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PT exam questions you should definitely prep for

The physical therapy industry is a rapidly growing field. In fact, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, physical therapy jobs are projected to grow at a rate of 15%. This is much higher than the national average. But, to become a physical therapist, you must first undergo extensive education. From there, you must pass rigorous PT exams like the National Physical Therapy Examination (NPTE). Are you on track to start work as a physical therapist? Perhaps you are getting ready to take your NPTE. Here are some of the PT exam questions you should be prepared to answer. 

What questions should you be prepared to answer during your PT exam?

During your NPTE, you will be expected to answer approximately 250 questions. The typical allotted time to answer all 250 questions is five hours. Some examples of the questions you may be asked to answer during your PT exam include:

  • One of your patients has, for the last four months, relied on crutches to compensate for a partial weight-bearing toe-touch gait. When you ask your patient to walk without crutches, they exhibit improper gait and fail to use heel-to-toe movements. From the following, which disorder would you deem the most likely cause of this patient’s unusual gait pattern? — This question is an example of the type of material that most standard physical therapy exams will ask you to answer. It provides you with the opportunity to exhibit your knowledge of proper gait sequences. This question also requires that you show you can make accurate diagnoses based on observations of a patient’s weight-bearing capacity and gait sequence. The most likely answer to this question is heel cord tightness. You should be able to determine this based on the limited knowledge provided.
  • What is the correct statistical analysis to use when looking at a group of patients with shoulder pain from minor rotator cuff tears who have been split into three separate treatment groups with only one variable? — The purpose of this question is to determine how well you comprehend statistical analysis for treating patients. It requires you to apply your knowledge of research- and evidence-based practices. The answer to this question is analysis of variance (ANOVA). That’s because this scenario includes more than two groups and only one variable.

What should you know about how the exam questions are categorized?

While you should practice applying your knowledge via practice tests, you should also understand the categories of the exam. The questions of your PT exam will likely be categorized into the following groups:

  • Questions about each of the body systems — One of the first categories is the body systems. You’ll be asked questions about each system of the body to show that you have a thorough understanding of how each works and how they can be interconnected. For example, one question may be about the cardiovascular and pulmonary systems, and the next may be about the gastrointestinal system.
  • Questions regarding PT equipment, technology, techniques and safety — You can also expect to see questions regarding various kinds of equipment and the techniques that a physical therapist can use to treat their patients. You can also expect to answer questions about patient safety in the clinic and best safety practices.
  • Questions about measuring the performance of the body systems — During your PT exam, you will likely run into questions about performance indicators and data collection of the body system functioning. You’ll need to know about each of the tests and performance indicators associated with each of the body systems. 
  • Questions pertaining to the disorders and conditions of the body systems — Anyone taking their PT exam should expect to answer questions about not only the body systems but also the disorders and conditions that commonly affect them. 
  • Questions about PT treatments and their effects on the body systems — It’s standard for physical therapy exams to have questions about the best physical therapy treatments for disorders and conditions affecting the body. It’s also common for these exams to test your knowledge of PT treatments and how they can benefit patients.

Ready for a new and exciting career opportunity? You’ll find it at Back in Motion Physical Therapy

Back in Motion Physical Therapy firmly believes that partnership means creating something greater than the sum of its parts. Back in Motion is proud to be part of the Alliance Physical Therapy Partners partnership that brings together physical therapy clinics around the nation. Collectively, we work to provide patients across the nation with the level of treatment they want. Then, we’ll work to exceed that. 

But we know that our clinics can’t provide exceptional physical therapy without amazing PT team members and admin staff. For this reason, we’re always searching for talented and hardworking people who want: 

  • A balanced daily clinic schedule. 
  • Exceptional health, retirement and wellness benefits. 
  • Mentorship and professional growth opportunities. 
  • A team-oriented environment that cares about its patients and local community.

Want to learn more about the current career opportunities at Back in Motion? Check out our Careers page.

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