About the National Physical Therapy Examination

The Federation of State Boards of Physical Therapy (FSBPT) administers the National Physical Therapy Examination (NPTE), the examination that every graduate of a physical therapy or physical therapist assistant education program must pass to become a licensed physical therapist or licensed/certified physical therapist assistant (or to regain licensure/certification if lapsed) in the United States (US). Foreign-educated candidates who wish to become licensed in the US must also take and pass this examination.

The NPTE is a computer-administered examination. The physical therapist licensure examination has five sections each with 50 questions. Of the 250 multiple choice questions, only 200 are scored. The other 50 questions are being pretested to see if they meet the standards to be included in future exams. The physical therapist assistant licensure examination has four sections with a total of 200 multiple choice questions. As in the physical therapist examination, 50 of these questions are being pre-tested and are not scored.

There is one scheduled 15 minute break during the examination. A candidate may take up to three unscheduled breaks between sections, but these breaks use time that is allotted for test-taking. Additional information about the examinations can be found via FSBPT's NPTE Exam Candidate's webpage.


The scoring ranges from 200-800. The minimum passing score is 600 for both the PT and PTA exam.


Testing is administered at Prometric Testing Centers. Candidates are not required to test in the jurisdiction for which they are applying for licensure.


View Exam Fees for the current examination cycle


The NPTE has fixed-date testing for both the PT and PTA examination. View information on testing dates.

Guidelines and Tips

General information on registration and eligibility is available on the FSBPT website. Registration information and requirements vary by state. It is important to realize that a candidate must first meet eligibility requirements of the jurisdiction to which he or she is applying for licensure before scheduling the exam. Information by state can be located on the FSBPT Licensing Authorities web page.

Tip: There is no penalty for answering a question incorrectly—answer all questions even if unsure of the answer.

The FSBPT offers access to two 200-question practice examinations through Practice Examination and Assessment Tool (PEAT) for both the PT and the PTA exam.

Additional Resources

More on Licensure Examination Preparation

'Happy Schools Blog'

Guide to PT PracticeCSM 2016