Physical Therapy Certification

Physical Therapy Certification (NPTE and NPTAE) Test Preparation

The Federation of State Boards of Physical Therapy (FSBPT) develops and administers the National Physical Therapy Examination (NPTE) for physical therapists (PT) and physical therapist assistants (PTA) in the US.  The NPTE program offered by FSBPT is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE).


Eligibility requirements

  • The minimum educational requirement is a BA or BSc from an accredited education program.
  • After graduation, candidates must pass a state-administered national exam.
  • Other requirements for physical therapy practice vary from state to state according to physical therapy practice acts and state regulations.   Each licensing authority has established its own criteria for eligibility to sit for the PT and PTA exams.

Exam Details

  • The exam is a Computer based  exam (CBE)  and is administered at almost 300 Pro metric Test Centers located nationwide.
  • The candidates can register online within the jurisdiction licensing authority which  will approve the eligibility and notify FSBPT.
  • FSBPT sends an ‘Authorization to test’ letter to the candidates after registration is approved, allowing the candidate to schedule a test date online at the Pro metric web site within a 60-day window.
  • The current fee for the exam is $350. There is an additional Pro metric fees of $65.
  • Special provisions are made at test sites to accommodate candidates with special needs.
  • Candidates are permitted to take the examination a maximum of three times in a 12-month period.
  • The  exam is five and a half  hours with actual testing time being 5 hours.


Exam format

  • The exam consists of 250 multiple choice questions of which 200 questions are scored and 50 questions are used as pre test questions to determine testing standards and for future exams. These 50 questions are not distinguishable from the scored questions.
  • The exam is structured in 5 sections of 50 questions each, with every section following the same basic content outline as the larger exam and containing both scored and pretest items.
  • The NPTE minimum passing scaled score is 600.
  • The questions are written by trained Physical Therapists and all questions are reviewed and pre tested.

Exam Content

  • Clinical Application of Foundational Sciences –  14.5% –   29 items
  • Examination – 13.0%-  26 items
  • Foundations for Evaluation, Differential Diagnosis, & Prognosis -23.5% –  47 items
  • Interventions – 18.5% –  37 items
  • Equipment & Devices; Therapeutic Modalities -11.0% – 22 items
  • Safety & Professional Roles; Teaching/Learning; Research  – 19.5% – 39 items

Study tips, help and test preparation

This is a computer based test and can be taken anytime. Most computer based tests are multiple choice with a single best answer. Tips for computer based exam.
 Multiple Choice questions can be very tricky and in fact are designed to confuse and distract.  Comprehensive multiple choice tips and strategies for increasing your score with practice questions. How To Answer Multiple Choice

How to memorize




npte-coverPhysical Therapy Certification Study Guide& Practice Test Questions

Complete PT study guide prepared by a dedicated team of expert researchers.

Includes sample questions, how to make a study plan, test tips and complete review. PDF and printed book!

PT Study Guide & Practice Test


Sample of topics covered:


Adhesive Capsulitis

Diabetes Mellitus


Anterior Compartment Syndrome

Hepatitis Virus

First degree AV Block

Myasthenia Gravis

Ischemic Heart Disease

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

Bell’s Palsy

Multiple Sclerosis


Adrenergic receptors



Anti-viral Drugs



Cholinergic Drugs


Anti-thyroid Drugs

Anti-gout Drugs



Dix-Hallpike maneuver


Hawthorne effect

Codman’s Pendulum Exercises

Wheelchair ramp Construction

Fall risk factors

Ethical Decision Making

Types of Validity

Phantom Pain

Manic Depression Disorder

Types of Anxiety Disorders


Birth injuries and Newborns


Iron Deficiency Anemia

CHF in Children

Sickle Cell Anemia


Beta Thalassemia

Eating Disorders


Vision Development

Freud, Erikson, and Piaget


Immune System

Primary Immune Responses

Secondary Immune Responses

CDC Prevention Isolation Guidelines

Key Antibiotics

Risk Factors of Infection



Nosocomial Infections

Types of Cytokines


Virchow’s triad



Respiratory Control Center

Spine Anatomy

Special Tests

Q angle

Spinal Tracts

Receptor Types

Types of Clavicle Fractures

Right vs. Left Lung

Muscle Hypertrophy

Nuchal Rigidity

Medical Testing

Babinski’s reflex

The Brunnstrom Scale

Manual Muscle testing

Romberg’s test

Level of Consciousness

Mental Exam

TB testing

DTR grading

Normal Lab Values


Glascow Coma Scale


Stance and Swing phases of Gait

Levels of Amputation

Gait Cycle by Joint Position

Quadrilateral Socket

Transfemoral Socket

Gait Deviations

Fitting crutches

Posterior Leaf Orthosis

Shoe Inserts

Heel Modifications

Thermoplastic AFOs



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