Preparing for the National Physical Therapy Examination


To become a licensed physical therapist or a certified physical therapist assistant, you have to take the National Physical Therapy Examination (NPTE). The NPTE exam is administered by the Federation of State Boards of Physical Therapy (FSBPT).

The NPTE exam is computer-based. It includes five different sections, and each section contains fifty questions. This means there are 250 NPTE exam questions to answer. The only scored questions here, however, are 200 questions. The remaining 50 questions are pretested to see whether they meet standards for future testing.

Preparing for the NPTE Exam

The NPTE exam questions, as you have already noted, are the determining factor whether you will achieve your career goals of becoming a physical therapist. You, therefore, have to take it with utmost seriousness with prior preparation.

The first important aspect is a thorough review of the content outline. The best way to go through the content out is through practice exams and assessment tools. They place you in an exam set up, and you are likely to meet similar exams in the main exam.

Practice Exam Assessment Tool presents multiple choices and is a timed, computer-administered exam. It has several benefits:

  • Has similar formatting to the questions in actual NPTE
  • Includes automatic scoring
  • Includes references
  • Offers explanations after the correct answers
  • Includes an analysis of your performance report based on content area

As a student of physical therapy, you must be dreading the day you start this exam. It’s never too late to start learning. In this article, we show you several tips that will help you get a better score.

Tips for passing the NPTE Exam

  1. Application for federal licensure as well as FSBPT approval.

Before you are allowed to sit in the exam room, you must have met the minimum requirements to practice physical therapy. The guidelines are different with each state. It is, therefore, essential to understanding your state rules. Registration and an application to take the exam might be required. It’s done on the board’s website, A dictated license fee is then paid as well as an exam fee, and you can be scheduled for an exam at least.

  1. Booking for the exam at Prometric testing is the next thing.

FSBPT does the official approval after the application. They then send an authorization test with a code to allow you to register for the exact test date with Prometric.

  1. Familiarize yourself with NPTE Content Outline.

The best thing with this exam is that FSBPT is not hiding from you the topics they will test. They will publish a content outline that can be used as a checklist to ensure you are registered to handle the real exam.

  1. A detailed weakness list would help too.

As you study, be honest with yourself about your weak areas. You can relax in your vital areas and find more content revision materials to understand and improve your weak areas.

  1. Review books alone will not help.

Standard PT textbooks have the right approved content for you. Spend most of your study time on the textbooks. Use the review books briefly on the areas you are less familiar with.

  1. Practice Exams will help you get ready.

Take at least five practice exams. It gives you an upfront feeling of how it will be like in the Prometric Center. It relieves you from any tension that is likely to build up.

  1. Check on the test day logistics.

It is so embarrassing not to make it to the Prometric center after a thorough preparation period. Have back up travel plans and avoid any mistakes that could lead to delays.


The entire NPTE exam is so expensive to take for granted. Take note of the seven tips to prepare for the NPTE exam questions. A good review program and study groups would also be a boost.

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