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Online vs. In-Person NP Board Prep: Which Should You Choose?

Before the pandemic, NP board review prep was largely offered as live, in-person courses. But over the last few years, we’ve seen an increase in online options that have changed the NP board prep landscape (some would say, for the better!). 

So, with all the options available to you now, how do you choose which type of review program to take? Which is best for you? 

To help you decide, let’s have a look at each. We’ll begin with the online options.

Online NP Board Review Options

Qbanks, Ebooks, and Practice Tests 

There are many resources available online, including question banks, ebooks, and practice tests you can access from your computer or through a mobile app on your phone.

These are great options when you only have a few minutes and want to get some more practice questions in, want to study on-the-go, or if you want to simulate test day and complete a practice exam.

While these study tools are not structured in a formal program, they make great additional resources to any review course package! 

If this option appeals to you, we recommend looking into the SMNP Reviews Primary Care Question Bank, including a free mobile app to take your studies on-the-go!

Self-Paced NP Review Courses 

Another online option is a self-paced review course. You can complete an entire review course online and on your own time! 

This is a great option if you’ve got a few weeks to buckle down and prepare for your board exam. You can create your own schedule to work through the modules and visualize your study plan. 

Plus, some online review courses (like SMNP Reviews) even give you unlimited access to the modules during your subscription, so you can go back and review any areas you need more help with as often as you need to.

If this option appeals to you, we recommend looking into our comprehensive self-paced courses with a 98% pass rate!

Instructor-Led Review Courses

If you want the flexibility of an online course, but still would like to have some connection with an instructor (and other students), then an instructor-led review course and study group might be for you! 

In many of your options for live study group sessions, you have access to the asynchronous (work independently at your own pace) review course content PLUS interactive, live group sessions (synchronous) led by an NP instructor. 

In the case of SMNP Reviews, for example, our live sessions have rapid-fire questions, in-depth review of tricky topics, and a time for questions and answers with the NP instructor.

If this option appeals to you, we recommend looking into SMNP Reviews’ Live Study Groups, which also includes access to our self-paced courses and Qbanks for the duration of the group!

In-Person NP Board Review Options

In addition to all of the online options available, some NP board prep companies still offer in-person live reviews. 

These are typically located in major cities across the country. If you’re thinking about doing one of these reviews, please keep in mind you’ll need extra funds for traveling, lodging, and food. 

In-person reviews are typically two or three days long and run from morning until early evening, so they offer jam-packed sessions of learning and board prep. 

Compare & Contrast: Online vs. In-Person NP Board Review

The Benefits of Online Board Prep

The greatest benefit of online NP review courses is flexibility. You can choose synchronous or asynchronous options all within the comfort of your home. You can even have the best of both worlds with online flexibility and opportunities for interactive group sessions in virtual live study group courses. There’s really a lot more freedom with the online options. 

Compared to in-person review courses, online options also tend to be more cost-effective. There’s no commuting or traveling because you can study from anywhere. You don’t have to worry about rearranging your schedule or other plans to try and get to a review course in a particular geographical area. 

The Benefits of In-Person Board Prep

The greatest benefit of in-person review courses is the human interaction. Some people learn best when they can personally interact with their instructor and peers. 

There’s also an added sense of accountability for the instructor to remain engaged in the session (there’s no “muting and turning off your camera.”) You’re right there in the room, learning with everyone.

In-person NP review courses can also provide an opportunity for networking and bonding with peers in your location. You might have the opportunity to meet one-on-one with the instructors and ask questions.

Making Your Decision for NP Board Prep

Pre-pandemic (when I graduated NP school), there were few online options for board prep. I really enjoyed the live, in-person review course I did, but looking back, I personally would’ve loved the flexibility and additional resources offered by the online options.

So, how do you make your choice? Online and in-person reviews both give you the knowledge needed to pass your NP board exam. It really comes down to time, money, and your learning preference. So choose what works for you. Whichever type of review that is, best of luck on your NP board exam!

Looking for more (free!) content to help you prepare for your upcoming NP board exam? Check out these other posts on the SMNP Reviews blog!