With so many unknowns still regarding the COVID-19 and the ongoing chaos with taking the NPTE, studying for the exam can be challenging during this time. Before this pandemic came, preparing and studying for this important exam was something you had to do in order to become licensed. Now, after weeks and months of social distancing with stay-at-home orders, studying now may feel more restricted and isolated than before.
NPTE Studying Adjustments
Since COVID-19 started, some changes towards studying for the NPTE might have not been a big deal at first with studying at home rather than going out. However, as time passes, when limited to one place to study at home instead of also going to the local coffee shop, it may feel less than ideal. This can be especially true when not being able to meet up with a colleague to go over the material and learn from each other.
Creating New Routines
What may seem like more time on our hands being at home with little outside interaction, here’s the time to create new or change routines to adjust to the current situation. While some habits may be hard to break, re-evaluating during this time can be quite beneficial. View this as an opportunity and have fun while doing it.
Where To Study
If you haven’t already, create an atmosphere where you can focus and study for the NPTE. This may include a space where you can get away from family members and pets. When wanting to change locations, whether you choose a room or be out in the open, set yourself up so that you can focus for at least 45 minutes at a time.
If you can mimic more of what you’ll experience at the Prometric site, it’ll be good training for the day. When studying, make sure to have a clear surface area and limit the number of things at arms reach to reduce potential distractions. Focus on building up your physical endurance by sitting in a chair rather than a comfy couch or on the bed.
When To Study
To make the most of your NPTE prep time, study during the time when you can focus best. If you can, study around the time you plan on taking your exam so that you can mentally train your brain to focus better. As you are studying, be sure to incorporate mini breaks every so often throughout the studying time.
If you plan on using earplugs during the exam, practice wearing them as you study. This is especially good if the place where you are is too noisy. If you find your study area to be too quiet, listen to some background noise (like a coffee shop) or study music.
Having the Motivation to Study
It’s very easy to be distracted or not motivated to study for the NPTE. It’s not the most interesting thing to do during this time; however, don’t let yourself procrastinate nor cram in a lot of information at one time. Avoid all or nothing when studying for this exam as it’s more about the quality of what you study as well as consistency.
When you’re about to study but don’t want to, let’s change your mind about NPTE exam prep as uninteresting but that you are learning things to help your future patient. Think of how you can motivate yourself to study as if a family member is asking you about what they are going through. Or if you can treat how you study more like a game, you can see how many patients you can help today. The goal should be that you can answer something for the day and feel accomplishment no matter the amount of time you spent studying.
Limit the Number of Studying Hours
It may seem counterintuitive but studying for more than 6 hours a day for the exam doesn’t always produce the greatest results. While being at home and studying, you’ll want to maintain a balanced life that includes family time, various obligations, physical and relaxation activities. Essentially, you want to take care of yourself and not burn yourself out.
Limit the amount of time that you plan on studying so you can focus on what’s important and avoid making academic studying mistakes. While it may feel like you are not studying enough for the exam, you’ll allow your brain to process the information better. Rather than passively reading a lot of content material, learn to effectively utilize the study guides to strengthen areas.
Avoid the Drawbacks of Being Indoors
Just because you’re indoors, avoid staying in one position for long periods of time. When studying, practice some seat movements to help you answer questions. When limiting your amount of time sitting, you can practice pressure relief and remember to have good posture.
When studying either on the computer or looking at books for a while, you might get used to focusing on things that are close to you. Remember to take breaks and train yourself to look up somewhere further than a few feet away. Take the time to also stretch and reduce any muscle tension you may have.
While staying at home to study can be isolating, focus on making some adjustments to help you prepare better for the NPTE. Keep in mind the goal of passing and make forward progress each day. At some point, this pandemic will go away and the return to a new normal will come. Enjoy what you are learning and be ready to help patients anytime.