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.