It’s the Final Countdown – Are you Ready for It?

PT Blog   •   July, 2018

Can you believe the NPTE is just a week away? It’s hard to believe all of the hard work, the many hours of studying, the numerous clinicals have led up to this one final moment. Once it’s complete you will walk away a licensed physical therapist. Of course there will be many continuing education classes and other things to learn, but this moment will determine if what you have learned and worked so hard for can be applied to different scenarios on the NPTE. We wanted to offer a little last minute study timeline to guide you on your final study days for the NPTE. At this point, it can feel overwhelming on what to focus on with intention.   Just remember, now you have patients and tests where these exact scenarios have played out. Try to remember them while you are taking the NPTE as this can be one of your greatest assets and aids. So without further ado, let’s focus on these last 3 to 4 days and end this chapter with great success on the NPTE!

  • Day 1: The Big Three
  • *For those of you taking the NPTE on 7/25, you can spread out these studies over days 1 & 2.
    • Musculoskeletal
      • Examination: common testing and measurements
      • Joint testing
      • Hand/finger conditions
      • Common disorders in pediatrics
      • Gait cycle (compensations, causes, etc…)
    • Neuromuscular
      • Examination: common testing and measurements (vestibular, balance, fall risk)
        • Nerve testing (cranial/peripheral), tone, reflex, primitive reflexes,
      • CVA presentations (lesions in which part of the brain affect what side motor outputs)
        • Aphasias
        • Analysis of movement (spasticity, flaccidity, etc…)
      • Common disorders in neurological conditions (including manifestations/treatments)
      • Anatomy
        • Spinal tracts (major 3)
        • Dermatomes/myotomes
        • Brachial plexus (learn how to draw it here)
        • CNS vs. ANS
      • Common scales
        1. Ranchos los Amigos
        2. Apgar
        3. Glasgow Coma
    • Cardiovascular Pulmonary
      • Examination: common testing and measurements
        • Examination
          • Pulmonary: breath sounds, sign of oxygen deprivation, O2/respiration norms for various age groups, breathing muscles
          • Cardiovascular examination: vital norms, ECG readings
        • Exercise effects:
          • Tolerance tests, RPE, heart rate targets
        • Common diagnoses that affect the CVP system
  • Day 2: Memorize
    • Check back with us tomorrow for a list of key items to focus on for last minute lab values, vitals, norms, etc…
  • Day 3: Rest/Recharge

We hope these tips help. As always let us know on Facebook or Twitter if you have any other helpful areas of focus!

Best of luck on the upcoming NPTE!!!

-The PT Qbank Review Team

Photo by Ryan Tang on Unsplash


About the Author:

Ashley Theobald, D.P.T. – Ashley was born and raised in a small town in Alabama. She attended the University of South Alabama and was an advanced undergraduate student completing her Bachelor of Science degree in pre-professional health sciences in 2012. She then graduated with her doctorate in physical therapy in 2014. During her first year of PT school she met and married her husband, Ben. They moved to Nashville, TN where she worked for 3 years in an outpatient clinic full time and at Vanderbilt Stallworth Rehabilitation Hospital PRN. She is now working for ATI Physical Therapy full-time in Greenville, SC. She has been an avid health and fitness fan playing softball growing up, tennis in high school, and completing 2 half-marathons in college. She enjoys traveling overseas and has completed 2 short-term medical mission trips for physical therapy in the Dominican Republic (2013) and Haiti (2015), with intentions of returning yearly.
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