TGIF—Thank God I Failed

Disclaimer – NO I was not happy that I failed the first time, neither were my pockets BUT if I had passed the NPTE that first time around…would I have become the same clinician I am becoming now? No.

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This picture cracks me up. I look so crazy delirious but if I showed you my picture from April, you’d see the confidence glow up too.

Okay now that we have got that out of the way and you decide not to send me to the looney bin, I really am grateful for the experiences that followed failing my first attempt at the NPTE and passing the second. (If you are totally lost right now, you must have missed my last blog post. Go take a second to catch up!)

So why am I thanking God above for failing my first attempt?

Because I wouldn’t have developed such incredible study habits

Did my study habits suck before the NPTE? No. Not at all. I have taken so many exams during my PT school career and there is no way I could have exceled if I had poor study habits but were my study habits as effective as they could have been? No. As productive as they could have been? Nope. At the level I needed them to be for the NPTE and will need them to be for residency? Nah. My point is, there is always room for improvement and as you level up in school, your study habits and strategies need to level up as well. If I studied now how I used to study in high school I would be S.O.L. Just the same, I used my study strategies from PT school in attempt to conquer the NPTE. They are two entirely different beasts! Once I learned that, my practice exam scores started changing, my attitude started changing and ultimately, my NPTE score changed. Actually, I just found out this week that my NPTE score improved by almost 100 points from April to July. As the kids would say, I was shook when I found out! So TGIF because now I know I can crush any exam thrown at me during residency as well as my PCS (Pediatric Certified Specialist) Exam in 2020!

Because I wouldn’t have built this new founded confidence I am wearing

As corny as it may seem, I really respond well to devastating blows to my confidence. I bounce back, big time. In fact, I don’t just bounce back I bounce beyond. When I received the results and read those six letters “f-a-i-l-e-d” I was crushed, absolutely crushed. Immediately, panic mode turned on. Bottled up rage, disappointment, fear, you name it rushed over me. As I spoke about last week, finding Kyle Rice’s NPTE prep course began the bouncing beyond. When you start to see positive results after failing it is such a bigger confidence boost compared to seeing positive results when you are just in the mindset that you might fail. Granted, I needed more of a confidence boost since I failed and wasn’t simply in just the mindset of failing BUT all in all I truly see a difference in how I perceive myself as a clinical. So TGIF because now my patients will get to enjoy the hard-earned confidence I’ve been wearing lately.

Because I would have taken for granted how much effort I truly needed

I studied a lot for my first attempt. Four months to be exact. But did I put in as much quality effort as I really needed? No. If I am being honest with myself, I would have been lucky if I passed that time, and I knew it. (My mindset being that way was definitely not ideal for sitting through a five-hour exam but hey, what did I know? Nada.) If I had passed, and I came close, I would have just skated by. I do not want to be that girl, ever. By the skin of my teeth is not good enough for me! I’m a PT for crying out loud, I know there is no such thing as skin on your teeth (haha, only kidding.) Seriously though, what type of baggage is that to lug around? Knowing that you only passed because you got lucky, not because you gave 300%. SO TGIF because it made passing feel so good!

Because I wouldn’t have the opportunity to encourage others in the same position

In the past week, I have received a tremendous amount of positive feedback regarding my last blog post. People are grateful for my raw emotion and honesty about a topic that isn’t easy to open up about. I know it isn’t easy to open up about, because I felt pretty alone when I fist heard the news. Several of my other classmates were celebrating and posting the other six letter word “p-a-s-s-e-d” and I felt ashamed. I consider myself to be a generous and caring person, if my God job was to fail the NPTE so that I could relate to and support the next wave of individuals who fail their first attempt then so be it, I am happy with that. I write to inspire, to share, to express myself and if my life was happy-go-easy then who would care to follow along?

So, all in all maybe the good really does outweigh the bad in this whole situation. I am right where I am supposed to be. TGIF.


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  1. Thank you for sharing Alyssa! As a fellow new grad PT interested in Peds, let’s get it! Appreciate you telling your story. If I am being honest, I was that individual who “skated by” but things are looking up and we are going to change up the profession!


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