Tuesday, September 17, 2013

TOEFL and NPTE; Do You Need to Take TOEFL Before Taking NPTE

People have been asking the difference between the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) and the  National Physical Therapist Examination (NPTE). These individuals are confused whether TOEFL is dependent on NPTE or vice versa. To better understand the two, let us define and discuss the basic information of each test. 

What is TOEFL?

The TOEFL test is an English proficiency examination. Offered by ETS or the English Testing System, most people who have taken this test took the iBT format – a computer-based test. Having said that it is an English proficiency test, the TOEFL aims to provide a certification of an individual’s competency with the use of the English language. The individual’s competence is gauged through different questions on the four core language skills in English – reading, listening, speaking, and writing. The coverage of the exam is based on varied subjects such as science, history, architecture, sociology, music and many more. The highest score one can get from the TOEFL examination is 120 having a perfect score of 30 in the four area skills. 

What is NPTE?

In the NPTE, it is also a computer-based examination; however, it is not an English proficiency examination. Filipinos taking the NPTE needs to pass the exam to get a licensure – to be able to work as a physical therapist and physical therapist assistant abroad. Offered by the FSBPT or the Federal State Board of Physical Therapist, it aims to measure knowledge and abilities required of entry level physical therapists (PTs) and physical therapist assistants (PTAs). The coverage of the exam embraces most areas in physical therapy such as cardiovascular and lymphatic systems, neuromuscular and nervous systems, integumentary system, and metabolic and endocrine systems. The highest score one can get from the NPTE is 800 with a passing score of 600.

Do I need TOEFL before I can take the NPTE?

Well, it all depends on the candidate’s credentialing. What does this mean? For example, if the candidate for the NPTE is applying for NYSED or the New York State Education Department, the candidate does not necessarily need to take the TOEFL test prior to the NPTE. However, if the candidate is applying for Type 1 Certificate, the candidate needs to take the TOEFL first before challenging the NPTE. Moreover, if an individual is applying for a tourist visa, there is no need for the TOEFL but for EB2 and H-1B visas, TOEFL is needed.

This means that the candidate needs to be certain what kind of credentialing and visa he or she is applying for. However, to add more credentials to your profile it is best to have an English competency exam certificate to support your applications abroad. This will verify your efficiency and productivity at work through good communication in the English language.


  1. Hello i would like to ask lang po if this TOEFL is one of the requirements po ba in getting a visa to uk??? .....gusto ko lang po e make sure kung ito ba yung english test na sinasabi ... thanks po ..wish to receive response from u.

    1. You should confirm it with the agency or the institution you are going to apply. Some would prefer TOEFL while others would prefer IELTS. These are two of the most popular English proficiency tests in the world today.

  2. Hi maam.may I ask about taking the npte with the tourist visa? I am planning to take a tourist visa to Florida and take the npte without the help of an agency.is it possible?

  3. Hi maam.may I ask about taking the npte with the tourist visa? I am planning to take a tourist visa to Florida and take the npte without the help of an agency.is it possible?

  4. So useful information. thanks!