Purpose. Factors related to National Physical Therapist Examination (NPTE) performance have been widely reported in the literature, yet no strong predictors emerge offering faculty guidance on how to determine student readiness for the NPTE .The Practice Exam and Assessment Tool (PEAT) as a graduation requirement may give insight into readiness for the NPTE. Widener University transitioned from a faculty generated comprehensive examination (FGCE) to the PEAT using Lewin’s Planned Change Model. The purposes of this study were to (1) describe one program’s transition away from a FGCE to the PEAT, (2) present findings of a data driven process to assess competency at graduation and prepare students for NPTE, and (3) explore student perspectives regarding this transition. Methods. Students from the Classes of 2019 (n=40) and 2020 (n=44) participated. The Class of 2019 completed the FGCE and the PEAT. The Class of 2020 was transitioned to the PEAT for graduation. Differences and associations were examined quantitatively, and student perspectives explored qualitatively. Results. The entire Class of 2019 passed the FGCE while only 51.0% (n=20) passed the PEAT; the correlations between the NPTE and the FGCE (r=.629, p<.001) and the PEAT (r=.679, p<.001) were moderate. In the Class of 2020, 88.6% (n=39) students passed the PEAT on the first attempt and the correlation with the NPTE was strong (r=.813, p<.001). The mean PEAT score for the Class of 2020 (666.3+/-50.7) was significantly higher (p<.001) than the Class of 2019 (617.5+/-52.7). Student perceptions and emotive themes related to the transition corresponded to Lewin’s Model. Conclusion. By making the PEAT a high-stakes exam for the Class of 2020, first time pass rate drastically increased. These outcomes suggest the PEAT can be used as a graduation requirement; the transition should consider factors related to managing student perspectives and expectations.
Campbell S, Dholakia K, Sturgill L, Wellmon R. Preparing Students for the National Physical Therapist Examination (NPTE): One Program’s Experience with Using the Practice Exam and Assessment Tool (PEAT) as a Graduation Requirement. The Internet Journal of Allied Health Sciences and Practice. 2023 Sep 21;21(4), Article 22.