Tick tock, tick tock, tick tock, the clock is ticking. Time is of the essence and your window of opportunity is starting to close. You have it mapped out in your head when you want to have your license and be practicing as a clinician. However, you still have your reservations about taking the NPTE. The interesting thing about time is that it can be an asset or a liability depending on the situation. Don’t get it confused, you need to take ample time to prepare for the exam to ensure you pass. The problem settles in when you start thinking you need more time in order to know all the information. This is an issue that many students run into when they are gearing up to take the NPTE. Let me explain.
You put all this time into studying so that you can make sure you know everything that is on the exam. This is the wrong approach to take with the NPTE. I want you to keep in mind that the NPTE is designed to test your level of understanding as opposed to how much you know. The two of these are like night and day compared to the other. Just because you know information that does not mean you have a complete level of understanding. This is something that has always been relevant throughout your schooling, but it has also been important in life. As a soon to be clinician, you must eradicate any thoughts that don’t help contribute to you confirming that you understand your material. One day you will be responsible for the care and treatment of patients. It’s one thing to know what is bothering your patient, but you need to understand what the problem is and how you can provide the solution to them.
You can’t allow yourself to become a know it all; it is critical to your success to become a master of the material. Someone who is a know it all can reference information, but the master has a firm understanding that can’t be matched. Your studying for the NPTE should incorporate methods that allow you to make connections that permit you to comprehend the information. There is a thin line between knowing your data and understanding it. This is the same line that separates people that are great from people that are average. I don’t say that to discourage you or to be condescending. I say it to challenge you to join the ranks of greatness. Don’t you think after everything you’ve sacrificed over the years you deserve to prosper? I do. Within each one of us, there is an endless amount of potential that we must unlock to become our best version. My wish for you is that you will become enlightened to the capabilities you possess. At the end of the day, it does not matter how much I believe in you, you must believe in yourself.
The day that you realize your value is the day you will start to accomplish things you never imagined. Give yourself more credit. Start thinking and acting like the doctor you are destined to be. A wise person once said, “Fake it until you make it.” This gives you the opportunity to mold yourself into the person you are working to become. It prepares your mindset to be at the top of your game even before you reach that point. You have not reached the pinnacle of the mountain yet. I don’t know when you will, but I do know that you will get there if you continue to persevere. When you are studying, focus on quality over quantity. As crazy as it sounds, I would prefer you understood thirty percent of the information instead of knowing all of it. The highest activity a human being can attain is learning to understand because to understand is to be free. Free yourself.
-Karl Bourne, Lead Blog Writer