NPTE Myth – Luck

Have you heard of even said “All I need is luck for the NPTE?” If so, you’re not alone. During one of Therapy Exam Prep’s (TEP) free live webinar NPTE assessment, I was doubted by someone that told me it was just luck that prevented them from passing previously. Honestly, no it was not luck but lack of proper preparation for the exam. There’s no luck about passing the NPTE but actual proper preparation, commitment and implementation of strategies for success.

I’m sure the person didn’t believe me but really, how do you increase a score exam 30, 40 or even 50 points with luck? You don’t! You really can’t rely on luck to pass the NPTE by hoping, wishing or praying without actually putting the time in to studying the right things, understanding how the exam works and really implementing tips and strategies for a successful passage. This NPTE is not a guessing game and hope to get the right answer. This is an entry level license exam to make sure you are safe and competent to practice on actual patients. Why wouldn’t you take this exam serious enough to understand and give the proper NPTE exam preparation?

In the present time, patients have access to a lot of information and when being treated they expect that you can answer their questions. If you relied on luck and couldn’t answer their inquiries, their trust won’t be there and most likely they wouldn’t return. They wouldn’t want to know you just barely passed the NPTE but couldn’t apply the knowledge to their current condition. And guess what? A lot of the NPTE questions on the exam are presented in a clinical way and rely on understanding of the information – not luck.

Is it luck that you just happened to get all of the easy questions on the NPTE? No, as I’m sure that’s not going to happen and without knowing how to handle what to do luck won’t help you here.

Is it luck that you understand everything without studying? No and this won’t fare well on the exam or your actual scores.

Is it luck that the NPTE will only test you on the material you studied and not the topics you didn’t? No and most likely the NPTE questions are integrated and require you to really be able to think clinically.

Is it luck that you happened to just miss enough questions to pass? Maybe but how do you know what’s right?

Is it luck that you can memorize the practice exams and can put the answer down without reading the full question? Maybe but really the NPTE is not academic but clinical based which is what TEP emphasizes.

With the new changes in place for the NPTE with a heavy emphasis of clinical thinking – luck just has no place for the NPTE. If you want to truly be successful on this exam, you’ll want to be sure you are completely ready, can think clinically and really have the proper preparation. This is just one aspect TEP emphasizes.

  • Psenjalia

    I totally agree with Miye, here.
    I know !! nothing works (including luck) if you don’t prepare yourself for the NPTE with clinical thinking approach….
    I have studied with this approach and I have seen 40 points of improvement in my practice exam score…
    So everything else..except proper preparation with clinical approach is not going to work for you even if you are lucky !!??!?!

  • Alberto Fonseca

    There is no such thing as luck. A famous quote I like to think of, “Luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity” – Seneca.

  • Gowmut

    Every single statement quoted here by Miye is totally true and totally makes sense.  There is no such thing as “LUCK” as far as the NPTE is concerned.  Even by chance if anyone says that they have passed their exam with luck, think about the big picture guys.  If you are not able to think clinically and prepare for the exam, then how will you treat your patients clinically.  If you feel luck is in anyway going to help you for this exam, I guess you are totally mistaken.  Remember fellow PTs, this is NOT an academic exam.  We got to have solid clinical thinking skills, which is what TEP focuses on.  NPTE is not just an exam.  It is the stepping stone for us PTs to the next level of working amongst patients and if we don’t know the stuff and rely on LUCK, do you think it will help you in the long run?  The answer is a “BIG NO.”  So start thinking and preparing for the NPTE like a PT.  Hope this post becomes an eye opener for lots of PTs out there.  ALL THE VERY BEST TO U ALL ASPIRING PTS.

  • Alberto Fonseca

    Great points Gowmut, and as a non-PT I have to say that if I’m a patient I’d be scared to go to a PT who barely passed their exam because they think they got “Lucky”. If the patient is not confident in the ability of their doctor they are not likely to return and that’s not a good way to start a career.

  • Vidhusoni

    yes I agree totally with Miye here,Luck will never help pass NPTE . We need to have a solid preperation and as Miye always says we should be able to apply knowledge clinically . NPTE questions are not academic and some questiions are not even from the topics we read.We have to just think clinically and on toes in that moment.TEP really helps in bringing up the clinical thinking part of exam and I have seen the results in my scores.
    Thanks for posting this Miye and a reminder for all the participants  to be solid in preperation and clinical thinking . I beleive that luck has no role in passing NPTE.

  • Bevin C Joseph

    Yes, I  partially agree with Miye that it is the solid knowledge about  the PT concepts which makes a person pass NPTE & not the luck. I would like to add another thing. A person will really start to learn and be an expert in the area which he specialise, only once he start getting oriented in the speciality & work with patients over a period of time by implementing the knowledge & skills which he learned during his studies.I’am telling this from my own experience from the country in which I worked after my graduation.If anyone failed the NPTE for just a point (74/75%) that would also be considered the lack of proper preperation & not LUCK ? So there is no meaning for the word LUCK in the English dictionary & need to be deleted as soon as possible.? Whaterver the situation is , I’am very positive & fully confident.So no bother. Any different remarks are welcome. 

  • Alberto Fonseca

    If someone failed the NPTE by just a point, that is clearly lack of proper preparation. Luck does have a meaning and use in English: favorable chance. Favorable chance is not reliable by definition. Therefore, luck is not part of a smart study plan.

    Measurable increases in scores due to preparation lead to successful results and give you the confidence to know you will pass with flying colors.

    • Anonymous


      I took TEP course . Still I failed by 1 point.I implemented STEM approach wonderfully.

  • Luz

    I have failed the test twice and It wasn’t because bad luck, It was because I wasn’t preparing myself correctly, It has been a 17 years  since I graduated and I did in another country, and also took a 8 years break in between without refering back to any PT book, and even with that I have better socores that someone who just graduated here in USA, and that others an me didn’t pass due to luck, is because we didn’t know how to approach each question correctly, we needed guidance and prepare more ourselves. We have the knowledge but the clinical thinking wasn’t the best. There is not such thing as luck, is PREPARE, PREPARE AND PREPARE TO SUCCED.

    • Luz

      Hi, my name is Luz, also. I have a PT degree in Colombia and I’m looking to get my license here, it’s good to know that it’s possible reading someone like you

  • Karen

    I completely agree here. Luck and hope should never be relied on when taking an important exam like the NPTE. It’s all about proper preparation, being confident and having solid foundations so that you can reason or rationalize just about any case scenario. That is how the NPTE is designed, and that is how one should prepare for it.

  • kanuj sethi

    Hi All, I have failed the NPTE Exam twice…with scores less than first time in second attempt. But i got nearly 85% in my PEAT Practise exam. Could not understand, whether its luck or lack of preparation. Please guide….I am totally shattered.

    • I’m sorry to hear you didn’t succeed yet. You’ll want to understand what you did right and wrong so that you can improve on your next attempt. There’s more to the exam than just getting a high score as this exam is not academic. There is no luck in passing. It’s about the proper preparation, being able to apply clinically, being a good test taker and can eliminate other factors that can be detrimental to your scores. Don’t be shattered, it’s a bump on the road. We’ll be glad to help guide you, join the program and you can be on your way to the right path.