Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Board Prep

Thank you to my reader from the U of W for this topic... as a general rule I love feedback and questions and am willing to share what I got up in my brain with those willing to listen.

The National Physical Therapy Exam is the exam that if/when I pass will allow me to be licensed in the state of New York.

Not all states have temporary licensure, however NY is one of those states thus I currently have a temporary license which allows me to practice/treat patients.

The exam itself is 250 (4-choice multiple choice) questions with 5 hours alloted for all of them, which leaves about 75 seconds a question. 50 of the questions are experimental but you never know which they are. The topics covered are: Musculoskeletal, Integumentary, Cardiopulmonary, Neurological, Other systems (with an increased focus recently placed on genitourinary, gastrointestinal, and women's health to reflect the changing face of PT).

Two years ago at one of the major APTA conferences I purchased the O'Sullivan review book. I am still using that book at this point mainly reading through the exam questions/answers/rationales in the back of the book to skip the process of taking the practice exam and getting the questions wrong... then going to learn it in the back of the book. I find this to be a great use of my time, although none of the questions are likely to find their way to the actual exam. From what I have heard the book practice exams are more difficult than the real exam. The other rationale for my skipping the test taking is I am confident in my ability to take exams, if this is not a strong point for you then take as many practice exams with as real a simulation to the real thing as possible! The exam is a computer-based one and there are a few breaks, and a whole process for different sections (closing off and bathroom breaks, etc.) with the ability to 'flag' a question you may want to return to later.

Another point of interest is that you should be able to score a minimum of a 75 on 3 straight practice exams before taking the boards to statistically "gaurantee" a passing score on the real exam as per a few recent studies and trends noted in academia.

More to come, just gotta run right now (literally, 1 hour in central park, talk to ya'll soon)...

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