Physiotherapy Competency Exam
Frequently Asked Questions

If you cannot find the answer to your questions below, email

physiotherapist in black scrubs making notes on a clipboard while answers questions from his seat on exam table

These questions can be directed to CAPR’s Client Services Coordinator via email at

The scoring system used in the Physiotherapy Competency Examination (PCE) is different from a percentage scoring system.

The passing score for the Written Component is a specific point set on a scaled score scale. The Board of Examiners and the Evaluation Services Committee set the passing score for the Written Component.

If you fail an exam you have several options.  You can:

  • apply to take the exam again if you have not exhausted your exam attempts.
  • request rescoring of your exam
  • request an administrative reconsideration

You should request everything you want at the same time. If you wait to submit a request, you may miss the deadline date.

Please follow the Apply for Exam page steps.

The next exam date on the calendar is no longer available because the application deadline has passed. We cannot accept applications for an exam after the application deadline for that exam.

We set exam fees to cover the costs to administer each exam. If you fail an exam, you must send the full exam fee with your application to repeat the exam.

The Written Component consists of 200 multiple choice questions (MCQs). Each MCQ is equally weighted and scored as either correct (1) or incorrect (0). There are no deductions for incorrect responses. A candidate’s total score is calculated by summing their correct responses on all scored1 items.

 1Items that do not perform as expected (based on statistical analyses conducted after the exam) are removed from scoring and do not count towards a candidate’s total score.

Each candidate who completes the PCE Written Component receives a score report that summarizes their performance (total score and sub-scores) and their overall result (pass/fail). Before exam results are reported, candidates’ total scores are mathematically transformed so that they can be interpreted in a consistent manner across different administrations2 of the exam.

2 Each administration uses a different exam form (a unique sampling of 200 MCQs selected from the exam bank to match the exam blueprint).

Prior to May 2022, the total score and passing score were reported as standard scores. Standard scores (also referred to as standardized scores or z-scores) provide norm-referenced interpretation, meaning that the score conveys information about a candidate’s score in relation to their standing among other test takers (i.e., CAPR compares a candidate’s performance to Canadian-educated candidates who are taking the same exam for the first time).

As of May 2022, the total score and passing score will be reported as scaled scores. Scaled scores provide criterion-referenced interpretation, meaning that the score conveys information about a candidate’s score in relation to a specific standard of performance, regardless of other candidates’ performance. Scaled scores allow for direct comparisons of results across exam administrations, even if there are differences in the difficulty of the exam form taken.

Interpretation of the score (whether a standard score or scaled score) is not to be confused with the standard for passing an exam, which can also be established using norm-referenced or criterion-referenced approaches. In accordance with best practices, CAPR uses a criterion-referenced approach to set the passing score for the PCE:

  • pass/fail results are based on whether candidates meet or exceed a pre-defined standard of minimal competence.
  • pass/fail determination is not based on how well a candidate performs compared to other candidates.

In response to stakeholder feedback regarding difficulty in understanding standard scores and interpreting exam result reports, and in keeping with our commitment to provide clear and meaningful information about the PCE, we are revising our scoring processes and our exam result reports.

Scaled scores provide a constant, stable metric for reporting candidate results, regardless of which exam a candidate takes. The PCE passing score will always be 600 in scaled scoring (criterion-referenced) whereas in standard scoring (norm-referenced) the passing score varied with each exam administration.

There is always some variability in the difficulty of different exam forms. Scaled scores make these differences disappear, so that a particular score has the same meaning and interpretation across exam forms. For a less difficult exam form, a candidate needs to answer slightly more questions correctly to get a particular scaled score. For a more difficult exam form, a candidate needs to answer slightly fewer questions correctly to get the same scaled score. Scaled scoring applies the same passing standard to all exam forms, ensuring that the passing standard remains constant over time, regardless of which exam form a candidate takes and regardless of how other candidates perform on the exam.

A scaled score is a mathematical conversion of a candidate’s raw score (total number of MCQs answered correctly) to a common scale. This transformation is like converting weight from pounds to kilograms: the weight of the object remains the same but the units being reported have changed. Interpretation of a candidate’s raw score and their scaled score always results in the same conclusion in terms of their pass/fail status.

For the PCE Written Component, the scaled passing score is 600 on a scale ranging from 200 to 800. This means that the lowest obtainable scaled score on the Written Component is 200 and the highest is 800. Candidates whose total scaled score is at or above 600 pass the exam. Candidates whose total scaled score is below 600 do not pass the exam.

Each candidate’s raw score is transformed into a scaled score using the following formula: Y = m(x) + b

Y = the candidate’s scaled score

x = the candidate’s raw score (i.e., the number of MCQ items answered correctly)

m = (maximum scaled score – passing scaled score) / (maximum raw score – passing raw score)

b = passing scaled score – m (passing raw score)

Fees for additional services related to the Written Component of the PCE are non- refundable.

Below is a list of Additional Service Fees which are considered non-refundable.

Administrative Reconsideration$410.00
Duplicate Documents$35.00

To update your preferred exam modality:

  1. Log in to the Client Portal.
  2. Go to the ‘Apply’ tab.
  3. Select the ‘Details’ button on your ongoing PCE Written Component application.
  4. Select the ‘Edit’ button under the Modality heading.
  5. Select your preferred exam modality from the dropdown menu, then select ‘Save.

Note: if a specific test centre location is not listed in the dropdown options, then it is either not available or is at capacity.

No, it is not possible to change your exam modality after you have received your Exam Appointment Confirmation email.

You can update your preferred exam modality at any time between submitting your application and being issued with the Exam Appointment Confirmation email, which is sent 30 days before the exam. To do so, follow the steps outlined in the FAQ titled ‘How do I update my preferred exam modality after my application has been submitted?’.

No, CAPR does not accept requests for specific exam appointment times.

Test Centre appointment times include an AM session and a PM session; candidates are responsible for making arrangements to attend the exam at their scheduled appointment time.

Remote Proctoring appointment times are based on the time zones in Canada, which range from UTC-8 to UTC-3.

CAPR understands that some candidates will take the exam from locations outside of this range of time zones, and will assign such candidates to appointments that correspond to reasonable local time appointments to the extent possible within the limits of the times zones in Canada.

To facilitate the scheduling process, please ensure that the address on your profile is up to date. If your address changes following the submission of your application, please update it in the ‘Profile’ tab (in the Client Portal) as soon as possible.