overwhelmed PT student for the NPTE scoreOh, the wait is unbearable! How cruel that others already know their NPTE Score and you may still be glued to the computer screen hitting the refresh button on the FSBPT site to see your PT exam results. Could this day drag on any longer? The minutes seem to be stretching out into hours. Avoid at this time being “Examzilla” where you may be creating unnecessary anxiety, stress and showing signs of irritability towards others. You’ll get your NPTE score soon enough and the wait will be over soon.

Why Aren’t the NPTE Scores Released to Everyone at Once?

The NPTE score results are released by the licensing jurisdiction and there’s no particular order on when yours may be released. 

And My NPTE Score Is….

PASS, FAIL or WITHHELD. Your actual NPTE score won’t be displayed at this time and will be available in a couple of days. Here’s what each one means:

PASS – Congratulations! Your studying and preparation have paid off. Now, it’s time to wait for when you actually receive your license from the corresponding jurisdiction.

FAIL – Oh, no! A range of feelings may come on ranging from disbelief, shock, frustration, anger or sadness. Although it looks like a few too many questions weren’t answered correctly, keep your head up, you’ll have another shot at the exam.

WITHHELD – What?! Unfortunately, you’ll have to wait a little longer. Don’t automatically think it means you failed the National Physical Therapy Exam. For whatever reason, either the Prometric center indicated an irregularity while you were taking the exam or the FSBPT noticed a score jump. It could also mean just be a random check. Either an email or a link to the survey is sent to you with a series of questions that you’ll want to promptly reply to in order to get your results within a week period of time. To learn more, visit the FSBPT website here:

Withheld Scores FAQs


Why Isn’t My NPTE Score Provided with the Results?

It’s up to the jurisdiction to provide you with your NPTE score. At times, the licensing jurisdiction may want to provide additional information with your score in order to obtain your license.

Do I Need to Pass In Every Area of the Exam to Pass?

No, your PT exam score is based on a compensatory score. This means that all systems and content sections are totaled in order to determine whether the exam status meets the passing criteria. The scaled score to pass is 600 and the range is from 200 to 800. So, you could have scored high in one system or content section and also have a lower section that is below the passing criteria for that particular portion and still pass.

Is the Score Based on a Curve? (Highest Score and Then Scaled Down)

No, the passing criteria have been pre-determined prior to the PT exam being given. The NPTE score is not scaled down from the highest scoring candidate. Each PT exam has its own independent difficulty rating and passing score criteria.

Is there Any Adjustment on the Cutoff Score?

Each year, there’s a minor adjustment to the cutoff score by 1 to 2 points.

How Many Questions Did I Need to Get Correct?

The FSBPT provides several different PT exams and you were randomly given one of them. With each PT exam, the number of questions needed to pass varies. So, when you hear “All you need is X to pass” be hesitant as that is not necessarily true. Just because one candidate passes with a certain score, that doesn’t mean you would pass with the same score. Avoid spreading this misconception to other candidates.

Don’t spread that all you need is “X” to pass because that’s NOT always the case as there are different PT exams with different passing scores.

Why is it that I Didn’t Pass Even with a Higher Score Than My Friend?

Your exam may have been a slightly easier version and therefore required a higher number of questions to be answered correctly to reach that passing score. There’s a standard deviation of a couple of questions for the different exams.

What’s the Point of the Extra 50 Questions?

The extra 50 experimental questions are there to “test” the validity of that particular question on your entry level knowledge. The results of these experimental questions determine whether they are cycled into the actual exam as scored, need further refinement, or thrown out completely.


Is Only One PT Exam Given at the Prometric Center?

No, there are several different PT exam versions that are given out at the same Prometric Center. Let’s say that there are 4 candidates taking the exam at the same time and if seated near each other, there’s a high probability that each of these candidates is given a different exam. This is to prevent copying or cheating among candidates.

Are the PT Exams Different From State to State?

No, each state has the same PT exams that are given out to all candidates.


Will I Get a Score Report?

A free score report of your NPTE is available in another 3-4 days from when you get your initial result. Usually, you’ll see the score report after 10 days from when you took the exam and can be seen on the FSBPT website and accessible for 30 days. Since the score report has already been released to the jurisdiction, you can pay to see the score report before the 10 days by paying a fee of $90. Learn more about how to do that here:

Individual Score Report

Will I Get a Breakdown of My Exam Performance?

At your result screen, you won’t see a breakdown of your exam performance. In order to do that, you can request a Performance Feedback Report from the FSBPT. To learn more about the steps to get one for a $100 fee click here:

NPTE Performance Feedback Report

What’s the Difference Between the Score Report and the Performance Feedback Report?

The individual score report just provides your score. The performance feedback report provides a more detailed analysis for you breaking it down into 3 components:

Content Area

  • This breakdown is your exam performance

Body Systems

  • This provides your performance on how well you did by systems

By Section

  • This provides how well you performed per section on the exam

What Happens Now if I Didn’t Pass?

If this is your first attempt and didn’t succeed, you’ll be allowed to retake the exam an additional two times in a 12 month period with the same application you have submitted.

If this isn’t your first attempt, you may be required to take a remedial course or to fulfill other requirements before sitting for the exam again. The licensing jurisdiction may contact you with further information after an unsuccessful attempt.

If this is your third attempt, you’ll have to wait until after the 12 month period. You’ll also have to resubmit an application.

Some licensing jurisdiction may require candidates to take a remedial course or to fulfill other requirements before sitting for the NPTE exam again. The number of attempts and requirements vary depending on the licensing state.

Learn more on: The NPTE or having to retake the exam.

Can I Appeal My Results?

Yes, you can appeal your NPTE results if you have failed. You would have to contact the FSBPT via email: npte@fsbpt.org. It does cost money and take additional time for the FSBPT to have an answer. It may be tempting if you missed passing by 1 or 2 points; however, there’s been very little success on overturning a PT exam result.


Your Results Will Be Out Soon

It’s just a matter of time now for you to receive your results, in the meantime, take a deep breath. Regardless of your results, keep in mind that you want to avoid sharing any information about the actual exam with others.

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