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The Reason Students Don't Pass After Failing The First Time

You’re a winner. You’re a champion, a success, and a triumph. These are feelings and desires we all wish to have and to be known for by our family, friends, and peers. However, our efforts do not always yield such fruitful results. As such, we have sometimes been plagued with failure over and over again. As a child, have you ever played a video game and been so engrossed and determined to beat that last boss, reach that next level or come in first place, that you wouldn’t stop playing until you succeeded?




As soon as your character dies, runs out of lives, or you come in last place, you then let out your frustration with a yell or sigh. Then, you immediately jump back into the game and to try your luck again. You may not have even given yourself enough time to devise a strategy on how to win this go-round or to even contemplate why you lost in the first place. When this scenario is related to the NPTE, this leads us to what I like to call, NPTE Recurrent Redemption Syndrome. This idea stems from the desire to redeem yourself because you “lost the game.” This may be out of pride, shame, frustration, or peer pressure.


Do you or have you felt this way after not passing the NPTE on one or more occasions? If the answer is yes, you should then ask yourself, who are you trying to redeem yourself for?


It’s not uncommon for us to worry about what others think about our setbacks and failures. You may be concerned about who is watching you and how you may appear in their eyes whenever you don’t succeed. Or better yet, you have a potential job waiting for you to pass the exam, which increases your desire and pressure to pass the NPTE. The real trouble with Recurrent Redemption Syndrome is that all reasoning flies out the window. It then becomes a dangerous game of blindly shooting at a bullseye, hoping that luck will propel you to land on or slightly past a score of 600. However, what these careless acts prove is that your priorities are out of focus. The facts of why you are continuing to fall short of a passing score on the practice or actual NPTE should take precedence of your pride, your shame, your family, your friends and your potential job. That’s like trying to play a video game with a dead controller. You aren’t even prepared to start selecting a character, let alone beat the game. It doesn’t matter how hard you mash on the buttons or yell at the screen, nothing is processing. This applies to how desperate you are to redeem yourself by passing the NPTE.



Take a seat, or several seats, and reflect on what your NPTE practice exam scores are telling you. Put what matters first, plug yourself into the NPTE, recharge your focus on the exam and diagnose your scores and strategize a plan to fix the problem(s). Treat your past failures as lessons for your future success.


Use specific resources such as the PEATs to help detect your strengths and weaknesses. Regardless if you feel that the PEAT doesn’t reflex the actual NPTE, it has a keen ability to predict your ability to pass the exam. Additionally, make sure you are reading your score breakdown on the PEAT exam and take note of the lower scores. For each and every system and concept, the box and whisker plot graphs should be in the green. Don’t settle for red or yellow, this will cause you to settle for a score close to or at 600 and then you will be falling back into the Recurrent Redemption Syndrome.



Your reasons for not scoring well on the exam may be due to the type of student you are, and the amount of effort you are putting into studying for the exam; or your mounting anxiety due to peer pressure; or incorrectly reading the questions; or you just may not be pacing yourself correctly.


With that being said, ask yourself, “What am I doing right now to ensure that with every concept and topic I read, I am NPTE ready”? If you don’t have a way to determine and identify your weaknesses, then you need to join my free Smart NPTE Prep Facebook group. Here I will go into detail about how to be NPTE ready with all of your topics and give you tips and strategies to help you achieve that goal. I want you to be able to confidently tell yourself that the next time you take the NPTE, will be your last time taking the NPTE and never to feel the need to redeem yourself with this exam again.

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