The purpose of this study was to examine pre-enrollment variables of both quantitative and verbal GRE scores, undergraduate GPA, physical therapy program variables of first-year GPA, average CPI score from the first long term clinical rotation, and demographic variables of age and gender to determine which variables predict success for first-time NPTE passage and NPTE score.
This study was a quantitative study that used a retrospective design. Two separate data analyses were conducted. First, hierarchical multiple regression analysis were performed to determine which variables are most predictive of first-time NPTE score. Secondly a hierarchical logistics regression analysis were performed to determine which of the same variables are predictive of first time NPTE passage. Clinical performance as measured by the CPI: Version 2006 average score, pre-admission variables of undergraduate grade point average (UGPA), both quantitative and verbal reasoning scores of the Graduate Record Exam (GRE), and first-year program PT GPA were independent variables.
With all seven IVs entered into the equation, the hierarchical multiple regression model could predict 39% of the variance seen in NPTE scores. As far as individual variables, results showed that first year PT program GPA was the strongest predictor, as 24% of NPTE score variance could be predicted by first year GPA (beta= .572, p=.000).
The hierarchical logistic regression analysis model was able to predict 23 percent to 53 percent of the variability in NPTE passage by the independent variables when all variables were entered into the equation. The positive predictive value of the hierarchical logistic regression model including all variables was 95.58. As far as predictability of individual variables, two variables were of significance. First year GPA was a predictor of NPTE success (Wald 4.109, p=.043). Also a significant predictor of NPTE success was age (Wald 4.652, p=.031).
Conclusions/Relevance to the conference theme: Shaping the Future of Physical Therapy Education
The multiple regression results show that first year GPA accounts for 29% of variability seen on NPTE score for this study population. For PT programs with similar curricular structure of first year foundational science coursework, remedial work or course repeat may be recommended before students experiencing academic difficulty are allow to progress in the PT program. Courses that occur later in the curriculum build on the knowledge attained during that first year of the curriculum. Those students who do not attain the necessary knowledge during that first year may continue to have difficulty as coursework becomes more complex, leading to failure on the NPTE.
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