The Federation of State Boards of Physical Therapy (FSBPT) is committed to being transparent during this COVID-19 pandemic by providing up-to-date, accurate information. As an organization, we are committing to following the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommendations while working to minimize the impact on candidates, schools, and member jurisdictions.
Due to the ongoing nature of the COVID-19 pandemic, it is possible that we will continue to see appointment cancellations at Prometric test sites. Prometric will make every effort to notify candidates at least two days in advance if their appointment needs to be rescheduled. It is important to note that the nature of some closures, for example those due to possible COVID-19 exposure, may cause some cancellations to be within 24 hours of an appointment.
We also expect that social distancing will still be in effect at Prometric test centers throughout most of 2021. This means test sites may be operating at reduced capacity and some test centers may not be open depending on the status of the outbreak in different locations.
All NPTE exams will take place as scheduled on the established fixed dates. We will continue to work with Prometric to reserve as many seats as possible on these dates for FSBPT candidates.
In order to help candidates who are unable to find a seat on the fixed test dates, FSBPT has added two-week testing windows to all 2021 exam administrations.
Candidates are expected to test on the fixed dates and only use the window if they are unable to find a seat on the fixed dates. FSBPT will monitor scheduling and may move appointments if there is availability on the fixed test date.
FSBPT intends to report scores for upcoming exams on the following schedule. This schedule may vary.
Planned Score Release Date
Free Score Report Available
October PTA Fixed Date
October PTA Window
10/7 - 10/2
October PT Fixed Date
October PT Window
10/28 - 11/10
Okay reasons to schedule during the window instead of on the fixed date:
NOT okay reasons to schedule during the window instead of on the fixed date:
Prometric is updating their COVID-19 webpage on a daily basis in order to give candidates more visibility into which test sites will be open. You can see a current listing of all open Prometric test centers on this page: https://www.prometric.com/site-openings. This can help guide you as you look for an appointment.
FSBPT waived all rescheduling fees for the April, July, and October 2020 exams. However, all refund and re-registration fees associated with the NPTE were reinstated beginning December 1, 2020. FSBPT and Prometric have taken several steps to ensure that candidates are able to test during their chosen exam administration. This includes Prometric’s current seat capacity, the seat blocking FSBPT and Prometric do for each exam administration, and the addition of testing windows after each fixed date. Any exceptions will be handled on a case-by-case basis.
Prometric has a Covid-19 Safety Plan in place in the event there is a positive case of Covid-19 at a test site.
In accordance with government guidelines or mandates, some sites require proof of vaccination to take the exam. Currently, the only sites where the NPTE is administered that have vaccination requirements are located in Canada. See Prometric’s website for a complete list of test sites.
In order to meet social distancing guidelines, Prometric may need to cancel some appointments. At the time of your appointment, you were assigned to a specific seat within the test center. After an audit for compliance with the social distancing guidelines, Prometric may have to cancel appointments to ensure space between candidates. The cancellations are not based on what test you are taking or when you registered.
There are a number of factors that determine whether a specific Prometric center is able to open:
These issues can be site specific, which is why some Prometric centers in a given market will be open and others will not. If any of the factors change it can result in a positive outcome where a center opens or, unfortunately, it could result in a center closing.
All candidates will be required to bring and wear a face mask/covering while at the test center. Note that local government social distancing guidelines apply to each step in the process. Please read Prometric’s detailed test center policies prior to your test date.
Please contact Prometric for information on refunds.
FSBPT considered many options for accommodating candidates who have been, or will be unable to test, due to Prometric test center closures, including testing windows. FSBPT has allowed testing windows in response to other large-scale testing disruptions, such as natural disasters. However, please note, this does not represent a change in our testing policy or fixed-date format—the testing window is a necessary exception due to extraordinary circumstances.
The purpose of the NPTE is to help the state physical therapy licensing boards ensure that only those individuals who have the requisite knowledge of physical therapy are licensed and to provide standards that are comparable from jurisdiction to jurisdiction.
The current method of delivering the NPTE—in a computer-based format at secure testing facilities during set times to limit the exposure of the exam—has evolved over time to increase the reliability of exam results and decrease opportunities for cheating. Reliable exam results are the cornerstone of FSBPT’s public protection mission.
While every testing program has its own needs, resources, and challenges, we do actively communicate with and benchmark against other entry-level licensing examinations for health care professions. Like FSBPT, many have and are continuing to evaluate remote-proctored testing as a potential solution for aspects of their testing programs. However, remote-proctoring is not a viable solution for the NPTE in the foreseeable future.
We are committed to working with Prometric to help our candidates take the NPTE safely and securely during this unprecedented time.
FSBPT appreciates the concern that candidates are experiencing even more stressful circumstances than usual, and at the same time, there is as great a need as ever for health care professionals. However, FSBPT is not reconsidering the NPTE cut score. As with many potential ways to respond to the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic, changing the cut score cannot be accomplished without gathering significant input from our stakeholders, legal review, and communication to those impacted. This work could not be completed in a timeframe that is likely to provide relief to candidates in the near future, and it takes substantial resources away from our primary goal: getting as many candidates an opportunity to take the NPTE on their desired testing date as soon as possible.
The current window to take an FSBPT administered law exam is sixty days. We will temporarily expand this window to ninety days to allow for more flexibility in scheduling. All approved law exam candidates will receive the ninety-day window until further notice is given.
Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org if you have additional questions. You can also view the FAQs on Prometric’s website.
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