Hi Will, I am a [foreign-trained] PT. I have been living in the US for 5 years now and I plan to take the NPTE in October. I was badly surprised to learn that only 26% of the internationally trained students pass the exam (first attempt)…how do you explain this incredibly low score compared to the US students?
It’s hard for me to figure out what makes it so hard for foreign (besides the language but it shouldn’t be an issue for me, my speaking is not perfect but I understand well) ?
I would truly appreciate if you have tricks to share so I can be in the 26% of lucky PT 🙂
- In my mind, the biggest factor is the amount of time from graduation until testing. What I typically see is that a foreign-trained PT graduates and practices in their home country for 5 years before attempting to take the NPTE. This means that they have a lot of time to forget all of the good things they learned in PT school.
- A secondary factor is the style and scope of their education. Often, other countries implement different types of testing to assess proficiency. For example, Canada’s national exam requires a practical, hands-on component whereas the USA does not. The NPTE is also exclusively multiple-choice questions rather than vignette or story questions.
- A final factor is the language barrier. It can be difficult to read and understand the scientific terminology in a second language. This is a problem for some and not for others.