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Low grades in PT school & NPTE


Full Member
2+ Year Member
Apr 9, 2016
  1. Pre-Rehab Sci [General]
Hello everyone. Currently I am in my last year of PT school and I have not received the best grades and I have a low GPA close to the minimum gpa allowed to graduate. I have received quite a few Ds (even a couple Fs) on midterms/finals, Majority Bs and Cs. I will be honest on a few exams I either was exhausted and didn’t study hard enough or it was just a very difficult exam with low class averages.
What saved my class grades were the grades I got on my practicals (all As) and projects/assignment. but practicals are generally easier than exams.

RegArding exams, I do have test anxiety and focus issues and I am not a great overall multiple choice test taker (I did well on the GRE with lotssss of practice and tutoring).I have performed a lot better recently from the previous term, I don’t know what has changed, maybe that I’m just finally used to this crazy grad school life after 2 years lol.
I Am a bit worried about boards now that I’m close to finishing school because of my inconsistency and below average exam scores.... I would appreciate some input about this. I know that a student with straight As and/or above average scores will have a easier time With studying for the boards and passing, but I wanted to get some input on this and if anyone else was in my position. Thanks !


Full Member
2+ Year Member
Jan 21, 2019
Might help to remember that the vast majority of students (as in almost all) do pass the NPTE. Take a practice test soonish to see where you stand, and make a plan. You should know by now what works and doesn't in terms of studying, so do that, don't follow what anyone else is doing.
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Full Member
2+ Year Member
Mar 9, 2019
I understand that "low" grades may make you feel stupid (maybe?) and make you question your ability to succeed, especially when most of your classmates make higher grades. But you have been able to maintain the minimal GPA requirement in high-stress environment for the last 2 years, which IS good enough and you have succeeded so far. Your overall grades are not really LOW since, again, you have met minimal requirements. It is good enough to graduate. If you are able to graduate, you will be able to pass NPTE. It should be easier to prepare for NPTE than for other challanging exams you have taken so far because:
-that is the only exam you have to study for (vs how many exams do you have to study for at the same time while in PT school?)
-you can take as much time as you need to study for it
-the information you have to study for NPTE will be very repetitive since you have been studying the same stuff over and over again for the last 3 years. When you are in PT school, especially the first year, everything is new. Then information becomes repetitive. So you will be reviewing the stuff that you already know, the stuff that you learned but forgot, and the stuff that looks like you have never heard of (which will not be much)
-you have been practicing for NPTE since the 1st semester of PT school (test forma PT school gives you is very similar) - that will be more than 3 years by the time you will actually take it. That is more time that you spent on preparing for GRE, I am sure. GRE was much more difficult for me than NPTE because GRE is a GENERAL exam. NPTE focuses of PT stuff that you have been interested in and have been studying for 3 years. So if you were able to succeed in GRE (I never could actually), you will pass NPTE.
You have succeeded so far, so there is no reason for you not to succeed on NPTE. You do have to study. Take practice tests and time yourself when preparing for NPTE. You'll make it, I am sure :).
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Punk Rock to Doc
2+ Year Member
Dec 15, 2016
  1. DPT / OTD
Take a lot of practice tests. Take the hard ones and save the PEATs for a few months before boards. Don't throw test question or practice questions out because they are unrealistic or super hard. The NPTE is super hard, but almost everyone passes, and so will you.
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Full Member
2+ Year Member
Jul 14, 2017
  1. Physical Therapy Student
It was refreshing for me to hear that about 91% of students pass the NPTE on the first try. NPTE Exam Year Reports | FSBPT. I have a couple friends who skimmed through PT school and were even delayed a year pass the NPTE first try with a high score. No matter what your gpa is, you’ve been prepping and studying for 3 years to pass this exam and you’ll be ready, trust yourself and prepare the best you can.
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