The Federation of State Boards of Physical Therapy (FSBPT) offers the National Physical Therapy Examination (NPTE) for regulation and physical therapy licensing purposes. The test helps to ensure that the same standards apply from place to place. Before taking the exam, check with the applicable jurisdiction for eligibility requirements from physical therapy school.
The subject areas of the NPTE exam include the following:
- 29 questions on clinical application of foundational sciences
- 73 questions on examination/foundations for evaluation, differential diagnosis and prognosis
- 59 questions on interventions/ equipment and devices; therapeutic modalities
- 39 questions on safety, protection and professional roles; teaching and learning; research and evidence-based practice
In the test, a candidate’s knowledge of the different systems of the body will be assessed, including:
- 18% Musculoskeletal
- 17% Neuromuscular
- 11.5% Cardiovascular/Pulmonary
- 7% Integumentary
- 16% Other
A candidate’s total score will be in a scaled score range from 200-800. The minimum passing score is 600. The candidate’s final total score is converted from the raw score (the number of actual questions the candidate answered correctly) due to different difficulties of the different questions asked. If a candidate is unsuccessful, he or she may try again for a total of three tries in one year’s time. Some jurisdictions require a waiting period between attempts.
Free NPTE Practice Test
1. A physical therapist is reviewing a patient’s current Lithium levels. Which of the following values is outside the therapeutic range?
A. 1.0 mEq/L
B. 1.1 mEq/L
C. 1.2 mEq/L
D. 1.3 mEq/L
2. A patient has been ordered to get Klonapin for the first time. Which of the following side effects is not associated with Klonapin?
C. Salivation elevated
3. A physical therapist is caring for a retired MD. The MD asks the question, “What type of cells secrete insulin?” The correct answer is:
A. Alpha cells
B. Beta cells
C. CD4 cells
D. Helper cells
4. A physical therapist is caring for a patient who has experienced burns to the right lower extremity. According to the Rule of Nines which of the following percents most accurately describes the severity of the injury?
5. If your patient is acutely psychotic, which of the following independent interventions would not be appropriate?
A. Conveying calmness with one on one interaction
B. Recognizing and dealing with your own feelings to prevent escalation of the patient’s anxiety level
C. Encourage client participation in group therapy
D. Listen and identify causes of their behavior
NPTE Practice Test Answers and Explanations
1. D: 1.0-1.2 mEq/L is considered standard therapeutic range for patient care.
2. D: A-C are associated side effects of Klonapin.
3. B: Beta cells secrete insulin.
4. C: Each lower extremity is scored as 18% according to the Rule of Nines.
5. C: Acutely psychotic patients will disrupt group activities.