Now that you have completed your physical therapy course all you need to do is pass the National Physical Therapy exam (NPTE). The following article will provide you with an easy to follow guide and all the information needed to prepare you for this important step.

It doesn’t matter if you have completed a Master or Doctor of Physical Therapy, you must pass the NPTE to become a fully qualified and licensed practitioner. The NPTE is given by the Federation of State Boards of Physical Therapy (FSBPT) and is designed to determine if you have the minimum required knowledge to safely practice physical therapy. If you don’t pass the NPTE you can’t practice, so here is what you need to do to make it easy.

STEP 1: Familiarize Yourself: The NPTE is a 5 hour computer based exam that consists of 5 sections, each containing 50 multiple choice questions. You are marked on how many questions you answer correctly and do not get penalized if you answer incorrectly. To pass you will need to score more than 600 out of a possible 800. If you fail you can retake the exam 3 times in a 12 month period. You can find all this information in detail through the Candidate Hand Book.

STEP 2: Register: Contact the licensing authority in the state or jurisdiction in which you want to practise then go to the FSBPT website to register. There are deadlines for application and set dates to take the exam, so be sure to check the dates.

STEP 3: Study: There are plenty of study guides available with tips on how to pass the NPTE. The most trusted and comprehensive guide is The 2012 National Physical Therapy Examination: Review & Study Guide, by S. O’Sullivan and R. Siegelman. For $85 you get 3 simulated exams on CD as well as study strategies and state licensure information. Another option is the Practice Exam and Assessment Tool (PEAT) that consists of 200 example questions identical to those you will expect to see in the NPTE. It also has built in features that allow you to get immediate scoring, performance reports, explanations and rationales for each question. You can have online access for 30 days at a cost of $90. If you need longer, then another $45 will get you a further 15 days.

STEP 4: Pass the NPTE: You can sit the NPTE at any of the 600 PROMETRIC testing centers located across America and it doesn’t matter if it is in a different jurisdiction. As long as you have nominated in your application what jurisdiction you want to practice in you can sit it anywhere.

So there you have it. To pass the NPTE all you have to do is follow these simple steps so you will be well prepared to finally practice as a physical therapist.

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