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The NPTE is administered by FSBPT. You must pass NPTE if you are seeking to become a licensed physical therapist or physical therapist assistant in the United States.

The National Physical Therapy Examination is one part of the evaluation process used by licensing authorities. The NPTE is administered by the Federation of State Boards of Physical Therapy. APTA has no role in exam development, administration, or scoring.

You must pass the NPTE if you are seeking to become a licensed physical therapist or physical therapist assistant in the United States. This applies to candidates who attend U.S. or international physical therapy education programs.

FSBPT has extensive resources about the NPTE, including exam preparation tips, what to expect on exam day, how to get your results, and what to do if you don’t pass the exam.

Getting Started

The first step for those interested in taking the NPTE is to fill out FSPBT’s NPTE journey map, which will display your unique pathway to licensure.

For students in U.S. programs, your school will initiate the process to create your FSBPT account by the end of your first year of school and will also validate that you're on track to graduate, no more than 150 days before graduation. Until this step is completed, you won't be able to register for the NPTE.

Your Steps

1. Complete your FSBPT profile. When your program creates your profile, you'll receive an email with the link to access and complete your profile. You must do this before you can access FSBPT services, such as the practice exam (PEAT) or NPTE registration.

2. Register for an exam. As you near graduation, your program will validate that you're on track to graduate and will notify you that you can register for the NPTE.

3. Monitor your progress. Track the status of your the NPTE registration by logging into your customer dashboard to see when you have been approved to sit. You'll be notified by email once you've been approved.

4. Schedule your exam. Once you're eligible to sit, access your Authorization to Test information on your dashboard and schedule your exam.

5. View your score. Two weeks after your test date, access a free copy of your score report on your candidate dashboard.

Remember: In addition to registering for NPTE, you must meet requirements in your jurisdiction and submit your application for licensure to the jurisdiction. Passing NPTE is only one step to obtaining your license, which is required to practice as a PT or work as a PTA.