How To Pass NPLEX 1 (Guaranteed, Based On The Data)

Want to know how to pass NPLEX 1? Think about it… Passing NPLEX 1 for sure. Sounds too good to be true, doesn’t it? Okay, I’ll admit it does. But there is a VERY SIMPLE way you can heavily improve your chances of succeeding on NABNE‘s Biomedical Science Exam and it probably won’t surprise you.


In particular, there are some interesting pieces of NPLEX data out there that you may not be aware of… so let’s share them! There are also 3 key points to take away from this research. We’ll outline them below.

Hours Spent Studying and NPLEX 1 Pass Rates

Under 50
200 Or More

Those who spend more time studying pass more often.

Hold the phone. There are some important NPLEX trends to highlight here!


Okay, so clearly those who study less than 50 hours were winging it. Now you’ve learned from others – don’t do that. It is highly unlikely to work. Yes, you might get lucky on NPLEX. But don’t count on it. The large majority of people in this category failed NPLEX 1.


Study more to obtain a higher chance of passing. Get up to at least 100 hours to maximize your chances. 100 hours translates to roughly 2-3 weeks of FULL TIME STUDYING, or 4-6 weeks of PART-TIME STUDYING.


Those who spend 101-200 hours studying do the best.

200 hours translates to 4-6 weeks of full time NPLEX studying or 8-12 weeks of part time NPLEX studying. That’s a lot.


Our typical recommendation is to take 4-6 weeks studying for NPLEX 1 and to work at it anywhere from 80% of full-time to 90% full-time (as in 9-3 or 9-4 daily).


That’s because that’s the amount that even historically was shown to be the most useful. You have enough time to review and understand all of the NPLEX material, but not too much time that you forget what you studied at the start!

Those who spend over 200 hours don't do the best.

This is particularly interesting! More studying DOES NOT equal better pass rates on NPLEX 1. It has a diminishing returns relationship. In other words, starting from scratch, the more you study, the better you’ll do… but only up to a point. At some point, the returns decrease and the additional studying may actually be detrimental for your pass rate.


Now, there are obviously a ton of confounding factors, but this is some of the best available data to date, taken from a large recent cohort of students. So that means don’t listen to anyone who tells you differently! They are either using their own experience, or anecdotal evidence, which is of worse quality than this NPLEX data.


So what is the take-away message for those who study over 200 hours for NPLEX Part I? How to pass NPLEX 1? There are a couple of basic principles to highlight. First, low-quality studying will not be made up with quantity. If you want to check out some smart study strategies, check out our courses which show you how to study for your specific exam, or our brief page on study strategies. There are numerous well-known tactics to optimize retention rates and success rates on multiple choice exams. Use them!


Second, if you study the wrong material well, it still won’t help you. There are several resources that are available for NPLEX 1 studying. Check out our recommended resources to see what previously successful students have suggested. If you use the wrong resources, well obviously that won’t provide good results, even if you know the material really well. So choose wisely and follow NABNE’s Study Guide as a foundation.


Best of luck on your NPLEX 1 exam. Hopefully this information was helpful in helping you decide how long to study for! Hint: It’s 100-200 hours of high-quality studying. All the best!