What is the importance of taking practice exams?
NPTE Final Frontier has been collecting data for years on ideal strategies and time schedules for practice exams. We have found that practice exams are an important tool for fine tuning a study plan to maximize your results. If we compare successfully passing the NPTE to running a marathon, practice exams are your long run training days. These are the days when you push yourself both as an element of your preparation, as well as a measure of the success of your preparation thus far, and an indicator of what you still need to achieve to succeed for the real deal.
Your results on practice exams are data points in your study plan. Essentially, early practice exams give you information on what to study, mid-plan practice exams tell you your progress, and final practice exams let you know if you are ready for the real deal NPTE.
In addition to serving as a test-performance barometer, practice exams help to prepare you for the experience of taking the actual NPTE. Make sure that your practice exam experience is as close as possible to the actual NPTE testing conditions.
Your practice exam results should be carefully analyzed. What are your weakest sections? Your strongest? Adjust your study plan accordingly. Are you using your time well? Do you need to rearrange how you take your break? Make a specific plan for how you will actually take the exam.
Practice exams are a great tool. Some students get worried that practice exams will take away valuable study time; to the contrary, students who do not take time for practice exams often struggle to direct their studying effectively, and often approach the actual NPTE with misguided perceptions of how ready they actually are.
We here at NPTE Final Frontier have also found that students taking a repeat attempt should also tweak their study approach, including practice exams. Learn more about practice exam approaches for first time and repeat exam takers in the next posts of our series!