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Take a practice test 1 week before the NPTE?

Should I take a practice test 1 week before the NPTE test?

To answer this question it is important to know the reasoning behind taking the practice exam. Often, there are two reasons:

  1. To boost confidence - “I want to know that I can pass.”

  2. To improve in test taking - This includes seeing more questions, practice of focusing for a 5 hour duration and implementing various test taking techniques.

First, if confidence is the reason, it is suggested NOT to take a practice test 1 week before the exam. While a passing score would boost confidence, a failing score might have the opposite effect. If you have been passing your previous tests then it would not make sense to jeopardize that positive momentum with the potential for a negative outcome. Therefore, to be better prepared for the potential of a negative outcome give yourself more time to rebound. This is why it may be better to take a practice test no less than 2 weeks away. At that point it should be sufficient time to brush up on small details leading into the NPTE.

Second, If a client is taking a practice exam for the purpose of becoming a better test taker then it is less risky to take it one week before the NPTE. If you are in this line of thought then it would be more appropriate not to look at the score but focus on the testing strategy. Simulate what you will do on the day of the test. Examples would be waking up at the same time, eating the same breakfast and taking breaks as planned just as you might do during the NPTE. While this reasoning poses less risk, there is still an opportunity for confidence to be intertwined with the score. For this reason, it is vital for the test taker to be honest with themselves. If confidence is going to be negatively affected, then give yourself more time leading into the NPTE.

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