National Physical Therapy Examination- Physical Therapist Assistant (NPTE-PTA) is a licensure examination conducted by Federation of State Boards of Physical Therapy (FSBPT). The aim of this exam is credentialing and licensing of physical therapist assistants in United States.
The requirements of eligibility for this exam are determined by the licensing authority in respective jurisdiction. FSBPT only provides examination services to different license regulatory authorities. The contact details of different licensing authorities in each state of USA are available at official website of FSBPT (www.fsbpt.org/LicensingAuthorities/index.asp).
There are 200 multiple choice questions in this exam, of which 150 are scored and 50 are unscored items. The content of this exam has been developed considering the assessment of knowledge and skills required by entry level physical therapist assistants. This test is breakdown into three content areas- Clinical application of physical therapy principles and foundational sciences (59 scored items), data collection, interventions, equipment and devices, and therapeutic modalities (72 scored items), and Safety, protection, professional roles, Teaching and learning, and evidence based practice (19 scored items).
NPTE-PTA is a computer based test. It is administered in a time period of 4 hours and 30 minutes. An examinee gets 4 hours to complete this exam and 30 minutes are spent in pre-exam tutorial, 15 minutes break and post-exam survey. The exam is offered in sections of 50 questions each. The examinee can skip questions forward or backward while a test section but, can not return to a section once it is completed. The unscored items can be present any where in test. They can not be identified and kept experimentally for future administration of this exam.
The raw score of this exam is equal to number of score able multiple choice items answered correctly. The raw score is converted into a scaled score in range from 200 to 800. The passing scaled score is 600. The number of questions which must be answered correctly to achieve a passing scaled score varies among different test forms. There is no penalty for wrong answers therefore an examinee can try guesses and anticipations. The results are sent to respective licensing authorities. The licensing authorities further report results to candidates.
This exam is available at more than 300 Prometric testing centers in United States. A candidate has to apply for licensure in his/her jurisdiction and register for the test on FSBPT website. The licensing authority approves eligibility of a candidate and notifies FSBPT. Then, FSBPT sends an Authorization-To-Test (ATT) letter to candidates informing about how to schedule the exam. Then, candidate has to schedule a test appointment with Prometric and take this exam. If a candidate fails in this exam, he/she can retake it at most three times a year; though number of allowed attempts and waiting period between each depends on respective jurisdiction.
NPTE-PTA fees structure is as follow:
Examination fees- $370
Prometric testing fees: – $55.60
Rescheduling (between 3 and 29 days before exam date): – $25
Score verification: – $150