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When Is the NPTE Exam? Your Guide to Getting Ready

Key Takeaways

  • NPTE Overview: The Federation of State Boards of Physical Therapy (FSBPT) administers the NPTE, which assesses entry-level physical therapists’ competency. It’s offered four times a year, typically in January, April, July, and October, with specific registration deadlines.
  • Preparation Tips: 
    • Develop a study plan based on the FSBPT’s Content Outline.
    • Practice with the FSBPT’s Practice Exam and Assessment Tool (PEAT) to get familiar with the exam format and timing.
    • Consider joining review courses or study groups for additional support.
  • Exam Day Advice: Arrive early, ensure you have all necessary documents, stay hydrated, eat well, read questions carefully, and manage your time effectively.
When Is the NPTE Your Guide to Getting Ready-Blog Article Banners- Typical PT

Are you gearing up to take your National Physical Therapy Exam (NPTE)? Wondering when the NPTE exam is scheduled and how you can best prepare for it? Look no further! This comprehensive guide is designed to give you all the information you need about the NPTE exam dates and offer you tips to prepare effectively.

Understanding the National Physical Therapy Examination 2024

Before we dive into the specifics of when the NPTE is held, let’s briefly discuss what the NPTE is. The NPTE is a critical step for aspiring physical therapists in the United States. The FSBPT designs the NPTE to evaluate a candidate’s competency to practice as an entry-level physical therapist.

NPTE Exam Dates

The NPTE for Physical Therapists (PTs) and Physical Therapist Assistants (PTAs) is offered four times a year. It’s essential to check the Federation of State Boards of Physical Therapy (FSBPT) website for the most current dates, as they can vary slightly each year. Typically, the exam dates are set in January, April, July, and October.

Registration Deadlines

To ensure you don’t miss your opportunity to sit for the exam, be mindful of the registration deadlines, which are usually a few months before the exam dates. Late registration is possible but comes with additional fees, so it’s best to register early.

Comprehensive Guide to NPTE Registration and Examination Process

Registering for the NPTE

First, begin your journey by creating an FSBPT account. This account lets you manage your exam registration through your customer dashboard. The process includes completing the licensure application through your jurisdiction and ensuring you meet the criteria of graduating from an accredited program.

You will receive your Authorization to Test (ATT) letter after registering. This document is crucial as it confirms you are made eligible to sit for the exam and allows you to schedule your exam at a Prometric Testing Center. Keep in mind that the NPTE is only one part of the evaluation process used by licensing authorities to assess your level of competence to practice.

Understanding the Exam

The NPTE for PTs features 250 multiple-choice questions, and the PTA version has 200, all crafted to test your ability to apply medical knowledge in evaluating the patient’s condition and implementing effective treatments. Questions range in difficulty, and scores can range from 200 to 800, with a passing score typically set at 600.

Candidates can take the national physical therapy exam up to three times in a 12-month period if they do not pass initially. It’s vital to engage with scenario-based questions and review the NPTE Candidate Handbook for detailed information on the exam’s structure and content areas.

Post-Exam Process

After taking the exam, you will access your score report through your FSBPT account. A score below 600 indicates that you didn’t pass and may need to reapply for the NPTE. Remember, you are eligible to retake the test, which is crucial in achieving your goal. If you’re preparing to take the test for the first time or are scheduling a retest, keep these steps and requirements in mind to streamline your efforts towards gaining your professional licensure.

How to Prepare for the NPTE Exam

Candidate’s Study Plan

Creating a robust study plan is crucial for NPTE preparation. Start by reviewing the FSBPT’s Content Outline to understand the exam‘s scope. Allocate study time each day, focusing on different areas of the syllabus, and stick to your schedule.

Mock Exams

Taking practice exams is one of the best ways to prepare for the NPTEThey help you familiarize yourself with the format of the questions and the practical application of time management skills. The FSBPT offers a Practice Exam and Assessment Tool (PEAT), which closely simulates the actual exam.

Review Courses and Study Groups

Consider enrolling in a review course or joining a study group. These resources can provide structured learning and support from peers going through the same process that helps you to pass the npte.


Top Resources 

Good study materials can make all the difference in your preparation. Typical PT offers expertly crafted resources to enhance your exam preparation, ensuring you’re well-prepared to pass the exam and achieve licensure.


Tips for Exam Day

      • Candidate must arrive early to the testing center to avoid any last-minute stress.

      • Ensure you have all required identification and confirmation of your registration.

      • Stay hydrated and eat a healthy meal before the exam.

      • Read each question carefully and manage your time efficiently.
      • Review the key PTA competencies before the exam to ensure these crucial points are fresh in your mind, potentially boosting your score.


    Knowing when the NPTE exam is and preparing adequately for it are crucial steps toward becoming a licensed physical therapist. By following the tips outlined in this guide, you can approach your exam with confidence. Remember to check the FSBPT website for the latest information on exam dates and registration deadlines and obtaining your authorization to test. Good luck on your journey to becoming a PT!

    As you prepare to schedule your exam, remember that the NPTE is more than a national exam, it’s a measure of your competence as a future healthcare professional. To ensure you’re fully prepared, take advantage of Typical PT’s Question Bank and Mock Exams, containing over 500 of the hardest practice questions designed to mimic the challenges of the real test.

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