Do you want to give your NPTE and don’t know where to start? In this article, I wrote everything in a simplified manner to be understandable by the PTs from different parts of the world who wish to work as a Licensed PT in the United States.

Who can give NPTE?

Only eligible Physical Therapists can give the NPTE. Once the FSBPT approves your eligibility, you will be able to give the exam.


The individual undergoes a process of evaluation from an agency such as FCCPT and gets an ECR (Educational credential Review)/ Type 1 review for a state he/she wish to work in. You can create an account on the FCCPT website and then start the process for submitting your documents if you are a foreign-trained PT then it does take time to complete the whole process of submitting documents. There are a few states for which requirements are less than the other ones like (New York, Maryland, etc.) which might be helpful for Foreign-trained PTs to get the evaluation done as soon as possible. Type 1 is needed for visa screening purposes too so, if you need a visa then no matter what the state requirements are you must get a Type 1 review. ECR i.e., an educational credential review is generally what is done for most states when you don’t need a working visa. ECR 5 and 6 are most common and as 5 have lesser credit requirements and ECR 6 have some more credit requirements. 
Many NPTE aspirants ask me when they get a deficiency in their report as to what to do now as some have around 50 credits lacking, or some have 20. The most problem they face is when they are not living in the US and they need to get it all done when they arrive in the US. I feel that you may have a financial crisis when you are not even close to getting a job. What to do? Is CLEP a good option? I would say yes, but again for CLEP, you must be present in the United States. CLEP gives you more credits but at the same time, you must study hard for it. Yes, it is a cheaper option, and you can get most of your credits done through it. 

If not CLEP then what?

Firstly, I feel the time is money, and the amount of extra time you spend on completing the requirements is the time you should be earning. So, get the credential process done as fast as possible. 

How to do that? 

FCCPT provides PLAN services which you can choose. In PLAN service, you get an advisor and everything you need to become eligible. They provide all the deficiencies and a list of universities from where you can complete the deficiencies. It cost you money but believe me it will save you time and even you can do all of this when you are not physically present in the US. 

State board 

After completing the evaluation, the file is sent to the state board. You will need to open a file in your state board and complete the process that may include fingerprinting, jurisprudence exam, etc.
The jurisprudence exam is about the state norms and acts which you should know before start working. 
There are different processes and requirements for a different state, so I suggest reading more about the state board requirements on the web page. Also, this process can be started anytime so be mindful of keeping track of the process and start the process. The application does expire in 2- 3 years. This means that you may have to pay the fees again when you haven’t completed the process. 


The Federation of State Boards of Physical Therapy (FSBPT) is the place where we get eligibility to register for the NPTE. 
FSBPT is very quick to answer so anytime you have any doubts you can call them or email them. 
After completing all the requirements, FSBPT sends an ATT letter through the mail which you have to take to your exam center. 
 Finally register at the Prometric center where you can give your NPTE.

NPTE Test content

The NPTE content is prepared by FSBPT. To test yourself before your actual exam, PEAT exams which can be ordered from the FSBPT website are the ones to practice. Mostly they give 2-3 exams set which are time-bound and 2 attempts are allowed. The PEAT Test is valid for 60 days so, you may want to give it during the last month of your preparation of NPTE. PEAT gives you a free detailed report too which means you can get an idea of which system you are lacking, and which system is your strength. Also, all the questions have rationales which you can see after the attempt. 
Suggestions: If you plan to buy PEAT then probably do it at least a month before and after you have completed most of your preparation. PEAT scores give you confidence if you score high and this is needed for your NPTE. 


It is a 5-hour exam with 1 scheduled break. It has 5 sections and each section has 50 questions. Thus, in total 250 questions. From all 250 only 200 questions are being tested. But you have to attempt all 250 questions to get your perfect score. The exam is held 4 times a year which is great that you can choose when to give the exam without waiting for a year. 
The NPTE is not just the test of your knowledge but also your endurance as you have to give your 100% to your 250th question. 
Most students lack this endurance and have said that their brain fatigued after 3 sections, and they were not able to perform the way they could have. So, definitely along building your knowledge, work on the endurance too and develop the capacity of sitting for long hours. The best thing you can do is solve practice questions for at least 3-4 hours 1-2 months before the exam and every 3-4 days. It is doable and needs mindful training. 
There are 2 most common review books which are used for NPTE. 
  1. Therapyed
  2. Scorebuilders
Both are good, I had both. I used the sequence to follow from the Therapyed and used some content from Scorebuilders. 
Ultimately, to become licensed, you should have good knowledge and confidence in yourself. 
Good luck to all the soon to be licensed PTs 
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