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Free NPTE® Sample Practice Questions

Preparing for the National Physical Therapy Exam (NPTE) requires dedication, thorough preparation, and access to high-quality resources. At Typical PT, we offer meticulously crafted free NPTE sample practice questions that are continuously updated to reflect the latest exam standards and guidelines set by the Federation of State Boards of Physical Therapy (FSBPT). These questions are also vetted by accomplished physical therapists to ensure their relevance and accuracy.

Experience our commitment to quality with a complimentary NPTE Free Practice Question from the physical therapy board exam. 

Here's Your Free NPTE Practice Question:

A 65-year-old female is seeking physical therapy for neck pain via direct access. She is an avid gardener and suffered a hard fall last week when she was pulling weeds. She has not seen a PCP or had any imaging done. Currently, she complains of persistent neck pain, bilateral numbness and tingling, and occasional dizziness, particularly during head turns. She has osteoporosis treated with calcium and alendronate. Physical examination reveals that she has limited ROM, primarily due to pain. Notably, the Sharp-Purser test had no symptom relief and she felt the numbness and tingling throughout the movement. Concerned, you ask her to go to the ER or see her PCP for imaging. What do you suspect is contributing to the patient’s symptoms?

A. Dens fracture

B. C4 fracture

C. Transverse ligament injury

D. Brachial plexus injury

The Answer and Explanation​

Did you get it right? The correct answer is: A. Dens fracture.

Answer choice A, Dens fracture, is correct due to the patient’s age, osteoporosis, and mechanism of injury. Additionally, when a patient has symptoms throughout the Sharp-Purser Test (flex the patient’s head forward while placing pressure on C2), that is indicative of something more severe than hypermobility / Transverse ligament injury. If the symptoms / pain subside during a Sharp Purser Test, that is a positive test, and would be indicative of a Transverse Ligament injury. Because the pain did not subside, the most likely answer is a Dens Fx. The dens, or odontoid process, is part of the axis (C2 vertebra) and is crucial for the stability of the atlanto-axial joint. Fractures here are serious due to the proximity to the spinal cord and brainstem​​​​.

Wrong Answer Explanations

  1. Answer choice B, C4 fracture is incorrect as it may not be the best options.

  2. Answer choice C, Transverse Ligament Injury is incorrect because the Sharp-Purser test was negative. If the test was positive and the symptoms subsided, this would be correct.

  3. Answer choice D, Brachial plexus injury is incorrect because the patient’s symptoms do not align with this type of injury. This typically involves severe pain, potential Horner’s syndrome, and muscle weakness in specific distributions depending on the nerve roots involved.

More Free NPTE Practice Questions

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Explore Our Free National Physical Therapy Exam Preparation Tools

In addition to our free practice test questions, Typical PT offers a free suite of products designed to ensure that PT, PTA, and DPT students not only excel in their National Physical Therapy Exam but also successfully become licensed physical therapists. Our offerings include:

Unlocking Key Concepts: Our Mnemonics Booklet for NPTE Mastery

Unlock the potential of mnemonics to streamline your NPTE preparation. This learning technique is crucial for mastering the complex medical content required to become a licensed physical therapist. By associating difficult concepts with simple, memorable cues, our Mnemonics Booklet aids in faster recall and deeper understanding—vital skills for excelling on test day.

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The NPTE Success Handbook: Tips & Tricks for Top Scores

Using the Tips and Tricks booklet is essential for anyone aiming to ace the NPTE exam. This guide offers memory aids to help you remember reflexes, provides an easy-to-understand breakdown of hypertension medications, and delivers concise summaries of the different types of shock. Packed with expert advice and effective strategies, it is tailor-made for PT, PTA, and DPT students aiming for top scores. Equip yourself with all the tools needed for NPTE success and pass with confidence.

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NPTE Practice Questions