News and Events


NPTE Workshop for Educators 

FSBPT is preparing to host the NPTE Workshop for Educators Saturday and Sunday, October 5-6, 2019, in Los Angeles, California at the Hyatt Regency Los Angeles International Airport. Like the workshops held at the FSBPT offices, attendees should expect to receive valuable insights on how the NPTE is developed and how to prepare students for the NPTE as well as hands-on assistance in writing test items similar to those on the NPTE.

Please check the NPTE Workshop for Educators webpage for more information and registration resources as we continue to update and solidify details.

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Ensuring Validity 

The practice of physical therapy is always evolving, and, because of this, it is vital that the content of the licensure examination is updated on an ongoing basis. To help keep up with changes in physical therapy practice, FSBPT initiated an exciting new multi-year survey methodology to collect and analyze practice analysis data annually for four consecutive years beginning in 2018. Do you have questions about the specific results of the 2018 data collection? If so, please refer to the final report for the practice analysis data collected in 2018

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This Quarter's Question

How can educators use the school score reports in Academic PEAT to help identify areas of weakness within a cohort and individual score reports to identify areas of weakness within candidates?

In 2018, more than 300 physical therapy education programs used Academic PEAT and FSBPT receives questions from educators about how to use this service and the associated score reports. This article aims to share guidance and improve understanding of the school and individual score reports generated by completion of the Retired NPTE examination form in Academic PEAT.

As you may know, Academic PEAT provides two timed, full-length practice examinations forms, which are different from the forms available for NPTE candidates to purchase directly from FSBPT’s website. When students complete the Retired NPTE examination form in Academic PEAT, score reports are generated for the school as a group and each student. That practice exam has “Retired” in the title (see image below). (For the sake of the clarity of the report, only Retired [“Form A”] results are included. Schools can review both cohort and individual student results from the Retired Form and Practice Form [“Form B”] through the school interface in the Academic PEAT Purchases area.)

Retired NPTE form location

Once the student group has completed the Academic PEAT Retired Form, educators have access to the school and individual score reports via the Educator’s dashboard. The cohort score report can show trends in the knowledge of a student group. Scores that are on track with the NPTE pass rate have a mean score of 600. In 2018, 99 percent of the PT candidates and 97 percent of the PTA candidates who scored 600 or higher on the retired form of PEAT went on to pass the NPTE on their first attempt. Score reports are broken out by content areas and by body systems. For instance, looking below at the sample school Academic PEAT score report by content area, an educator may decide to spend some additional time covering work activities related to “Foundations for Evaluation, Differential Diagnosis, and Prognosis” from the NPTE Content Outline, because the students, on average, did not surpass the 600 score. A score below 600 in a content area suggests the candidate’s overall chances of passing will be reduced by their performance in this area. Overall, the student group performed on track in the Physical Therapy Examination, Interventions, and Non-Systems Domains. Although it is unwise to ignore areas where the group, on average, did well, it is advisable to prioritize areas where the group average was low relative to the 600 standard.

Bear in mind that averages consist of many different test scores, so there may be students in the group who performed poorly in an area where the rest of the group did well. It is advisable to review each student’s score report, which we will discuss later in this article. 

Mean scores by content area

Additionally, the school Academic PEAT score report by systems can provide more specific information on weaknesses and strengths related to content on specific body systems. If the group overall is performing below the 600 mark, some type of review or remediation should be considered. An example of a school’s Academic PEAT score report by systems is shown below. This group was off track for all systems categories. 

Mean scores by system

As mentioned previously, educators have the ability to look at each individual student’s score report for both the Retired (Form A) and Practice (Form B) examinations on Academic PEAT through the school interface in the Academic PEAT Purchases area. Reviewing the individual score report can be useful to provide customized advice and guidance to a student who is performing off track in areas that the rest of the cohort seems well prepared for. Retired Form scores comprising the group score report can be accessed directly by clicking on the “View” hyperlink as shown below in the Academic PEAT score report screen. 

Data Reports

The individual student’s Academic PEAT score is reported in three different ways: by professional work activities (content area), by body systems, and by section. 

The sample individual student Academic PEAT score report by Professional Work Activities below shows that the student performed off track in all categories.

Scores by professional work activities

However, the same student’s individual Academic PEAT score report by body system, shows on track performance in the cardiovascular & pulmonary, musculoskeletal, and other systems categories. The student was performing off track on questions related to the neuromuscular & nervous systems and integumentary & lymphatic systems. A review or remediation related to content and topics on those systems may help better prepare this student. 

Scores by body system

The individual student Academic PEAT score report will also show scoring by section as shown below. Scores by section should be interpreted with some caution as difficulty may vary slightly between sections. However, large shifts in scoring between sections may suggest impaired concentration or waning energy levels during the test. 

Scores by section

For more information on interpreting candidate-level PEAT score reports, please take a look at the NPTE School Reports Interpretive Guide

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What Students Need to Know

The PT Compact Provides a Fast and Inexpensive Way to Get Privileges to Practice

The recently established Physical Therapy Compact allows eligible licensed physical therapists and physical therapist assistants to get a privilege to practice in certain PT Compact member states in just minutes, without the usual paperwork and at a much lower cost. The alternative pathway to get a privilege to practice is currently available in nine member states and twelve more states are in the process of implementing necessary rules and requirements to become ready soon. Compact privileges are only issued by the PT Compact Commission, are equivalent to a regular license, and come with the same rights and responsibilities. Compact privileges cannot be used to practice in the home state (permanent residence) of the physical therapist or physical therapist assistant.

The PT Compact may be beneficial for recent graduates who are interested in travel physical therapy, working for companies with facilities in multiple states, or simply working in multiple states. Students can review the list of eligibility requirements and the FAQs on the Resources and Tools page. To verify eligibility, purchase compact privileges, and find additional information—including the cost of compact privileges and state jurisprudence requirements—go to ptcompact.org

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Get Involved

Learn how to become an NPTE item writer or a member of an exam committee.

Exam Committees
One of the best mechanisms for understanding and providing input into the NPTE development process is to volunteer on the exam committees. Over 50 percent of the participants on the NPTE development committees are educators and over 60 percent of the item writers are educators. While educator representation on the committees must be balanced with other practice settings, we welcome your participation.

To qualify to be on an NPTE committee, you generally need prior item writing experience. You also should be able to work as a team and understand and support the mission of FSBPT.

Volunteer Opportunities
You’ll find the opportunity to become an item writer for the National Physical Therapy Exam at www.fsbpt.org/Volunteer.

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Useful Pages

Visit the FSBPT website for information on a range of topics.

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If you have questions, challenges or ideas, we want to hear from you!
FSBPT (703) 299-3100 | FCCPT (703) 684-8406
(Call FSBPT unless otherwise noted after name)

Contact Person



William A. Hatherill

Chief Executive Officer

FSBPT Issues

Rich Woolf
Susan Layton

Vice President
Chief Operating Officer

General questions and feedback; research questions

Lorin Mueller, PhD

Managing Director of Assessment

Psychometrics, test development and construction

Christine Sousa

Managing Director of Exam Services

Exam administration issues, ADA

Jamie Nolan, FCCPT

Assistant Director of the Foreign Credentialing Commission on Physical Therapy (FCCPT)

Foreign educated graduates

Rhonda Collins

Administrative Assistant

School reports: schoolreports@fsbpt.org

Practice Exam and Assessment Tool (PEAT): peat@fsbpt.org

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