT tests, but I did not pay for that, since I had a pretty good idea of the areas I needed to focus on.
2. Scorebuilders book
There are several NPTE study books to choose from, and this is the one that I chose. Mainly because during our 2nd year one of our professors mentioned it, and we all got together and did a group order so it was a little cheaper.
I like the Scorebuilders book because it is more visual. Everything is color coded, and there are charts and graphs to help organize all the material. For a visual learner like me, that really, really helps.
This is the *only* book I read all the way through to study for the NPTE. I do think the Therapy Ed book goes a little more in depth, but the Scorebuilders book was more than sufficient for me. I personally did not like the layout of the Therapy Ed book — it’s laid out in columns, mostly black and white, and very text-heavy. However, from what I saw, it looked like it had more in-depth information. I just prefer colorful and lots of visuals.
3. Scorebuilders practice exams
These exams come with the Scorebuilders book. They have an online module that emulates the testing experience. The answers are located in the back of the Scorebuilders book for you to review.
In my opinion, the Scorebuilders practice exams are not enough to accurately gauge how you will do on the test. I think these exams are a little easier than the PEAT, Therapy Ed tests, and the actual exam. But, I do think they are very useful in practicing time, focus, and emotion management. I speak more on these strategies below in the section on strategies to study for the NPTE.
4. Therapy Ed exams
These exams also come with the book, in an online module and the answers are in the back of the book to review.
I think these exams were harder than the NPTE. I remember when I took my first Therapy Ed practice exam I literally cried. I thought I was doing OK and I just….didn’t. Also they were doing yard work outside that day, sooo I think the noise contributed.
Anywho, these exams are super helpful. They also seemed to focus on some of the topics that I wasn’t strongest in – like neuro and some specifics of cardiopulm. In my opinion, I think if you can pass the Therapy Ed exams with a little bit of room, that is a pretty good indication that you will be OK for the NPTE.
A note on the Therapy Ed books
As I mentioned above, I did not read the Therapy Ed book because its layout is very text-heavy, and I like visuals. Which is ironic because this post is basically all text.
That being said, many of my classmates read it and liked it. It is up to you, I think either one would be fine to read. As long as you are reading whichever book you choose all the way through and understanding what you read, while looking up topics you need more information on, I think you will be OK.
If there are some students in the year ahead of you with the books, maybe try asking them to look at theirs so you can see which one you might like better.
You can read both, but in my opinion unless you were not a great student during school, you probably don’t need to fully read both.
5. Kyle Rice’s podcast
I love this man. Love his podcasts. I really liked the fact that they were a different way to study, i.e. audiotorially? audilly? audiorially? Well. In an audio fashion. Everything else that I used was visual, so it was nice to switch it up a bit.
I don’t know about you, but while I was studying for the NPTE I was a stickler for time. I felt like there was sooo much information to get through and I didn’t have a moment to waste. (Looking back that was a little dramatic and I could have definitely devoted some time to other things.) But I was bound and determined to pass with absolutely no doubt.
So I loved the fact that these podcasts could be used to fill in any “lost” time. I was driving a lot during that time, so it helped me feel like I was using every minute I had. Every day I took a walk for some exercise, and I listened to about 3 Kyle Rice podcasts during the walk.
Kyle has a great personality and is an amazing explainer.
In each episode he discusses a potential NPTE style question. He discusses the question, any information in the question, and any background that you might need to know. Then he goes through the answers one by one, discussing why they might be correct or incorrect. SUPER HELPFUL.
That being said, looking back I think the questions he discusses are a little bit harder than the average NPTE question. Which makes sense because you need something to talk about that’s a little more complicated than “what’s the thigh bone called?” (Spoiler alert: it’s the femur).
When I first started listening I was freaking out thinking there was no way I was going to pass this thing. But over time, #1 I got better at answering the questions and #2 I realized that these are harder than the NPTE.
So I would NOT STRESS about getting every single question right. I would just use it as a learning opportunity.
PLUS, he has PDFs for a lot of these topics. I read through many of these PDFs and found them extremely helpful.
6. Take my contest!
Haha of course I had to include this. The contest is currently not live, but the questions and answers are still up for you to quiz yourself even more. Let me know what you think!
7. The internet in general
I would definitely be remiss if I didn’t mention the entire Internet. As I was studying the above resources, if I came across something I didn’t know about, or wanted to review, or wanted a visual on (like a diagram of the obturator nerve, or a chart of blood pressure norms, or anything) the handy-dandy Internet was my friend. Did I really just use handy-dandy? Anyway, the key thing about using the Internet is to stay focused. I talk about using this resources and staying focused and so much more in my post on Strategies to Study for the NPTE.
So there you have it! That is pretty much everything I used to study for the NPTE and it worked! I came out with a passing score and I am now a licensed Physical Therapist and I have put that exam behind me 🙂 Woooo!