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Which study guide will you use to prep for the NPTE?

Road to the NPTE: PEAT & Which Study Guide to Use

71% – 562

That’s my score on a Retired NPTE that I took last week. There’s definitely room for improvement, but it looks like I’m on the right track.


It's time to dial it in.
It’s time to dial it in.


These are my results from the Practice Exam and Assessment Tool (PEAT). We purchased this, as a class, for $79 each. It has provided me with a baseline and now I can tailor my studying accordingly.

The table above breaks down the content from the exam. You can see my scores for each section, and the “On Track” scores. The “On Track” column shows the estimated number of correct answers I would require to achieve a passing score. My worst category was “Physical Therapy Examination.” I correctly answered 35 of the 53 questions, but would have needed 40 to pass.


Musculoskeletal is my wheelhouse.
Musculo is right in my wheelhouse.


This table breaks down the exam by “Body System”. Clearly, I need to step up my Neuromuscular and Nervous System game, where I only scored 60%.

Purchasing the PEAT was a no-brainer for me. Everyone had great reviews of the PEAT and said that it helped them a lot. For $79, I couldn’t pass it up. It includes the test that I took, the retired NPTE, and another practice exam. According to the FSBPT website, the questions are the same format that I will see on the NPTE. As you see above, it provides a detailed performance report and for each question it provides explanations, rationales, and references. Access to the material is available for 60 days.



Aside from the PEAT, I needed a review book. O’Sullivans and Scorebuilders seemed to have the best reviews. I talked with recent grads and the majority preferred O’Sullivans. A common theme was that people tended to score higher on the Scorebuilders practice exams than O’Sullivans. This is because the questions on O’Sullivans are harder. I’d like to avoid any sense of false confidence and I think O’Sullivan’s will keep me honest. I hope the difficult questions will over-prepare me. O’Sullivan’s also comes with 3 practice exams on a flash drive.

If you want a book that has great pictures and is easy to read, I suggest Scorebuilders. If you want detail and depth of information, go with O’Sullivan’s.

In the video below I unbox my review book and discuss this article. I also briefly review my tentative schedule and strategy for studying. My excitement to receive the study guide in the mail seems a little abnormal…

TherapyEd  can be purchased here.

Scorebuilders can be found here for $85.


Studying will unofficially begin on June 1. I intend to spend the week going over the questions I missed on the retired NPTE that I mentioned earlier. I’ll be reading through the rationales and will hopefully be able to hone in on what my weaknesses are. My goal by the end of the week is to create a list of SPECIFIC areas that will need extra attention.

June 8 is when my official studying will begin. I’ll have 6 weeks to get my A game ready. I have scheduled 6-8 hours of studying per day. Fridays will be testing days. I have 3 practice exams from O’Sullivan’s and the PEAT. I will also be meeting with a classmate on a weekly basis. We haven’t determined exactly what we will discuss during these meetings, but the idea is to make us accountable to each other.


We have officially completed the DPT program. Our grades are being submitted and the Registrar’s office will be receiving notification from our department chair that our forms can be sent to Albany. Now, I wait for my ATT and hope that I’m lucky enough to get a seat at a testing center nearby.

Below I’ve provided some useful links/resources as we prep for the NPTE.

Make sure to check out our NPTE Audio Study Series

Need test taking tips? Try this article from Jasmine Marcus PT, DPT – Test Taking Tips for the NPTE

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About Mark Denesha

Mark Denesha
Physical Therapist, strength training enthusiast, & team member at NGPT. Find your strength.

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