How much should I study for NPLEX 2?

A common question that I often hear is, how much should I study for NPLEX 2 to be successful?

NPLEX 2 (Naturopathic Physicians Licensing Examinations) is considered by far the most mentally demanding exams to become a full-fledged licensed Naturopathic Doctor (ND) after 4 years of full time study at an accredited naturopathic program in North America, additional to their undergraduate degree. It is the last qualification exam and a rite of passage to become an ND. The non-stop studying and training at its very core test ND candidates their resolve and resiliency to adapt and overcome the challenges they face. Preparation must cover all aspects that include Diagnosis (physical, clinical, lab diagnosis and diagnostic imaging), Materia Medica (botanical medicine and homeopathics), Other Modalities (nutrition, physical medicine and psychology), and Medical Interventions (emergency medicine and pharmacology). There are 400 questions on NPLEX 2 that spans over 3 consecutive days of case study questions. Any weakness in one area that does not meet the standard will be automatic failure and a 6 month set back to redo the entire exam again. Although the battery of exams is mentally demanding, proper preparation equates to better confidence, higher level of situational awareness and resiliency to adapt and overcome when challenges come up. NABNE (North American Board of Naturopathic Examiners) is not here to fail you, but rather see ND candidates as competent, safe and effective when treating patients in the career field.

So, how much should one study? Based on what is asked above, a lot. Typically one should start preparing 3 months prior to the exam date for about 8 hours a day. But, I have heard of students pulling 12 to 16 hour days as the pressure mounts to perform to and exceed the high standards of NABNE. Combine that with additional optional exams like Traditional Chinese Medicine, Ontario province boards like Ethics and Jurisprudence, Physical and Clinical Diagnostic oral exam, Chiropractic Manipulation, and Acupuncture practical exam, then the pressure really cranks up. The goal is to remain calm, focus on the mission, have a positive attitude and trust yourself. It is a full determination and a never quit attitude that often means the difference between success and failure. ND candidates who make it through the 4 year naturopathic medical program are highly trained, and now we’re here to train you to ridiculously high levels to be fully competent for NPLEX 2, but more importantly, in practice. With proper and adequate preparation and focus, you will succeed.

Vincent Lun