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.
All candidates currently eligible to take the July 8 PTA exam or the July 28-29 PT exam received an Authorization to Test (ATT) letter with testing windows. The window for the PTA exam will be July 9-26 and the window for the PT exam will be July 30-August 31. Please only use the window if you cannot find a spot during the exam date(s).
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.
In order to meet social distancing guidelines, Prometric needed to cancel appointments to ensure no two candidates were sitting next to, and therefore within six feet of, each other. 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, it was determined that candidates were scheduled into seats next to each other, requiring the cancellation of one of the appointments to ensure space between candidates. The cancellations are not based on what test you are taking or when you registered.
No. There will be no cancellation fees for the NPTE for the foreseeable future, including for the July exam.
Prometric has a Covid-19 Safety Plan in place in the event there is a positive case of Covid-19 at a test site.
The test center is immediately closed and all individuals sent home.
Testing operations are suspended for at least 48 hours in order to arrange for professional cleaning services to perform deep cleaning of the location using both surface and airborne spray disinfectant.
Candidates with scheduled appointments during the closure will receive a cancellation notice and can reschedule their appointment for a later date or at a different location.
Prometric will consider any possible contact between the infected individual and others at the testing location for a period of two weeks prior to the report date and will contact any individual that may have had exposure to the infected individual.
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.
In the scheduling system, Prometric takes into account when they believe a test center will be open. Since the list of open test centers reflects the current status, and not what Prometric projects to be open at a future date, you can schedule at a test center that is not yet on Prometric’s list of open test centers.
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.
Local Prometric centers will only open if they are able to under the local and state laws. They will be working at reduced capacity to adhere to those laws. If your test center is open and you can schedule an appointment, and using your personal judgment determine that you are able to test, then you may proceed to do so.
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, which means only a couple of people will be allowed into the Prometric lobby at the same time for check-in. Please read this detailed description of the processes Prometric is adopting beginning May 1.
At this time, FSBPT is considering 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.
We expect that social distancing will still be in effect at Prometric test centers throughout July. This means test sites will be operating at reduced capacity and some test centers may not be open depending on the status of the outbreak in different locations.
The exams will take place as scheduled on July 8 (PTA) and July 28-29 (PT). 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 these current July test dates, FSBPT added testing windows for the July exams. The window for the PTA exam will be July 9-26 and the window for the PT exam will be July 30-August 31. Updated Authorization to Test letters for candidates currently eligible for a July exam will be sent the week of May 11. Candidates are expected to test on the fixed dates and only utilize the window if they are unable to find a seat on the fixed dates.
Yes. Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org to adjust your appeal expiration date.
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 pending law exam candidates will receive an updated ATT letter with an eligibility start date of May 1, 2020. In addition, all newly approved law exam candidates will receive the ninety-day window until further notice is given.
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:
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.
Please contact Prometric.
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