The National Physical Therapy Examination

The National Physical Therapy Examination (NPTE) is a computer-based standardized exam that aspiring physical therapists (PTs) and physical therapist assistants (PTAs) must pass in order to become licensed in the United States. It is administered by the Federation of State Boards of Physical Therapy (FSBPT).

Here are the steps involved in taking the NPTE:

1. Eligibility:

Complete an accredited physical therapy program or be in the final semester of one.
– Meet any additional requirements of your state’s licensing board. You can find these requirements on the FSBPT website

2. Application:

Apply for the NPTE through the FSBPT website.
You will need to create an account and submit your application fee.

3. Authorization to Test (ATT):

Once your application is approved, you will receive an Authorization to Test (ATT) from the FSBPT.
This will allow you to schedule your exam at a Pearson VUE testing center.


Schedule your exam date and time at least several weeks in advance. You can schedule your exam online through the Pearson VUE website.

5. Preparation:

Use NPTE study materials, such as practice tests and textbooks, to prepare for the exam.
The FSBPT website offers a variety of resources to help you prepare for the NPTE, including a candidate handbook and practice exams

6. Taking the Exam:

The NPTE is a computer-based exam that consists of multiple-choice questions.
The PT exam is 250 questions long, and the PTA exam is 200 questions long.
You will be given a set amount of time to complete the exam.

7. Results:

You will receive your exam results electronically within a few weeks of taking the exam.
– The NPTE is a pass/fail exam. A score of 600 or higher is considered passing.

8. Licensure:

Once you have passed the NPTE, you will need to apply for licensure in your state.
The requirements for licensure vary from state to state, but they typically include passing the NPTE and completing a criminal background check.


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