A BIG Carrot: Professional GPA, PEAT and ScoreBuilders Performance as Motivating Factors to Promote First Time NPTE Success
Purpose: The purpose of this study was to investigate variables that may be predictive of first-time success on the National Physical Therapy Exam (NPTE) and in turn use these findings as motivation for students professional academic preparation and performance. The power or ability of a student to recover from any academic struggle or deficiency may be promulgated by predicitve academic variables to promote student preparation and ultimate success.Methods/Description: A total of 380 graduates (DPT classes 2011-2017; 148 males, 232 females) from a PT program in upstate New York were included in this study. This study analyzed the correlation between first time NPTE success and the following variables: student program entrance status (freshmen, transfer, or direct entry); professional phase GPA (pGPA); Scorebuilders scores; Practice Exam and Assessment Tool (PEAT) scores; and if a student took an NPTE preparatory course. Descriptive statistics and multiple ANOVA regressions were used to analyze these data.Results/Outcomes: Multiple regression of NPTE preparatory course attendance, PEAT percentage, pGPA, Scorebuilders score, and student entrance status were significant overall (p = 0.026) and accounted for 46% of the variance in NPTE scores. PEAT percentage (p = 0.038), pGPA (p < 0.001), and Scorebuilders score (p < 0.001) were predictors of first time NPTE score variance. PEAT percentage, pGPA, and Scorebuilders score (p < 0.05) were significant individually, accounting for 83% of the variance in NPTE scores. PEAT percentage coefficient was 1.186 (p = 0.038), suggesting that for every 1% increase in PEAT scores, NPTE scores would increase by 1.186 points (95% C.I. 0.070-2.302). The pGPA coefficient was 76.670 (p < 0.001); therefore, for every 0.10 increase in pGPA, NPTE scores increased by 7.6 points (95% C.I. 4.631-10.703). Lastly, Scorebuilders score coefficient was 1.467 (p < 0.001), thus every one point increase in Scorebuilders score correlated with a 1.467 NPTE score increase (95% C.I. 0.766-2.167).Conclusions/Relevance to the conference theme: Our Leadership Landscape: Perspectives from the Ground Level to 30,000 Feet: These results indicated PEAT percentage, pGPA, and Scorebuilders scores were predictive variables for first time NPTE success amongst the DPT graduates. This is the first study to correlate PEAT scores with NPTE results over 7 years worth of data. Results from this study may be used to motivate students in their academic preparation for sitting for the NPTE and inform PT programs as to what factors may contribute to first time success on the NPTE, thus enhancing a program’s student outcomes. The results of this study aid in developing strategies to 'build resilience' (recover quickly from difficulties) in academic environments. An enhancement of a students GPA by only .10 may subsequently earn 8 points on average on the NPTE. This small effect may lead to a positive tipping point for the student on the NPTE. PEAT and Scorebuilders scores may provide a student with a 1:1 exam performance ratio thus being a strong motivator and confidence builder heading into the NPTE.References: Gardner K. About the National Physical Therapy Examination. APTA. http://www.apta.org/Licensure/NPTE/. Published January 16, 2015. Accessed March 12, 2017. Cook C, Engelhard C, Landry M, McCallum C. Modifiable variables in physical therapy education programs associated with first-time and three- year national physical therapy examination pass rates in the United States. J Educ Eval Health Prof. 2015; 12(44). http://dx/doi.org/10.3352/jeehp.2015.12.44 Cook C, Landry M, Covington J, McCallum, Engelhard C. Scholarly research productivity is not related to higher three-year licensure pass rates for physical therapy academic programs. 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