Sample NPTE Study Schedules

Below you will find a handful of sample NPTE study schedules to help you plan your NPTE preparation. Having a written plan is key to passing this test the first time you take it.

You will find that each of the plans below is based on a particular study guide. Using multiple resources while studying is always recommended, simply substitute or add other resources as you deem necessary.


Giles Based 8 Week NPTE Study Schedule:

Resources Needed:

  1. Scorebuilders PTEXAM study guide by Scott Giles
  2. TherapyED National Physical Therapy Examination Review and Study Guide by O’Sullivan & Siegelman
  3. PEAT practice Exams
  4. Physical Therapy Ed Practice Quizzes 


The 8 week NPTE study schedule is the shortest that we recommend. It is based on the way that Giles organizes the content areas in his PTEXAM book and utilizes the chapter titles from this text.

Although fast paced, this schedule dedicates an appropriate amount of time to each content area, but requires you to juggle multiple chapters in its later weeks. It appropriately dedicates an entire week to each of the “big three” chapters, but it begins to group the shorter chapters together as you progress through the program.

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We recommend that you copy this schedule into your own calendar, just be sure to give yourself a few days of rest and relaxation before the big day. If you choose this program be sure to take it seriously, it does not give you an awful lot of room for error. Double check your calendar to make sure that you have no three day weekends planned, as this program does not allow for days off. Fortunately you will have shorter Fridays and weekends off, which should help you stay focused. This is the plan I used myself and I thought it was perfect! It isn’t for everyone though, so make sure you check out the other plans below.

O’Sullivan Based 8 Week Study Plan:

Resources Needed:

  1. TherapyEd NPTE Study Guide by O’Sullivan and Siegelman
  2. Scorebuilders PTEXAM study guide by Scott Giles
  3. PEAT Practice Exams
  4. Physical Therapy Ed Practice Quizzes


The 8 week NPTE study schedule is the shortest that we recommend. The NPTE study schedule shown below is based on the way that O’Sullivan organizes the content areas in her TherapyEd book and therefore utilizes the chapter titles from this text.

The O’Sullivan book contains more chapters and more content than the Giles book, but nonetheless, if you only have two months to prepare this will get the job done. The plan allows for weekends off, so if necessary you could add more content review to your plan. That said, we recommend taking weekends off to avoid review burnout.

O'Sullivan week 1

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10 and 12 Week NPTE Study Schedules

The ten and twelve week plans are similar in structure to the previous plans. The only difference being that more time will be allotted to study NPTE review book chapters.

Choosing a plan of this length also allows you to use resources other than your NPTE study guide, such as in-depth references like David Magee’s Orthopedic assessment text, or Kisner and Colby’s Therapeutic exercise text.

With the previous plans we recommended taking a practice test each week. Whether or not you choose to stick to this model with the longer ten and twelve week plans is your call and should be based on the value that you place on taking and reviewing practice tests. Either way, we recommend placing at least one of the PEAT exams near the end of your review program.

We would not recommend creating a study plan that is longer than 12 weeks in duration. It may seem like the longer the NPTE study schedule is, the more effective it should be, but we haven’t found that to be the case. Whichever plan you choose, we recommend that it is 8-12 weeks in length, and implements at least 3-4 different practice exam sources.

Personalized NPTE Study Schedule Consultations

If you have a unique schedule restriction due to a life event such as a wedding, or a unique learning hurdle such as a short attention span/difficulty concentrating, we recommend that you reach out to us for some personal advice. Simply fill out the form below and we will provide you with some personalized recommendations.

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3 thoughts on “NPTE Study Schedules

  • September 16, 2015 at 8:30 pm

    If you have previously submitted questions on this page please make sure you entered your email address correctly. We’ve had a handful of questions come in with incorrect email addresses.

    Remember, we’re here to help!

    Trevor Lohman DPT, PT
    Regional Therapy Director, AccentCare Home Health
    Instructor, Loma Linda University

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