Date of Conferral



Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)




Katherine Garlough


Physical therapy educational researchers have studied various factors that may or may not predict success on the National Physical Therapy Examination (NPTE). One factor that has not been studied extensively is the use of the Academic Practice Examination and Assessment Tool (APEAT) as a formative assessment. The purpose of this study was to determine the predictive power of the APEAT as a formative assessment along with Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) program grade point average (GPA) on success on the NPTE. Carless’s learning-oriented assessment theory was used as the theoretical foundation for this study and to guide the analysis of a formative assessment’s potential to predict success on a summative assessment. The research question was to determine how well APEAT scores and DPT program GPA can predict success on the NPTE. A quantitative, nonexperimental, correlational approach was used for this study to analyze retrospective data. A census from a DPT program in the southeastern United States was used for cohorts graduating from Summer 2019 to Summer 2020; the sample size was 209 student records. Data from the student records were analyzed with binomial logistic regression. APEAT scores and DPT program GPA were statistically significant predictors of success on the NPTE. APEAT was a weak predictor, while DPT program GPA was a strong predictor of success on the NPTE. The results from this study may be used at the local site to identify students who may need remediation before taking the NPTE and hence lead to positive social change for these students. Because NPTE success is tied to program accreditation, the results from this study can be used to improve programmatic outcomes and instill social change at the local site.